SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE TRAVEL GUIDE

São Tomé and Príncipe, an African island nation close to the equator, is part of a volcano chain featuring striking rock and coral formations, rainforests and beaches. Discovered and claimed by Portugal in the late 15th century, the islands' sugar-based economy gave way to coffee and cocoa in the 19th century.

 

It has a rather chequered history of the slave trade and slave labour, of colony and colonisers, of revolutionaries and freedom movements, of military coups and elections. Visitors to the islands swear by its cocoa, by its virgin beaches and crystal clear waters, steamy jungles and extinct volcanoes, by its Creole culture and Afro-Latin music – reasons enough to visit the islands.

 

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SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE QUICK FACTS

  • Capital: São Tomé

  • Currency: dobra (STD)

  • Area: 1,000 sq km

  • Population: 211 028 (2018)

  • Language: Portuguese (official)

  • Religion: Christian 80% (Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Seventh-Day Adventist)

  • Electricity: 220V/50Hz (European plug)

 

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SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 3 February, Martyrs’ Day (Heroes’ Day)
  • 1 May, Labor Day
  • 12 July, Independence Day (1975)
  • 6 September, Armed Forces Day
  • 30 September, Agricultural Reform Day
  • 21 December, São Tomé Day
 
 

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE WEATHER SYNOPSIS

The climate of São Tomé and Príncipe is tropical with one long rainy season lasting nine months, lasting from September through May, and producing an annual average rainfall of 900 mm. The rainy season is interrupted by a short period termed, “Gravanito”, and occurs during the months of December and January. During this short period, a decrease in rainfall and average air temperature is observed. The occurrence of this intermediate season is dependent on the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. A three-month dry season termed “Gravana” lasts from June through August coinciding with the lowest average temperatures of the year. Mean temperatures vary a few degrees throughout the year, ranging between 22°C and 26°C. The lowest average temperatures occur during the dry season months of June through August, while the rainy season experiences higher temperatures.

 

SPORT & ACTIVITIES

HIKING & CYCLING IN SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

The best time for outdoor activities in São Tomé and Príncipe is between June and September when it is dry and you can also watch whales.

BEACH OPTIONS IN SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

The best time to enjoy the beaches of São Tomé and Príncipe is during the two dry seasons of December to February and June to September.

SURFING IN SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

São Tomé and Príncipe is a perfect surfing destination in Africa where you can enjoy uncrowded pointbreaks, amazing wildlife and exquisite cocoa and coffee plantations. The best swells for surfing will usually hit the islands between June and September.

 
 

HEALTH RISKS IN SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Sao Tome and Principe

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

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