Advice about moving to CV

Hi

I have decided to consider relocating to CV from the UK. Would like to know how easy/possible it is, the pros and cons and what I would need to be thinking about to prepare for such a move?
All advice grateful received.
Kind regards

Hi there,

I have recently relocated to Sal with my family, we've been here now for 6 weeks so I will be able to answer all or mostly all of your concerns.

Firstly it would depend on your situation, are you moving alone or with family, do you have children, what will you do for employment.

Once you've answered these questions I'll be able to give you more information.

I can tell you now though that here is not like Europe as in terms of shopping, there are no large supermarkets here, in Santa Maria the largest shop is called Cazu, but it is by nowhere near the size of UK supermarkets, also everything here is imported so the prices are higher than UK/Europe.

Utilities such as water and electric are also very expensive, I have lived in several countries all over the world and I've not had utility bills as high as CV. For instance in my family, there is myself, my partner and our 2 children, our water and electric bills are over 400 euros a month, in comparison to 150 euros when we lived in Spain. The electric has cut out around 4 times in the 6 weeks we've been here, so far the longest time was for about 3 hours. The whole island will cut out unless establishments have generators (candles come in handy).

Cars are very expensive to run and buy here, most people do catch taxi's everywhere, however we will eventually buy a car on finance, a small car would cost around 8,000 euros and a larger type would be around 15,000 euros.

Electrical items are also very expensive to buy here and I would actually suggest that if you do relocate to bring as much of your goods with you as possible. We were planning on using cargo to ship our belongings over but they cancelled at the last minute, therefore we couldn't bring as much as we hoped which we regret now. We brought extra luggage when we flew.

As I've said once you answer the q's I mentioned I'll be able to offer more advice, also feel free to ask me any specific q's too.

I'm planning to move to CV with my girlfriend and were both planning on looking for out there.Im a caretaker and my girlfriends a school teacher.

Right ok, well employment here is very scarce, the minimum wage here is 167 euros per month! locals are earning around this with legal work, however most earn 150 euros for illegal work.

I would strongly suggest you rethink moving here to work, unless you speak fluent Portuguese there would be no opportunities for care takers and/or teachers, besides if there were the locals would more than likely be employed over expats.

Also there is the issue with visas and work permits, unless you can prove you can live here comfortably financially you would not be granted a longer stay. I am in mid process of obtaining my residencia but my situation is different as I own my own company.

Most expats that move here, set up new businesses without needing to rely on the jobs available here.

My husband and I would like to move to Mindelo as retirees (so we do not need a job). I do not know what the cost of living is, I mean the food.
It is possible to live with 600€ monthly if we will have our apartment?

Well I'm not sure about Mindelo as I live in Sal.

However locals tell me their water and electric bills are around 180 euros per month for 2 people sharing.

Food is highly expensive, the locals have a staple diet of rice and fish anything other than this is pricey. Even bottled water is a high price compared to other countries.

600 euros would be around 100 euros per week roughly after the utilities. For 2 people that may be enough, it depends on your lifestyle and whether you go out etc..

Welcome to Cape Verde! I agree with much of what you said, ManiMitch. There are a few subtleties that I would like to add to enhance the information you've provided.

Sal is perhaps the most expensive island in all of Cape Verde and you are observing the effects. There is high demand for goods and services there because there are so many Expats and tourists who live or visit Sal that it effectively drives up the prices of just about everything. Boavista is also expensive (for the same reasons but it is still not as bad as Sal).

In addition, Sal is a complete desert and all the food is imported. Nothing grows on Sal. That is why you pay so much. However, there is a lot of food grown on the other islands which is shipped there. Try looking for a market where there is fresh food that came in from Praia or Sao Nicolau. That's what the locals buy. But of course, these foods won't have the shelf life. But you should definitely ask the locals where they buy their food, or just head over to Espargos which is where the locals live.

Please, don't buy a car in Sal! It is gonna cost you an arm and a leg especially if you are a foreigner. Foreigners will be charged at least twice the price a local would pay because when they see you, they will think you have lots of money. Where you need to shop for a used car is in Praia where hundreds of thousands of locals live and work and there are hundreds of used cars available. You will find good used cars (there are no used car dealers) for about half or one-third the price you indicated. Don't try to make the deal yourself. Find a trusted resident of Praia who is not a foreigner to make the deal, then have the vehicle shipped to Sal. If you ask a local directly to buy their car, they will gladly ask you double the actual price, and they will immediately buy the exact car for half of what you paid them.

By the way, the legal minimum wage in Cape Verde is 11.000 escudos or about 100€ and it is being increased to 12.000. Workers in Sal make considerably more as you have said. But across the rest of the country, the typical blue-collar worker makes about 120-150€. White-collar jobs pay more, typically 250€.

So for people who are considering other islands, they will find the cost of living much cheaper than Sal. You can live very comfortably on 600€ a month (for one person) just about everywhere else in Cape Verde.

My general advice is that you should try to live like the locals. This way, you will discover all the best deals on everything. Now, this doesn't mean that you must live as if you only earn 250€. But you will have money left over for other things if you find the deals that locals utilize.

Your electricity bill is outrageous! I pay about 80€ per month for a family of 3. Make sure you're not using electrical items that you're used to using in Europe that are just not used here because they consume lots of energy. An example would be a clothes dryer or an electric stove/oven. Hang your clothes out to dry if possible. We even hang clothes inside our home. Also, use a gas cooker. Hot water heaters will also kill you financially. Get used to showers in normal water, or if you use hot water, make sure that your shower runs not so hot. Also use florescent bulbs.

I hope this helps you and others! If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me privately.

Angelo

manimitch :

Hi there,

I have recently relocated to Sal with my family, we've been here now for 6 weeks so I will be able to answer all or mostly all of your concerns.

Firstly it would depend on your situation, are you moving alone or with family, do you have children, what will you do for employment.

Once you've answered these questions I'll be able to give you more information.

I can tell you now though that here is not like Europe as in terms of shopping, there are no large supermarkets here, in Santa Maria the largest shop is called Cazu, but it is by nowhere near the size of UK supermarkets, also everything here is imported so the prices are higher than UK/Europe.

Utilities such as water and electric are also very expensive, I have lived in several countries all over the world and I've not had utility bills as high as CV. For instance in my family, there is myself, my partner and our 2 children, our water and electric bills are over 400 euros a month, in comparison to 150 euros when we lived in Spain. The electric has cut out around 4 times in the 6 weeks we've been here, so far the longest time was for about 3 hours. The whole island will cut out unless establishments have generators (candles come in handy).

Cars are very expensive to run and buy here, most people do catch taxi's everywhere, however we will eventually buy a car on finance, a small car would cost around 8,000 euros and a larger type would be around 15,000 euros.

Electrical items are also very expensive to buy here and I would actually suggest that if you do relocate to bring as much of your goods with you as possible. We were planning on using cargo to ship our belongings over but they cancelled at the last minute, therefore we couldn't bring as much as we hoped which we regret now. We brought extra luggage when we flew.

As I've said once you answer the q's I mentioned I'll be able to offer more advice, also feel free to ask me any specific q's too.

Hi there,

As ManiMitch said, jobs are hard to come by in Cape Verde. It's a micro country with poor people. And the official language is Portuguese.

Most foreigners who need work will typically go to Sal or Boavista where 80% of the tourists visit. Also, Sal is where you will find most British expats. So if you want to work, you should focus on the tourism industry which is where most of the hiring takes place.

Your girlfriend will likely not find any work teaching English in the schools since she would be required to speak fluent Portuguese to get a teaching job. But perhaps some of the English-speaking expats with children might be interested in home-schooling for their children.

Honestly, the best way to earn a living in Cape Verde is to start your own business (it's really easy) in the tourism sector providing services to tourists and expats. Your girl-friend for example could start that home-schooling service or even a private school for children of British expats. Otherwise, look for a job waiting tables, etc. You'll need to earn about 800-900€ between the two of you to live comfortably in Sal.

Best of luck and let us know if you have other questions. Between Mitch and myself, we should be able to get you all the info you and your girlfriend need to make a successful expat transition.

Angelo

zeekchre45 :

I'm planning to move to CV with my girlfriend and were both planning on looking for out there. Im a caretaker and my girlfriends a school teacher.

Plsss can I get a job to do

Hi Seidu,

You're not going about it the right way. As you know, jobs in Cape Verde are scarce. You're unlikely to find a job by asking for one on this forum. I have several questions for you and I can guide you in the right direction.

1. Are you already in Cape Verde? Which island?

2. What is your level of education and what are your skills?

3. Do you speak Portuguese or Krioulu? If not, you will need to search for jobs in Sal. That's where most of the English speaking businesses are located.

4. Do you have a curriculum vitae or resumé? Have you passed it around to the various businesses in your area?

Angelo

Seidu wakilu :

Plsss can I get a job to do

My education level is senior high school ,and am ready to come this month

Seidu wakilu :

My education level is senior high school ,and am ready to come this month

If that's the only thing you can say for yourself, I would strongly advise you not to bother wasting your time coming here. You won't get any jobs here in all likelihood.

Angelo

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