The government of Cape Verde is planning to remove the requirement to purchase a visa for visitors from the USA, Canada and the non-Schengen counties of Europe (which includes the UK). The relaxation of visa requirements for visitors from the European Union, which was agreed last year, comes into force in May of this year. The aim of this extension to the visa waiver is intended to encourage more investment, more employment opportunities and more visitors from further afield.
Cars in the streets of Maio are probably less common than livestock! It is not uncommon to see chickens, goats, cows and even pigs in the streets. This all adds to the charm of this lovely island. Animals can also sometimes be found enjoying the beaches.
There are lots of interesting and attractive plants to be found in Cape Verde. This picture, was taken on the island of Santiago. There are the familiar plants such as bougainvillea, but many others that are far less common in Europe. If you are interested in plants, there is a lot to find here, especially on some of the more mountainous islands, such as Santiago, Brava and Santo Antão, where slightly more rainfall encourages a more diverse range of plants.
On Sunday, three young whales became stranded on the little beach next to Stella Maris in Vila do Maio. Various attempts were made to push them back into the sea but even with ropes and sheets, this proved impossible. Eventually a fishing boat arrived and using its motor they managed to get these three lovely creatures back into deeper water. This successful outcome was greeted with applause from the crowd that had gathered. Its puzzling why the whales came into such shallow waters. Congratulations to all concerned.