Ministerio Dos Transportes, Comercio E Turismo
Direccao-Geral do Turismo CP No 294
Tel. 6144 73/75
Telex 6060 Mtct CY
PRAIA, Cape Verde Islands
Cape Verde

Physical geography

Cape Verde is situated in West Africa 630 kilometres from Senegal, close to a number of major shipping routes. The Archipelago lies between 17° 12"30" and 14° 48' north and between 22° 44' and 25° 22' west.

Cape Verde's climate and a rich and varied underwater fauna make it an ideal place for skin-diving, as well as for wind-surfing and yachting.

Each island has its own distinctive landscape, though the islands can be placed in two broad categories: mountainous and flat. Among the former are Santo Antao, Santiago, S. Nicolau, Iogo and Brava, while Boa Vista, Maio, Sal and S. Vicente are flat. On the mountainous islands, there are few beaches; those that exist are of black sand. The tourist attraction of these islands lies in the scenic monthly contrasts of their mountains and valleys. On the flat islands there are kilometres of white sandy beaches. The most noteworthy of them being on Boa Vista, Maio and Sal. There are no dangerous animals and no insects carrying tropical diseases.


The country's low latitude and maritime influence give it a temperate climate all the year round, with very little rainfall and few weather variations.

The temperature rarely exceeds 30°C or falls below 20°C. The annual average is 25°C. The sea-water temperature ranges between 22°C and 25°C. <P>Rain falls only for three or four days during August and September, and the sun shines for 3,000 hours a year. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Economic geography</H3> Capeverdian economy is highly dependent on external factors namely international co-operation and remittances of its emigrants. In fact, these two factors play an important role in the nation's economy, being responsible for the equilibrium of its balance of payments, despite the country's high production deficit regarding domestic consumption and investment. <P>In 1984 the country's Gross National Product (GNP) per capita reached US$315, which happened to be 20 per cent higher than its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. In that same period the GDP figure turned to be 1.6 billion escudos (nearly $13,250,000). The importance of the service sectors such as trade and transport, and construction and public works is characteristic for the Capeverdian economy, in terms of their contribution to the GDP. The later sector particularly has experienced an accelerated rhythm of increase in recent years which is due essentially to a high volume of public investments. <P>Services have always been the Capeverdians' mainstay, partly because of the geographic position, but also because of the lack of natural resources. <P>The productive sectors (agriculture, arboriculture, livestock, fishery and industry) together have accounted for a lesser proportion of the formation of the GDP. These sector's low share of the GDP (17 per cent in 1984) reveals the weakness of Capeverdian economy, forcing the country to rely upon imports in order to satisfy its needs for consumer goods but also for capital and intermediate goods. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Demography</H3> According to the most recent statistics Cape Verde has 333,905 inhabitants. Capeverdians are Africans of the West African coast with a strong European race crossing. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>A brief history </H3> The discovery date of the Cape Verde Islands by Europeans is conceded to be August 1460. The islands were found to be uninhabited, without any trace of human presence, rock carvings or dolmens, which would appear to invalidate claims to a prior knowledge of the islands based on documents of Arab geographers. <P>Settlement of the Archipelago began in 1462, first in Santiago Island, whose inhabitants were granted special privileges. These included the right to buy slaves from the Guinea Coast. Capeverdian emigration started at the beginning of the 18th century via the American whaling ships which came to the waters of the Archipelago in search of cetaceans. <P>The process of settlement, rebellions against colonial domination and the cultural resistance which reinforced Capeverdian national unity together created conditions favourable to the emergence of the Cape Verde national liberation movement. <P>It fell to the young generation to understand that the problem of poverty and social backwardness in the Islands was above all a political one, as such, it could never be solved under conditions of colonial rule. <P>A long period of national liberation struggle led finally to the Proclamation of Cape Verde's Independence on 15 of July 1975, thus putting an end to five centuries of colonial domination over the oldest Portuguese colony. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Religions</H3> The prevalent religion is Roman Catholicism. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Languages spoken by nationals</H3> Creole, which was originally the mother tongue of the slaves and their descendants, became the language of the Capeverdians as time went by. <P>The most widely spoken languages after Creole are Portuguese, French, English and Spanish. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Time</H3> Local time is one hour behind Greenwich Mean Time. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Currency</H3> The national currency is Escudos de Cabo Verde; US$1 = ECV84 (1 June 1996). <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Official holidays (all offices and shops closed) </H3> 1 January, New Year's Day - 20 January, National Heroes 'Day - 8 March, Women's Day - 1 May, Labour Day - 1 June, Children's Day - 5 July, Independence Day - 15 August, Assumption Day - 12 September, Nationality Day - 25 December, Christmas Day. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What one should not fail to see</H3> Sal Island - Pedra de Lume salt-mine, lobster reserve and Santa Maria Beach. <BR>Santiago Island - City of Praia and its outskirts, Praia's Central Market, Parque 5 de Julho Market (also known as SUCUPIRA), 5th of July Amusement Park, Cidade Velha and its churches and historical ruins, St. Jorge dos Orgaos, Sta Catarina's flea market, Tarrafal beach, S. Francisco, Sta Cruz, Justino Lopes. <BR>S. Vicente Island - City of Mindelo and its outskirts, Handicrafts National Centre, Bala das Gatas' beach. <BR>Fogo Island - Volcano, Monte Velha and Mosteiros. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring</H3> All year round. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>How to dress</H3> Owing to Cape Verde's location, light clothes are recommended, especially in the May-October period when temperatures range usually between 25° and 29°C. Summer clothes, bathing suit, blazer, comfortable shoes and sunglasses are items highly recommended. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday resorts </H3> Santiago Island - Praia Mar Hotel - Marisol Hotel, Felicidade Hotel, Residential Anos, Residential Solmar, Residential Solatlantico, Hotel Tropico, Baia Verde resorts. <BR>S. Vicente Island - Aparthotel Avenida; Porto Grande Hotel; Hotel Foya Branca, Residencial Sodade; Residencial Amarante; 5 de Julho Hotel. <BR>Sal Island - Belorizonte Hotel; Morabeza Hotel- Atlantico Hotel; Pensao Rocha. Djadsal Holiday Club. <BR>Fogo Island - Xaguate Hotel <BR>Maio Island - Maio Pousada <BR>Santo Antao Island - Pensao Alianca, 5 de Julho Pensao <BR>Boavista Island - Dunas Hotel <BR>Brava Island - Pousada Brava <BR>S. Nicolau Island - Pousada S. Nicolau. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday sports </H3> Football (soccer); tennis; golf; wind-surfing; diving, fishing. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to eat and drink </H3> International dishes are served in all restaurants, we propose the following national specialities: cachupa; arroz de mariscos, Caldo de pelxe; grogue le cana, pontcde de mel e de coco. Fruits such as mangoes, bananas; Fapayes; goiabas (guava); zimbrao; tambarinas; marmes; azedmhas tamaras; cocos. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to buy</H3> For souvenirs we propose local handicrafts such as items made of coconut shells, of turtle shells, of horns and other animal and mineral materials, objects made of ceramic materials - lace works, embroideries, basketry and a variety of other interesting articles. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Frontier formalities</H3> <H3>Passports and visas</H3> Required by all except group travellers, visas can be obtained through a local travel agency. Holders of the National Identity Card issued to nationals of Cap Verde islands. Holders of Seaman's Books (travelling on duty) issued by any country. Visas: required by all except nationals of Cape Verde islands, Benin People's Republic, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and holders of re-entry permits. <P>Application for a visa should be made directly to diplomatic representations of Cape Verde or to Cape Verde Immigration authorities. In countries where no diplomatic representation of Cape Verde is established, applications must be sent directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Immigration Dept. Cape Verde. Only in exceptional cases will visas be issued on arrival. <H3>Transit</H3> Visas not required by those continuing their return or onward journey to a third country by the same aircraft and not leaving the airport. <BR><P>Re-entry Permit - Required by all alien residents who want to return. <BR>Exit Permit - Required for all residents. <BR>Health regulations - There is no vaccination required. An international certificate is required from passengers embarking in Africa, South America and Asia. <BR>Health and sanitary certificates are required for animals and plants entering the country. <H3>Customs </H3> Import allowances: In principle no free import of (a) tobacco product (b) alcoholic beverages. A reasonable quantity of lotion perfume or eau de cologne is allowed in opened bottles. Personal jewellery, baby-car, one bicycle; one tent and camping material; diving and fishing equipment, one portable type-writer; one pair of binoculars for personal use are duty free. <P>At departure, souvenirs and articles of no commercial value may be exported duty-free. <H3>Currency regulations</H3> Import: local currency prohibited. Foreign currencies: no restrictions Provided amounts imported are declared on arrival. <BR>Export: local currency prohibited. Foreign currencies: up to CVE 20,000 or equivalent unless a higher amount was declared on arrival. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main travel routes</H3> Air or sea transportation may be used for travelling from island to island. Inland transportation is available, with the following itineraries: Praia/Cidade velha historic sites - Praia/Sta Catarina and S. Jorge - Praia/S. Francisco beach - PMia/Tarrafal beach - Mindelo/Baia das Gatas beach - S. Filipe/Volcano of Fogo - Espargos/Sta Maria beach. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Miscellaneous</H3> <H3>Markets</H3> Markets are held daily: the Sta Catarina market, takes place each Wednesday and Saturday. <H3>Festivals</H3> Todo o Mundo Canta, song festival (yearly) in 5 de Julho amusement park; Todo o Mundo Danca, dance festival (yearly) in 5 de Julho amusement park, Baia das Gatas music festival at Baia das Gatas Beach (yearly - in August), Carnaval in Mindelo city (yearly - in February), Festa de Sao Filipe (Fogo - in May). <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Representatives abroad</H3> ANGOLA: Embaixada de Cabo Verde, rua Pereira Forjaz 147/167,1° Andar <P>FRANCE: Embaixada de Cabo Verde, 92 Bd. Malesherbes 75008 Paris. <P>GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC: Embaixada Cabo Verde, Clara Zetkin Str. 97,108 Berlin. <P>ITALY: Cosulato da Cabo Verde. Via Magenta N° 5, Roma. <P>THE NETHERLANDS: Embaixada de Cabo Verde Holanda, Wassenaarseweg - 5, 2596 ED Den Hag. Consulado de Cabo Verde, Mathenesserlaan 326, 3021 HX Rotterdam. <P>RUSSIA: Embaixada de Cabo Verde, Dobryninskaya UL 7 Apt 143/144 Moscov I 1-7049. <P>SENEGAL: Embaixada de C. Verde, I rue de Denain ler E, Dakar. <P>S. TOME E PRINCIPE: Consulado de C.Verde em S.Tome e Principe, Cp N° 267. <P>USA: Embaixada de C.Verde, 1120 Connecticut Ave. N.W. Suite 300, Washington D.C. 20036. <BR>Consulado Geral Cabo Verde Boston, 535 Bolyston street 2nd floor, Boston Mass - 02116. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><P><I>We have been able to publish the present tourist information on CAPE VERDE ISLANDS thanks to the co-operation of the Dirreccao Geral do Turismo in Praia. </I> <!-- End of article --> <P> <CENTER><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="4"></CENTER> <P> <CENTER><A HREF=#TOP><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteTopbut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A> <A HREF="../../../watanetwork/NTOs/Countrieslist/"><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteNTObut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A></CENTER> </TD> </TR> </TABLE> </BODY> </HTML>