Tarrafal camp
Tarrafal camp
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Top ways to experience Tarrafal camp and nearby attractions

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles109 reviews
Excellent
24
Very good
54
Average
24
Poor
5
Terrible
2

saronic
Zurich, Switzerland26,268 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Solo
For people interested in colonial history the two main sights in the Cape Verde are both on the island of Santiago: one, Cidade Velha, deals with the beginning of this period, the other, the Tarrafal Concentration Camp, with its end. Each of them is fascinating (and upsetting for many) in its own way.

To get to Tarrafal Concentration one best takes an aluguer, although one can also walk. On the sidewalk of the main road it hardly takes 30 minutes from Tarrafal center. A bit longer and more difficult in regard to orientation is the walk along the coast, whre one has to branch off inland at the right moment, otherwise one ends up in the village of Chão Bom first.

In January 2016, as a memorial plaque informs us, the Campo de Concentração was officially opened in the presence of the prime ministers of Portugal and Cape Verde. Now there are several very good information boards in Portuguese, English and French all over the place.

First there are some outer buildings of the former prison staff, then to get to the camp proper, one has to pass an entrance with a low fee of 100 Esc (1 €). I did not see any opening hours mentioned anywhere. Maybe the lady at the gate opens and closes, as she feels. When there late afternoon and during way more than an hour, I was always alone.

The camp, which opened in 1936, was first meant for people opposing the regime of Salazar, later it became a prison for independence fighters from Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. The place closed with the carnation revolution in Portugal 1974.

Thanks to the information boards it is much easier to get a feeling of life inside the camp. Besides the halls, where the prisoners were kept - separated by nationality - one can see the washrooms, the toilets, the kitchen, the small infirmary, the cell for solitary confinement, the reading room.

Near the entrance it is possible to go to the top of the wall, where one sees that there was an inner moat before the wall. There is also a memorial plaque for all the prisoners, who died here - aged between 24 and 60 years. And as it says on an other information board, this place was called: 'The Camp of Slow Death'.
Written December 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

carrotav
114 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015
This was a prison until 1974, when Cape Verde declared its independence from Portugal. Earlier it was used for Portuguese prisoners against the dictatorship in Portugal and later for fighters from the colonies against the Portuguese control.
It is well maintained and has a lot of information about the history of the place, although I think, but am not sure, that all the information is only in Portuguese.
Written October 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yolande V
Amsterdam, The Netherlands264 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
Yellow baraks in the heat, give you a good impression of the camplife in the 50s 60s. Never knew that the Portugeese had their own Guantánamo bay. There is info in english. Unfortunately no books or flyers in English about this camp. People now live in the kazern outside the camp.
Written March 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malgosia M
Brussels, Belgium4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Friends
A place without protection. A bunch of children attack visitors begging for money and food. No one watches over them. While busy visiting the site, someone punctured a tyre in our car with nails. Better not to leave the car unattended. No one watches the surroundings. Cameras are installed inside the camp but not outside. There should be someone keeping an eye on the surroundings to avoid damages caused to the visitors.
The camp is an interesting place to visit, a part of history of Cabo Verde but this incident spoiled totally our visit.
Written April 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Iolanda Guerra e Andrade
Lisbon, Portugal1,904 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Friends
Any concentration camp is a permanent reminder of what should not be repeated and despite the fact that most of the chambers don't convey what really happened it is nevertheless worth the visit in my personal perspective.
Written July 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

UKbadiabranca
Colombo, Sri Lanka694 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Couples
There isn't a great deal to see, but if you read the information ( which does have English translations) and go inside the buildings it is fairly easy to imagine and piece together the horrible history in this 'Camp of Slow Death'.
Written January 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roseglobe
Rome, Italy600 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Friends
One of those places you will never forget. You cannot think of such an awful place to have been still operating 40 years ago. A never closed wound, teaching so much.
Written January 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wouter R
35 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Couples
Campo do Taraffal gives you an impressive insight on the way Portugal under the rule of Salazar was handling persons with a different political view
The building speak for itself but it would be nice if the Portuguese texts were translated in English.
Written August 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ramune T
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg20 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Friends
It is worth seeing just in order to understand better the history of Cape Verde.

If you need a guide with a car from Praia to travel in Santiago and speak Spanish or Portuguese (he understands some English), call Emanuel at 9810891 - we enjoyed his company a lot.
Written November 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

halfadime
York, PA54 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2012 • Family
My first overseas trip was Portugal in 1972 when Salazar was dictator. Soldiers were stationed everywhere, but at 21 I did not well understand why. After all, they didn't bother us tourists. In Tarrafal, I saw Salazar's concentration camp. The place was ill tended, but my visit brought me full circle to see the human impact of fascism and the last grasp of a European power in maintaining colonialism.
Written February 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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