Your guide to being an expatriate in Cape Verde

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Nestled in the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde is an archipelago nation comprising of nine islands and five islets, covering an area of approximately 4,000 square kilometers. The country gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and has since developed into a stable democracy with a mixed market economy. The islands feature a unique blend of African, European, and Brazilian influences, resulting in a distinct culture and identity.

Cape Verde

Expat destinations in Cape Verde

Demographics of Cape Verde:

Ethnic groups

The majority of the population is Creole (mixed African, Portuguese, and Brazilian), with African and European ancestry also present.


Cape Verdean Creole (Kriyol) and Portuguese (official)

Religion Overview

Cape Verde is predominantly a Christian country, with around 95% of the population practicing either Roman Catholicism or Protestantism.

Major Religions


Cape Verde has an arid and semiarid climate, characterized by hot and dry conditions. The dry season lasts from November to April, and the rainy season lasts from May to October. Average temperatures range from 21°C to 28°C.

Economy Overview

Cape Verde's economy is largely based around services and finance, with agriculture and tourism also playing significant roles.

Key Industries

  • Finance and business services
  • Construction
  • Fisheries
  • Tourism
  • Agriculture (primarily sugarcane, bananas, and coffee)

Major Companies

  • Banco Santander Totta
  • Millennium BCP
  • Banco Maioria
  • Cape Verde Post Office Savings and credit Cooperative Society (CPCV)
  • Cape Verde National Insurance Company (SNSCV)

Culture and Language Overview

Cape Verde's unique blend of African, European, and Brazilian influences is represented in its music, dance, and cuisine. Traditional music styles include morna, coladeira, and tabanka, while cultural festivals such as the Carnival of Praia, the Int'l Carnival of Rude & Rustic (Brazil), and the Crioulo Music Festival attract visitors from around the world.

Cultural Highlights

  • The Carnival of Praia: A vibrant and colorful festival celebrating traditional music, dance, and costumes.
  • The Cruzada - Social and Political Movement: A grassroots movement advocating for social justice, democracy, and peace.
  • The Fortress of Saint George: A 19th-century military fortress overlooking the capital city of Praia and featuring stunning views of the ocean.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Cape Verde's archipelago consists of nine main islands, with each island possessing its own unique features and landmarks. The islands range in size and include both volcanic and non-volcanic landforms.

Notable Landmarks

  • Baía das Gatas Beach (Santiago Island): A scenic beach with crystal-clear waters and a stunning backdrop of red sand cliffs.
  • Paolo Dias (Mindelo): A mountainous region known for its striking geological formations and diverse flora and fauna.
  • The Branco Islands (Sal): A group of small islands featuring pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Maundy Thursday (March or April)
  • Good Friday (March or April)
  • Senhor Santo Cristo (May)
  • Middle Sunday (June - day before Corpus Christi)
  • Corpus Christi (June)
  • Saint Vincent (July 22)
  • Independence Day (July 5)
  • Our Lady of Angels (August)
  • Christ the King (November)
  • All Saints' Day (November)
  • Restoration of Independence Day (July 25)

Political Stability

Cape Verde is known for its political stability and democracy. The country has a multi-party system, with the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) serving as the current ruling party since gaining independence from Portugal in 1975. In recent years, Cape Verde has faced challenges with high levels of poverty, youth unemployment, and corruption. However, the government has taken steps to address these issues through economic development initiatives, social programs, and anti-corruption measures.

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