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Country Reports

Cape Verdi Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

Travel to the island nation of Cape Verde (population 546,000), one of the most politically stable countries in Africa, nonetheless requires a certain amount of preparation by the traveler.

NATURAL RISKS

Located off the coast of Senegal, the Cape Verde islands are vulnerable to natural hazards. Volcanic activity, violent winds, and flooding during the rainy season (between August and October), all have the potential to seriously affect a stay in the country. The Pico do Fogo Volcano (Fogo Island) erupted in late November 2014, disrupting travel to Fogo and Brava islands for several weeks. In late August 2015, Hurricane Fred struck the archipelago, bringing with it heavy rainfall and violent winds; however, no deaths were reported.

Beach-goers should note that high waves and particularly strong currents have been responsible for the deaths of numerous tourists in the past.

CRIME

It should also be noted that crime rates (thefts, assaults, burglaries) are rising in tourist areas, particularly in the capital Praia (145,000 inhabitants), Mindelo, Boa Vista, and Sal. The majority of these crimes are committed by juveniles; as such, keep your distance from groups of unsupervised children and teenagers. Cape Verde authorities are not able to assure satisfactory levels of security in urban areas. The deterioration of the socio-economic situation coincides with an increase in crime related to crack cocaine abuse. Areas frequented by tourists are particularly targeted by purse-snatchers, who have been known on past occasions to resort to violence.

TRANSPORTATION

The national airline TACV (Transportes Aéros de Cabos Verde) has a monopoly on domestic flights. Delays are common, and last-minute cancelations due to poor weather conditions are not rare.

Concerning road travel, visitors should note that locals tend to drive recklessly and that the country has no emergency roadside assistance network.

HEALTH

Finally, travelers will note that medical facilities in Praia offer a good level of care. However, the quality drops outside the capital and medications can be hard to come by, particularly in rural areas.

Climate

Located in the Sahel Zone, Cape Verde enjoys a dry tropical climate.

The country has two main seasons, the dry season (November until June) and the rainy season (July until October). Air temperatures vary between 20°C and 30°C. The average ocean temperature is 26°C. Temperatures do not drop much at night except at higher elevations. Violent winds often strike the country during the winter, sometimes for days at a time.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +238 Police in Santiago: 261 36 37 Police in Sao Vicente: 231 46 31 Police on the island of Boa Vista: 251 11 32 Police on the island of Brava: 285 11 32 Police on the island of Fogo: 281 11 32 Police on the island of Maio: 255 11 32 Police on the island of Sao Nicolau: 235 11 32 Police on the island of Sal: 241 11 32 Police on the island of Sao Antao: 221 11 32

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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