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Cape Verde

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:46 pm
by Nigel w
Going on hol with Magali to Cape Verde in a couple of weeks.

Anyone been?

They now do direct flights from UK so we are going to do it a la carte rather than booking a package.

Tips on best islands, best boutique-style hotels, restaurants, where to hear good music?


PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:21 pm
by garth cartwright
Nigel - I'm damn envious as I've dreamt of getting to CV but never got anywhere near it. But a very good friend of mine has holidayed there so I e'd her for advise and this is what she wrote:

I would say Mindelo on Sao Vicente for culture and musik, Santo Antao for walking, Fogo for walking as well and Brava for a step back in a different century. Sal for watersports and nothing else. All depends on how long your friend plans to go - in two weeks Silke and I started on Sal, flying to Fogo and then to Sao Vicente. Visiting Mindelo and taking the ferry from there to Santo Antao, Back to Mindelo and back to Sal to get the return flight. Thomas had three weeks and added Praia (capital and okay) and Brava.

Most international flights go to Sal which is as quite dreadful island (like Fuerteventura here on Canaries), but flight connections to the other islands are quite easy and (for Africa) surprisingly reliable - a bit like Binter here. The best island for walking is Santo Antao which has an own airport which is not used (a bit like Gomera, they have an unused airport too), but there is a good ferry connection from Sao Vicente. The other international airport is on the island of Santiago, the capital is Praia, and there you can do some walks, but the best one is defenitly Santo Antao. Second choice is Fogo with the huge active vulcano. So you have to move a bit around, but travelling is quite easy, I just think you should spend two week to give you a bit time. One week might be a bit stressful!

I hope that is of some use. Looking forward to your report!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:56 am
by David Flower
Nigel while you're there can you check out the story I heard that zouk originated in Cap Verde?
When is the zouk revival coming by the way?

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:33 am
by Leon Parker
A friend of mine moved out to CV and even has a bit on her in the 'Sun' on line web site: ... 298085.ece

If you would like to contact me. Am sure she would be happy for you to get in touch. She is a musician so she should be in touch with the night life.

Re: Cape Verde

PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:56 pm
by Martin Owen
How dod you get on Nigel? We have had the wonderful Radio3 documentaries since then which give us a lot of clues. In March I visit San Vincente, San Anatao, Praia , San Domingos and Mindalo.

I understand that Mindalo is the best place for music - and on firday and Saturday nights - alas - I think the itenarary puts me in Mindalo on Wednesday and Thursday - so suggestions please. I am going with Ramblers Holidays btw. ... dayID=4895

Re: Cape Verde

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:26 pm
by Martin Owen
Although I was not on a music holiday the following to report:

a) My West Africa record collection coming out of most bars and Alugers (collective taxis)
b) CDs mainly on sale in bars were music is played except for a young guy who has a stall in Placa Estrella in Mindelo who sells up-to-date Mindelo dance/pop and no traditional stuff
c) I caught up with live music in the Quintal da Musica in Praia - they seem to have had everything CV playing there. Whilst I was in Praia they had a women's day celebration of women's voices with local singers and a butuke ensemble
d) In Sao Antao in Ponta del Sol I heard a group of local guys in both Casa Fatima and Au Gato Pret restaurants - very good.
e) Lofato - the proprietor of Quinta da Montanie in Rui Vaz on Santiago plays for his guests. He is occasionally in a band Rebasa, based in Rotterdam, which is mainly his brothers.
f) Came across a group of kids on their way home from school sitting under the trees using their school bags for butuke in Ribera Principal in the north of Santiago.
I was in a group not looking for music and we came across music fairly easily - if you were looking for it in Santaigo, San Vincente or San Antao it would seem you would not have to work hard.

I will be writing my blog soon and keep people posted.

Re: Cape Verde

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:19 pm
by garth cartwright
thanks Martin. How did you get there? Is it still a very expensive flight? Is CV an expensive place to spend a couple of weeks? What about visas? I've always been interested in going but when i checked on this a few years ago it was difficult and expensive.

Re: Cape Verde

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:06 pm
by Martin Owen
I went on a walking holiday with Ramblers ... dayID=4895

This was not cheap but included transfers and evening meals etc. The main focus of the trip was was walking and the music was incidental. The people are very friendly, courteous and helpful - some begger harassment but considerably less than you get in London. Cars stop to let you cross the road even on the main streets of Mindelo!

As soon as you get used to the collective public transport (Aluger) getting around is very easy. I believe the only real hassle is internal flights on TACV - but We had no problem.

Going as an individual should not be difficult as many other Europeans were travelling in that way. Our hotels were clean, had private bathrooms but were pretty basic. Judging by their websites they were not expensive: ... ago-e.aspx ... leza/93899 ... Maria.html

I think typically in this standard of accommodation it is about 35-40€ a room

Meals (Fish or chicken or pork + vegetables - carbo) were between 10-20 € - Wine about 12-16€ (with good CV wine most expensive) beer 1€ for 250ml. A meal of cachupa or feijoada would be between 2.5 and 4 € depending on location and how much protein came with it.
I can echo Lucy Duran's comments (well worth listening to the broadcasts on the web site) San Antao is the most beautiful bit we visited. I suppose for modern music purposes it would be good to be in Mindelo for the weekend or out in Baia das Gatas when there is a big festival in August Santaigo had considerable charm and the best hotel in the mountains

Direct flights only to Sal - never been, don't want to, no comment. There are flights onwards from Sal. We flew TAP via Lisbon to Praia (Santiago) arriving/departing in the early hours.

Re: Cape Verde

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:16 pm
by Martin Owen
BTW you can get visa on entry at the airport - they are apparently 45€ (in cash) - we had a group visa.

and I found this interesting and will do something about it: ... ument.html