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Cape Verde Travel Information

The Basics


Local time is GMT -1.


Electrical current is 220 volts, 50 Hz. Round two-pin attachment plugs and Schuko plugs are used.


The official language is Portuguese and a patois known as Crioulo.

Travel Health

A yellow fever vaccination is required for those arriving from an infected area. No other vaccinations are required for travel to Cape Verde, but vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid, and it is generally advised that all travellers be up to date on vaccinations for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and tetanus-diphtheria. Malaria medication is recommended for travel to the island of Sao Tiago. Outbreaks of Brucellosis are occasionally reported.

Water is unsafe to drink without prior treatment, and milk is unpasteurised. Medical facilities are limited and some medicines are in short supply. Visitors should receive free hospital treatment in general hospitals on presenting their passports, but health insurance is strongly advised, with coverage for emergency repatriation. If you require prescription medication for your holiday it is ideal to bring it with you; make sure you have the necessary documents from your doctor to get the medication through customs.


At least 10 percent tip should be given if no service charge has been added to the bill, and tips should be in local currency.

Safety Information

Visits to Cape Verde are usually trouble free. The political situation is stable and the crime rate is low. The only danger is presented by occasional hazardous sea conditions around the islands.

Local Customs

Cape Verdeans are friendly and hospitable, however there are a few local customs in Cape Verde that visitors should be aware of. Eating in front of others without sharing your food is considered rude, therefore eating in public is not generally done. A handshake is generally a proper greeting, but on occasion women may kiss on the cheek. People tend to stand close together when speaking, and may touch each other platonically. Casual dress is acceptable in most situations.


Business in Cape Verde is conducted in Portuguese or English. Most of Cape Verde's business links are with Portugal. Business hours are generally 8am to 12:30pm and 2:30pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday.


The country code is +238. The outgoing code is 0 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 044 for the United Kingdom). City codes are not required. The archipelago's main cities can be reached by International Direct Dialling. A GSM 900/1800 mobile network is in operation throughout the islands; coverage is good in most towns. Wifi is available in the main town squares on all the islands, and also in major hotels. Visitors should note that many hotels charge a fee for wifi use.

Duty Free

Travellers to Cape Verde are permitted the following items without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes, 1 litre of alcohol, a reasonable amount of perfume or eau de cologne and some gift items. The import or export of narcotics is strictly prohibited.

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