Cape Verde is a beautiful island country in the Atlantic Ocean. Located just off the western coast of Africa’s Senegal it is known for being one of the most stable countries in Africa, as well as one of the most stunning.
The islands were uninhabited until Portuguese colonisers arrived in the 1400s. They used the islands for the brutal slave trade, and later as a stopover destination for long distance ships and whaling vessels.
There are many reasons today that make Cape Verde a popular holiday destination … if you are considering taking a trip there here is some useful information to help you with your planning:
Cape Verde Visa Information
The vast majority of visitors to Cape Verde will need a visa. These should be applied for in advance at a Cape Verde Embassy. If you are travelling from a country where there is no Embassy you are able to apply, and pay for, your tourist visa on arrival. As this can be a lengthy process (sometimes taking up to a couple of hours), it is strongly advised that people get their visas in order before travelling wherever possible.
Visitors will also need to have an outward ticket booked, and proof of this may need to be shown at immigration.
Countries in which there is a Cape Verde Embassy or Consulate include India, Russia, Brazil, the USA, the UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Holland, Austria, and Belgium.
Getting to Cape Verde
Most visitors arrive by air. The country has several international airports and there are regular flights to a variety of destinations in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. It may be possible to get to the island by boat from continental Africa, but services are not very regular and it is usually more cost effective to fly.
The different islands are connected by domestic air services as well as boats. On the islands you will find decent public transportation, which often includes converted pickup trucks. Most of the main cities have plenty of taxis and they are relatively cheap and an efficient way to get around.
Language in Cape Verde
The official language of the islands is Portuguese, but the most widely spoken language is a Creole language called Kriolu. This is further divided into several different regional dialects. Many people have a good understanding of French too, and some people, especially the younger generations and those who work in the tourism industry, have a decent knowledge of English. It does help a lot though for visitors to have a basic understanding of Portuguese, especially if they plan to travel around and step away from the beaten a path a bit.
Things to See and Do
The islands are awash with fabulous things to see and do. You can spend long days lazing in the sun on heavenly beaches, hiking in gorgeous volcanic landscapes, exploring cultural towns and villages, and dine on the freshest locally caught fish and seafood. Popular destinations include the second biggest island of Santo Antao, which is known for its dramatic mountains, sweeping valleys, lush vegetation, relaxed vibe, and charming towns, rural and quiet Sao Nicolau, Sal and Boa Vista with their long sandy beaches and numerous water sports, the active volcanic island of Fogo, and Sao Vicente, which is famous for its vibrant culture, colourful buildings, and lively atmosphere. The country’s capital city of Praia is also well worth a visit – it is located on Santiago Island.
A popular honeymoon spot and romantic destination for couples, Cape Verde also offers plenty of terrific things for families and groups of friends.