Cape Verde has only been a popular tourist destination for a few years now. Many people know about the country’s fantastic beaches and the attractive all-inclusive formulas used by hotels and resorts. But a lot of other things about the country are unknown to most visitors.
The unkown can be a bit of a worry for most of us, so it’s no surprise that the question of safety in Cape Verde comes up a lot. When incidents happen, these are usually addressed in all media, and it might seem that Cape Verde can be a unsafe destination to travel to. This makes people uncomfortable when visiting the country, and makes people stay in and around the hotels and resorts as much as possible.
Interacting with locals is not only a very fun part of traveling, but for the locals in Cape Verde it is also a very important thing. Tourism is a big part of the Cape Verdean economy, so many locals depend on the business from visitors. The more you can interact and buy from locals, the better travel experience you can have, all while supporting local families.
So, how safe is Cape Verde?
Cape Verde actually started becoming more and more popular because of political situations of countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey. After a few attacks in these countries both tourist operators and travelers were looking for safe alternatives within a few hours reach of Europe.
Although by far not a perfect country, Cape Verde has a very stable political climate, something that is recognized by many governments (if not all) around the world. When walking around Santa Maria or Sal Rei you can feel the extremely relaxed vibe. But, the truth is life is not that easy for a big part of Cape Verdeans.
Sal and Boa Vista are places where crime does exist. So, make sure you simply don’t to things you would not do anywhere else. You certainly don’t have to be afraid, but please be sensible. Leave valuables at home, or at the hotel stored safely and don’t carry large amounts of cash.
Don't believe the touroperators
As a kid I was lucky enough to travel together with my family. My mother used to love traveling, and has taken my family to many countries abroad. When I was younger she used to talk about countries like the Dominican Repulbic and Jamaica. I remember how she told me about not wanting to visit these countries because of stories about how it was too dangerous to go outside the resort as a tourist on your own.
These stories have been heard (and used) in Cape Verde as well. Again, of course it is always better to be safe then sorry. But be critical when talking to touroperators because they do have an interest in feeding you negative stories. Simply put, the more touroperators are able to 'protect' visitors, the more they are able to make.
Nothing wrong with wanting to make extra profit, but tourism in countries such as Cape Verde make much more sense when locals get an honest opportunity to make a living as well. This brings me to another important point.
Do your own Research
The best thing to do before traveling to Cape Verde (or anywhere else for that matter) is to do some research. Look at different sources for opinions on different matters. Not only is this gathering of information important, it is also a very fun part of traveling for many people.
By researching your destination on various websites you will definitely come across many professional locals that can make your holiday an unforgettable expercience. Drivers, tourguides and restaurants, many of them can be found within a few Google searches.
These locals sometimes depend heavily on the income from the tourist sector. So, by using their services you not only get a great experience, you're also helping tourism in Cape Verde evolve into something bigger than what it is today.
Cape Verde is a safe and stable country. This does not mean that it is free of crime. Always be both careful and sensible, and take precautions. The country is very receiptive towards tourists, and Cape Verdeans are known as hospitable people. In most places in the country the vibe feels relaxed and laid back.
However, not every place in Cape Verde is the same. Being in a small village in Santo Antão is obviously not the same as being in the capital of the county, Praia. By doing your research before traveling you'll be better prepared, which will allow you to enjoy your stay to the fullest.
Thank you for reading, I hope this was helpful. Feel free to respond if you've been to the country, I'm sure other readers will also appreciate it!
Hi, I'm Freddy, the creator of the MindeloCaboVerde.com blog. Thank you so much for reading! Please feel free to message me with questions, reservations and bookings.