Travel to São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe, an African island nation close to the equator, is part of a volcano chain featuring striking rock and coral formations, rain forests and beaches. On the larger island, São Tomé, is the Lagoa Azul lagoon. Ôbo Natural Park, a bio-diverse jungle preserve, covers much of São Tomé and is distinguished by Pico Cão Grande, a skyscraper-like volcanic rock.
São Tomé and Príncipe is a country comprised of two truly wild & untouched islands in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of West Africa. Often described as the “African Galapagos”, these islands offer a rare glimpse into the natural world stood still for hundreds of years. If you are looking for an outdoors adventure miles off the beaten tourist track, then the leafy paradise of São Tomé and Príncipe may just be exactly what you are looking for.
São Tomé may be best known for its beautiful beaches and perfect weather, but venture off the sand and check out fun attractions. You’ll find a island full of history, culture, rugged landscapes, exotic local dishes and even more fun activities.
If you are looking for adventure, cultural experiences, places to try exotic food or want to know where to buy some cool paint there is a chance to find it here.
São Tomé, the southern and larger island, is where your plane will land – some like to spend a few days here exploring the capital; seeing how the locals live & learning about the rich history of the country. However, many like to take a flight the next day up to Príncipe Island and immerse themselves in the incredible nature it is so heralded for.
Upon arrival, many notice how the wildlife is not cautious around humans – the birds do not fly away, rather curiously watch you from a nearby perch. Much like Ecuador’s Galapagos, because these islands have never been connected to mainland, they have their own unique eco-system, species & captivating atmosphere.
Sao Tome By the Numbers
- 2 main islands and 7 islets
- 186 miles from mainland Africa
- 1975 year of independence
- 30,000 overseas visitors each year
- 14,2 per cent of the population work in tourism
- 29 species of endemic bird live on the islands
- 90 per cent of the country is covered in forest
- 42 per cent of the country is protected reserve
Generally, São Tomé and Principe is a very safe place indeed for travelers. There is very little violent crime, and armed robberies and rapes are rare still.
- One completed Sao Tome visa application
- One passport type photo
- Physical passport with 6 months validity beyond trip completion and one blank visa page
- Non-USA passport holders must provide a copy of green card or US Visa and I-94
- One copy of flight itinerary
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit São Tomé runs from June to September, while in Príncipe, it runs from mid-June to mid-September, since it is the driest period, when it rarely rains. However, it should be remembered that the sky is often cloudy even in this season.