Driving In Cape Verde

Driving in Cape Verde is a wonderful adventure but, like all adventures, some caution is needed. The information below serves as a general guide.


There is an extensive road system on Cape Verde, 2,250km in all, but only a small part of this is paved. Many of the roads are narrow, winding and cobbled making them wonderful to explore. Often houses are close to the road with children and livestock running about – picturesque to look at, but drivers must be cautious, especially during the rainy season when the cobbles become slippery.

In line with Cape Verde’s improvements to the island’s infrastructure, plans are underway to resurface many of the roads and construction of a new asphalt north-south road on Santiago Island is nearing completion (May 2006). This will go a long way to improve communications throughout the islands and boost tourism prospects.

In Cape Verde, traffic moves on the right side of the road and at intersections the vehicle on the right has right of way.

Seatbelts must be worn at all times and children under the age of twelve must sit in the back.

Car Hire

Car hire is readily available on the Santiago Island, Fogo Island, Sao Vicente Island and Sal Island. Because of the state of the roads it’s advisable to hire a four-wheel drive.

An international driver’s licence is needed and third-party insurance is required. The insurance disk must be clearly displayed on the vehicle’s windscreen.

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