There is little doubt that Cape Verde is a great place to meet women. If you like them black or mullato Cape Verdean women are absolutely beautiful. In many ways Cape Verde reminds me of Dominican Republic. It’s just richer (like much richer) as to sightseeing, activities and cultural diversity and much more innocent attitude-wise. Although one must say that the attitude (and even looks) change a bit (and price more than a bit) from island to island.
There is no such thing as bad attitude on the islands. Not with the ladies, at least not in my experience. After all, the country’s motto is: “no stress” and it fits perfectly. Because if you manage to get stressed out on Cape Verde there is no hope for you.
Cape Verde is part of Africa. Or is it? Geographically it’s in Africa of course but besides people being black and women carrying all kinds of stuff on their heads there truly isn’t that much of Africa with Cape Verde. Cape Verdeans are descendants of slaves and that is something that you don’t find in Africa but find plenty in Americas, especially in Caribbean. Cape Verdeans know little about their roots and there is no ethnic strife in the country. Why? Because there are no ethnicities. They are all Cape Verdeans. There is no ethnic divide, there is no racial divide, the standard of living by African standards is very high and quality of life in my personal opinion is even higher. If you compare Cape Verde with Caribbean nations it would stand out too. Climate and cultural diversity is much richer than anything you’d find in the Caribbean and as for political stability it would probably make the world’s top 10.
Is Cape Verde safe? By African standards it’s very safe. By Caribbean too. It doesn’t mean that nothing can happen to you. Make no mistake, compared to most locals you’re one rich gringo. Just the sheer fact that you were able to get from where you came from to Cape Verde makes you that. There are places in Praia and Mindelo that you may want to avoid, or at least where you may want to avoid to find yourself alone. Like walking up and down Ave. Barbosa and other seaside streets day or night. Most of the time you’d be ok but I have met a guy who managed to get himself jumped during the day by walking alone along Liberdade de Patria loaded up with all of his tourist gear. He was cheerfully telling us afterwards how he also got robbed in Rio and somewhere in South East Asia too and so on. If you see somebody chasing you and you know you won’t be able to get away, the first thing that you do is you turn around and face them, intently, let them know that you “made them”. Put you hand in the pocket and make it appear as though you have something there. The potential offender doesn’t know whether you do or don’t. Make him feel that you just may end up being too much hustle to deal with, make him/them decide to go and try to find himself another gringo to rob.
There are relatively few true professional commercial ladies on the islands. True, there are plenty of the hardcore Nigerian (Ghanean, Guinean) prostitutes on Sal, Boa Vista & St. Vincent, who’d quickly spell out for you their hourly rates. But they truly are the afterthoughts. True gems one would find among the islanders themselves because the islands are full of something one could clearly define as “semi-pros.”
A “semi-pro” is a woman who does something else (or nothing much) but wouldn’t mind making some money on the side by hooking up with you for certain period of time (or maybe just by giving you a neighbourly, friendly blow job.) That period of time by the way I’m not calculating in hours but rather in days. She is not actively seeking clients but wouldn’t mind being your temporary girlfriend while you’re there. Or she can spend an hour with you and if at the end of the hour she feels that you’d want her to go – she’d leave. But if not, she’ll take care of you in more ways than one. You may even end up meeting her family. But in the end, make no mistake about it she’d expect to be paid for her service.
She would also prefer that you dance the dance that these (mostly) wonderful girls that you meet here would like you to dance. They really resent when you consider them whores (GDP, i.e. Garotas de programas). You would not be paying for her having sex with you but rather you’d be leaving her some money to help out her family, or so she could buy herself some new clothes and remain as beautiful as she is now, or something similar, or just inconspicuously leave the money somewhere where she would sure to find it or you’d be leaving it to the maid in your hotel and making your darling very unhappy.
With that remember that many of those semi-pros are very shy and not overly skilled. In Praia my taxi driver sent me a single mother of about 30yo that would hardly talk and felt obviously uncomfortable with being in a P4P situation. I paid her and told her to go after 30 minutes.
Make no mistake
Here I’d like to take a side trip and address all the self-centered assholes that believe that she was staying with them because she found them to be so freaking special and that you have so much in common with her. Unless she comes from an outright wealthy family, she was staying with you because she would like to make extra money and there are no ends and buts about it. So at the end of your stay with her it should be at least 30€ per day. And don’t be afraid to “insult her” with your donation. You won’t. You will absolutely devastate her however and would make her feel used and useless if you play ignorant and use the excuse of you two being together because you felt special of each other and don’t leave her anything. If you do that then you’re self-centered piece of shit and there is no other way to describe you.
Some practical things:
I recommend you to get a visa before arriving on Cape Verde but you can also purchase it at the airport upon arrival for 25€. If you choose later make sure that you sit closer to the plane’s exit so you’d be at the front of the line because there’d be a lot of people on your plane trying to do the same thing. It could take hours.
For latest visa info and prices for Cape Verde click here .
Many European airlines fly to various islands of Cape Verde and there are many direct flights to and from various places in West Africa.
There is however only one or two weekly flights connecting Cape Verde to North America. TACV, Cape Verdean airline flies between Providence, RI and Praia and that’s that. Many choose to fly TAP to Lisbon and change planes there.
Cape Verde consists of 9 islands, 6 of which I visited. All islands are connected by sea and 7 out of 9 by air. Both modes of transportation are weather dependent and susceptible to cancellations but ferries also have tendency to break down. I heard of both planes and ferries cancelling flights but if plane is a no go it may set you back a day. I prefer air but make reservations in advance. I recommend buying the more expensive tickets that you can change. They are not that much more expensive.
Among islands not serviced by planes, the island of Santo Antão is serviced by 2 or maybe even 3 ferries so if one can’t go there is always another one to bail you out. The island of Brava on the other hand is only serviced by one ferry and I met a group that got stuck on Brava for 4 or 5 days so keep that in mind. There are always private boats, mostly fisherman to get you out of such situations but I suspect they would cost you especially if they know that you’re stuck and if you take one prepare for the adventure.
On the island:
All islands have some sort of public transportation, the most prevalent of which are aluger, cheap private vans or pick trucks that go predetermined routes usually connecting cities, towns or just various parts of the island. Some islands have taxis some don’t. Those that don’t you can always hire an aluger privately, as a taxi. Larger cities usually have buses.
There are two local phone companies if you want to get a local SIM card: CVMovil and T+. CVMovil is larger but it’s six of one, half-a-dozen of the other. Don’t buy phone cards from kids or shops especially to initialize your service. Go to phone company store and set everything up there.
I also bought a hot spot device, which I found handy because not all hotels on Cape Verde offer WiFi but with hotspot device you have to set up a separate account. If you have a phone that can serve as hotspot you don’t need to do that, as long you know how to turn your phone’s hotspot on and off. Buy a lot of minutes though, I’d say start with 20000E because those minutes run fast.
There are some amazing places to stay on every island but don’t plan on anything over 3 stars outside of major cities like Praia and Mindelo or resort islands like Sal and Boa Vista.
Oh yea, one very important tip! If a hotel offers you a room with a “garden view” know that it means either a room with no outside windows or with no windows at all!
Typical Cape Verdean fare usually consists of a piece of (very fresh, tasty and juicy) meat/chicken/fish with rice and French fries, day in day out, and in some smaller towns that would be your only choices. If you get a girlfriend don’t expect her to be able to cook anything else.
Just like Japan Cape Verde is an islands country and that means fish is cheaper, meat is pricier. A tip and a very very valuable one for those who are not heavily into frozen French fries, instead of French fries ask for vegetables called legumes. Those vegetables would come either fried or boiled (usually the later) and would include potatoes. If you travel around a bit, believe me, you’d appreciate that tip very very very (like really very) much.
You get more food variety in larger towns. Actually I really liked Cape Verdean pizza.
Cape Verdeans drink grog, in local grogue. Grogue is made predominantly on the islands of Santiago and Santo Antão. Every town, no matter how small has a distillery. A town may not have food but it will have a distillery. Period. Take a trip back in time ask to see one. Taste it. Don’t expect Grey Goose quality.
There is also a honey drink made from grogue called ponche. Buy a good ponche if you don’t want to risk headache. The rule of thumb the more it costs the better it is. Even the most expensive grogue/ponche won’t break your bank. There is also “famous” Fogo wine. More on that when I talk about Fogo.
Local custom is to round it up to the nearest whole number. But… you’d be surprised how many foreigners don’t check on tipping customs and continue to tip as though they were tipping at home. Local are marginally aware of that and naturally appreciate it when you tip more. At that they get especially excited when they serve Americans because apparently Americans customarily tip more than Europeans.
English is sparsely spoken but in larger or more touristy towns predictably more so. If you find yourself an English-speaking chick she should and probably will charge you more.
Knowing Portuguese would no doubt serve you well. But don’t think for a second that if you know Portuguese you’d always know what they are talking about. The main language on Cape Verde is creole, a bastardized version of Portuguese, which is bastardized enough to keep you completely out of the loop. If they start talking creole a Portuguese speaker would understand no more then 20% of what they’re saying, i.e. nothing. Some Cape Verdeans speak creole only but thank God there are very few of them.
Common way of greeting each other is “ta dread?” That’s right: “Do you feel dread?” A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Just kidding.It means something like “All’s well, eh?”
Age of consent:
There are several ways to meet commercial or “as though non-commercial” women on Cape Verde.
1. Badoo & Tinder:
Make yourself a profile on Badoo and Tinder. Once you’re on Cape Verde it won’t take long before some cutie would contact you. It’s usually 50€/session in Praia. Session usually means an overnight session but it still largely depends on whether either or both of you want to spend more time just short time with one another. If you see her waffling ask her to be your “girlfriend guide” for whatever you have in mind.
For example soon after arriving to Praia I was contacted by profile Cacau Monteiro. We chatted a bit, she had good English, and soon she offered to come and spend the night with me for 50€ and with a friend for a 100€. Thinking that I was “in Africa” I decided to bargain and soon conversation turned sour and we ended up going nowhere. Looking back I do have some regrets of at least not meeting her. She was English-speaking, and a certain pro, which at times I prefer. On the other hand it could’ve been a set up too, especially with her quickly going from 50€ for one to 100€ for two.
2. Taxi (Van) driver/Guide.
This is my preferred way of meeting the pro or semi-pro women.
I’m a relatively experienced traveller. So often when I arrive to new place I try to strike a relationship with one particular Taxi Driver. Taxi Drivers know their way about and what’s where and why and not only geographically. They can inform you of what to do and most importantly on what not to do, where to get what, and in places where availability of P4P scene is not outwardly apparent they’d usually have an idea about the ladies who are open to suggestions. Also he often could act as a buffer, a conduit of sorts in hooking you up, let’s say with a waitress, many of whom are available for extra-curricular activities but would not necessarily let you know about it unless eased into the situation by a “nice local guy” whose role your taxi driver would often play. Of course, if it’s a right taxi driver.
I first try to size up a taxi driver by asking him about girl availability in general on the way from the airport. If he says that there are no girls in town or I begin to feel that my question makes him uncomfortable then he’s not my type of taxi driver and next time I get another taxi. If he’s open to suggestions and I feel he’s “my type of guy” who not only understands my predicament but has ideas of how to rectify it, he would not only be getting all of this gringo’s business for the duration of my stay, he’d be getting a lot of this gringo’s gringo friends’ business too. And this gringo’s gringo friends’ come from all over the world.
3. Male hotel staff.
If you don’t have a friendly taxi driver ask male hotel employee to help you out with girls. Even if they don’t know anybody, they’d call around to see if they can get someone for you. A guy in the hotel in Praia got me a good looking and friendly 22 year old. Of that later.
It’s definitely there but it’s for owls only. You have to find out what time “the show” begins because at some places girls begin to file in at 1am at others not before 2am. Before 1am discos/clubs are almost empty.
There are waitresses that are open to spending time with you. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between those who would and those who wouldn’t though. That’s why it’s better to have some local easing you in. Your (trusted) taxi driver would quickly figure out which waitress is capable of what in that regard. There are regular restaurants where almost everybody are open to suggestions unless (and this is a biggy in Cape Verde) in their and their friends’ opinions you’re acting rude. So gotta be nice and well mannered and all that stuff.
Among the cities and towns I visited, Mindelo and Santa Maria have relatively predictable street action. I also heard something about Praia but never came across any street action there. I’ll talk about it later. But I thought that I also caught a glimpse of something in Porto Novo and even, likely, no matter how unlikely it may sound in Juncalinho. Read on.
To be Continued…