Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde

The Republic of Cabo Verde is West African state in the Atlantic Ocean. It is situated 620 kilometres away from the African Coast. The administrative centre of the state is Praia. Jutting up from the Atlantic, some 500km west of Senegal, this stunning island chain has a captivating blend of mountains, beaches and peaceful seaside villages. On Santo Antão, craggy peaks hide piercing green valleys of flowers and sugar cane, ideal for epic hikes. São Vicente is home to the cultural capital of the islands, Mindelo, which throbs with bars and music clubs. On Sal and Maio, undulating windswept dunes merge with indigo-blue seas on unspoilt beaches of powdery white sand. Meanwhile, far-flung Fogo and Brava in the southwest offer their own enchantments, from surreal volcanic landscapes, to sparkling bays framed by towering peaks. Throw in the constant beat of music that Cabo Verde is famed for and the renowned morabeza (Creole for hospitality) of its people and you’ll see why many have come – and never left.

Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) received over 644,000 tourists in 2016, a figure that represents an increase of 13.2% over that recorded a year earlier, according to the Tourism Statistics for the fourth quarter and for the whole of 2016 published by the National Statistics Institute (INE). The number of overnight stays registered in hotel establishments throughout the year reached 4.09 million, 10.3% more than in 2015, INE also said, adding that UK tourists spent the most time in the archipelago, with an average stay of 9.1 nights. The island of Sal is the most popular among tourists, accounting for about 45.6% of entries in hotels, followed by Boavista, with 31.6%. The United Kingdom (20.5%) was the main source of tourists, followed by Germany with 11.1%, Portugal and France each with 10.1%. Hotels were the establishments with the highest occupancy rate – 64% – followed by holiday villages and inns with 36% and 24%, respectively. In the fourth quarter 2016 Cabo Verde received 182,700 tourists, 13.9% more year on year, giving rise to more than 1.1 million overnight stays, with an average stay of 6 nights. (macauhub).

The country has a dry tropical climate with frequent trade winds. The annual average temperature is about +22°C – +26°C. It is a bit colder in the mountains. The temperature of the water close to the Atlantic coast is +21 – +26 depending on the season. At the end of August and the beginning of September, in Cape Verde, southeastern monsoons occur and it often rains. The best time for visiting the country is from October to August.

The official languages in Cape Verde are Portuguese and Cape Verdean (regional dialect). French and Spanish are also widespread. About 80% of the population are the Catholics and near 20% follow the local pagan beliefs. The largest island Santiago is known for its coral reefs and exotic fauna. This is the favourite place of divers and those who love fishing. Kitesurfers prefer the oldest island Sal. The second largest island San Vicente offers wonderful beach resorts. There is the Center of Crafts and the tourists can see the natural sights. The highest peak is on the Fogo Island. This is the main destination for those who love extreme tourism and are not afraid of climbing the active volcano.

The travellers from European and CIS countries must obtain a visa to travel to Cape Verde. It is necessary to submit the documents to the Embassy of Cape Verde or the tourists can get a visa on arrival at the airport on the Sal Island. This visa is valid for 180 days however, the tourists are allowed to stay in the country only for a month. To obtain a visa at the airport on the Sal Island, the tourist must provide the original and a copy of the international passport, return tickets and booking confirmation.

The staple food in Cape Verde is fish and seafood. The local chefs will surprise the tourists with exotic dishes prepared from lobster, saw fish, sea-bass, squid, and octopus. The most popular dish among the locals is Cachupa. It is made of a vegetable mix, corn, fish and beef. Well-off people make the dish with meat or seafood and poor people add only vegetables and corn. In Cape Verde people believe that the more ingredients in the dish the better it is. The chefs of each island will offer their own versions of the dish depending on the foods growing on the island. The locals love soups. They usually make fish or seafood soups. The most popular first course is a Royal prawn soup Chaochuta. The tourists should definitely try a local version of pilaf with seafood and fish broth and a famous speciality Tiokachi (boiled crawfish with peanut and root). If you crave for a more exotic dish, try roasted lamb liver and blood. A colourful rice and vegetables are a typical side dish for this ‘bloody’ dish. Those who have a sweet tooth should treat themselves to amazing delicate banana cakes and roasted sweet potatoes. This dish is high in calories and substantial. The local cookies from cassava with wild honey and coconut tarts are also very rich in calories. A cottage cheese pudding with paw paw may seem quite an ordinary dessert but it will delight the foodies with its exotic taste and perfect texture. The most demanded alcoholic drinks in Cape Verde are Grog and Ponchi. These drinks are produced on the islands San Antao and Sao Nicolau. They keep the recipe a secret but it is known that cane sugar is infused with coffee beans, lime, and eucalyptus.

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