Cape Verde is visited mostly by Europeans and local shop keepers have found discovered that some people collect fridge magnets. In fact, they realise that they can charge amazingly high prices for them. They will routinely ask for 5-6 Euros for a piece of plastic made in China. In fact, at these prices, you would think they would remove the China stickers form the backs. If you want one be prepared to haggle and walk out of the shop. Few follow and lower the price, but a few will.
This is a Cape Verde specialty. You may even find yourself getting the 2 GIFTS SCAM. While you are out shopping a man will come up to you and start by asking what country you are from or ask if this is your first visit to Africa. After asking you a few questions about yourself the man will offer you a gift as you are a visitor. This is usually a cheap looking necklace (photo 1). Even if you try and politely refuse, you will still probably end up with this gift. Now the scam begins. He now tells you he made the gift himself and he has a shop. You have to come and see the shop as he has given you a free gift! This shop will be far away. This is how he gets people to come to the shop. Otherwise you would not see it. Once there you will see some clearly massed produced souvenirs that he will still tell you he made by hand himself. I have been told this by a 2 gift scammer who had a small stall next to 2 other stalls selling many duplicate mass-produced items.
The 2 gift scammers give you a second gift at the shop and tell you they don’t know the value and that it is meaningless to them. A few minutes later it is actually worth $40-50 and they would like a donation. The donation is for him to buy his family food to eat. The day is usually descried as a local holiday and he will tell you there will be a feast and dancing with drums. You are not invited; he just needs a huge donation for you to pay for it. He needs it right now as well.
DO NOT ACCEPT THE GIFT! Try very hard not to. Tell them you belong to a little know religious sect that does not allow gifts. Also be prepared to tell them your cash is in the hotel for security reasons. This always gets you out of the situation and/or shop. How can you give them any money if you do not have it? If you end up back in the hotel with the gift – keep it. They will ask when you will be back. Just give them a time at the end of the next day and don’t go back. Photo number 2 is gift number 2. I still have it of course.
You could, if you can hold your nerve, tell them you won’t accept the gift but will look at the shop. They may actually have something you want and will negotiate. They use the free gifts because their stalls are slightly out of the way from the busiest shopping areas. Again, you have no money unless you want to buy something. The free gift is worth $1. Gift number 2, if you get one, is worth $5 maximum.
The best way to visit the several islands of Cape Verde is to go by plane. Unluckly the flights are often delayed or cancelled, so it's hard to organize a day trip to another island. You can go with the tours organized by the resorts, but they are a little expensive.
According to local people running some restaurants or hotel, local people are not so keen on saving the environment. It's reported that in Boavista they do not have any official garbage collection point ... in the pic u can see the results !
Some areas are fully crowded with empty beer bottles & some other kind of garbage.
Unique Suggestions: Be careful not to walk without shoes in these area cause a lot of broken bottles are there and you can really get damages !
Fun Alternatives: Leave area close to Sal Rei; walking 20 minutes is usually enough to find desert & wonderful beaches.
View from the beach mentioned in Accomodatrion tip ... I think this is the only "organized" (umbrella, snack bar ...)beach in Boavista.
They definitely learnt soon how to steal some money: 10 Euros !!!! a day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy the comfort :-)
Fun Alternatives: Go to the Accomodation tip !!!
Just like in any other country, you might fall into many traps only because you cannot say a word of the local language. But I believe that all VT friends and people browsing VT pages are enlightened enough to learn at least the very basics. Hope I can help you with crioulo. When you try to use it in real action, do not forget that the slang is slightly different on each of the islands.
Ilha Do Sal, Caixa Postal 33, Santa Maria, 4111, Cape Verde
Good for: Solo
Lote HO 1, Urb. Morrinho de Baguincho, Praia de Salines, , Cape Verde
Good for: Business
Avenida 4 de Julho, Sal Rei, 74000, Cape Verde