Destination in brief
Cape Verde (or Cabo Verde) in brief
Cape Verde is a rather isolated African country located in the Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometers (375 miles) off the western coast of the African continent (Western Sahara). It is an archipelago of 9 inhabited islands, and many other very small ones. Most tourists visit these 6: Santiago, Boa Vista, Sal, São Vicente, Santo Antão and Fogo.
Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony until 1975.
Size: 4,033 km² (1,557 mi²), territorial waters not included
Capital city: Praia – it is on Santiago Island
Population: 554,000 (2020) - Most Cape Verdeans have both Portuguese and African ancestors and identify as Creole and Mulatto - A genetic study revealed that the ancestry of the population in Cape Verde is predominantly European in the male line and West African in the female line.
There are more Cape Verdeans living abroad than in the country. There are about 500,000 Cape Verdeans living in the United States alone, mostly on the New England coast. (This is mostly due to mass emigration resulting from repeated droughts in Cape Verde during the second half of the 20th century.)
Language: Portuguese is the official language, but Cape Verdean Creole, a Portuguese-based language, is widely spoken everyday life.
Religion: 90% Roman Catholic – The Catholicism practiced on the islands is pretty unusual as people often mix Catholic practices with traditional African ones.
Political system: a republic, a multi-party system, with exemplary political stability when compared to most other African countries.
If you look at the government’s and the business community’s communications, as well as what is taught in the country’s schools, you can see that Cape Verdeans prefer not to define their country as belonging to Africa.
Currency: Escudo (CVE)
Cape Verde is quite expensive for tourists. The country imports most of its food, including beverages, cereals, fruits, and vegetables.
Average net monthly salary: about 310 USD (2020)
Most common surname: Lopez
It is considered rude to eat in public in Cape Verde without sharing your food, so either eat in private or be prepared to share your sandwich around!
Safety: Cape Verde is a safe tourist destination, especially when compared to most other West African countries. Not terrorist threats, no riots, no violent crime against visitors.
No vaccinations required for entry.
When to go: November-May
Top tourist attractions:
Cape Verde is not really a destination for cultural tourism – it is more suitable for a beach vacation, and for water sports (scuba diving, windsurfing, kite surfing) or trekking.