Cape Verde: Useful Information
An Archipelago of 10 Volcanic Islands
- The population of Cape Verde is roughly 429,474 (July 2009 est.)
- Portuguese and Crioulo, a blend of Portuguese and West African words, are the most dominant languages. Ethnic groups on Cape Verde are split roughly Creole 71%, African 28%, European 1%.
- Don't keep too many extra escudos when leaving Cape Verde, as the money can't be converted outside the country.
- Local time is GMT - 1.
- In the resorts, the tap water is usually desalinated and safe to drink. In other areas, bottled water is cheap and commonly available.
- Electrical current is 220 volts, 50 Hz. Round two-pin attachment plugs and Schuko plugs are used.
- Traveller’s Cheques are accepted in main towns and tourist areas. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in Pounds Sterling or US Dollars.
- Cape Verde has sunshine levels of 10-12 hours a day in the dry season and 7-8 hours in the short wet season. Rain is rare in the tourist areas and it mainly falls briefly in the early autumn months.
- Travellers to Cape Verde are permitted the following items without incurring customs duty: a reasonable amount of perfume or eau de cologne and some gift items. In principle there is no free import of alcohol and tobacco products. The import or export of narcotics is strictly prohibited.
- No vaccinations are required to travel to Cape Verde but there is a very limited risk of Malaria on Santiago in the early autumn. Public medical facilities are limited at the moment but visitors will receive free treatment.
- Take casual clothes and beachwear. Hikers should take walking boots and a sun hat, and hiking poles are useful. Sunscreen is essential. Pack insect repellent and cover up in the evenings, as mosquitoes can be irritating.
- A 10% tip is customary, but not mandatory, if no service charge has been added to the bill.
- Crime rates are relatively low. Regardless, the emergency number is 132.
- Credit cards are rarely used. A few major hotels accept Visa. Currency can be obtained in banks from credit cards but charges are very high. There are ATMs in Sal, Praia and Sâo Vincent.