Binter CV has now got its website working and it is possible to book flights between São Vicente, Praia and Sal (www.binter.cv). These new services start tomorrow. They appear to be flying these routes everyday and there are special promotional fares on offer at present, with Praia-São Vicente and Sal-Praia for as little as CVE 4,300 (40 Euros) one way, depending upon the day and time. There is one direct flight a day on both routes at present. There are also flights between Sal and São Vicente, but not every day. The checked in luggage allowance is 20kg for the domestic flights; however the maximum size of hand luggage is a little less than most other airlines at 22 x 33 x 44cm.
The Cape Verde government has identified that €750m is needed to repair the damage caused to roads, water supplies, power supplies, houses and farms on Santo Antão. The island suffered from unusually heavy rains between 12 and 20 September, resulting in major damage to infrastructure including washing away whole sections of roads.
The new Casino Royal on Sal Island is due to open in November. This will be the first casino in Cape Verde and will provide significant employment for local people, with 100 new employment opportunities; the creation of this first casino has required local people to be trained as croupiers. The casino, part of the new Hilton Hotel in Santa Maria, will contain over 100 gaming machines and 11 gaming tables.
Cape Verde has won its first ever medal in the Paralympic Games. Gracelino Tavares Barbosa won a bronze medal in the 400m T20 race in Rio de Janeiro. Gracelino, 31, was delighted to have been the first Cape Verdean to win a Paralympic medal. First place went to a Brazilian and second place to a Venezuelan. He is now hopeful that his success will encourage other people with a disability, not only in Cape Verde but also in the rest of Africa, to take up a sport. The President of Cape Verde, Jorge Carlos Fonseca, telephoned the athlete to congratulate him.
In the first half of 2016 the numbers of visitors to the archipelago increased by some 15.9% according to Cape Verde government statistics. This means that there were over 320,000 visits in six months and that represented over 2 million nights spent in Cape Verde. UK visitors represented the largest proportion of visitors at almost 23%, with Portugal, Germany and France following behind. Sal island received the greatest number of visitors.
A new travel magazine, ‘Diariesof’ cataloging a couple’s motorbike trip to South America and highlighting places and people encountered along the way, has featured Cape Verde in its fourth edition. Jorge and Anabele describe Cape Verde as an ideal destination for 2016 and 2017, and not providing just one destination, but 10. They highlighted 10 features of the archipelago including the golden sands and turquoise waters of Santa Maria beach on Sal; the Paúl Valley on Santo Antão; and whelks on Santiago. It urges people to discover the beauty of Cape Verde. www.diariesof.lu
Cape Verde has been listed among 11 countries considered safe for travellers by the Mailonline. These destinations, which include Uruguay, the British Antarctic Territory and Moldova, are countries that are considered to have a low risk of terrorism. Popular destinations such as France and Spain are now ranked as dangerous as Libya and Somalia. In Cape Verde there are 10 islands to choose and from apart from island hopping, soaking up the sun in an African country, influenced by Portuguese cuisine and enjoying some of the several carnivals are just some of the options.
The ‘Ethical Traveler’, a project of the Earth Island Institute, prepares a list of 10 of the countries within the Developing World that are the most ethical travel destinations. Cape Verde is clear leader in this quest. The island state is currently aiming to acquire half of its energy requirements from renewable sources; it has established programmes to protect turtles, which are hunted and also vulnerable to pollution. Cape Verde is also known for gender equality with women holding positions of authority in both the public and the private sector. LGBT rights are also embraced and it is one of the very few African countries to hold a Gay Pride week. All of this is something that this small country should be proud of.