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São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe by João Ferreira on Unsplash.

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Sao Tome Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


From hiking through lush jungles to diving in crystal-clear waters, enjoy unforgettable experiences with exciting adventures in São Tomé e Príncipe.

About Sao Tome

With a rich history and culture, São Tomé e Príncipe is known for its natural beauty, including stunning beaches, dense rainforests, and volcanic landscapes.

The country's small size and remote location contribute to its appeal as an off-the-beaten-path, tourist destination.

Travel Map Mapping São Tomé and Príncipe

Map of São Tomé and Príncipe

Map of Sao Tome

The island republic of São Tomé and Príncipe lies about 200 km west of Gabon, in the Gulf of Guinea.

The archipelago is made up of the islands of São Tomé, Príncipe, and several small islets.

São Tomé Overview

São Tomé, officially known as the Democratic Republic of São Tomé e Príncipe, is an island nation located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western coast of Central Africa.

São Tomé

São Tomé is the largest and southernmost of the major islands.

The capital is also called São Tomé, and is on the north-east coast of the island of São Tomé.


The culture of São Tomé and Príncipe is a blend of African, Portuguese, and other European influences.

Music and dance are integral parts of the culture, with various traditional styles like socopé, danço congo, and lélé being popular.

São Tomé cuisine features a mix of local ingredients with Portuguese influences.


The economy of São Tomé and Príncipe relies heavily on agriculture, particularly cocoa production.

Other important sectors include fishing and tourism.


São Tomé is known for its lush rainforests, volcanic terrain, and beautiful beaches.


The first Portuguese navigators to discover the islands, while searching for a route to India in the early 1470s, probably found no inhabitants.

The Portuguese shipped convicts and Jews here, and imported African slaves to work their sugar fields.

After cacao was introduced in 1822, Sao Tome and Principe went on to become a leading world producer.

Sao Tome and Principe gained independence on July 12th, 1975, after the coup in Portugal, and many plantation owners fled the islands.


São Tomé and Príncipe is a democratic republic with a multi-party system.

The President is both the head of state and the head of government.

The country has experienced political stability since gaining independence, although there have been occasional challenges related to governance and corruption.


São Tomé and Príncipe is gaining attention as a tourist destination, particularly for eco-tourism.

Visitors are drawn to the islands' pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and opportunities for hiking, diving, and birdwatching.

Visiting São Tomé e Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe is a unique destination with a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural beauty, and promising potential for sustainable development.

São Tomé Adventures Begin Here

By planning ahead and immersing yourself in São Tomé's natural beauty and vibrant culture, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience on this enchanting island, west of Africa.

Best Time to Visit

São Tomé experiences a tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round.

The dry season, from June to September, is generally considered the best time to visit when rainfall is minimal and the weather is sunny.

However, even during the wet season (October to May), rain showers are usually short-lived, and the islands remain lush and green.

Getting There

São Tomé and Príncipe are accessible by air.

São Tomé International Airport (TMS) is the main gateway to the country, with flights from various African and European cities.

TAP Air Portugal and STP Airways are among the airlines that operate flights to São Tomé.

Many cruise itineraries also include São Tomé as a 'port of call', if you just want to have a quick taste of what the island has to offer.

Travel Requirements

Check visa requirements and ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay.

São Tomé and Príncipe typically offer visa-free entry or visas on arrival for many nationalities, but it's best to confirm before travelling.

Things to Do in São Tomé

São Tomé has much to offer in terms of activities and attractions.

Beach Exploration

Discover the island's stunning beaches, such as Praia Piscina, Praia das Sete Ondas, and Praia Inhame.

Cocoa Plantations

Take a tour of cocoa plantations and learn about the island's cocoa production, which is a significant part of its economy.

Cultural Sites

Explore São Tomé city and its colonial architecture, including São Sebastião Museum, which showcases the country's history and culture.

Local Cuisine

Don't miss the opportunity to sample São Toméan cuisine, which blends African and Portuguese influences.

Try dishes like calulu, fish stew with vegetables; banana akara, fried banana fritters; and moqueca, a seafood stew cooked in coconut milk.

Nature and Wildlife

Explore the lush rainforests of Obo National Park, home to diverse flora and fauna, including endemic bird species.

Visit the São Tomé Giant Tree, a remarkable baobab tree with a hollow trunk that you can enter.

Safety and Health

São Tomé is generally considered safe for tourists, but it's essential to take usual precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

Ensure you have travel insurance and consult a healthcare professional for any necessary vaccinations or medications before your trip.

Water Activities

Engage in water sports such as snorkelling, diving, and deep-sea fishing to explore São Tomé's vibrant marine life and coral reefs.

Travel to São Tomé and Príncipe

Airports and Airlines.

An International airport serves Sao Tome.

Map of São Tomé

Map of Sao Tome

Sao Tome Accommodation

Accommodation Options

São Tomé offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and eco-lodges.

São Tomé city and nearby beaches have several hotels catering to different budgets and preferences.

For a unique experience, consider staying in eco-friendly accommodations nestled within the island's rainforests or along its coastline.

Hotels in São Tomé and Príncipe

Pestana Equador Ilheu das Rolas

Pestana Equador Ilheu das Rolas

Pestana Equador Ilheu das Rolas: Avenida Marginal 12 de Julho, Ilheu das Rolas, Sao Tome and Principe.

Located on Ilheu das Rolas, about 60km from the capital of Sao Tome and Principe, this beach island resort is ideal for romantic holidays or nautical sports. Access is only by boat, departing from Porto Alegre, on the island of Sao Tome.

Guests at the Pestana Equador Ilheu das Rolas enjoyed the great location, welcoming staff and outstanding views.

Portuguese Language

The official language of Sao Tome is Portuguese; although 90% of the population speaks Fang, a Bantu language.

A commonwealth of Portuguese-speaking countries was formed on July 17th, 1996, to preserve the Portuguese language, co-ordinate diplomatic efforts, and improve co-operation among its members: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and Sao Tome and Principe.

Lonely Planet Portuguese for Travellers

Portuguese for Travellers:
Teach yourself basic Portuguese before you travel to Sao Tome and Principe.

Sao Tome Maps and Travel Guides

Sao Tome & Principe (Bradt Travel Guides) Michelin Africa North & West Map 741 (Maps/Country (Michelin))

Africa Travel Guides - Africa Maps.

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