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Flying is easily the smartest way to get around Cape Verde. Sure, air services are costlier – though only around £60 on average – than those by boat, but they’re also quicker (20-50 minutes), more trustworthy and much less hassle.
Of all the islands, only Santo Antão and Brava lack functioning airports, although Fogo’s terminal can suddenly close if its volcano throws a strop. Cape Verde’s domestic carrier TACV operates all internal connections, and the most regular routes – between Sal, Boa Vista, Santiago and São Vicente – run several times a day.
All can sell out, though, so it’s best to book in advance. Tickets are obtainable from TACV's UK agent, Cape Verde Travel.
Most of Cape Verde’s inter-island ferries are tardy and it’s not unknown to for the ferries themselves to be rickety cargo boats in questionable condition. Chuck the stormy Atlantic weather into the mix, and you’re probably better off mostly avoiding ferries when it comes to getting around Cape Verde.
Happily, the short routes from São Vicente to Santo Antão (three times a day) and Fogo to Brava (once a day) – ones where there’s no air alternative – are the exception. Relatively punctual and comfortable, both take an hour and cost circa 500 escudos (£4) per crossing.
The Toyota HiAce (often called ‘yasi’) minivans or open trucks with rear seating (Toyota Hiluxes), that serve as local buses are commonly overloaded, and rarely keep to timetables.
An engaging cultural experience? Decidedly. A reliable means of getting around Cape Verde? Not so much. Get a taxi.