An arrow-shaped archipelago deemed as the most Westernised country in Africa, Cape Verde seems to be pointing you at the right place, being it at the pinnacle of development in West Africa. Here, people are deemed richer and better educated than anywhere on the continent. Despite the country’s lack of natural resources, isolation from many countries, and devastating famines in the later 20th century, Cape Verde is best known for promoting the most stable democracy in Africa. Here, the standard of living is higher than most African countries, and is greatly known as the one of the most politically liberal nations in the world. Its arrow-shaped archipelago seemingly makes its point clear: you have come to the most righteous place on earth.
What to see & do
You will first arrive into Praia, Cape Verde’s capital and busiest city. The city is divided into various small unofficial districts and is home mostly to residential areas. Given this, the capital is not worth visiting in itself, but it is good enough for a stop-over to while away some time while on your way to other destination in the country. Notably, the city has countless bus stops, as well as taxis that are waiting for customers.
From Cesária Évora Airport in São Pedro, you can take a taxi and reach Mindelo, the cultural capital of Cape Verde. While in Mindelo, you should not miss the Fortim d’El Rei, an old abandoned fort located on top of the hill. Built around 1852, the fort was used to guard Porto Grande, and has been used as a prison. In 2009, plans to turn the fort into a casino and a hotel ensued, but construction stopped in July 2014. Despite this, the fort is still an interesting sight to walk around and explore, with the overlooking
view of the city and the bay. While in Mindelo, you can help yourself with the catchupa, the most famous Capverdian dish. Basically you can try it in any stand in the quiosque.
How to get around within Cape Verde
From the airport, you can reach the city centre by taking a taxi. The same goes if you want to reach other parts of the country. You can also take ferry services between the islands.
How to get there
You can book a flight and get into Cape Verde via Skyscanner, your online source for cheap flights and tickets. Cape Verde has international airports on the islands of Sal, Santiago, Boa Vista, and São Vicente. Of these, you can fly into Amílcar Cabral International Airport, also known as Sal International Airport or Amílcar Cabral Airport, the principal international airport of Cape Verde. The airport is being served by airlines such as Arkefly, Binter Canarias, Cabo Verde Express, Hi Fly, Jetairfly, Neos, TACV, TAP Portugal, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, Thomson Airways, Tulfly Nordic, and XL Airways France. The aforementioned airlines fly to a number of European cities. In addition, Europe Airpost, Luxair, Neos, Transavia.com, Transavia.com France, Travel Service Airlines, Travel Service Slovakia, and Travel Service Polska offer seasonal flights to a selected few European cities.
You can also get into Nelson Mandela International Airport, or Praia International Airport on Santiago Island. The airport is being served by airlines such as Binter Canarias, Cabo Verde Express, Royal Air Maroc, Sénégal Airlines, TAAG Angola Airlines, TACV, and TAP Portugal. The aforementioned airlines fly to and from destinations such as Gran Canaria, Fogo, Sal, Bissau, Casablanca, Dakar, Luanda, and São Tomé.
Images by Flickr/OCParks_CA
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