Sao Tome and Principe consist of two major island and many islets. The country is located on the Gulf of Guinea and the entire island of Principe is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The country has a population of about 200,000 with Portuguese as the official language. The major religion is Christianity.
Sao Tome is the larger of the two islands with about 75% of the country’s population. Sao Tome is also the capital and largest city. It is home to the Obo National Park, a natural park covering more than half of the island and the famous Lagoa Azul Lagoon.
The country has a hot, rainy and humid climate, with little temperature variation throughout the year. However, there are variations in different areas. The country has two seasons: the rainy season, from October to May, with a mini dry season from January to February, and the dry season, is from June to September. The temperature during the dry season is cooler.
Casual light wear clothing is recommended, as the weather is humid.
Sao Tomean culture is a mixture of West African and Portuguese influences. With close proximity to water, staple foods include fish and seafood and there is also an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables on the island.
Taxis and minibuses are popular modes of transport, and you can hire a taxi through a taxi company or flag down a taxi or minibus. Although the country has an extensive road network, a number of them are in poor condition. Ferries and airplanes are also available to navigate between islands.
From rainforests to beaches and coral formations to parks with incredible flora and fauna, Sao Tome has enough to keep you entertained. Some popular destinations are:
- Boca de Inferno: a popular tourist spot. Boca de Inferno means ‘Mouth of Hell’, and it is so named because the water passes through a narrow passage and exits forcefully making a thundering roaring sound.
- Pico de Sao Tome: the 6800 feet mountain is the highest mountain on the islands, it is located in the Obo National Park. You can hike up the mountain and enjoy beautiful green scenery of the rainforest.
- Sao Joao dos Angolares: a small fishing village that is one of the oldest settlements in the country. It is home to the fortress of Sao Sebastiao, which was built in 1575.
- Lagoa Azul (The Blue Lagoon): a popular diving and snorkelling spot.
Most Sao Tome festivals are religious festivals celebrated with the Christian faith; Independence Day, on July 12th, and International Workers’ Day (Labour Day), held on May 1st are two popular civic celebrations.
There are many other things to do in Sao Tome and Principe; you can go on fishing excursions, laze on beautiful beaches and engage in water sports, take a hike or tour some of the best coffee plantations.