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Cabo Verde - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Cabo Verde due to crime.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Cabo Verde. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Violent crime has increased. Muggings occur, usually at night and in isolated areas. Gold jewelry is very sought after.
Sexual assaults have been reported.
The hillside stairways connecting neighbourhoods are often the scene of assault, even in broad daylight.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching is common, especially during festivals and street fairs and in crowded outdoor market areas, particularly in the city of Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente, and in Praia, on the island of Santiago. Children often perpetrate these crimes. Do not show signs of affluence and ensure your personal belongings, passports, and other travel documents are secure at all times. Residential break-ins also occur.
The road system is extensive, particularly on the island of Santiago. Main roads are usually paved with cobblestones but can be narrow, winding and poorly lit. Drivers and pedestrians should exercise caution, particularly after dark. Organized roadside assistance is not widely available.
Intercity van service can be hazardous due to the bad driving habits of local residents. Taxis hailed from hotels are generally reliable. Car rentals are available on the islands of Santiago and São Vicente. In Praia, city buses and taxis are reliable, clean and in good condition.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Learn more about foreign domestic airlines.
Domestic flights are available through TACV, the national air carrier. Weather conditions may cause flight delays and cancellations. Check with your airline before heading to the airport.
A ferry service operates between Praia and the islands of Brava and Fogo, and between São Vicente and Santo Antão. Delays and frequent schedule changes occur. Boats may have limited space for luggage.
Sea conditions can be treacherous. Mariners should seek local advice prior to travel, particularly to the islands of Brava and Fogo. Advise local ports of arrival and departure times and provide relatives with your itinerary.
Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
General safety information
You should travel in groups, particularly after dark. Tourist facilities are limited. Living conditions differ from island to island.
Strong currents and powerful waves make swimming and water sports dangerous at some locations. Drownings are reported every year, especially in Praia. Be vigilant on beaches and never swim alone.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Cabo Verde authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Cabo Verde, which must be valid for the duration of their intended stay. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Canadians must also be in possession of a visa, which can be obtained on arrival at any point of entry. The visa is valid for up to 30 days.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - September 13, 2017 00:00 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in West Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in West Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in West Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
- There is a limited risk of malaria in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in West Africa, like avian influenza, ebola, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Basic medical procedures are available in Mindelo and Praia. You may need to be evacuated if you require specialized care or have sustained serious injury. Medical evacuation may be necessary in the case of serious injury or illness.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
There are strict penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs.
Foreigners have been arrested for carrying unlabelled pills. For a complete list of prohibited items, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Cabo Verde.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Cabo Verde.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Cabo Verde, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Learn more about travelling as a dual citizen.
Money The currency is the Cabo Verde escudo (CVE). Some hotels and restaurants in Praia will convert U.S. dollars and euros into local currency. Major credit cards are accepted in some hotels and restaurants.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Cabo Verde is very hot and receives little rain throughout the year. The climate is dry and windy. The rainy season usually occurs from August to October, but there has been a severe drought for several years. Fogo receives more rain than the other islands.
Natural disasters are possible due to regional volcanic activity. Follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders, and monitor local media reports.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 132
- medical assistance: 130
- firefighters: 131
There is no Canadian government office in Cabo Verde. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada to Senegal in Dakar.
Dakar - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Senegal in Dakar and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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