Music and Dancing
Entertainment in Cape Verde is varied and also varies from island to island. Music runs through the veins of the Cape Verdeans and so much of the entertainment in Cape Verde involves music and dance. Visitors to Cape Verde will find everything from gentle, live music to lively nightclubs. The sounds of Africa blend with Latin and European themes. Many bars arrange live music, if not every evening, then very often once or twice a week. The Cape Verdean people like to have fun and so dancing often accompanies the music. In many places it is quite acceptable for visitors to join in; in fact it’s expected – the order of the day is fun! It is not uncommon for entertainment to start fairly late in the evening and around the Christmas and New Year period there tend to be more events to enjoy.
Morna is the music of Cape Verde, being similar to Portuguese Fado it is atmospheric. You will find performances of Morna in many bars in on all the islands; however, Mindelo is likely to offer the most choice.
However, entertainment in Cape Verde can be passive or active:
Festivals are common in Cape Verde – colourful, lively occasions when local people let their hair down. Festivals are dotted throughout the year, but the biggest is in Sao Vicente in February when they let rip Rio style. A Gay Pride event takes place in Mindelo (São Vicente) in June. Quiet restful holidays, even within the larger towns referred to above, are possible. If entertainment is not something you are looking for, then many of the smaller islands, such as Maio, Fogo or Brava might suit you. On these islands you will find occasional music events in local bars, but it is gentle and relaxing. Given the warm climate open air events are quite common.
But entertainment in Cape Verde is not just an evening pastime:
Walking, hiking and trekking are popular activities on some islands. On Fogo, Santo Antão, São Nicolau and Santiago there are mountains and ravines, as well as coastal paths and more challenging hiking. Some of the other islands such as Maio and Sal provide gentler walking.
Quad biking is also available on some islands, but they are banned from parts of the sand dunes. This ban is in order to protect the turtles and their nests. Hiring a quad bike for half a day or a full day can be an excellent and fun way to see the island. You can do so under your own steam, or with a guide. Don’t wear good clothes because you will probably get rather dusty!
Although not a typical destination for golf, there is a golf course on São Vicente, but if tends to be rather dry because of the lack of rainfall.
Being an island state, water sports are inevitably a significant feature:
Great fun can also be had away from the beach. Tours of the island, hiring quad bikes, walking, hiking (alone or with a guide) or even golf. However, Cape Verde is not a typical destination for golfing holidays, given the lack of rainfall and the cost of water, the courses that there are, are rather dry. All islands are suitable for walking and hiking, but some are more challenging than others.
During the day you can relax on beautiful beaches, or around a pool or indulge in the large variety of available water sports such as kite surfing.
Water sports are available on all of the islands. They include activities such as swimming, snorkelling, surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, jet skiing, fishing, diving and sailing. The diving in Cape Verde is considered to be some of the best in the world. There are wrecks off the islands and the waters are teeming with marine life. Species such as turtles, dolphins, whales and a variety of fish are found. Kite surfing has become a major activity in Cape Verde. On the east of the island of Sal island Kite Beach providing excellent conditions for this popular sport.
Entertainment in Cape Verde has something for everyone.