Cape Verde Country Guide
Our Cape Verde Country Guide below will provide you with all you need to know about these unique islands. From its history to its currency, location maps to visa information; it is a must-read before undertaking your unforgettable trip to Cape Verde.
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Cape Verde Country Guide
Useful information on this page includes:
Cape Verde possesses a temperate and warm climate, which is due to its location at the northern end of the tropical rain belt. Also because of this, rainfall is actually relatively low and unpredictable for much of the year. Rainfall is pretty much non-existent during December-June (less than 2mm per month) with the most rain falling between July-November (peaking in September). With the volcanic and hilly landscape, rainfall is more prevalent at higher altitudes.
The temperature is beautifully tropical, with no cool season. Average monthly temperatures range from 24-28 degrees celsius (with the monthly range of sea temperature only a couple of degrees lower). The hottest months are from August-October & the coolest months are from December-March.
It is advisable to wear light summer clothing all year round, with some wet weather gear during the rainier months.
Follow the link to our Cape Verde weather page for our detailed six-day Cape Verde weather forecast.
The International Dialling Code for Cape Verde is 238. To call overseas from within the islands, dial 00 followed by the relevant country code and phone number.
Emergency phone numbers in Cape Verde are: Hospital (130), Fire (131) & Police (132); however it is advisable to check this on every island.
Mobile phone coverage is available in most populated areas & towns. As expected it can be below par once outside of these areas. If you are on the Orange, O2 or use Vodafone you will be able to use your mobile phone in Cape Verde.
Cabo Verde Telecom website: www.cvtelecom.cv
Internet is widely available in most hotels, as well as internet cafes around the major islands. Availability and service will be much scarcer in the smaller islands. in the smaller islands.
The current postal services are provided by a State owned company (Correios de Cabo Verde) which was started in January 1995. International services to mainland Europe can take over 1 week, so expect longer for other destinations.
The official currency of the islands is Cape Verdean Escudo (CVE), which consists of 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of CVE5000, 2000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of CVE200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1.
To view the current exchange rate, click on this link to OANDA.com - The Currency Site.
A bureau de change can be found at the international airport, as well as at local banks. There is also an ATM at the airport, although they can be quite rare around the islands themselves. Banks may have ATM's but some have been known to be out of order quite regularly.
Credit cards are becoming more accepted, although don't count on being able to use them everywhere. Cash can be withdrawn from credit cards at banks, although high fees are often charged.
Because of the above, it is recommended to take a quantity of traveller's cheques for your trip. Cheques in US dollars and Pound Sterling will attract the lowest fees.
It is illegal to import or export local currency. Foreign currency importation has no limits, as long as the relevant declarations are made on arrival and departure. Foreign currency exportation limited to the equivalent of CVE1,000,000 or the amount declared on arrival, whichever is the larger.
Population - 423,613 people (2007 est.)
Total Area - 4033 square kilometres (1557 square miles)
Capital - Praia (106,757 people - 2005)
Time Zone - Standard time zone: GMT - 1 hour
To view the current time in Praia, click on this link to TimeAndDate.com.
The official language is Portuguese, however Creole (a mix of West African & Portuguese) is spoken by most of the population. Some English, French, Italian, German & Spanish are also spoken.
Some common Creole phrases useful for travellers include:
Good morning - Bom dia
Good afternoon - Bo tarde
Good evening/ Good night - Bo noite
Yes - prounounced Sin
No - Nau
Please - Pur favor
Excuse me - Kon Lisensa
Pardon me - Disculpa
Thank you - Obrigadu
Do you speak English? - Bu ta papia Inglês?
I do not understand - N ka ta konprende
I don't know - N a ksabi
How much is it? - Kanté?
Wait a minute - Spera un momentu
Toilet - Kuartu Banhu
Can you help me? - Bu pode djuda
I am sorry - Diskulpa
What do you want? - Kuzé ki bu kre?
What is your name? - Mo ki bu txoma? / Mané ke bo nome?
My name is... - Nha nome ê...
Why? / When? - Pamodi? / Kuando?
Who? / What? - Kenha? / Kuzé?
Do you want? - Bu kre?
I don't want - N ka kre
Where is? - Na undi? / Ondê?
Several / Few - Txeu / Poku
More / Less - Mas / Menus
It is a requirement that all visitors and travellers to Cape Verde require a visa, as well as passports with at least 6 months validity. Visas can be purchased on arrival.
Travellers continuing their journey to a 3rd destination and not leaving the airport (with relevant documentation) do not require visas.
Types of Visa - Transit/ Tourist/ Business (approx US$80 for single entry & US$140 for multiple-entry).
Visas are valid for 6 months from the date of issue for visits of up to 90 days, with multiple-entry visas valid for up to 1 year. (Nationals of the USA can obtain visas for 5 years).
Visas are not required for organized tourist groups if their visit to the country is communicated in advance to the authorities, through one of the local travel agencies. It is advisable to check all Cape Verde visa and entry requirements with your relevant embassy or consulate prior to travel.
It is advisable to check all Cape Verde visa and passport information, as well as entry requirements with your relevant embassy prior to travel.
The entry of pets, plants, guns and temporary imported vehicles in the country are subject to law in force.
The entry and exit of yachts in the ports are controlled by the Port Authorities.
US citizens that need to renew, add pages, change name, or just get a new US passport, canApply for a New US Passport here.
The archipelago of Cape Verde consists of 10 major volcanic islands, as well as 5 islets in two groups: Sotavento (Leewards) & Balavento (Windwards). Many of these islands are obviously volcanic and rocky, but were able to support basic levels of farming in the past. However, declining rainfall as well as soil & rock erosion has made it almost impossible on many of the islands to have any kind of productive agriculture.
The Sotavento group includes the islands of Brava, Fogo, Maio, Santiago and islets of Rei & Rombo.
Barlavento includes the islands of Boa Vista, Sal, Santa Luzia, Santo Antão, São Nicolau & São Vicente and islets of Branco and Raso.
Cape Verde is situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, between 14° to 16° N, about 480 km/300 mi off the west coast of Senegal.
To view a map of Cape Verde, click on this link to WorldAtlas.com.
Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal in 1975; however the legal system is still derived from the Portuguese.
A new constitution was created in 1992, which requires the election of an Assembleia Nacional (National Assembly), including a President (serving as Head of State) and 79 deputies - all of which are elected to 5 year terms.
Cape Verde still has close ties with Portuguese-speaking African countries in the PALOP group (Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé); as well as traditional allies Portugal and Brazil.