Tourism and Flights
Sal already has an international airport, which is one of the largest in West Africa. Presently over 330,000 tourists visit Cape Verde each year, but the government’s tourist department believes that with the increase in the quality of tourist developments on the islands and the opening of Santiago's, San Vicente's and Boa Vista's new international airports, the total should rise to over 500,000 soon. There is major investment in tourism going into Cape Verde from world class brands.
There are now weekly direct flights from the Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester on Thomson. Flight times are around 5 and a half hours and the cost is usually from £250 to £450 including tax. When the demand is sufficient it is expected that direct flights from various airports in the UK will fly to Sal, Boa Vista, San Vicente and Santiago. TACV are the local Cape Verde airline, and they who operate both international and inter island flights. TAP also fly to Cape Verde daily from Lisbon, which take about 3 hours 30 minutes, and arrive late at night and leaves extremely early in the morning. Prices on TAP start from around £500.00 through Lisbon and the quickest flight from Heathrow is 7 hours 35 minutes including the stop at Lisbon. There are also direct flights from Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Holland, Senegal and Brazil to Cape Verde. A new internal airline called Halcyon Air has started to fly between the islands.
We can give advice and contacts on flights and hotels.
Boa Vista international airport is now open and there are direct flights from all over Europe, including a flight from Gatwick. RIU have opened the new RIU Karambao Hotel and a new RIU is under construction on Santa Monica Beach in the south of the island.
Tourism has been growing quickly in Cape Verde over the last 5 years, and growth is expected to continue well into the future. Sal and Boa Vista are both extremely popular with European tourists and a large percentage of all tourists visiting Cape Verde are from Italy, and many of the businesses and developments have historically been run by Italians. The Germans tourists are increasing rapidly due to the expansion of the Riu Hotels and the British market is now around 20% of the total Cape Verde tourist market.
A pizza in Cape Verde will cost about €6 and a small beer in a restaurant is about €1 to €1.50 and a half litre jug of wine is about €5.00 . Sea food is excellent and cheap. On Santiago there is a great seafood restaurant where you can buy massive tuna belly steaks cooked on a barbeque in front of you for about €4.00. Lobster is superb. There are many excellent restaurants in Sal which serve a variety of great value meals. Steak is imported from Brazil.
At present a single stay visa costs €25 and can be purchased when you reach the islands or the tour operators can sort them befoe you leave. There is no embassy in the UK, only an honorary consul. The tour operators such as Barracuda Tours can issue visas and also the hotels.