Many shops and agencies in Cape Verde tend to close in the afternoons. General closing times are between 1 – 3p.m. although there are some that close/re-open at later times. However, many stay open now in tourist destinations.
A number of restaurants/businesses/bars close during sometime in May or September.
Also check the bank holidays dates for not only Cape Verde but the islands you are planning to visit. You may arrive there to find that certain shops or agencies are closed. There are some additional holidays on each island that differ to others.
Suntan lotions, shampoos and conditioner are more expensive in Cape Verde and there isn’t a great deal of choice, so bring plenty with you.
I wouldn't say that all the goods with brand names that are for sale here are genuine, whether branded shampoos, sun lotions or electrical goods etc.
Mini-markets are mostly small shops; there are a few a bit larger. Some smaller without signs, so you may walk past them without realizing they were there.
Not all shops/ cafe's etc areas follow the same guidelines on not refreezing food after it has been defrosted. Not sure whether any of the small shops have generators to support the running of their freezers. Maybe they re-freeze meats?
Commercial Shops: Some newer developments have commercial units to let.
Make enquiries about importation taxes before thinking of running a business and selling goods in Cape Verde, you may be put off by the number of difficulties with importing goods. Solicitors should be used to find out about all the nitty gritty important stuff. Whether buying to re-sell, intending to import goods or setting up in a partnership with someone else....the laws are different, so check that your investment is safeguarded.
Loja Chinese: The Loja Chinese shops, of which there are many, sell some electrical items. One person I know has bought a TV from there which he is quite happy with and has had for some time, another couple bought an electric fan and a music centre, both stopped working within 3 weeks of buying them.
The Loja Chinese Stores are generally accepted as being cheaper than other electrical shops. Electric items on the island are generally more expensive than in the UK. They don't always have prices on the items, so the same things that you buy one week may be a different price the next! They don't tend to give receipts either so unless you know what things cost, be careful. You may be told the total price, but also check your change as well as the cost of each item! This isn't a problem at all of these stores.
There are a number of Chinese Shops which sell various basic items including clothing and cutlery but they are limited as is the quality and range.
If you buy a pan from the Chinese shop, make sure there isn't glue at the bottom of the pan where they have filled in a hole, a friend returned it because it had a hole in it, they offered to put some glue in to block the hole, she declined the offer.
Fresh fish can be bought from local sellers or fishermen. Just be aware that occasionally fish on display has been frozen and then defrosted.
Fresh produce is normally shipped in from other islands. See : Inter island shipping.
Deli's - A number of Deli's. These provide some nice cheeses and meats, imported from, Italy, Europe and the Canaries.
There are a number of larger supermarkets on the island of Santiago which now sell a number of British favourites such as Branston Pickle, Haywards Pickles, Rogan Josh paste and Bacon. Likewise there is one supermarket on Sal that currently stocks a few items.
Other food items maybe imported from the Canaries.
There are sometimes difficulties with importing food items.....ask people who run restaurants.
One apartment owner bought a whole tuna which was filleted and placed in his freezer, however the power supply went off for a few days and the fish had to be thrown out or given away. Keep this in mind if buying large quantities of freezer items and there is no back up generator for your building/apt.
Not all shops/ cafe's etc follow the same guidelines on not refreezing food after it has been defrosted. Not sure whether any of the small shops have generators to support the running of their freezers. Maybe they re-freeze meats?
Wholesale: There are some wholesale suppliers on a few of the islands which may sell cookware and packs of food items amongst other things.
There are a number of bakeries (Padaria's): Some of the Bakeries are run by Cape Verdean, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese or French business owners.. You can buy sliced bread (Brown is called Integral), white (branco), small finger rolls, carcasa rolls, French sticks, pao (rolls), sweet rolls, coconut bread etc.
Clothes: There are a few more clothes shops opening, mainly with sports wear, T-Shirt shops, or branded goods.
Toilets and bathroom facilities: Some restaurants and bars will have facilities downstairs, upstairs, in the same room. Not all are easily accessible to people with certain mobility difficulties.
Currency: The currency in Cape Verde is escudos. One euro is equal roughly to 110escudos (cve), but in the banks it is set at 110.265cve. Euros are accepted on Sal Island but not all the other islands yet. Generally however, if you buy a drink that would normally cost 100escudos and you use one euro to pay for it, you won’t get 10escudos in change.
You are not supposed to take any escudos out of the country so please convert to euros before departing.