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Country Information

Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde
Republic of Cabo Verde
Exercise normal precautions in Cabo Verde.

Exercise normal precautions in Cabo Verde.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Cabo Verde:

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Embassy Message

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Must be valid at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Yes

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Certificates from Bank of Cabo Verde required to depart with more than 1 million Cabo Verdean escudos

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Praia

Rua Abilio Macedo 6
C.P. 201
Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde

Telephone: +(238) 260-8948

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (238) 991-3325

Fax: +(238) 261-1355

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Cabo Verde for information on U.S. – Cabo Verde relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card if arriving on flights from Senegal or other West African countries

Visas:  Two types of visas are available: a single-entry visa valid for up to 90 days or a multiple-entry visa valid for five years.  You can apply for a visa at the Cabo Verdean Embassy in Washington, D.C.  Please see their website for the most up-to-date visa requirements.  You may also apply for a visa upon arrival, valid for a single entry stay of 30 days, and pre-pay at least five days prior to traveling through www.ease.gov.cv, or apply and pay, in cash (Euros, U.S. Dollars, or Cabo Verdean Escudos) or by Visa/Mastercard credit card, upon arrival at one of the country’s four international airports:

  • Nelson Mandela International Airport
  • Cesaria Evora Airport
  • Amilcar Cabral International Airport
  • Aristides Pereira International Airport

Airport Security Fee: All non-exempt travelers (see exemption list below) must pay an international airport security fee each time they enter Cabo Verde.  For faster processing upon arrival, it is recommended that you pre-register and pre-pay (via Visa/Mastercard credit card) through www.ease.gov.cv, at least five days prior to traveling. You should print out the confirmation email and present this document to the customs officials. You may also pay the airport security fee and visa-upon-arrival fee when you land in Cabo Verde, but processing is slower and you will pay a small surcharge. The airport security fee may be paid at the airport in cash (Euros, U.S. Dollars or Cabo Verdean Escudos) or by Visa/Mastercard credit card. The below individuals are exempt from the airport security fee:

  • Any minor under two years old
  • Anyone with a Cabo Verdean passport or born in Cabo Verde, as well as their spouse and children traveling with them up to 18 years old
    • Anyone born in Cabo Verde but not holding a Cabo Verde passport should present proof of their Cabo Verde birth.
    • Non-Cabo Verdean spouses and children should be prepared to prove their relationship through marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.
  • Cabo Verdean legal residents, who can present proof of their legal resident status
  • Registered/resident diplomats who can present their MNEC registration ID card

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Cabo Verde.

Find information on dual nationality,  prevention of international child abduction,  and Customs Information  on our websites.

Travel with Minors:  For both entrance to and exit from Cabo Verde, any parent traveling with a minor should carry the child’s birth certificate . If the child is not traveling with both parents, the non-accompanying parent(s) should provide a signed statement consenting to the child’s travel and naming the adult accompanying the child.

Safety and Security

Exercise extreme caution when participating in water sports, such as swimming, boating, and fishing, as the tides and currents around the islands are very strong.  Several small fishing boats have been lost at sea in recent years and drownings have occurred on the beaches and along the coast in Praia, Sal, and on other islands.

The entire island of Fogo is considered to be an active volcano.  Future eruptions remain a threat, as do earth tremors throughout the islands, especially on Fogo, Brava, and Santo Antão, and beneath the ocean channels that separate them.  General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the Ready initiative.

Crime:

Petty crime and burglary are common in Cabo Verde, especially at marketplaces, festivals, street fairs, and public gatherings.  Criminals target anyone perceived to be affluent, regardless of nationality.  Avoid groups of children who appear to have no adult supervision; the perpetrators of petty theft and pickpocketing are often groups of street children.  Muggings occur often, particularly at night and in more isolated areas, and ofteninvolve violence.  The perpetrators are predominantly male between the ages of 14 and 25 operating in groups of two or more.  Due to inadequate lighting in many public areas, often caused by rolling power cuts in urban neighborhoods, you should be especially vigilant after dark, carry a small flashlight to illuminate your path, never go out alone, keep vehicle doors and windows locked, and avoid isolated places.

It is dangerous to use hillside stairways connecting neighborhoods in Praia and many other Cabo Verdean cities and towns, even in broad daylight.  These stairways isolate users and make them vulnerable to assault.

Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in both Cabo Verde and the United States.  U.S. citizens who buy these goods are punishable under Cabo Verdean law.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at 132 (the local equivalent of 911) and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(238) 260-8948 or after hours at + (238) 991-3325.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical care
  • Provide support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Cabo Verde are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Cabo Verde.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:  There are significant hardships in Cabo Verde for persons with limited mobility due to rugged terrain, widespread use of cobblestone streets and pathways, very limited number of elevators in buildings, and frequent power outages.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical facilities in Cabo Verde are limited, and some medications are in short supply or otherwise unavailable.  The country’s largest hospitals are in Praia and Mindelo.  There are smaller public health centers and private medical clinics, of variable quality in both personnel and equipment, throughout the country.  The islands of Brava and Santo Antão do not have airports which makes air evacuation in the event of a medical emergency impossible.

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.  

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

There is a risk of the following diseases in Cabo Verde:

Those traveling to Cabo Verde for scuba diving should be aware that there is no hyperbaric/decompression facility on the islands.

If you need a doctor in Cabo Verde, a list of medical providers and hospitals is available on the U.S. Embassy Praia website.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Cabo Verde has an extensive road system.  On the islands of Santiago, Sal, and São Vicente, many urban and rural roads are asphalt.  On the other islands, some roads are narrow, winding, and mostly cobblestone.

During the rainy season, cobblestone roads are especially slippery, and mud and rockslides are common on roads that cut through mountains.  Roads and streets often are unlit and driving at night is hazardous.

Traffic Laws:  Most accidents result from aggressive driving, speeding, passing in blind curves, and/or on inclines or declines in the rain.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a problem in Cabo Verde. The peak times for drunk drivers are on Sundays and at night. Exercise extreme caution toward both pedestrians and other drivers after celebrations, festivals, and open-air concerts as well as during holiday periods, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Carnival.

Public Transportation:  Praia has three principal modes of public transport: taxi, bus, and commuter vans.  Using buses and vans is strongly discouraged.  These vans may have a fixed, but flexible route and often contain more passengersthan is safe.Licensed, registered taxis are clearly marked and tan/cream in color.  While official taxis are considered safe and reliable, passengers should still exercise good common sense and avoid sharing a taxi with strangers.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Cabo Verde’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Cabo Verde’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to Cabo Verde should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts.  Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website select “broadcast warnings.”

For additional travel information

Last Updated: February 22, 2019

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Praia
Rua Abilio Macedo 6
C.P. 201
Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde
Telephone
+(238) 260-8948
Emergency
+ (238) 991-3325
Fax
+(238) 261-1355

Cabo Verde Map