Welcome to Cape Verde, or Cabo Verd as it is now starting to be called! 🇨🇻In this guide you’ll find out every you need to know to have a hassle-free adventure on this incredible island.
In this video we’ll cover how to get to Cape Verde from the UK, how to get about the island, where to stay and all the amazing things to see and do.
We’ll also focus on the important work done by our charity partners – the Travel Foundation, to prevent over-tourism in Cape Verde, and how you can take steps to travel more sustainably.
Find out more about the Travel Foundation. ►
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Think back 10 years ago. Had you heard of Cape Verde? Not quite African and not quite Portuguese, a vibrant mix of both worlds. The islands of Cape Verde are as beautiful as they are mysterious. It was the transatlantic slave trades that put these islands on the map and ten years ago, TUI put them on the tourist trail and the industry boomed. It’s no surprise but the constant beat of traditional music, turquoise seas, sandy beaches, world-class surf and surreal lunar landscapes. I’ve been given the opportunity to travel 2,700 miles across the Atlantic to visit Sal, an island steeped in history and natural wonders, where suddenly there are more tourists than locals. I want to engage with its people, absorb its unique culture and at this most critical time in our planet’s history, dig deeper into the reality of tourism and learn how we as tourists can improve the way we travel to ensure a sustainable future for an industry we all love. We’ve been guided along the way by two amazing charities; the TUI Care Foundation and the Travel Foundation who work closely with local businesses and hotels. This trip was to become one of the biggest eyeopeners of my travels to date. So let’s go back to the beginning. At Holiday Extras we believe in making simple choices to improve the way we travel, to find solutions that benefit the environment and lessen our negative impact on a destination so our journey began in an airport lounge at Gatwick, ideal if you’re trying to avoid buying plastic whilst filling up on delicious food before your flight. We chose to fly direct to Sal with TUI Airways, the world’s most carbon efficient airline. And upon landing we were met by our prefect transfer driver who took us straight to our greener hotel on the southwest coast of the island. So we’re starting our day having breakfast with a view. It kind of reminds me of what the moon would look like. It’s very rocky but that view is just gorgeous and we’re not wasting any time, we’re starting today with an island tour and this is with the company called Explore CV, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what today has an offer. Booking an excursion on a trip can be the highlight of any holiday but we want to emphasize the importance of finding a responsible tour company. Explore Cape Verde were recommended to us by the Travel Foundation for being passionate about the island’s wildlife, whilst providing eco-conscious excursions. We booked on an island tour and our tour guide Jordi was a knowledgeable marine biologist. The tour started in the coastal town of Santa Maria at the fishing pier which is the soul of the island. Jordi showed us around and explained that the fisherman returned around 11:00 a.m. every morning to their wives who are waiting at the pier ready to sell the catch. If it’s the locals fisherman’s it is a sustainable fishing we also sell the rights for the European Union to fish here in Cape Verdean waters. Cape Verde got its independence in 1975. As a former Portuguese colony, they absorbed the Portuguese influence and their blood. Mixed with the Africans who settled here, essentially created their own race Creole. It’s like cultural to jump from the pier. If you come here and you didn’t jump you cannot say that you’ve been in Sal. The no stress lifestyle here it seems the whole time. Next up we visited a natural reef, a popular feeding area for lemon sharks and a place for tourists to safely see them in the wild. You can rent water shoes to protect your feet from the rocks and carefully wade in to watch them hunt. Jordi’s care and consideration for the sharks was very clear, insisting we keep a fair distance as not to disturb them. Other guides let their groups go as far as they wanted, some even chased the curious parts which reminded me of the importance of booking with a responsible company.