Everyday life and local Mentality in Cape Verde
Understanding of time and "No Stress" society
“Good to know” about health and vaccinations
Although being located close to the African continent, Cape Verde has neither infectious nor endemic diseases nor any dangerous animal species. Therefore no mandatory vaccinations are required when entering the country.
It is recommended to undertake common prophylactic vaccinations against polio, tetanus, and hepatitis A and B. Ask your doctor if you may need to have your vaccinations refreshed.
A small, effective first aid kit for stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, sunburn and a mosquito repellent should not be forgotten in any case. Since the islands are close to the equator, the sun is very intense. Especially on the first days of your trip, take care when being outside and ensure you have adequate sun protection, a hat, sunglasses and plenty of water.
The tap water should only be drunk after being boiled. Drinking water is available in supermarkets, restaurants or hotels and can be bought in 1,5 and 5 litre bottles. Do not worry about ice in your drinks in any local bar or restaurant – ice cubes are always made from purified water.
The traditional Cape Verdean dishes usually consist of fish (or, further inland, chicken), rice, beans and some vegetables which are well known in Europe (cabbage, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, squash, etc.). From experience, these dishes are safe and do not cause any stomach problems.
Be careful when ordering meat dishes such as steak or meat Carpaccio as these dishes are usually served in rather touristic places.
The Cape Verde Islands are a very safe destination
The archipelago is one of the safest destinations in Africa with a very low crime rate.
Nevertheless, it is recommended to follow the worldwide standard security guidelines.
Pay attention to your bag, purse, eye-catching jewellery and your camera in order to prevent the risk of theft. In the dark, a taxi is preferable to walking.
Isolated beaches should be avoided. There are no dangerous or venomous animals, like snakes or scorpions.
The country is socio-politically characterized by its political stability, economic security and its social peace. 90% of the population is Roman Catholic. The remaining 10% are distributed among various US churches, belonging to the Anglican Church or are followers of natural religions. There are no religious tensions or conflicts.
For any further information check the information of your ministry of foreign affairs.
Sodade, "No Stress" and Morabeza
The Cape Verdean Islands are very diverse; each island is different, distinctive and fascinating, so are the inhabitants.
The "typical" Cape Verdean is non-existent.
Around 550,000 inhabitants (with an increasing tendency) are currently living on the 9 inhabited islands, almost half of them on Santiago.
Almost twice as many live in the Diaspora and financially support their families on the islands. The insatiable longing of the emigrants for their home and their families is conveyed in their traditional music "Morna". The emotional state of this "Sodade" has become famous all over the world by the correspondent song of Césaria Évora (youtube) and is now the secret national anthem of Cape Verde.
Unique hospitality and affection of the people, the vitality and vast openness characterize their attitude towards life - this can be felt all over the country - this is Morabeza.
Ask a Cape Verdean for "Morabeza" and his eyes will glow, his face will shine and he will take a deep breath and tell you that he can neither explain nor translate it, that this is something you must experience by yourself.
We keep running through life always one eye on the clock. We do not realize anymore that the digital time on our mobile phones is permanently with us.
Here on Cabo Verde it is quite the opposite. Time has a completely different meaning... sometimes we get stressed out by the serenity; occasionally we are fascinated by it.
Travelling is enriching - from time to time indeed something can go "wrong" or better said "different than planned". Our advice: React in the same way as the local people with "No Stress" - the credo of the islands.