Lay down a towel, pick up a glass of poncha and set your watch to island time.
This scattered oasis off Africa’s western coast is where brilliant white beaches meet warm turquoise waters, sprawling forests are dwarfed by ancient mountains, and sleepy towns offer a hearty dose of morabeza (good old-fashioned Creole hospitality). Island-hopping is the best way to explore Cape Verde’s idiosyncratic islands, from fun-loving Sao Vicente and its carnival to Fogo’s brooding volcano and Santa Antao, with its evergreen walking trails and wildlife. Featuring a tantalising blend of Portuguese-African culture and idyllic island living, Cape Verde might just be Africa’s best hidden secret.
Cape Verde travel highlights
Pico do Fogo
Dramatically rising from the floor of an ancient crater, this 2,829 m/9,382 ft volcano gives Fogo Island its nickname as the Island of Fire.
Tap your toe to infectious funana rhythms at one of Cape Verde’s prettiest towns.
Wander through cobbled village streets lined with colourful houses before relaxing beside bright blue waters.
Discover the thriving coffee trade on one of Cape Verde’s most untouched island.
Our Cape Verde trips
Cape Verde holiday information
Cape Verde Facts
Local culture of Cape Verde
Geography and environment
Shopping guide to Cape Verde
Cape Verde festival calendar
Food and drink in Cape Verde
Cape Verde travel FAQs
- Australia: Yes
- Belgium: Yes
- Canada: Yes
- Germany Yes
- Ireland: Yes
- Netherlands: Yes
- New Zealand: Yes
- South Africa: Yes
- Switzerland: Yes
- United Kingdom: Yes
- USA: Yes
All visitors to Cape Verde require a visa to enter the country, with the exception of some African passports. Consult your local consulate for more information on whether you will require a visa.
A one-month tourist visa is available on arrival at all airports for US 30. You can also obtain a visa at Praia and Sal ports. If you’re staying a little longer, you can apply to have your visa extended by completing an application form at the Direccao de Emigracao e Fronteiras. Please note that you may be fined for overstaying your visa.
The visa fee must always be paid in euros (around €25), so make sure you have exact money when you arrive.
It’s advised that you ensure your passport is valid for a minimum period of six months after your arrival date in Cape Town. You will also need a couple of blank pages for stamps in your passport. For the most up-to-date information regarding visa requirements, please contact your nearest Cape Verde embassy or consulate.
As a collection of islands off Africa’s western coasts, Cape Verde is typically warm all year round – even in the rainy season (August to October), when it is usually very hot. December through April is the best time for surfing but the air can get dusty when seasonal winds blow in from the Sahara. Whale-watchers should try to visit between February and May, while June to October is ideal turtle-watching season.
General tipping practice in Cape Verde is to include a 10% tip where you have experienced good service. While tipping isn’t mandatory, a small tip is a good way to show your appreciation.
Since Cape Verde is a collection of separate islands, Wi-Fi access can vary from place to place. The main town squares on major islands do have free Wi-Fi. Internet cafes are not common in Cape Verde and hotels will typically charge to access Wi-Fi.
International roaming in Cape Verde is now possible with a growing number of mobile network providers. Check with your service provider before leaving home, or pick up a SIM card at one of the local mobile phone stores.
The majority of toilets in Cape Verde are Western-style sit down toilets. Squat toilets and hole-in-the-ground toilets are used in some places. Public toilets are usually available at airports, ferry terminals and shopping centres.
Coffee = USD 0.86
Beer at a bar = USD 1.60
Short taxi ride = USD 1.92
Simple meal at a local restaurant = USD 4.80
Dinner in a high-end hotel restaurant = USD 21.40
These price estimates were last updated August 2017.
Drinking tap water generally isn’t advised in Cape Verde. It’s also a good idea to avoid drinks with ice and to peel fruit before eating it. You can also help the environment by avoiding buying bottled water and instead refilling a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Ask your leader or hotel about where to find filtered water.
Please note credit cards are rarely used in Cape Verde. Some major hotels may facilitate Visa but charges may be high. Instead, you can withdraw cash at ATMs in Sal, Praia and Mindelo
ATM access is limited in Cape Verde. You can find ATMs available in Sal, Praia and Mindelo.
Homosexual activity was decriminalised in Cape Verde in 2004 and generally the country has less homophobia and discrimination than in other parts of West Africa. While same-sex marriage is not yet legally recognised, Cape Verde is a tolerant country and Santa Maria (Sal) and Mindelo (Sao Vicente) are the most gay-friendly destinations. A gay pride parade is celebrated in late June on Mindelo.
For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or Smartraveller before you travel.
Yes. All Peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their tour. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day. Due to the varying nature, cost and availability of health care in other countries, travel insurance is an essential and necessary part of every trip.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Jan 20: Heroes’ Day
Feb 28: Carnival
Mar 1: Ash Wednesday
May 1: Labour Day
May 19: Municipal Day
July 5: Independence Day
Sept 12: National Day
Nov 1: All Saint’s Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
For a current list of public holidays in Cape Verde go to https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/africa/cape-verde/public-holidays/
No vaccines are required in order to enter Cape Verde unless you are arriving from, or have recently visited, a country where you could be exposed to yellow fever. If this is the case, you will need to provide proof of yellow fever vaccination.
It is recommended you visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.
1. Hepatitis A (transmitted through contaminated water)
2. Typhoid (transmitted through contaminated water)
3. Diphtheria (transmitted through person-to-person contact or contact with infected objects, such as a cup or tissue)
4. Tetanus (transmitted through infections to cuts or puncture wounds)