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Cape Verde holiday illness and accident advice

Cape Verde has long been a popular holiday destination, but in recent years it appears that more holidaymakers are choosing to travel there, and with such appealing year-round good weather it's easy to understand why. While it is a truly stunning place to visit, things can go wrong. We've put together a guide to avoiding accidents and illness in Cape Verde, including advice on how to make a 'no win no fee' compensation claim.

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Cape Verde (aka Cabo Verde)

Situated just off the coast of Africa; Cape Verde, which is known as Cabo Verde in its colonial Portuguese, is a volcanic island that enjoys temperatures around the mid-20°C mark throughout the year. With a stunning array of scenery and great beaches, it's no surprise that this little island has gained in popularity as a holiday destination.

Unfortunately, this increase in popularity may be to blame for a perceived slip in standards at some of the all-inclusive hotels in Cape Verde, as our travel law team has encountered an increasing number of complaints from holidaymakers who have experienced problems there.

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Reduce the risk of illness in Cape Verde

While contracting a harmful strain of bacteria or parasite can be unavoidable, there are steps that you can take to reduce the risk of being sick on holiday. Some of the following steps might seem obvious, but by keeping them in mind, you could prevent your dream trip abroad from becoming a nightmare:

  • Cleanliness - Keeping an eye on resort cleanliness is an obvious precaution, as you can avoid some bacteria and parasite simply by being aware of how clean your room, the dining areas and other parts of your hotel are. If you do find any problem areas; notify the hotelier and your tour operator as soon as possible.
  • Food hygiene standards - It's important that food is prepared to and kept at the appropriate temperature, or to put it another way; hot food should be hot and cold food should be cold. If it isn't, it could become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. You could also be at risk of food poisoning if a hotel recycles meals unsafely.
  • Contaminated water - It's important to be aware that the tap water in Cape Verde is not considered to be safe to drink, and even though you may find that your hotel purifies the water used in ice cubes and the water they cook with, to reduce the risk that you'll get sick, stick to drinking bottled water and consider turning down ice cubes in drinks.
  • Wildlife in dining areas - Taking in the wildlife in a foreign country is part of what makes travelling abroad such an adventure, but you don't want to see them in a hotel's dining areas. Many insects, animals and lizards are capable of spreading harmful bacteria and hazardous parasites, meaning that their presence around food presents a health risk.
  • Check the reviews before you book - One of the notable conveniences of the age we live in is that we can read online reviews before parting with any money. By reading the reviews on travel websites, including review aggregators such as TripAdvisor before you book, you can find out if there any current or historical problems at the resort you want to go to.

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What to do if you're sick in Cape Verde

Being sick in a foreign country can be very disconcerting, but there are things that you can do that may help you feel better and potentially salvage your holiday.

It's beneficial to notify your holiday rep and hotelier of your condition, as they may be able to help you with access to a medical practitioner. Notifying them will also enable them to address the cause of your illness and potentially take steps to prevent other guests from becoming unwell.

Get a stool sample test for food poisoning

If you see a medical practitioner about food poisoning, it's advisable to request them to carry out a stool sample test, potentially asking them to look for a specific pathogen if you know of one that is prevalent around your resort.

If you suffer from a stomach illness in a hot country, it's usually advisable to rest and ensure that you replace any lost fluids by drinking from sealed bottles of water, rather than tap water which could be contaminated.

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Food poisoning pathogens in Cape Verde

While there aren't any food poisoning pathogens that are particularly unique to Cape Verde, being aware of some of the more common stomach illness-causing bacteria and parasites may help you to reduce the risk of a disastrous trip abroad:

What to do if you're in an accident in Cape Verde

It's not uncommon to encounter on-going maintenance work in and around a busy resort, and equally, there can be areas where maintenance is lacking. If you're injured in an accident that occurred as a result of inadequate safety procedures or due to a lack of maintenance, you may be able to claim compensation from your tour operator.

It's important to receive treatment from a medical practitioner as soon as possible, as the extent of your injury might not be immediately apparent and you could do further damage by carrying on without medical attention.

It's also advisable to record evidence of the cause of your injury as close to the time of your accident as possible. This is because a good hotelier should take steps to prevent other guests from being injured, which could make it difficult to collect evidence which may be beneficial if you need to claim compensation once you return to the UK.

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Common holiday accidents

It's important to keep in mind that your accident will be assessed on the standards in place in Cape Verde, but if you've been injured as a result of any of the following accidents, get in touch with a member of our travel law team:

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Claim 'no win no fee' compensation

If you're involved in an accident or get sick on an all-inclusive package holiday to Cape Verde that you booked in the UK, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992, you may be able to claim compensation.

This is because your tour operator is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure your safety while you're in Cape Verde. This responsibility extends to any elements of your trip abroad that are covered under the package holiday contract that you hold with them, whether or not those elements were provided directly by your tour operator or through one of their third-party suppliers.

This may include your flight, hotel, any all-inclusive drinks and meals, any transfers that are included in your package, and potentially other parts of your package holiday.

How to find out if you booked a package holiday

Your tour operator should have informed you that you were booking a package holiday to Cape Verde at the time you purchased it. If you're not sure, then check to see if you meet the following criteria, because if you do, it's likely that you booked a package holiday:

  • You were issued with an ATOL certificate
  • You paid a single price that covered your flights, hotel, meals and drinks

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Receive legal advice from a travel law specialist first

While it's important to speak to your tour operator if you were involved in an accident or suffered an illness in Cape Verde, it's advisable to receive legal advice before accepting an offer of compensation from your tour operator. This is because once you accept an offer, your tour operator will likely perceive the issue as having been resolved, and you'll be unable to make an additional claim.

Our travel law specialists can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation during which we can assess the value of your case. As there's no obligation to proceed with a compensation claim on a 'no win no fee' basis with us, if you choose not to do so, you can always return to your tour operator to accept their offer with a clearer understanding of your legal rights.

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Speak to a travel law specialist by completing our online enquiry form and we'll call you back, or call us directly on 0808 145 1353.

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