Practical Sal

For a thorough knowledge of the island, here is some essential information on salense life, useful addresses and numbers, etc.


The local currency the Cape Verdean Escudos (CVE) has a fixed exchange rate with the Euro. 1 Euro is equivalent to 110.265 CVE.

Euros are widely accepted on the Island of Sal however on the street the exchange rate will be 1 Euro to 100 CVE. The only way to get the full exchange rate is to change your Euros in to CVE at the Bank. The bank charges a standard rate of around 5 Euro or 550 CVE and will exchange Euros and US Dollars. Banks are open from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 15:00 and are situated at most airports and commercial centres.

It’s therefore a good idea to take Euros in cash and also a Visa debit or credit card for ATM use please check with your bank to see associated charges for using your card abroad.

Visa is certainly more widely used than Mastercard but I would not recommend using credit cards to pay for goods or services, as there is normally an additional charge of 3% to 5%.


The dialling code for Cape Verde 00238 and there are two main providers CV Telecom the national company and Unitel T+

It’s very important to check with you contract provider in your home country to see if they have a rooming agreement with either CV Telecom or T+ and of course the associated costs involved. There also may be a limited coverage if you are visiting some rural areas but coverage in the main tourist and commercial centres is normally fine.

If your mobile is unblocked than you can simply purchase a Sim card for only 200 Escudos, 2 Euro and buy a pay as you go voucher, which come in various amounts from CV Telecom, local convenience stores and Kiosks.

The cheapest method to call home is to use an Internet based service such as Whatsapp, Skype, these services are available at Internet points throughout the main commercial and tourist centres.

There are several public places where the internet is free of charge, usually in the main squares of cities or villages.


220-240 volts euro adaptor, 2 pin european


One of the great benefits of traveling to Cape Verde from Europe is the lack of jet lag.

Cape Verde is GMT – 1 in the winter and GMT – 2 in the summer. There is no daylight saving.

The shops will tend to open between 09:30 and 13:00 and then Siesta in the afternoon until reopening at 15:00 until 19:00

Post Offices

There are post offices throughout the main commercial centres and an International stamp will cost you around 0.70 cents (70 CVE) Post cards will take between 10 to 15 days to arrive at their destination. Post office opening times are 09 :00 to 12:30 and 15:30 to 17:00


The banks open at 08:00 and close at 15.00 Monday to Friday. The majority of banks operate a ticket queuing system.


There is no set percentage rate for tipping and it’s certainly not expected but if you feel that you have received good service and want to show your appreciation, then a tip of a few Euros (200 CVE) will be sufficient.


There are hospitals in major cities but these are not comparable to Europe.Its therefore essential to have medical insurance when you visit Cape Verde and your policy should include evacuation by air ambulance most likely to Santiago Island or Portugal for extreme emergencies.

Private medical clinics, with European practitioners and European standard facilities have certainly improved the standard of care. The major hotel chains will have a doctor on call.

There is a hospital in the city of Espargos, but this is not comparable to those in Europe.

We would recommend carrying a small all-purpose First Aid Kit containing any personal medication you might need. There are pharmacies available in the majority of urban centres, which cater for most medicines.

Drinking water

The tap water comes from the process of desalination and is therefore not suitable for drinking. Bottled water suitable for drinking is widely available from local food stores.


The vast majority of people will have an event free holiday but like everywhere in the world there are incidences of crime. In the main tourist areas crime is low but use your commonsense avoid poorly illuminated areas, and use taxis if you’re are out late at night. Pack your valuables away in a safe and just take out the cash you need for the evening.

If your going in to isolated areas it makes sense to go in pairs or an organised group, and bring an essential day pack, with water, sun cream, money, mobile.

In line with the rest of the world, crime is higher in major urban areas, so if you are visiting take normal precautions in line with when you visit any other European city.

At the Beach

The stunning beaches and the beautiful turquoise waters of Cape Verde are one of the main attractions however wherever your participating in water sports or swimming, please be careful in regards to currents, the condition of the sea changes on a daily basis, one day it’s as flat as a lake the next its rough, with strong waves and currents. There are now lifeguards on the main beach in Santa Maria, Sal but seek local advice when swimming in deserted areas.

Hospital and Health Centers

Sal Regional Hospital

Bairro Novo – Espargos City
Phone: (+238) 241 11 30
Fax (+238) 241 11 62

Sal Health Center

Rua Albertino Fortes – Espargos City
Phone: (+238)241 12 56
e-mail: [email protected]

Santa Maria Health Center

Phone: (+238) 242 11 30



Zona Centro – Espargos City, Lote 09
Phone: +238 241 11 09;
Fax: +238 241 40 04
E-mail: [email protected]

Santa Maria

Zona Centro – Espargos City

Phone: +238 242 13 82

Ivete Santos

Rua 03 de agosto – Espargos City
Phone: +238 241 14 17
Fax : +238 241 42 29
E-mail: [email protected]

Civil Protection & Fire Department

Sal Emergency Centre and Civil Protection

Espargos City

Phone: (238) 241 25 00

Free Toll: 800 11 12

National Civil Protection Service

Sal Island Fire Department

Espargos City

Phone / Fax: (238) 241 11 31

National Police

Sal Regional Command

Morro Curral – Espargos City

Tel. : (238) 241 15 93

PBX: (238) 241 90 50 /53/54

Sal Border Services

Aeroporto Int. Amílcar Cabral – Espargos City

Tel.: (238) 241 12 21

Fax: 241 33 64

Emergency number


Website –

Police Station

Espargos Police Station

Morro Curral – Espargos  City

Tel.: (238) 241 11 32

Santa Maria Police Station

Travessa de Fábrica – Santa Maria Village

Tel.: (238) 242 11 32

Fax: (238) 242 18 88

Palmeira Police Station


Tel.: (238) 241 43 07