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Countries Information & Lifestyle
 Cape Verde Is. Cape Verde Is.

Country Information & Lifestyle

 The Secret Of The Mariners

The Secret Of The Mariners

Cape Verde is situated one hour south of the Canaries and 400 kms west of Dakar, Senegal on the west coast of Africa. A group of ten of the most beautiful, tropical islands having an all year round climate, a stable economy and hospitable people.

For years the Cape Verde Islands have been a secret kept only by the ancient mariners and the intrepid Atlantic sailors as they use the islands for their launching point for the voyage across the Atlantic.

The stunning islands are surrounded by azul seas and fringed with broad white sandy beaches and have a charm all of their own. Some are hilly rich in colourful vegetation, rhododendrons, fir trees and corn plants that decorate the horizon. Others are just pure pleasure for the sun seeker with white sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see with dolphins, whales and turtles inhabiting the coral of the azul water around the shores.

This former Portuguese colony has an influence of rich Mediterranean, African and Latin culture. The islands were uninhabited when discovered in 1460 by explorers and commissioned by the Portuguese Crown. The Africans were brought in under slavery mixed with Portuguese, English and French to create the Cape Verdean people. Then in 1975 the Cape Verdean people were give Independence from Portugal and in 1991 a multi-party democracy began.

Three fabulous islands are dedicated to development, Sal, a small island had the first international airport. Sal is a small sandy island with a desert-like landscape and endless stretches of beach. Most of the people live in Espargos a charming town where traders in local markets sell African crafts to tourists.

The island is famous for its salt pans and has a salt lake at Pedro de Lume where you can float as in the Dead Sea. The main town is Santa Maria and it is only a 15 minutes drive from the airport. The islands main port Palmeria is a working fishing harbour and import station and the long, wide sandy beaches are among the worlds finest.

Sao Vicente Island has an original harbour that was once visited by ocean liners but now only sees yachts. It is the place for music and art. It is very dry and warm with fantastic beaches at San Pedro. San Vicente has the second largest population in the islands with most of the inhabitants living in Mindelo which is a lively city with great nightlife and music everywhere.

Boa Vista Island is the Saharan island with miles of sand dunes sprinkled with the odd oasis and is home to one of the longest beaches in the islands at 18 kms. The sea around Boa Vista is home to some offshore wrecks including the Cecilia (Italy's Titanic) and galleons, containing gold coins making this a mecca for divers. It has one of the largest turtle breeding grounds in the world.

Saint Luzia Island is the only permanently uninhabited island and is nature reserve.

Brava Island has the most rainfall of the islands and has lush vegetation and reasonable agriculture. This can only be reached by ferry from Fogo and time here has past it by as people still fetch water by donkey.

Santa Antao Island is where little has changed since sailing ships called here. Rugged and mountainous it is the second largest islands but lacks golden beaches. A slow twisting road along the cliffs reveals Fontainha where a placid life of farming and fishing continues barely changed for hundreds of years. Pedracin village offers a ranch existence where you can scan the clouds for eagles and falcons while you sip the local grog made from sugar cane.

This volcanic island is full of craters and makes for fascinating hiking. It is fertile and populous with wine and fruit cultivation and is a pretty island with black volcanic beaches. The Fogo volcano is the major tourist attraction and Cha das Caldeiras, a village inside the crater offers amazing light plays on the lava.

Purchasing a Property

The property purchasing procedure in the Cape Verde Islands is similar to that in Portugal and you will need to recruit the assistance of a sworn translator as all documents will of course be in Portuguese.

After finding your property and agreeing a price the first step is to appoint a lawyer to help you through the purchasing procedure.

You will need to obtain a Personal Fiscal Number from the Tax Office and he will arrange this for you.

The contracts will be signed in two stages. The Promissory Contract,(CONTRATO DE PROMESSA DE COMPRA E VENDE), and then the final contract, the ESCRITURA.

After the purchase price has been agreed the Promissory Contract is signed and the deposit paid. The deposit is non-refundable but secures the property. Before signing the contract your lawyer should conduct checks at the Land Registry to ensure that the vendor has the right to sell, there are no debts on the property and all taxes have been paid up.

A number of documents will be needed to complete the transaction and your lawyer will obtain from the Land Registry a registration certificate which states the legal history of the property and from the local tax office a document listing the yearly taxes which must be paid on the property. If the development is new a temporary certificate will be issued. Your lawyer will then help you to obtain a license of use.

After signing the Promissory Contract you proceed to the ESCRITURA when the balance of money is paid along with the transfer taxes, stamp duty, and notary fees. This final contract has to be signed in the presence of the local notary and is then registered with the Land Registry and the Tax Office. This is the document that gives the purchaser official ownership of the property.

Fees & Taxes

Stamp Duty is 3% of the purchase price.

Land Registry fee of 3% of the purchase price.

Lawyer's fees are approximately 2%.

Estate agent's fees between 2.5%-3%

There is no capital gains tax applied to purchase by overseas property investors.


Visitors of all nationalities require a passport valid for the period of intended stay to enter the Cape Verde Islands.

Nationals of USA, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland also require a visa unless travelling in an organised tourist group and holding a "Certificado Colectivo de Identidade et Viagem". Individual travellers should obtain a visa prior to travel unless there is no diplomatic representation of Cape Verde in their country, in which case a visa may be obtained at the airport on arrival.

All other nationals must check their entry requirements with the Consulate/Embassy in their home country to the requirements for entry, and all travellers are advised to check prior to travel as passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice.

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