Remareks and hints
To manage better, some remarks are helpful. Much more information you can find also on
Wikipedia under the heading "Cape Verde".
- On all questions you should keep in mind that many people earn only about 150,- € per month. Try to imagine what you would do, if you would have not more money available.
- When you are on the way, sometimes you are beg for money. Don't promote this. Ignore all at tries of begging. Pretend that you don't understand. Say "Nao compreendo" (I don't understand) regardless of how clear it is.
- On the way take toilet paper with you. In restaurants it is missing almost every time and even in the resort sometimes there's not enough of it.
- It is also a good idea to take Sagrotan (or any other disinfection aerosol) along. On publicly accessible lavatories often there's no water for handwashing, but a water reservoir with a mug that probably is designed for flushing the toilet.
- We managed very good. To help the people, occasionally we sizeably rounded up payable amounts.
- The country code of Cape Verde is "+238". If you use a mobile phone, enter the preceding plus, too - in this case your mobile will automatically use dialing rules of the country, no matter where you are.
- To dial German numbers from anywhere in the world, replace preceding "0" by by "+49". For example a phone number of Berlin "030..." will become "+4930...". This is the reason why I always store numbers in my mobile phone in that format.
- On Santiago the coverage of mobile phone network is very good. Almost at any place you will stay connected.
- National currency is CVE (cape verdian Escudo). Foreign exchange rate to Euro is fixed. 1€ correcponds to about 110 CVE. Some people accept Euro - then simplifying they calculate with 100CVE=1€.
- Cash machines (ATM) for Maestro-cards are available in many bigger villages, such as Calheta. Per day and card you can take 20.000 CVE with you. Each withdrawel costs only a fee of 110 CVE, but our Sparkasse additively charged 4€ for each debiting.
- The car we rented from Edicar (see contacts) we paid by Visa.
- Water from a standpipe is not drinkable! Buy water in bottles and use it also for teethbrushing. With ice in drinks ask, what sort of water for this has been used. In case of doubt refuse ice.
- Meat, fish and eggs should always be well done respectively well cooked. Medium or even raw are off-limits.
- Consume fruits and vegetable always peeled. After drinking from green coconut that particularly were opened for us, we got bad diarrhoea. Don't try this.
- We had no problem with any food being available in the resort and in restaurants.
- At nights you should not walk in Praia. Apart from that it is said to be safe.
- Also at night a security team cares about safety in Villa Morgana resort that is surrounded by a wall.
- We were attentive in a normal extent and had no problem.
Share taxi (Aluguer)
- Almost all villages are connected by Aluguer. The bigger the village the higher the frequency. In Calheta you will see them all the time. Aluguer are minivans that provide space for about 12 persons. They are marked by the sign "Aluguer" on the front roof. To go with them simply wave.
- As long as an Aluguer is not full, it will drive around point of departure and a co-drive will holler out the place of destination. This might feel to take an hour. If you have a choice, it might be wise to take an Aluguer being already full.
- At our first day we took a share taxi. For both of us on route Calheta-Praia this cost 5€ (that means 10€ for a round trip). A great experience! Despite cramped seating a try is obligatory!
- With Edicar (see contacts) we drove good and cheap. We had a Ford Fiesta and were able to explore most streets.
- Life of people takes place on the streets at day and night. Also outside of villiages you should be ready for everything. People are walking on the street, a share taxi suddenly brakes for a potential passenger, a herd of cows followed by a herder comes towards you or donkeys trot with their cargo to their home unattended. In the villages lots of children, goats and piglets are walking on the lane. Dogs are jumping in front of your car, barking as loud as they can or strolling or sleeping on the street. Crash barriers are used for seating. In a word - everything is possible and there's no limit for your imagination.
- Drive very careful. Outside of villages driving with 60 to 70 km/h sometimes is sporty, especially as there are many curves. Within villages even 30km/h can be much too fast. Along with it at entrances and exits of villages and at special places, rumble strips are deployed. They are not always clearly visible.
- At nights driving is more exhausting. Orientation is more difficult, because even important main streets often are not signposted. The contraflow turn the headlights on full beam to see better. Additively to that everything is there that already makes problems by day. Especially at weekends by night many people are on the road that hardly can be recognized with their dark skin colour. Only very few people have got a driver license - therefore most people cannot assess perils.
- If you arrive on Santiago, it might be wise to have yourself picked up by a staff member of Villa Morgana. We had arranged it by email before we arrived and were very glad in retrospect, although we paid 50€ for this service.
- During and after rain, which is extremly seldom, to some extent big stones fall down from steep slopes onto to street. Therefore on such days you should avoid all routes that lead through the mountains or adjoin to them.
- Priority in traffic is like in Europe. If you drive with adapted speed, driving is great fun and you will see much.
- To help the people we sometimes picked up women with children or old people. Even if you don't understand their speech, you will a nice time by talking with hands and feets.