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When you first touchdown in Sal, you will most likely be told that this is Africa and it is dangerous, that you should remain in your hotel and NOT venture out into big bad Santa Maria. The largest danger to you is to listen to this advice. In fact the number one threat in Sal is NOT leaving your apartment. 


Below are a list of the largest dangers you will be subjected to if you leave your apartment.


  • You may end up buying an African artefact from an African man or woman. They mean no harm but may prove annoying, like traffic and airport customs. You can either put your foot down and tell them NO or you can play the negotiating game and see how well you do. 


  • You may end up in a local bar or café and meet some interesting and funny people then wander back to your apartment at some odd hour, extremely happy and amused by the experience. While out, you will most likely hear a live band that will introduce you to some local tunes. Santa Maria is full of live music after 9 pm. 


  • You may be lured into buying a local resident a local beer, and having an interesting chat about the differences in your lives. Cape Verdeans are a friendly easy going people.


  • You may go out for dinner and end up in a local bar-disco dancing wildly in minimum clothing (no boots, no jacket, no winter gloves) and then walking home, or maybe even going to someone else’s home???


  • Even worse you may try a new activity like yoga, kitesurfing, windsurfing, animal petting, quad biking, star gazing, or a sail boat trip all of which are in danger of giving you a rush of endorphins or adrenaline and making you really happy.


These activities are mostly run by people who are committed to the development of the island they live on. They hire local Cape Verdeans or are owned by Cape Verdeans, and they know the island. Yes some of these businesses may not meet European standards, but that is normal, this is part of Africa and in Africa, businesses do as in Africa.


  • In my opinion the largest and most dangerous threat to your well-being is that you will LOVE it here and will keep returning every year like so many people I have come to know.


So please when you get here, go the Dangerous route and give the country, its people, and its expats a chance to WOW you. 



  • It is better to buy things in escudos in Santa Maria than in euros, as most places do a 1:1 exchange rate so you lose out if you pay in euros and get change in escudos.

  • People do get funny tummies here, even if they never venture out, so be careful of ice and foods that are not cooked. We recommend only drinking bottled water or water that has been boiled. We also recommend washing fresh fruits and vegetables in bottled water or water that has been boiled.

  • Watch out red skin, we are close to the equator and our sun is strong like our local grog. The wind is also very deceptive, so don’t believe the breeze and watch your skin. Loads of people get burnt on their first days and then spend the rest of the holiday hurting. Bring a high SPF sunscreen with you, and apply it liberally and often when you are here.

  • There are NO sharks that will eat you, well not in the ocean anyway.

  • Average cost of a taxi one way within town is 2 euros, to the Riu 4 euros, to Melia 3-4 euros, to Punta Preta 4 euros, to Kite Beach 5 euros, to the airport 12-15 euros.

  • Lastly PLEASE try not to use your mobile phone, but instead actively engage in conversation and enjoy your amazing surroundings!

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