Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – known for being one of the six Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, its tropical islands, and lovely weather.
The country consists of ten islands, of which one is uninhabited.
While in Cape Verde, you can visit one of the many volcanoes, such as Pico do Fogo.
Or you can visit lagoons and caves, including Buracona.
Or perhaps exploring deserts, like Deserto de Viana, is something for you.
And, of course, you can just chill on the beach and enjoy the beach life.
Just be aware that posting videos of you chilling on the beach can be expensive when roaming internationally because international roaming can be expensive.
So, what are your local or travel eSIM options for Cape Verde?
You can get an eSIM for Cape Verde for 9.50 USD from Airalo (Fogotel).
Yeah… there is not much choice in Cape Verde – especially when the local mobile operators do not offer eSIMs either 🥲.
I will also introduce you to a few global eSIMs that be used in neighboring countries in case you visit them too (many Phone Travel Wiz readers do so).
Original publication: 2nd of November 2022. Last updated: 18th of October 2023.
Table of Contents
Airalo Fogotel eSIM for Cape Verde
Airalo is the most popular eSIM platform, covering around 190 countries (more than any other eSIM platform out there).
That is because it is the largest and oldest eSIM platform worldwide.
Airalo has an eSIM that can be used in Cape Verde: Fogotel.
Travel eSIM providers like Airalo set up roaming agreements with local mobile operators.
But do not get too worried about the term roaming – you will not get a 3000 USD roaming bill.
What Airalo does, and basically all mobile operators do, is partner up with a local mobile operator so that their customers can still stay connected when abroad.
In Cape Verde, the Airalo Fogotel eSIM uses the CV Móvel network up to 4G/LTE (no 5G NR yet).
Be aware: most travel eSIMs, including Airalo's Cape Verde Fogotel eSIM, are data-only eSIMs, so you cannot call or text with them (nor can you receive any calls or SMS).
- Cape Verde/Fogotel 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 9.50 USD
Now, you may think this is a sad selection or that 1 GB of data is insufficient.
Both points are true… I agree – but you can make unlimited top-ups with the Fogotel eSIM through the Airalo website or apps.
So if you need 5 GB of data, you can purchase the Fogotel 1 GB eSIM and get four 1 GB top-ups.
Yes, it is a bit inconvenient for now; Airalo may offer 3 GB, 5 GB & 10 GB plans with a 30-day validity for Cape Verde soon, as it did for many other countries it supports.
What makes things even more pleasant is that you can top up your eSIM when it is expiring or when you are out of data without the need to purchase a new eSIM.
But you may think that a local SIM card or eSIM will (still) be cheaper than Airalo or any other travel eSIM.
And you are right – that is true in most cases.
Most mobile operators in Africa will only sell you (overpriced) tourist SIM cards (when available) or the most expensive plans because of “mandatory new plan requirements” (which are often lies to take more of your money).
So yes, you could get cheaper plans, but the question is if you can actually get them.
Oh, you should also be aware of the following, you can get up to 4G/LTE connections with the Airalo Cape Verde Fogotel eSIM, your speeds will most likely not be faster than someone using a local SIM card.
That is because you are roaming on the CV Móvel network instead of being a native customers
But that does not mean you will have (extremely) slow speeds – just (slightly) slower than native customers.
Anyway, the Airalo Cape Verde Fogotel eSIM is fantastic and is the eSIM I, and many Phone Travel Wiz readers, recommend the most.
The eSIMs are affordable, the data allowances can be tailored to your needs (1 GB only, but unlimited top-ups are available) & you will have a smooth network experience (in most cases).
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Local Cape Verdian eSIM for Prepaid Customers
If you want the best and full network experience, including being able to call and text, you want to get a local eSIM.
You have two mobile operators in Cape Verde: CVMóvel & Unitel T+.
Currently, no Cape Verdian mobile operator offers eSIMs to prepaid customers.
For more information about the plans offered by the Cape Verdian mobile operators, check out my Cape Verde SIM card buying guide.
International eSIM for Cape Verde & More Countries
Okay, I went over the Cape Verde travel eSIM options offered by Airalo.
As expected, these eSIMs can only be used in Cape Verde and not in neighboring Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, or Senegal.
So what if you plan on visiting any of those countries, or you are on a world tour and wish to use one eSIM in multiple countries – do you have any other options?
Yes, you do. Airalo & SimCorner have regional, global & international eSIMs covering at least 80 countries; but none include Cape Verde.
Airalo Hello Africa eSIM
Like Asia, the Caribbean, Europe & Latin America, many readers tend to visit multiple African countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one.
The Hello Africa eSIM can be used in 26 countries in Africa:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Congo, Democratic Republic of (Kinshasa)
- Congo, Republic of (Brazzaville)
- Eswatini (Swaziland)
- Ivory Coast
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
1 on 3G only
Below is an overview of how much each Hello Africa eSIM costs:
- Africa/Hello Africa 1 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 27 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Africa/Hello Africa 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 59 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in September based on data up to the 7th of September (2023 data only).
With the Hello Africa eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit.
As you can see, the Hello Africa eSIM cannot be used in Cape Verde (yet).
However, as many who visit Cape Verde do not just stay in Cape Verde (they often go to Guinea-Bissau or Senegal as well), you can consider it.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Cape Verde (Airalo)
In this guide, I went over Airalo's Fogotel as the only (reasonably priced) eSIM for Cape Verde.
I recognize that there are other eSIM providers that do offer services for Cape Verde.
But they are either crazy expensive or the quality of service is whack (based on my experience or the experiences of other Phone Travel Wiz readers).
But you are free to try them out and let me know if they were any good 😀.
Buying a SIM Card in Cape Verde
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Cape Verdian SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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