Driving in Cape Verde

Driving in Cape Verde is reasonably straight forward and it's a great idea to hire a car to give yourself the added flexibility and convenience to explore the Islands at you own speed.

There has been a considerable expansion of the road network in Cape Verde with many new asphalt roads being constructed however there are still many cobbled roads and dirt tracks and roads under repair. I would therefore suggest hiring a 4x4 vehicle.

Driving is on the right hand side and you will need to have a valid driving license and must carry all your documentation including insurance and passport. It would also be useful to obtain the International Driving License but to be honest, I have never been asked to show this document. All drivers must be 18 years of age and are supposed to by law have 3rd party insurance and seat belts must be worn. Children under 12 must sit in the back.

The speed limits are 80 Kmph on the highways and 30 Kmph in urban areas but it's especially a good idea to reduce your speed especially around the towns, as tourists and children will continually walk in the street or run across the road, I would therefore drive slowly and sound your horn to anticipate potential danger, especially as the locals and taxi don't like to use their indicators.

The locals don't always wear their seat belts but don't get in to bad habits because the Police may fine you, also make sure you park in the direction of the traffic and not on speed bumps If you do get fined you must ask for clarification and pay the fine only at the central police station.

The police in Santa Maria, Sal are now making drivers park on the right hand side of the road in the direction of traffic unfortunately there are no signs which indicate this new change.

Petrol Stations are located normally at the entrance of towns and villages, so look out for Enacol and Shell. The price of petrol is around 136.00 CVE per Litre or 0.95.00 per Litre for Diesel and the attendant will fill you up.