A trip to Cape Verde is definitely one I recommend! I had an amazing time on this gem of an island and have put together a little guide to the amazing holiday destination. Cape Verde boasts pristine sandy beaches and amazing sand dunes – the water on the beach is the perfect temperature and the people are really nice and friendly! This little island on the coast of Western Africa is an unspoilt haven for not just tourists but lots of animal wildlife – for instance, it’s not uncommon to take a walk on the beach and see newly hatched turtles making their way into the ocean. It’s so easy to feel comfortable here instantly! The island’s history has led to there being a huge infusion of African, Brazilian, Portuguese cultures and as such the culture in Cape Verde really stands out culturally compared to other African nations. Below’s a quick rundown of to expect on a holiday to Cape Verde:
HOW TO GET THERE: I booked an all-inclusive trip to Cape Verde (for those who aren’t familiar with the term – that means all you food, drinks and entertainment is included in the price. You still need to pay to do excursions or day trips as those are usually organised by local companies). The flight time is approximately 6 hours from the UK and from what I remember, tourists typically fly in – there’s no other option really on account of it being an island. 🙂 You can find specific travel details and plans on the Travel Planner.
GEOGRAPHY: As you can probably tell from the photos, it’s very sandy and dry. It’s so easy to forget how close the island is to the Sahara when you’re sat on the beach listening to the waves but it almost never rains – which is great for tourists (not so great for locals but there’s access to so much water around which alleviates the dryness). The weather is typically very sunny and hot but is a nice and enjoyable heat due a steady supply of cool breeze.
EXPLORING: The island is tiny – most people speak Cape Verdean Creole which is a creole language of Portuguese basis so bear that in mind if you need to ask for directions. Most resorts/hotels have lots of information on places to go to and visit – use them! The people are generally warm and friendly and will try their best to help point you in the right direction regardless of language barrier between both parties. To be honest, there wasn’t really much to see on the island in terms of ‘historical monuments’ (I was on Boa Vista – there are 10 islands in total) but there are loads of activities to do – from wind surfing, whale watching to snorkelling.
FOOD: As you can imagine, there is a vast array of seafood here and the food is amazing! I definitely recommend trying out local cuisine if you get the chance to. Most of meals are seafood related but there’s definitely something for everyone here.
- Make sure your hotel is near a beach. Preferably with it’s own beach – you’ll definitely appreciate having easy access to a beach.
- Sunscreen! Thanks to the wind, it doesn’t feel unbearably hot and is generally nice but this has led to a lot of people ignoring sunscreen and exposing themselves to waaaay too much sun. They pay the price later as you can imagine so it’s best to pre-empt this and slather on your sunscreen. Even on rare overcast days – wear sunscreen! I can not stress this enough. 🙂
- The Cape Verdean currency (the Cape Verdean escudo) is a closed currency so you can only get it and use it on the island. It is not accepted or exchanged outside of the island so it’s very important to bear that in mind when sorting out your spending money. 🙂
- If you need special medication, take it with you! The last thing you want to do is to look for some specialised medicine on this beautiful but tiny little island.
- Go now!!! 🙂 Cape Verde is currently a relatively new-ish holiday destination and it’s best to experience it before it becomes a major holiday destination which it inevitably will be. In the past, it’s been prohibitively expensive to visit but more and more there days – thanks to price competition, it’s becoming a more of an affordable holiday option. Check out the Travel Planner to help you plan your trip now!