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Do People in Sal Rei Speak English?

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Do People in Sal Rei Speak English?

If you are planning a trip to Sal Rei, the capital of Boa Vista Island in Cape Verde, you might be wondering what language is spoken there. English is a widely used language around the world, but you may wonder if it’s spoken in Sal Rei, Cape Verde. This post provides you with insights into the language situation in Sal Rei, giving you a clear and accurate idea of what to expect in terms of communication.

The Official Language of Sal Rei

Cape Verde, the island nation where Sal Rei is located, has two official languages – Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole. Portuguese comes from their colonial history and is the language used in education, media, and government. Cape Verdean Creole, on the other hand, is the local language spoken by the majority of the population of the islands.

English is not an official language in Cape Verde, so you shouldn’t expect it to be the first language of choice for communication in Sal Rei. However, English is one of the most commonly spoken foreign languages, and you are likely to find people who can speak and understand basic English.

Understanding English in Sal Rei

English is not widely used in the streets and local shops, but you may find English-speaking staff in prominent areas, such as hotels or tourist attractions. With tourism being the main industry on Boa Vista Island, you can expect the hospitality industry workers to speak some level of English.

It’s crucial to note that the level of English in Sal Rei varies, as with any foreign language. While some people can speak and understand basic English, others may not have any understanding whatsoever. Therefore, it’s a good idea to learn some basic Portuguese or Cape Verdean Creole phrases for convenience.

Learning a few Portuguese or Cape Verdean Creole Phrases

If you are traveling to Sal Rei or any part of Cape Verde, it’s a sign of goodwill and respect to learn a few words of the local language. Most people in Sal Rei speak Cape Verdean Creole, and a few can speak Portuguese as well. Here are some simple phrases to get you started:


  • Olá – Hello
  • Por favor – Please
  • Obrigado/obrigada – Thank you (male/female)
  • Desculpe/ com licença – Excuse me
  • Não entendo – I don’t understand

Cape Verdean Creole

  • Bom Dia – Good day
  • Feliz Natal – Merry Christmas
  • Nha nômi é… – My name is…
  • M’kêl kel sã/cacheu – I want that cashew/juice

Knowing a few phrases in the local language can help you navigate the streets, interact with locals, and show respect for their culture. When traveling, it’s always helpful to have a phrase book or use Google Translate to communicate with the locals effectively.


While English is not an official language in Sal Rei, you are likely to find some English-speaking locals, especially in the hospitality industry. However, it would be best to learn some basic Portuguese or Cape Verdean Creole phrases to assist you in your travels and interact more effectively with locals.

By gaining insight into the language situation in Sal Rei, you can be well prepared for your trip to Cape Verde and enjoy stress-free communication with locals.

An Insider’s Guide to Sal Rei, Cape Verde

If you’re planning a trip to Sal Rei, Cape Verde, you may be wondering if English is widely spoken in this city. The answer is yes, as tourism is a significant industry in the Cape Verde islands, and English is often used as a common language. With beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and a unique cultural mix, Sal Rei is the perfect destination to discover the authentic side of Cape Verde. In this insider’s guide, I’ll share with you some of the best local attractions, dining spots, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions for your Sal Rei visit.

Local Attractions

Sal Rei is famous for its beautiful beaches that surround the city. Praia de Estoril, Praia de Cruz, and Praia de Chaves are some of the most popular and picturesque beaches in the area.

If you’re a nature lover, don’t miss out on Santa Monica, a long stretch of white sandy beach along the west coast of the island. For a unique experience, you can also opt to visit the nearby Sal Rei Salt Flats, a natural wonder that stretches over 200 hectares.

Tourists who appreciate history and culture should visit the impressive Boa Vista Museum and learn about the island’s rich past and heritage. Another must-see attraction is the Estatua de Cabral, a monument erected to the memory of the world-famous explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral.

Dining Spots

Sal Rei offers a great gastronomy experience, with excellent cuisine reflecting the mix of African and European cultures.

For a taste of local cuisine, head to Terra Boa, a restaurant that serves traditional Cape Verdean dishes like cachupa, a stew made with beans, corn, and meat or fish. Another great spot is Restaurante Silvino, which is known for its juicy grilled meats and fresh seafood.

Those searching for a more international cuisine should visit Sodade di nha Terra, a cozy restaurant that serves fresh pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and salads, or Restaurant la Terra, a casual eatery that offers Italian, Mediterranean, and Portuguese dishes.

Cultural Experiences

To get a glimpse of the real Cape Verde, visit the local markets in Sal Rei, where you can find unique handcrafted souvenirs, fresh produce, and traditional African fabrics.

Visitors can also attend a live music performance showcasing Cape Verde’s traditional music styles like Morna or Funana. The city’s nightlife scene is also vibrant, with many bars, clubs, and street food vendors selling delicious snacks till late.

Local History

Another great way to learn about Sal Rei’s history is to visit the deserted Rabil village, located around four kilometers from the city. It was the former capital of Boa Vista, and you’ll find old houses, ruins, and a small museum displaying the village’s past.

You can also take a boat tour to the Sal Rei shipwreck, a 1907 ship stranded on the shores of Cape Verde, or the small chapel, Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, which dates back to the 16th century.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

For a unique adventure on the island, take a quad bike or 4×4 jeep tour of the dry and arid landscape of Sal Rei. The area around Praia de Chaves beach and the interior of the island offers stunning views and landscapes.

You can also take a sea turtle watching tour or a whale watching excursion to catch a glimpse of the majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

In conclusion, Sal Rei has a lot to offer, from its stunning beaches, cultural heritage, and wide range of dining options to unique off-the-beaten-path experiences. Make sure to include these local attractions, dining spots, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions in your itinerary to make the most out of your Cape Verde trip.

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Do People in Sal Rei Speak English?

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