Hidden in the mid-Atlantic, this 10-strong cluster of islands is as beautiful as it is mysterious. Born of volcanic fury, Cape Verde lacks the fertile lands to support its own people and many have left to find work elsewhere. Luckily, however, tourists come in droves to enjoy the sun and the intoxicating mix of European/Caribbean island vibes. The tourist industry is booming, and with it, opportunities to work. Jobs abroad in Cape Verde is your ticket to life on an everlasting vacation!
The islands of Cape Verde sit off the coast of West Africa. Stumbled upon by Portuguese sailors in 1456, they have been deeply influenced by the sounds and flavors of their Iberian counterpart. This shared heritage is what joins the islands together, as separately they each have something different to boast. When you work abroad in Cape Verde, you get to explore a ton!
Praia. The country’s capital is Praia. Sitting atop a fortress-like plateau on the island of Santiago, the city center is a charming old quarter that looks over the ocean and the sprawling suburbs below it. Praia is the best place to find government or education jobs, as it’s more populated by locals than the others and caters more to itself than to tourists.
Boa Vista. This desert island is one of the main tourist destinations in Cape Verde. Its stark plains and scant oases lend to the idea that Boa Vista was once a chunk of the Sahara that somehow broke off from Africa and floated to the middle of the Atlantic. While not actually the case, the landscape does translate to truly great beaches. Resorts have sprung up along the coasts to promote the incredible windsurfing, but the desert interior is what sets this island apart. Rough off-roading takes you past stunning mountains and beautiful waves of peachy dunes.
Sal. Sal is part of the Barlavento, or windward, group of islands. Named for a salt mine in the crater of an extinct volcano, Sal attracts more tourists than any other in the archipelago. You can still visit the saltpans that remain and float in the buoyant water that is said to have powerful healing properties. If that weren’t enough reason to come, there is an 8km stretch of white sand beaches that rivals any of the famed waterfronts around the world.
Popular Job Types
The infertile land of the mountains and subsequent lack of agriculture has led many Cape Verdeans to move elsewhere to look for work. Fortunately for both the country’s livelihood and economy, thousands of visitors flock to the islands each year, leaving plenty of International jobs in Cape Verde to be snatched up!
Tourism. To get a professional job, it’s typically necessary to speak Portuguese… unless you’re dealing with English-speaking tourists! Sal and Boa Vista are both super popular with Western visitors and have the most opportunities to work as servers, entertainers, sports instructors, and/or tour operators in hotels and resorts. This is the quickest and easiest route to getting hired in Cape Verde, and can be one of the most fun!
Media and Communications. If you’re already skilled it’s possible to get a job promoting the island and all the sun, sand, and surf it has to offer. It’s also a great place to start your own enterprise; take over an existing B&B, rental activity, or ciringuito, for example, revamp it, and market it to visitors from abroad. Owning your own business is a great way to interact directly with the people and politics of these beautiful islands.
Education. Portuguese is the native language of Cape Verde; speak anything else, and you’ve got yourself a job as a foreign language teacher! Teaching is a way to truly immerse yourself in a culture and really get to know the people.
Salaries vary greatly depending on type of work, but you can probably earn between €400-600/month in any of the resort positions. Either room and board or free transport to and from your home will be included. Cost of living is low and thanks to its notably stable politics, standard of living is high. It’s not a country to go to to make money to save; it’s a place to go and experience the lilting rhythm of morna, chow down on cachupa, and try to outdo the goat population (currently at a 2:1 goat to human ratio).
Accommodations & Visas
Resort jobs often provide housing on-site for their employees. If not, they offer compensation for transport between work and home, which will typically be in a nearby apartment. The expat population is large and well-integrated, so you’ll find support from both foreigners and locals alike. With its Portuguese and rural African roots, church and soccer are two cultural stand-bys, and both great places to meet people and get involved in the community. When people come to Cape Verde, they often stay, and it’s for good reason!
All in all, to work in Cape Verde is to enjoy one of the easier places to work as a foreigner. In fact, you don’t even need a work visa to land a job! You’ll enter on a temporary visitors visa, and once set up, can apply for a resident visa. These can be good for 90 days or a year, and cost less than $50 to get. As a resident you are free to work where you like, and even change jobs. For updated and country-specific information on requirements, check the embassy directory.
GoAbroad's Inside Scoop
Rainy season runs from August to October, and hurricanes often develop in nearby waters. They’re usually in early formation stage, not full-strength, but it’s important to keep an eye out for reports.
Working overseas is one of the best things you can do for your career—and your happiness! Cape Verde jobs for foreigners should not be passed up. Being welcomed into a new culture and learning to orient yourself is a strength and joy that can’t be won any other way. Join the ranks of Darwin and Columbus, both of whom visited the islands during their explorations, and see for yourself the invaluable treasures they have to offer.