• Sao Tome Views
  • Bom Bom Walkway
  • Bom Bom Beach
  • Homegrown Cacao
  • Tomato Harvest

São Tomé and Príncipe Island Travel

São Tomé and Príncipe

Virtually unknown and little visited, this tiny island nation offers a tropical castaway experience that seamlessly blends old world charm, pristine natural beauty, and an adventurous getaway. Consisting of two archipelagos around the two main islands of São Tomé (population 200 000) and Príncipe (population 7000) roughly 140km apart. Perched on the equator and located 320 km off the coast of West Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, this is truly an unspoilt destination waiting to be explored.

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Island Travel

Sustainability and conservation are the two watchwords of tourist development on this island nation. Verdant jungle, fantastic beaches, friendly people and extremely low tourist volumes make this a unique destination in our frenetically high paced world. Car rental and taxis are available for transportation around the limited road system and a regular air service provides a connection between São Tomé and Príncipe.  Though limited, a handful of accommodations ranging from quaint to luxurious, are available in spectacular locations.

Island Experience

São Tomé is the larger of the two islands and the small but bustling capital of São Tomé City is the major population center. Located just north of the equator, both mountainous islands are predominantly covered with rich jungle vegetation with a scattering of Cocoa plantations.  Relatively unknown among tourists, this modern-day Robinson Crusoe experience offers warm equatorial waters providing a paradise for swimming, snorkeling, diving and fishing. The breathtaking mountainous interiors on the other hand offer tropical jungle hikes, waterfalls and incredible bird watching. Discovering the islands in the 1470’s, the Portuguese used them as a slaving station and the rich volcanic soil made for vast and productive sugar, coffee and Cocoa plantations. Poignant remnants of that history are visible today, waiting to be explored and discovered.

Ready for a life changing experience? Get in touch with us now to design your soul-enriching island travel experience to São Tomé and Príncipe!

Information & Videos

Click the tabs below to learn more about São Tomé and Príncipe or watch one of the videos showcasing the unique experience São Tomé and Príncipe have to offer…

São Tomé and Príncipe Highlights

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  • The whole island of Príncipe is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
  • See the 663m needle-shaped Pico Cão Grande (Great Dog Peak), a solid column of magma
  • Feast on top quality locally grown chocolate.
  • Experience island life in São Tomé’s exciting market (Marcado Grande).
  • Explore the island’s colonial past.
  • Between November & March Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles lay their eggs on Príncipe.
  • The islands are home to many endemic birds including the world’s smallest Ibis and the world’s largest sunbird.
Sao Tome Vistas
Octopus Salad

Culture & Cuisine

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As is evident by the nation’s history, the main cultural influences are Portuguese and West African.  Both influences are evident in the cultural markers of music and cuisine.  The country’s music is a wonderful amalgamation of African beats and Portuguese ballroom dancing, a tradition that has remained incredibly popular throughout the country.  Santomean cuisine features fish and seafood along with maize, beans and cooked banana, as common staples.  Tropical fruits abound and coffee is often used as a spice or seasoning.  Though typical Portuguese cuisine does not make much use of chili’s, the use of hot spices is prominent in São Tomése cuisine.

Weather in Príncipe

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São Tomé and Príncipe enjoy a tropical, hot and humid climate year-round with January through April experiencing maximum temperatures of 30C and slightly lower temperatures from June to August. Cloudy conditions are the daily norm with rainfall varying significantly depending on where you are on the islands.  The sea temperatures vary between 26C and 29C, making water activities a wonderfully comfortable year-round activity.

Deserted Beaches

Travel Tips & Advice

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Visas are not required for visitors from the European Union, Canada or the USA and a 15-day maximum stay is granted.

The driest time to visit is from June-September and though the skies are occasionally cloudy, the weather is warm, and whale-spotting is a highlight. December to February are great months too as there are sunnier skies and the light is better for photography and flowers.  The rainy season falls from October-November and again in April-May, so those are best to be avoided. Excellent flights connect São Tomé to mainland Portugal, making this an excellent combination.

Photography Tips

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Verdant tropical forest, old colonial ruins, tropical birds, friendly locals and grand sweeping beaches offer loads of photographic opportunity. Shorter lenses will typically be more useful unless you are shooting tropical birds, for which you’ll need a long lens. Be sure to bring a rain cover for your camera, particularly if you are planning on hiking in the forest and a tripod is invaluable for taking advantage of exceptional night skies.

BomBom Walkway

Principe Island

I am Principe

Sundy Praia lodge

Photo Gallery

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