If you have fallen in love with a furry friend while on holiday or living in Cape Verde, then you can find all the information you need to bring them home with you here.
Firstly, we don't recommend frequent trips back and forth with your animal if they are too big for the cabin because traveling in the hold is a very traumatic experience for them. Keep it minimal.
Starting the process
1. Rabies Vaccination
Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. This can be done at the local veterinary clinic on the island your pet is on.
- Notes: Your pet must be at least 16 weeks old
- This vaccination is valid for 1 year and needs renewing annually
- Price: 20 EUR / 2200 CVE (approx - depending on which vet, prices based on Sal island)
Your pet must be microchipped. This can be done at the local veterinarian on your island, (see below for contact details of vets in Cape Verde.)
- Notes: Your pet must be at least 8 weeks old
- Price: 35 EUR / 3850 CVE (approx - depending on which vet, prices based on Sal island)
3. Vaccination Record Booklet
Once your animal has had its microchip and rabies vaccination, you will be issued a small vaccination record booklet.
It must show:
- your pet’s date of birth
- microchip number, date it was put in or read, and where it is on your pet’s body
- vaccination date
- vaccine manufacturer and product name
- vaccine batch number
- date the vaccination is valid until
- the vet’s signature and contact details
- Keep this safe as it will be required to fly with as proof of vaccinations and used in a way similar to a passport to identify your pet.
- Price: Free included
4. Blood test
After 30 days from the rabies vaccination, a blood sample needs to be taken at the veterinary clinic. It will then be processed into a serum (which is either done at your vet or a local clinic if the vet cannot).
- It needs to be kept cool (but NOT frozen) from the vet in Sal to the laboratory. Usually, you can use plastic ice packs bought in local grocery stores.
- It cannot travel in hand luggage and must go in the hold due to the ice packs being filled with water that will exceed the allowance for hand luggage. Also due to restrictions from most airlines on blood samples being carried in the cabin.
- Price: 10 EUR / 1100 CVE for collection and spinning
The serum (blood sample) needs to be sent to an official laboratory in Europe for antibody testing to be analysed - unless the destination is outside of Europe/UK in which case check with the veterinary clinic for testing information.
Getting your sample to Europe:
- You can bring it yourself in your hold luggage
- You can ask someone else to bring it for you in their hold lugage
- You can have it sent by airmail to the laboratory which costs approx 135 EUR / 15000 CVE to Portugal's laboratory.
The most common laboratories working with Cape Verde are:
- Germany - Virovet are the cheapest 41.60 EUR (paid directly to the laboratory)
- Belgium - Scienciano 60.50 EUR
- The Netherlands -
- United Kingdom - IDEXX / Alpha £45.00
To search for a laboratory check this list: Click Here
Once it arrives in the UK it needs to be taken to the laboratory directly or posted with a provider who accept these types of samples.
Once your pet's blood sample has been approved by the lab, they will send the results to the veterinarian in Cape Verde (not directly to you).
Your pet will need to wait 90 days from the date blood was collected (not the date of the results) before they can travel which is their quarantine period.
Planning your route
First you should decide if you want to...
a) Collect your pet yourself from Cape Verde
b) Get a flight buddy to bring the dog for you to Europe...
- there are currently groups on Facebook you can join where people will volunteer to help you, such as "Ospa Flight Buddy from Sal (Cape Verde) or The Voice of Forgotten Dogs of Sal Cape Verde, or
- you can pay someone to take the dog for you.
Thingstodocapeverde.com can organise a route and assist you for a fee, please contact email@example.com directly for more information.
5. Booking your flights
When you book your flights consider the most direct route. Traveling is extremely stressful for animals so try to make it as easy as you can for them.
- Book a non-stop, direct flight whenever possible and try to fly on a weekday when airports are typically less hectic.
- If your pet will be traveling in the cargo hold, it’s best to fly in the morning or evening during the summer, and midday during the winter to avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures.
- Book your flights with as much time as possible.
- Spaces for pets get booked fast as airlines, ferries - most types of transport can only hold a limited number of spaces for pets.
- Confirm with the airline they accept animals and depending on your animal type and weight if they go in the cabin or hold, and any rules that apply.
- Make sure you book their space. Double and triple check, with the sales booking agent and the baggage handlers they will be expecting you.
Which airlines fly allow pets from Cape Verde?
- Corendon - https://www.corendon.com/en (Not to be confused with the Turkish sister company "Corendon Airlines - https://www.corendonairlines.com").
- TUIfly Belgium
- TUIfly Netherlands
- TUI fly Germany
There are no direct flights for animals between Cape Verde and the UK. You must fly to an airport in Europe and connect to the UK by car (ferry or Eurotunnel).
For UK clients only - Bring your pet by Eurotunnel, ferry or flight for the rest of the journey to the UK after arriving in Europe by flight. There are options if you cannot drive yourself:
- Ask a friend or family member to pick you up and drive back via Ferry or Eurotunnel
- Ask an agency to drive the pet over for you either to the UK border or all the way to your UK address
- Eurostar trains DO NOT accept live animals in their cabins (so no foot passengers allowed with animals)
- Eurotunnel accepts animals in your car ONLY
- Coaches DO NOT accept live animals on board
- Ferry services (such as Stena Line) accept both foot passengers and car passengers carrying animals but animals must stay in car or on-board kennels for the entire duration you can check on them but they can't be walked. Approx 25 EUR
- There are taxi's that can take pets so you can get from an airport to a ferry port.
- Fly back but not with a connecting flight, have a stopover with at least 24 hours so the pets can have a break.
From Amsterdam airport
- A taxi from Amsterdam airport to Holland van Hoek takes approx 1hr 30mins and costs 130EUR for a minivan that can take 2-3 dogs.
- You can board a Stena Line Ferry as a foot passenger or a car passenger. Their kennels and dog rates are approx 25 EUR
6. Buy a Pet Travel Carrier (also referred to as a container, crate or kennel)
When the time comes to travel you will need an IATA-approved airline travel container.
- First, measure your pet. Your pet should have enough space that their head doesn't touch the top of the container and they can fully turn around in the container.
- The carrier you choose can be new or second-hand providing you check that it's fit for purpose (no breaks, and is fully secure) prior to travel.
- Price: Approx 70-150 EUR (new) or under 100 EUR used + baggage fees or shipping of bringing it to Cape Verde
- Alternatively, if you purchase one in Cape Verde from Mindelo, Sao Vicente it's approx 200 EUR / 22000 CVE
- If you have time, try to get your pet to go inside the container for small periods of time with treats and positive attention so they have time to adapt to the small space before the trip.
- Make the container comfortable. It's a long journey. Consider a non-slip bathmat for the floor to soften the hard plastic. Include a blanket as the hold gets very cold.
- Consider adding a soft or chew toy to distract your pet in case they get bored.
- For those who go the extra mile, getting your scent on the toy or blanket can give your pet some added comfort knowing you are not far).
7. What else might you need to buy or bring for the journey?
- Dog food (for the other side)
- Bottled water (for the dog on the other side)
- Muzzle, leash, harnesses
- Collar with name tag and contact number
- Collapsable or light plastic water and food bowels
- They will need a blanket if going in the hold (perhaps a cheap fluffy anti-slip bath mat from Home Bargains for £5 to use a base).
- Perhaps a toy
Days leading up to the flight
8. Worming tablet
Your pet needs to have their worming tablet at least 5 hours before flying.
- Price: 13 EUR / 1430 CVE (depending on the dog's weight)
9. Health certificate declaration - from the Veterinary Clinic
Book an appointment (and make sure your vet know's you intend to travel shortly). Tell them you need this document. Bring your pet to the veterinary clinic. The veterinarian will give you your animal's health certificate declaration paperwork which you will need to take to the Fitossanitario - Ministerio do Ambiente e Agricultura (a local authority agency) to request permission for them to leave the country and fly with you (see next section, step 9.)
- Do this a minimum of 3-5 days before travel, or as soon as you know your flight details as the next step can take up to 5 days for authorisation. This is the most important document you will need for travel.
- Price: 15 EUR / 1650 CVE
10. Authorisation for pet to fly
To fly you must get authorisation. Take the Health Certification Document, the Vaccination record booklets, your passport and flight document to Fitossanitario - Ministerio do Ambiente e Agricultura (Phytosanitary - Ministry of Environment and Agriculture). This is the agency on your island who gives authorisation for your pet to leave the country. They may need to fax to another island which takes approx 2 days so make sure you do this with plenty of time.
- Only open Mon-Fri so factor that in when calculating application time prior to travelling
- This takes between 2-5 days to receive this document
- For Sal residents the agency is in Espargos
- Bring a translator (a friend or professional who is fluent in Portuguese or a resident who can help explain and translate for you)
- They will need a valid local phone number that they can contact you on when the document is ready for collection
- Price: approx 3 EUR / 330 CVE
11. Taxi to the airport
It may seem obvious but some of these things if left until the last minute can be extremely stressful, and your pet needs everything to run as smoothly as possible on the day. Find a reliable taxi, check they allow pets, and are happy to take pets. Check the price, time, availability and BOOK!
- For dogs, they don't need to go in their carrier until arrive at the airport doors (but if you prefer them to be in their carrier for the taxi it's up to the individual). Just make sure if not in their carrier that your taxi driver doesn't mind and whether they want something on the seats to protect from claws and dog hair.
Day of the flight
12. Freedom and exercise prior to the flight
Particularly dogs - take them for a walk or run (and to use the toilet) before the flight. that way even though they will be stressed most of the trip they might be a little tired and able to lay down, rest and hopefully sleep a bit when nothing else is going on. Just make sure that they stay close and you don't lose sight of them before the flight.
13. No food 4-6 hours before the flight
The last thing you want for you and your pet is for them to use the toilet while in their container. They will be stuck in there for ages and you won't be able to clean it or them, and you won't have the accessibility or equipment either to do that comfortably or safely. Set an alert, take away the food and water, and keep a close eye they don't have anything else before the flight.
14. Check you have all of your paperwork
Exactly what it says on the tin. Double-check you have:
- Vaccination booklet
- Health certification declarations
- Your documents - they will match and identify you as the owner, and you don't want to get stopped and sent back or any issues that delay you and put the animals at risk of staying in their carrier longer than necessary.
- Evidence of your pet on your booking receipt or emails between you and baggage who should be expecting you
15. Arriving at the airport
- Put your pet in their carrier, and put the carrier on a trolley. Try to not have any other bags or heavy equipment on the carrier as it can tip the carrier over and is dangerous for your pet.
- Let the airline staff know you have to board an animal so they can assist you rather than queuing
- First, they will check you in and take your luggage, then they will focus on your pet.
16. Checking your pet into the hold
- Ask staff where pets can be collected on the otherside.
- They will check your pet's documents
- They will check they are booked on and paid for (liaising with baggage control and traffic staff)
- They will ask for your pet's weight
- You will put your pet carrier on the oversized luggage conveyer belt and they will go through to the other side.
- You will go through a separate security section for your pet. They will ask you to take your pet out of their container so they can inspect the container, then ask you to put your pet back in.
- Make sure you do not leave any food or water with your pet, or anything hazardous they can choke on.
- Say goodbye and you will meet them on the other side. Go through passport and security yourself.
Collecting your pet on the other side
17. Arriving in your destination country
All airports are different, check with staff along the way (stewards, airline staff etc) and ask where you can collect your pet. Usually, it's at the baggage reclaim area where the oversized luggage comes through and they are brought up personally by staff rather than a conveyer belt which can be dangerous.
Get a trolley and taxi, friend or family can meet you at the arrivals hall.
For Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, with Corendon collection was in baggage reclaim oversized section 2 after asking the staff at the counter (handled by another airline on their behalf).
IMPORTANT - VET CONTACT INFORMATION
Santa Maria, Sal Island
- Name: Sahal - Saúde e Qualidade ( Sahal - Health and Quality)
- Physician: Doctor Fatima
- Address: Rua da Morna (Rua do Mercado Municipal C.P. nº 214 - Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal - Cabo Verde
- Website: www.sahal.cv
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +238 2421257 / +238 9979461
- Whatsapp: +238 9979461
- Mon- Fri: 09:00 - 12:00 and 15:00 - 18:00
- Sat: 09:00 - 13:00
- Sun: Closed
- Name: Bons Amigos
- Address: Ponta d'Agua, Praia, Cape Verde
- Website: https://www.bons-amigos.at/
- Email: Visit the website to use the email form
- Telephone: +238 264 15 78
- Mon: Fri: 09:00- 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:00
- Sat: 09:00 - 13:00
- Sun: Closed
Mindelo, Sao Vicente
- Name: Simabo
- Address: Avenida de Cha de Alecrim 5 Mindelo, Cape Verde
- Website: https://simabo.org/
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +238 231 58 34
- Mon- Fri: 09:00 - 12:30 and 13:00 18:30
- Sat: 09:00- 13:00
- Sun: Closed
- Name: Mindavet
- Address: Antigo Largo dos Bombeiros, 4B 2110 Cabo Verde Mindelo, Cape Verde
- Website: https://prassa.chuva.io/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +223 85 89 85 64
- Mon- Fri: 09:00 - 12:30 and 13:00 18:30
- Sat: 09:00- 15:00
- Sun: Closed
FAQs - for UK only
FAQs - for UK only
Q. Can I do a stopover flight? - Not recommended
- Your animal is not allowed to eat or drink for 4-6 hours before a flight, and it's a traumatic experience for an animal to fly in the cargo hold, in a small space where they can't move for what most times will already be 10 hours +. It's not recommended to add on this extra time with connection stop over time and flight time.
- Flying into the UK from Europe requires an agent to act on your behalf which is expensive and requires a lot of paperwork and organising in order for your pet to be received.
- Most people fly to Germany, Belgium or Holland and drive to the UK by ferry or Eurotunnel.
- Flying to France would be the quickest but flights are minimal and I am not aware of which airlines permit pets in the cabin or hold for France.