Cape Verde Travel Facts

Natural Features: Steep, rugged, rocky, volcanic. Aseries of droughts that started in the 18th century turned Cape Verde into a dry strile land scape.

Rainy Seasons: Rainfall is usually limited to september.The harmattan season is from December to February.

Accommodation: There are few fairly good hotels in the middle price range at Praia, Mindelo, Sal and S Filipe. Other than these, cheap pensao can be found in most places. In Praia, try the pensao on the corner of the café Portugal or the Hotel Felicidade. In Mindelo, try Chave d'Ouro. On Sal, try the Pensao Dona Angela, which is in the small village near the international airport (within walking distance even with a rucksack).

Climate: Tropical temperatures with no real cool season although there is a slight reduction from Dec-Mar. Rainfall can be unreliable and low and mostly falls between Aug-October.

Culture: The vestiges of Portuguese culture are much more evident than those of African culture. For example the food is much of Portuguese culture

Entertainment: Entertainment on the islands is extremely limited and available only in Prala and Mindelo where there are few bars and nightclubs.

Travel Highlights: Each island on Cape Verde has something of interest, but by and large the pace of life is slow. Santiago, for instance, is very African and it's here that the majority of black people live. The town of Mindelo (S Vicente) is very reminiscent of a deserted Portuguese provincial town. The small bars in and around the harbour have their own special atmosphere and are well worth a visit. Because of the rocky coastline there are only a few beaches

Getting There:

Air: There are daily flights from Lisbon, three direct flights a week from Amsterdam, twice a week from Frankfurt, and once a week from Paris and Moscow. Direct flights from New York and Johannesburg three times a week on South African Airways, and from Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro are also available. The only flights from the African mainland are to the capital, Praia, on Santiago Island. The fifty-seater flights from Dakar to Praia are usually full and routinely overbooked, operated by Air Sénégal (DS) and the Cape Verdean airline TACV (VR).

Sea: Boat connections operate between Dakar and Praia once a month except the round-trip fare for deck class could cost you much the same price as for a round-trip excursion ticket on a plane

Best Time To Visit: October and November

Travel Around:

Air: For flying around Cape Verde, TACV serves all the inhabited islands. Between Praia and Mindelo there are at least two flights a day, and there are three to five flights a day between Sal and either Prala or Mindelo.

Road: The Alucar rental company has offices in Praia, Mindelo and on Sal Island. An ordinary driving licence is always required.
Sea and Lakes: There are ferry connections to all nine inhabited islands and boats follow a regular schedule.

Driving: Traffic drives on the right. International Driving Permit recommended.

Passport and Visa: Required, but NOT by the following:

  1. Holders of National Identity Cards issued to nationals of Cape Verde
  2. Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer.
  3. Holders of a valid Seaman Bookl travelling on duty. Passport validity: Passport must be valid for duration of stay.

Visas: Required, but NOT by the following:

  1. Nationals, persons born in Cape Verde and former nationals of Cape Verde including their wives, husbands or children, provided holding proof thereof.
  2. Nationals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone & Togo.
  3. Holders of re-entry permits.

Recommended Immunisation: diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, TB, tetanus, typhoid recommended in some circumstan
Compusory Vacination: Yellow fever certificate if arriving from African countries Exempt infants under 1 year

Religion: indigenous beliefs, Roman Catholic

Languages: A blend of portuguese, Km, Pt, West African Words

GDP: $1060 per capita

Currency: Escudo Caboverdiano (100 Centavos)

Credit Cards: Don't help much on the islands. The three or four top hotels take Amex, but they are about the only establishments that will.

Time: GMT-1

International Dialing Code: 238

International Radios: BBC KHz:(daytime) 17830, 15400, 6005, (evening) 17830, 15400, 11835

Business Hours: Government offices are open from 0800 to 1200 and Banks are open from 0830 to 1400 Monday to Friday. Shops are open from 0800 to 1300 and 1500 to 1900 Monday to Saturday.

Weekly Days Off: Saturday and Sunday

Public Holidays: New Year's Day (Jan.1), National Heroes Day (Jan. 20), Workers' Day (May 1), Youth Day (Jan. 1), Independence Day (Jul. 5), Assumption Day (Aug. 15), All Saints Day (Nov. 1), Christmas Day (Dec. 25), Good Friday (Variables).

Last Updated on Monday 30th November 2009