The sea at Stella Maris on Maio island

stella maris maio

This is the view from Stella Maris, on the island of Maio. The picture was taken during a couple of days of rough seas. The views from Stella Maris are lovely, either looking west over the Atlantic towards the island of Santiago, or looking east along the coast of the island, as in this picture.

Flight connections between Cape Verde and China?

china capital airlines

Cape Verde and China have been in discussions about the possibility of an air transport agreement between the two countries. If such an agreement is formulated it will allow both TACV and China’s Capital Airlines to fly between the two countries.

Luís Filipe Tavares, Foreign Affairs minister has stated that this agreement could be completed by the middle of 2018.

This latest potential agreement between the two counties is just one of several other areas of cooperation, such as defence and port security.

Guinness World Record achievement

Guinness world record

Cape Verde chefs recently achieved a Guinness World Record by preparing a large pot of Cachupa. Cachupa is the traditional Cape Verde stew.

The Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva was present at the Badja ku Sol festival when the group of chefs made the 14,021 lb (6360kg) pot of stew. The event took place in Praia. The Prime Minister hoped that it would help to promote Cape Verdean food.

In order to make this vast quantity, the chefs used 600kg of corn, 100kg of chicken and 300kg of pork, together with beans and vegetables. The finished product was sampled by more than 30,000 people, each having a small bowl.

Adjudicators were on hand to confirm that the record had been broken.

The Telegraph features Cape Verde

sal cape verde telegraph

The Telegraph is the latest newspaper to feature Cape Verde in its Travel Destinations section. The article ’10 reasons why Cape Verde is the most underrated winter sun destination on Earth’ by Chris Leadbeater extols the virtues of visiting Cape Verde.

In his article Chris describes how Cape Verde is not a destination that comes to mind when considering a holiday, but he describes the 10 islands that make up Cape Verde as being ‘as beautiful as they are mysterious’.

So why is Cape Verde becoming a popular holiday destination and one that is being featured by the press? Here are just some of the reasons:

It is accessible from much of Europe

There are direct flights to the island of Sal from the UK, from airports such as Gatwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester. There are also direct flights from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester to the island of Boa Vista. Airlines that fly there include Thomas Cook and Tui (Thomson). Other islands are accessible via Lisbon with TAP airlines or via Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. Flights are also available from many European cities, such as Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Munich, etc.

The weather is good all year round

Flying for an extra 2 hours, people who traditionally have looked at the Canaries for their winter sun, can take advantage of the Cape Verde weather. There you can enjoy the lovely temperatures that rarely drop below 20C and average between 25C and 30C in January. The sea around Cape Verde is also much warmer than in the Canary Islands.

There is a variety of accommodation

There is a great range of accommodation available from self-catering apartments and villas to guest houses and luxury all-inclusive hotels. Something to suit every tourist. Some links to accommodation on each of the islands are included below.

It has a unique musical tradition

Two types of traditional music can be heard in Cape Verde, morna which was made more famous by singer Cesária Évora and then there is Funaná. Along with their music, cape verdeans love to dance and visitors are more than welcome to join in.

It is a chance to experience Africa

Cape Verde is an African country and Santo Antão island is the continent’s most westerly point. Santo Antão is a mountainous island and roughly half the island is dry and arid, the other half lush and green. Coffee plantations are to be found on the sides of the mountains.

The volcanic landscape

The islands a volcanic and whilst most are inactive, the volcano on Fogo island erupted as recently as 2014. The peak on Fogo reaches 2,829 m above sea level. There is a community living in the crater and the wine is produced there and is certainly worth tasting.

Island hopping opportunities

Cape Verde comprises 10 islands and each has its own distinct character and landscape. The easterly islands of Boa Vista, Sal and Maio are flatter and contain areas of desert. The western islands such as Santo Antão, São Nicolau and Brava are rugged, mountainous and ideal for the more energetic hiker. A holiday in Cape Verde should take in at least a couple of islands.

Water sports galore

There are many opportunities to enjoy water sports, from swimming to kite surfing. The winter season is the windiest and provides excellent conditions for sailing, wind surfing and kite surfing. One beach on Sal island has been renamed Kite Beach, because of its popularity for kite surfing. In addition, there are opportunities to dive and experience the marine life, which is abundant in the waters around these islands.

For accommodation on each of the nine inhabited islands, see the following links:

Boa Vista

Brava

Fogo

Maio

Sal

Santiago

Santo Antão

São Nicolau

São Vicente

Binter CV offering cheap flights within Cape Verde

bintercv flight offer

If you are planning to travel within Cape Verde between 10 January and 31 March 2018, you may be able to book a flight for as little as 2000CVE (€18) plus taxes. Binter CV are offering this cheaper rate for this limited period; however, to take advantage of this offer this you need to book before 22 October. The Binter CV website is www.binter.cv

Exciting ambitious environmental targets

cape verde aerial view

What exciting, ambitious plans! Cape Verde had previously set a target of achieving 50% of the countries power from renewable sources. They have now increased their target to 100% of their energy requirements being from renewables by 2020. What an amazing achievement that will be if they succeed. It will put many more developed countries to shame. Cape Verde has very little in the way of natural resources, and relatively little agricultural land. However, it does have plenty of is sun and wind. Seven years ago the government of Cape Verde set out the benefits of employing solar and wind power. Then they set targets of achieving 25% of the countries requirements by the end of 2011, and 50% by the end of 2020. The government reports that the country already generates 25% of the electricity usage through wind turbines. The government formed CERMI (Centre of Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance). It is hoped that this will serve more than just Cape Verde, but also other west African countries.

European visitors will not need Cape Verde Visas

europeans visas

Visitors from Europe will no longer be required to purchase Cape Verde visas when visiting the country. The Cape Verde government is attempting to boost tourism to the islands.

This exemption is expected to start in 2018. The policies also include the improved management of the airports and increasing the growing of crops for exportation. Tourism is a major part of the Cape Verde economy, but the government is anxious to diversify the economy.

The Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva made this announcement. He also announced the intention to implement financial measures as a stimulus for investment in the country. Residency incentives are also to be included.

Photo of the week – Boats on the beach on Maio

boats on main beach maio

The main beach (Bitxe Rotxa) in Vila do Maio is a lovely place to enjoy the sun and sea, with bars on the beach where you can eat and drink. The colourful boats are evidence of one of the main trades, namely fishing. Fresh fish can be purchased every day.