Work and Travel in Cape Verde

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The Cape Verde islands are located far off the west coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s an extremely liberal and advanced country, when compared to the rest of Africa.

The majority of travellers who travel in Cape Verde stay in luxury resorts and spend most of their time lounging on beaches. They don’t really make contact with the locals and they understand little about the country.

You can go further through work and travel in Cape Verde. Find out what this country really has to offer with our travel guide to Cape Verde.

1. Research Humpback Whales in Cape Verde

Perhaps one of the most spectacular sights you’ll see as you travel in Cape Verde are the humpback whales. They pass the islands every single year for a few months and scientists want your help in sighting them and recording acoustic data.

Combine a classic tourist excursion with work and travel in Cape Verde by joining one of these volunteer programmes. The majority of them run from Boa Vista.

2. Protect Sea Turtles in Cape Verde

A real drive has been made across the whole of West Africa to protect the beaches for when the various species of turtle come to nest. There’s also a campaign to prevent poachers from stringing nets near the beaches and capturing these endangered animals.

Cape Verde also receives its share of sea turtles. Things changed after 1,000 female turtles were murdered in 2007.

You don’t need to have any qualifications to monitor the beaches and provide recordings for science. Many of these foundations also combine these volunteer opportunities in Cape Verde with eco-tourism projects.

3. Community Education in Cape Verde

Believe it or not, there are a lot of poor people in this country. Community education is lacking and many charities have stepped in to fill the gap. You could find a job teaching English in Cape Verde. The local languages are Portuguese, Barlavento Kriolu, and Sotavento Kriolu.

As long as you’re a native English speaker you should have no problems finding a job here. These roles will also take you away from the big tourist resorts and introduce you to a side of the country most tourists never experience.


You have a simple visa policy to contend with if you want to work in Cape Verde. The only visa-free countries are those in West Africa, as well as Mozambique and Angola. Everyone else has to get a visa, which as of this writing costs around 40 Euros.

There are two ways to get this visa. You can either go to a Cape Verde embassy in your country or get the visa-on-arrival at one of the country’s international airports.

Some anecdotes have stipulated that the authorities have stopped issuing Cape Verde visas upon arrival. Others have said that certain airlines have refused to allow passengers to board if they didn’t already obtain the visa in advance of their travel in Cape Verde.

We recommend that you obtain the visa from an embassy first. This is to avoid any hassle later with airlines or any sudden rule changes at immigration. Flights aren’t cheap and you don’t want to miss out because of the unique brand of African bureaucracy.

On a side note, the latest news indicates citizens of countries like the US and the European Union (EU) will continue to be afforded short-stay visa exemptions.



Spring is pleasant in the country as it falls during one of the country’s two seasons. This one is known as the time of the winds and lasts from October until the middle of July.

Arriving at the start of spring is one of the best times to arrive in the country. We recommend getting out of the tourist resorts and into the local areas. Educational projects and community engagement initiatives are your best volunteer opportunities in Cape Verde throughout spring.


The summer season is an exciting time because this is when the variety of loggerhead turtles arrive on the islands. Most tour operators joke that at least one turtle in summer is guaranteed.

Join one of the conservation programmes and get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. You’ll be able to enjoy them and help protect them at the same time.

Bear in mind that this is the rainy season, though. Rains can be intense for certain hours of the day, so don’t expect paradise weather.


The autumn season sees the continuation of the rains until October. We recommend referring back to the ‘Summer’ section as the same volunteer opportunities in Cape Verde are still available.

For the second half of autumn, you might want to consider work and travel in Cape Verde if you have a desire to work in tourism and hospitality.

The high season is about to begin and many of the resorts require short-term help to cope with the flood of tourists coming in from all over the world.


The only real options for work in Cape Verde in winter are connected to the tourism trade. We recommend that if you intend on coming to the country in winter you apply for a position a few months in advance.

The majority of hotels and resorts want to choose their volunteers well in advance of the start of the tourist season. If you try to apply during winter the chances are you’re already too late.

But if you want to do something different you can also refer back to the ‘Spring’ section as these programmes continue to operate through the end of the year.


Do you want to travel in Cape Verde? Volunteering will give you more memories than an all-inclusive resort will. There are so many opportunities for you to grow and develop in a country that many visitors refer to as paradise on Earth.

This is a highly mixed nation that receives tens of thousands of foreigners every year. You’re not going to experience any hostility and most locals won’t even take a second look at you on the street.

So do you think work and travel in Cape Verde is right for you?

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