Touchdown… On the moon? For miles, all you see is nothing. But do not fret, this destination has been branded the African Caribbean! Cape Verde is a collection of 10, Portuguese owned islands just south of the Canaries- off the West Coast of Africa. It only takes about 5.5 hours from the UK. I visited Cape Verde in 2009. I was working as a Travel agent and it was a brand spanking new destination. It was quite unheard of, so I wanted to be the first to experience the untouched paradise.
The weather in Cape Verde is beautiful, scorching sunshine and blue skies. It is pretty windy, swimming in the sea is not recommended, but it isn’t a loss when the beaches are so stunning. I can see why the country is compared to the Caribbean. White, powder sand and turquoise ocean. African dancers and music on the beach provide an awesome mix of relaxation and electric atmosphere.
Sal is home to two luxurious RIU hotels with private beaches, and home to hundreds of locals. From inside the hotel grounds Cape Verde is grand and upmarket. But if you decide to venture outside into the ‘town’ it really hits you hard how poor this country is. The Local square is very basic and there is only one place on the entire island where the locals can get water. Some walk miles with huge water tanks balancing on their head. Children playing bare footed in the road. It really makes you appreciate the little things you take for granted.
It’s worth getting out and seeing the real ‘Cabo Verde’. During my trip I did all I possibly could. I explored the island and experienced some traditional African dance. I visited the Sal football stadium, where Nani trained in his early days. There were a group of local children who seems to find tourists rather intriguing, so we played penalty shootout with them, it was such a fabulous experience, seeing them laugh was priceless. We got utterly thrashed too, they were good at footy!