The Cape Verdeans display a wonderful cultural mix of Africa and Brazil, with a dash of Portugal. They are friendly, laid back and very tolerant.
Our advice would be to travel light – and we mean really light.
If you are staying on the main tourist destination of Sal all you need during the day is beach wear, flip-flops, a sunhat and sunglasses. These are a must all year round – the sun is unbelievably hot even when it's cloudy.
The weather is warm all year round in Cape Verde, so if you are planning to take a jacket bring a lightweight one. We recommend the SCOTTeVEST travel jacket as it has the versatility of being converted into a vest in milder weather and has the benefit of 23 storage pockets perfect for passports, cash and other valuables.
Outside of the hotels you will find it very difficult to get laundry cleaned, however with a temperature of at least 28c all year round washing and drying clothes is quick and easy to do.
As this is a very new holiday destination we would recommend you take your own good quality sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) as it is difficult to get and it is expensive.
Pop some trainers or lightweight walking shoes in if you want to walk around the island. Hotter shoes are very light and comfortable, and great for travel.
The roads and paths are very uneven so flat shoes are far more suitable than heels when out and about.
Clothing tips for women
For the evenings again keep it light and simple. Lightweight Capri pants, a sundress or skirt work well with flip flops (why not try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range – using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light).
If you are staying in an all-inclusive hotel then there is more scope to dress up, so you may want to pop a smarter dress and accessories in your case, but otherwise dressing up really doesn't happen here – everyone is very casual.
A few well chosen pieces of costume jewellery will transform any outfit.
And a pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit, cover you from the sun or protect from a chilly breeze.
Clothing tips for men
If you're looking for versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
Pack for the weather
The wind gets up during November, December, January, February and March, and a pashmina or light jumper is needed at night.
We love the Weather+ app – it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too – a nice way to remember your trip 🙂 Download for iPad/iPhone or Android
Regions of Cape Verde
If you're planning an inter-island sailing trip you need to have waterproof trousers and jacket – you WILL need them. Pack a fleece and long trousers for the evenings. Take shorts for the daytime. The islands are very casual so we suggest that you pack as little as possible, but do include a pair of trainers and a day pack if you want to explore. It may also be worth taking some seasickness pills with you – this is the Atlantic and it can be boisterous. Many islanders are very poor, and if you can take clothes, pens or paper for the children it will be really appreciated.
Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees – use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Browse the colourful local markets for handicrafts including jewellery, woven baskets and pottery. The local drink Grogue is also a popular buy, but remember any liquids will need to be packed in your hold luggage when you fly home.
We would suggest that you don't bother with travellers cheques as they are not widely accepted. Take instead a combination of Euros and credit cards as the Euro is accepted everywhere. However, we would recommend changing your Euros into the local currency, Cape Verde Escudos (CVE), at the bank when you arrive as you will get a better rate than in the shops.