Trip Details

Cultural Introduction to Cape Verde

This Culture Week can be booked as an add-on to any volunteer project to offer even more adventure to your stay!

The Cape Verdean islands are a group of islands in the western-most point in Central Africa. Santiago, with its craggy mountains, green valleys and awesome beaches, is the perfect place to get to know all about Cape Verdean Culture. We think you will have an amazing time here, as you enjoy a exciting schedule of unique Cape Verdean activities. In fact, we just know you will!

Add a fun-packed Cape Verde Adventure to your Stay!

During this exciting Culture Week, you will stay in the town of Tarrafal, a city in the north of Santiago. Here, you will get to learn all about Cape Verdeans, study their local language and explore the area. And, of course, you will also have plenty of beach time to relax and have fun! Together with pottery classes, trips and barbeques, this week is a fantastic experience to add to your stay. It’s also a great chance to meet others, whether they’re backpacking in Cape Verde, or volunteering on one of our other programmes!

Why book our Cultural Introduction to Cape Verde?

  • Immerse yourself in Cape Verdean culture and learn their language
  • Experience many aspects of Cape Verdean life in a fun-packed schedule
  • Enjoy plenty of beach time with new friends and fellow volunteers
  • Safe and comfortable accommodation with meals and beverages* included

*tea, coffee and drinking water

Get in touch to find out more or browse through our many volunteer experiences.



Trip Itinerary

During your Cultural Introduction to Cape Verde, you will explore the Cape Verdean culture, studying the local language and enjoying all that the city of Tarrafal and surrounding areas have to offer. Through the week, you will join in traditional Cape Verdean music and activities and learn all about the people through culture trips, fishing trips, and even get to try your hand at making pottery!

Mandatory Orientation Day

On the Monday of your first week at this location, you will join our orientation day to learn about your surroundings and local culture. However, don’t hover over the word ‘orientation’; this day will be as exciting as every other!

Orientation Day Schedule

  • Welcome: Introduction to Cape Verdean traditions and culture; House rules, Code of Conduct and handling of documents,
  • Basic Kriolu Lesson
  • Visit local supermarkets and ATMs, and explore the surroundings of our centre.
  • Lunch
  • Visit to Mar De President Beach and spend some time on the beach before returning back to the centre for dinner.

Weekly Schedule


  • Breakfast
  • Introduction to Cape Verdean traditions and culture.
  • Basic Kriolu class to learn about the local language. This is critical because the majority of people speak Kriolu, Portuguese or French here. So it may come in handy if you know some of these languages.
  • Visit to local supermarkets and ATMs, and explore the surroundings of our centre.
  • Lunch at the centre.
  • Visit to Mar De President Beach
  • Dinner


  • Breakfast
  • Basic Kriolu class to continue your course.
  • Museum, Tarrafal concentration camp, local Market.
  • Lunch
  • Visit to Ribera Das Prat.


  • Breakfast
  • Basic Kriolu class – spelling and grammar
  • Visit to Traz di Munti to learn pottery. Learn pottery skills and explore your creative abilities.
  • Lunch
  • Lighthouse visit


  • Breakfast
  • Basic Kriolu class – how to make sentences.
  • Visit to Project site for the following week.
  • Continue at project site till the afternoon.


  • Breakfast, we will have our last
  • Basic Kriolu classes – start making phrases
  • Fishing trip with the local fishermen.
  • Barbeque lunch
  • Free time to relax and enjoy your surroundings


From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Accommodation

The city is named after the indigenous plant Tarrafe, and is also called Mangui or Mangue. Situated in the northern part of the island of Santiago, Tarrafal is a fishing port with a vibrant community and a friendly people.

About the Accommodation

Our centre offers safe and comfortable surroundings with dorm-style separate male/female accommodation and western toilets available (shared).

And if you’re travelling to Cape Verde alone, you will quickly make new friends of fellow travellers and on-site staff who will be there too. Wifi is limited, so we recommend you purchase your own SIM card to help stay connected with friends and family.

Food Arrangements

If you haven’t tried African cuisine, you’re in for treat!  Typical Cape Verdean food includes rice dishes, beans, fruits, vegetables, chicken, beef, and fish with its own African spices.  At our centre, you’ll find a mix of local and Western food to enjoy, with all meals, tea, coffee, and filtered water included in your stay. There are 3 meals during the week and 2 meals on weekends.

There are ATMs, mini-marts, some shops and restaurants close by in the city centre.

Trip Country Info

Cape Verde

The beautiful islands of the Cape Verde were initially uninhabited until the Portuguese discovered it in the 15th century. The country flourished during the 16th and the 17th centuries due to the Atlantic slave trade. But with the decline of the slave trade in the 19th century, the country experienced an economic crisis. Yet the location of the island made it survive as it became a significant commercial center in the 19th century, as the location was perfect for re-supply of the ships. In the present day context, the economy of the country is mostly relying on the services provided by the country targeting the growing tourism industry.

Cape Verde has a mild climate compared to the mainland of Africa with an average high temperature of about 26 °C during February and 31 °C in September. The country has an irregular rain pattern in the months between August and October and it is in September that the country experiences its maximum rainfall. The country can boast about the rich vegetation and the forest that provides a rainforest habitat although the close proximity to the Sahara is makes most islands with no mountains mostly dry. The islands as initially were isolated; the existence of a number of endemic species mostly the birds and reptiles can be seen although the existence is threatened by the human developments.

Explore Africa’s most westerly point with it’s incredible volcanic landscape and black and white sand beaches.


As the Portuguese discovered the country; the culture is immensely influenced by them. Rural Portuguese practices are displayed in the social and cultural patterns of the country.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

MUST have a yellow fever vaccination and must obtain a certificate as proof
Travel Insurance
Under 18, Parental Consent is Required

Additional Requirements

Open minded
Team Player

What's included

  • 24/7 support in case of emergencies
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pick up
  • English speaking coordinator
  • Meals
  • Orientation

What's not included

  • Airport drop off
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Visa