Sunday, 7 May 2017

UNITED KINGDOM: Foreign Office Warns UK Tourists About Sexual Attacks And Robberies In Cape Verde

Parts of Cape Verde have been hit with a crime wave as tourists have been attacked and mugged.

The Foreign Office is also advising tourists about an increase in burglaries on the two most popular holiday island destinations of Sal and Boa Vista.

The islands off the coast of Africa are being touted as a “safe” destination by tour operators.

But UK tourists are being warned they face violent muggers or sexual predators and holidaymakers are being told to ‘remain alert at all times’.

UK tourists are being warned about visiting top new holiday destination Cape Verde after a several robberies and sexual attacks.

The islands are also very popular with honeymooners but latest UK NHS Health advice says it has “high risk” of Zika and is warning couples not to get pregnant during their visit or for TWO months afterwards.

The holiday destination has become the centre of a crime wave with tourists being attacked and mugged leading to the Foreign Office to put out a warning.

Inspite of the publicity given about Cape Verde by tour operators,it is still a poor country with visible poverty all round.

Tourists, with all their money and high value gadgets are seen as easy prey. There are a string of dangers lying in wait.

As well as sex attacks the Foreign Office is also advising tourists about an increase in burglaries on the two most popular holiday island destinations of Sal and Boa Vista, which are promoted as safe destinations by tour operators for families and couples as tourists flee traditional European destinations such as France and Greece for fear of terrorism.

Instead of facing a terror attacks, tourists could face violent robberies or rape and official advice to UK citizens is to remain alert at all times.

Cape Verde hotels have also suffered from food poisoning and illness such as Salmonella; which can leave people with life-long complications.

We have seen a rise in couples falling ill and also honeymooners. Just because it looks great on the brochure doesn’t mean it will always live up to this in reality.

Latest figures from the National Statistics Institute revealed Cape Verde has become popular with Britons.

The majority of tourists visiting the islands are now from the UK and the islands saw a 13.6 rise in visitor numbers in 2016 compared to the previous year.

But with this new found popularity comes a dark underbelly and the Foreign Office has updated its travel advice pages to reflect this ongoing crime wave on the Archipelago.

There has been a significant increase in crime in Praia, as well as an increase in burglaries and violent muggings on the main tourist islands of Sal and Boa Vista.”

The pages also warned of spate of sexual assaults and warned tourists to “take precautions" when walking on the popular tourist beaches of Prai De Estoril , Prai de Chaves and Santa Monica.

In 2007 the dunes on the popular island of Sal were the site of a horrific double rape and murder of two Italian female tourists.

They were raped and killed by two local men.

The Foreign Office is also warning tourists to avoid gangs of children without adults who are known to be pickpockets and purse snatchers and to be wary of buying property as many Britons had run into “serious problems.”

That perfect getaway may quickly turn out to be a holiday from hell. Always check with the Foreign Office website and your tour operator before you travel. If you do get in trouble contact the nearest Embassy.

Boa Vista

Boa Vista is Portuguese meaning “good view”. This is the easternmost island of Cape Verde. It is located in the Barlavento group of the archipelago.

The island is known for marine turtles and traditional music, as well as its ultramarathon and its sand dunes and beaches. The island also constitutes the municipality of Boa Vista, which has two parishes, Santa Isabel and Sao Joao Baptista.

With an area of 620 square kilometres (240 square miles), it is the third largest island, after Santo Antao and Santiago. It is 455 kilometres (283 miles) west of the coast of Africa. Much of the island is flat. The highest point on the island is Monte Estancia, elevation 387 metres (1,270 feet); other mountains include Santo António (Saint Anthony), Rocha Estância, Monte Negro (Black Mountain), Monte Caçador, Pico Forcado and Monte Vigia.

Other features include Campo da Serra. Its main town is Sal Rei, its ferry port and home to Boa Vista's airport (Rabil Airport)on the northwest side of the island.

Surrounding islets include Ilheu de Sal Rei featuring a lighthouse in the west, others include Ilhéu de Curral Velho in the south and Ilheu do Baluarte featuring the easternmost point in Cape Verde, they are one of five islands that have a surrounding islet or more in Cape Verde. Points include Ponta Antonia to the north as well as Ponta do Sol and Ponta Varandinha, the island's westernmost point.

The island has the most number of long beaches in the nation but not overall, they include Atalanta, Cabral, Chave, Ervatao, Gatas, Santa Monica and Varandinha.

Its economy was originally based on agriculture, but desertification led to salt collection becoming more important. Its main industries today are date farming and, increasingly, tourism, with already several touristic establishments being built in recent times. As of July 2015, the island boasts the highest income per capita [i.e., US$8819,00] in the island nation.

Boa Vista has a college (colegio), a middle school, high school, churches, beaches, large hotels and a port which underwent expansion in the early to mid 2010s. Other hotels and villas had popped up in the west and south of the island, hotels and villas popped up in around 2004 west of Rabil and in 2009 in Curral Velho and connected them with newly paved roads.

Sal Island

Sal,Portuguese for salt from the mines at Pedra de Lume, is an island in Cape Verde. It belongs to the northern group of islands, called Barlavento or windwards, and comprises a single administrative division, the Sal municipality. The island is home to Amílcar Cabral International Airport, the main airport of Cape Verde.

The island was discovered on December 3, 1460 and named Llana until salt deposits were found at the end of the 18th century in Pedra de Lume. In the early years, slaves grazed parts of the island, in the 17th century, free settlers took salt. Sal is the geologically oldest island in Cape Verde, formed 50 million years ago during the eruption of a volcano which is now inactive.

Salt activity was not active until 1800. Sal at the time was the leastly populated island in Cape Verde, once had around or the same as Santa Luzia. Santa Maria was founded in the south in 1835 by Manuel António Martins who became governor and became the island capital, the salt industry thrived, in its early years 30,000 tons of salt were exported.

Most of the salt was exported to Brazil until its nationalization in 1887, Portuguese and French salt investors resumed salt production until 1984. Three lighthouses were constructed at the island's extreme points in the 1880s.

An airport first constructed by Italy started construction in 1939 to receive flights to Europe and South America, construction was halted in around 1940 during World War II and continuation ceased, the Portuguese bought the airport from the Italians and finished the rest in 1949, planes from Italy would offer a stopover flight for refueling planes for flights with South American cities.

Northeast of the airport, workers from Sao Nicolau Island to the west would settle a village and was named Preguiça, where the first settlers originated and the youngest urban center in Cape Verde, Palmeira was later founded and became the island's other port, not long after it became Espargos due to the asparagus plants founded there and became the main island capital as well as a commercial center, a part of the population growth even to the present continue to arrive from Sao Nicolau.

Unlike other parts of Cape Verde, famine did not devastate the island as the population was only about 500 in 1930 and one of some islands up to 1970 that the population continued to grow. Farmlands were established around 2 km northwest of Espargos in the mid 20th century.

A new solar electricity station was established in around 2010 and located 1.5 km north of Santa Maria on the main road, the first and only in Cape Verde. A large growing population has now led to the division of the municipality, it was first plan on April 7, 2014, no date of the separation has been set.

It would form the municipalities of Espargos and Santa Maria, the municipal boundary would be marked north of Ilheu Rabe de Junco, north of Murdeira and south of the airport, probably in the east-west line, also Nossa Senhora das Dores will exclude Santa Maria.

Hurricane Fred struck the island of Sal in late summer 2015, the hardest was on August 31, in Santa Maria, his storm surge sunk or stranded dozens of vessels and destroyed an important tourist pier.

Hotels, restaurants, and other beach facilities were flooded, and roads in the town became impassable. High winds leveled the roof of a sport center at a gymnasium which had initially been set up as a storm shelter to about 100 citizens. Elsewhere, the hurricane knocked out power to homes in Palmeira and caused minor structural damage to Sal International Airport.

Sal’s main town, Cidade dos Espargos, is home to one of the nation’s international airports and has around 32,000 inhabitants. Its population grew around salt collection and later shifted to fishing, but is now based on tourism,amounting to 50% of the archipelago’s tourism at the beach resort of Santa Maria. The living standards on the island is among the best in the Cape Verde archipelago. The island's GDP per capita is roughly US$7068,00.

Its airport, Amílcar Cabral International Airport, was used as a refuelling base by South African Airways on its Johannesburg to London routes. This was necessitated by the refusal of Black African states to the North to grant overflying permission and direct routing to and from Europe during apartheid.

Later, flights to and from New York and Atlanta also refuelled there, and the island was a crew-change station. SAA established the long runways needed by the fully fueled Boeing 747s on their take-offs in the high temperatures. On July 1, 2006, SAA operated its final flight to Sal due to the ending of its flights to Atlanta.

Saline marshes can be found in the Pedra de Lume crater and north of Santa Maria.

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