Tarrafal, Cabo Verde. Local transport

Tarrafal is a town in Cabo Verde, located 70 km away from Praia.

There are generally two ways to get everywhere on the island from Praia.

The first way is just to go by taxi. But it is very expensive, because even for a 5 km ride from the airport they ask 10 euros. So, we will choose the second way. The second way is going by public transport.

In fact, there is no public transport in Cabo Verde that goes between towns of the island at all. If you go to the municipal market, some guys will approach you and ask whether you want to go to some towns.

These guys are drivers of the transport that the locals call “collective”. There are two kinds of collectives.

A collective is either a truck with two benches inside.




Or a minibus, which is more typical to East Europe. Minibuses are also popular in ex-USSR countries, where they are known as “marshrutka”.


The price of going to Cidade Velha is 200 edcudos, to Assomada – 250 escudos, to Tarrafal – 500 escudos. If you are going to Assomada, you need to look for a collective, going to Tarrafal, because Assomada is the intermediary station on the way from Praia to Tarrafal.

Those who just want to deliver goods pay forward. The rest passengers pay by the time they leave the collective.

After you’ve found your collective and taken a place there, be prepared to wait for 30-50 minutes before it finally leaves. The collectives are being loaded as much as possible before they go. They are usually loaded with goods from the market and people. Where there is normally a corridor between seats, the additional planks are put to establish new seats. Sometimes two thin guys sit at one seat.

Before the collective leaves, different traders enter it, offering the passengers some fruits.






Anything you can imagine.


As the collective leaves, there is also a guy, shouting the destination from the window of a wan in hope that some people will also want to join.


There is no “bus stops” for collectives. The collective stops when somebody tells the driver that he wants to quit or somebody at the street shows that he wants to enter.

Cabo Verde has amazing nature. During the trip you can enjoy the landscape.


In Assomada the collective stops (again, near the municipal market), the half of people and goods gets unloaded, and everything starts again. You might be asked to change the vehicle.

On the way from Assomada to Tarrafal, the vehicle stopped at some minor villages. The local children were looking at us like they didn’t know that the skin could be white. There are pigs, goats, chickens, cows walking freely on the roads.




And finally, we are in Tarrafal. The road of 70 kilometers took us “only” 3 hours.

The reason why someone is ready to bear these conditions is probably the best beach on the Santiago island.



You can swim and enjoy the view of the mountains.



Literary, lie under the palms. Like on the travel agencies’ of your city’s ads.


The trader on the beach.


Early in the morning there’s a fish market.


Local art.



Basketball court.


The local market.


A monkey is tied to the tree to entertain people.


The street-food.


The slums.


The whole town in one photo.


Tarrafal is rather small, so the collective was travelling the streets of the town, searching for people going to Praia or Assomada. The special guy was loudly shouting: “Praia, Somada!”, from the window of the minibus.

I understand him. After 15 minutes of shaking on the cobbled road, I myself was ready to shout loudly from the window if it could help us to go faster…


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