If you’re lucky enough to move to Cape Verde, first of all, sincere congratulations! You couldn’t have moved to a more beautiful part of the world. We’ll bet it only started out as a holiday too! We can understand that. But once you’re there, you might wonder just how you’re going to get by. Here are 10 tips to help you make the right calls.
1. Get a visa before you go
To live and work in Cape Verde, you’ll require a visa and work permit, which you can get by applying to the Cape Verdean embassy or consulate in your home country. It’s best to do this before you arrive. Making the application once you get there is stressful and time consuming. Save yourself a lot of hassle by doing it before you leave.
2. Taking care of yourself
If you fall ill, hospitals may expect a cash payment for their services, and the standard of care in Cape Verde isn’t quite up to Western standards. Make sure you have a comprehensive health insurance policy that will reimburse you for any costs.
3. Getting around
For the first six months, you’ll be able to use the driving license from your country of origin. When obtaining your Cape Verdean license, you’ll have to pay around 1500 Cape Verdean escudosupwards and provide a copy of your passport, a doctor’s certificate and your original driving license. You must be 18 years old or over to drive in Cape Verde.
4. Learn Portuguese
This may seem a little obvious, but being so far out, Cape Verde is relatively untouched by tourism, leaving inhabitants to go about their business with less need to speak English. That’s not to say it isn’t spoken, you’ll just find it a lot less widely spoken, so it’s best to learn some Portuguese before you go.
5. Take note of the emergency numbers
You never when you might need to call on the emergency services. For the police, its 132; for the fire service, 131; and for the hospital, it’s 130. This is a situation where it would be good to know some Portuguese beforehand.
6. Best beaches
For the best beaches in the archipelago, make a beeline for Sal. The island has a small population and, much like many of the Cape Verde beaches, its sands are unspoiled. There are few souls around. It’s the next best thing to having your own private beach.
7. Eating like a local
To fit in with the locals, you’ll have to savor some of the local fare. Cachupa, the national dish, consists of onions, green bananas, mashed maize, tomatoes and cabbage, and is seasoned with garlic and pimento. Eat this stew and enjoy it, and you’ll get the seal of approval from the locals.
8. An island with a view
Pico da Fogo is the highest peak in the whole of the archipelago. It’s just a short flight to the island, followed by a drive up the volcano. There are souvenir shops, but you might prefer to take photos from the top of the volcano to remember the day by.
9. Enjoying the diving
The best diving opportunities lie in diving off the island of Cape Verde. You can explore the warm waters and get up close with charming marine life such as the sea turtles. It’s an experience that you’ll feel was worth the move alone.
10. Join the social scene
Cape Verde is a little unusual in that the harbor is part of the social scene. Fishing is one of the main occupations in Cape Verde and locals will gather to chat to the fisher people as they work away. Join them. They’ll be pleased to see you.