Cape Verde, Africa - Stein Travel

Cape Verde




    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months


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Welcome to Cape Verde

Only six hours flying time from the major airports of Europe, the volcanic Cape Verde archipelago, lying in the Atlantic Ocean off the bulge of Africa, is rapidly emerging as an inspiring holiday destination for those seeking something different.

The nine inhabited islands are bristling with their own individual character and melodious, unique musical culture, besides offering plenty of opportunities for relaxation or active pursuits. The rapidly developing island of Sal, in particular, with its long white sandy beaches, has been discovered by European beach buffs and water sports enthusiasts. The main tourist town, Santa Maria, near the international airport, is earning its place on the map as being the world's newest surfing destination, and also as a major draw for windsurfers and kite surfers, with its trade winds and winter swells.

A former Portuguese colony, Cape Verde is now a struggling Republic, scourged by drought in the last century, which prompted heavy emigration. Exploiting the natural assets of the islands by encouraging tourism has now become a valuable injection for the economy.

Apart from beaches, the islands also offer impressive mountains, volcanoes, delicious seafood and an interesting African/Portuguese cultural mix. The distinctive music of the islands, carried abroad by renowned singer, Cesara Evora, 'the barefoot diva', also adds to Cape Verde's character.

Most visitors utilise the inter-island ferries or domestic airline to explore more than just one of these somewhat barren and rugged islands, each of which has unique sights or experiences to offer. In a frenetic world Cape Verde remains slow, unsophisticated and secure with a stable democratic government, ready to welcome those seeking a simple holiday far from the madding crowd.


Business

Business in Cape Verde is conducted in Portuguese or English. Most of Cape Verde's business links are with Portugal. Business hours are 8am to 12.30pm and 2.30pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Climate

The tropical climate of Cape Verde is tempered by trade winds, temperatures remaining constant most of the year. The rainy season is during August, September and October, the amount being rather unpredictable.

Communications

The country code is +238. The outgoing code is 0 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 044 for the United Kingdom). City codes are not required. The archipelago's main cities can be reached by International Direct Dialling. A GSM 900/1800 mobile network is in operation throughout the islands; coverage is good in most towns. Internet is available in the main towns and major hotels offer laptop connections.

Customs

Cape Verdeans are friendly and hospitable, however there are a few local customs in Cape Verde that visitors should be aware of. Eating in front of others without sharing your food is considered rude, therefore eating in public is not generally done. A handshake is generally a proper greeting, however on occasion women may kiss on the cheek. People tend to stand close together when speaking, and may touch each other platonically. Casual dress is acceptable in most situations.

Duty Free

Travellers to Cape Verde are permitted the following items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes, 1 litre of alcohol, a reasonable amount of perfume or eau de cologne and some gift items. The import or export of narcotics is strictly prohibited.

Electricity
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50 Hz. Round two-pin attachment plugs and Schuko plugs are used.
Health

No vaccinations are required for entry to Cape Verde, however it is recommended that precautions be taken against typhoid fever, polio and cholera. Outbreaks of Brucellosis are occasionally reported. A yellow fever certificate of inoculation is compulsory for travellers entering from a yellow fever infected area. There is a limited risk of malaria on Sao Tiago Island. Water is unsafe to drink without prior treatment, and milk is unpasteurised. Medical facilities are limited and some medicines in short supply. Visitors receive free hospital treatment in general hospitals on presenting their passports, but health insurance is strongly advised, with coverage for emergency repatriation.

Language
The official language is Portuguese and a patois known as Crioulo.
Money

The unit of currency is the Cape Verdean Escudo (CVE), broken down into 100 centavos. As this is a local currency it cannot be obtained before arrival and cannot be reconverted outside of Cape Verde. There is a bureau de change at the airport, and local banks will change travellers cheques and foreign currency, although there is a high commission on travellers cheques. ATMs can be found at the airport and in Sal, Praia and Sâo Vincent. Major credit cards, particularly MasterCard and Visa are currently accepted in a few main resort hotels and restaurants. Banks will give cash on credit cards but commissions are high.

Passport Visa

Visitors of any nationality require a passport, valid for the period of intended stay, to enter the Cape Verde Islands.

Safety

Visits to Cape Verde are usually trouble free. The political situation is stable and crime rate low. The only danger is presented by occasional hazardous sea conditions around the islands.

Time
Local time is GMT -1.
Tipping

A 10% tip should be given if no service charge has been added to the bill.


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