Suggested Tours for Sao Tome & Principe
Discover Sao Tome & Principe
- Guided exploration in Sao Tome: delightful culture, culinary experiences, rainforest trails and quiet beaches
- Discovering the beautiful tropical rainforests along walking trails on Principe
- Turtle watching in season; great birding and good snorkelling
- A range of activities included during your time on Principe as part of the Introducing Principe special offer, and applicable to all guests staying 7 or more nights in Principe
Wild São Tomé & Principe - Nature and Beach
- Rainforest hiking and birding in Obô Natural Park
- Remote, deserted beaches including Praia Jale and Praia Inhame in South Sao Tome
- Beach and snorkelling time in beautiful Principe
- Exploring Principe's marvellous hiking trails
Rainbow São Tomé & Príncipe Specialist
Derek's reviewAs some 'in the know' have commented, Sao Tome & Principe is an excellent example when it comes to fashionable getaways of choice for eco-conscious travellers. These far-flung tropical isles in the Gulf of Guinea will most likely never cater for the masses, given their modest infrastructure and the difficulty of access. This makes them ideal for people keen on exploring something refreshingly new. While both the islands are blessed with some beautiful, discreetly located beaches, hoteliers and guides will quickly point out that their country is 'not a beach destination' - because there is plenty to see and experience for visitors with an interest in natural history and in local culture. During a 12 day trip, you can take in magnificent scenery; hike mountain rainforest trails; observe rare birds; go turtle-watching and snorkelling; savour delicious traditional cuisine and enjoy learning about the wonderful community spirit so evident among the resident people.
Derek's Top Tips
- Booking both international and domestic flights for Sao Tome & Principe holidays long in advance, is imperative to avoid disappointment - when I travelled in March 2023, all the flights were full
- An equatorial rainforest climate means being prepared for the occasional rain shower is sensible. Do take a dry-bag to protect valuables and perhaps a second pair of trainers if you're going hiking.
- For the Sao Tome section of your trip, pre-arrange activities in advance so that you're sure that in busy times, the right vehicles will be allocated for your trip.
Best Time To Visit São Tomé & Príncipe
Quick Country Facts
Time Zone:GMT +0 hours
Currency:Sao Tome and Principe Dobra
Why visit São Tomé and Príncipe?
A São Tomé and Príncipe holiday offers an exceptional combination of nature, beach and delicious food. There are plenty of things to do. Travel writer Nigel Tisdall has visited them many times and describes them as a "dream destination for any fan of Africa’s undiscovered corners".
Thickly forested with interesting birdlife - the 28 endemic species include some of the world's rarest and most endangered birds, such as Dwarf olive ibis, Sao Tome fiscal and Sao Tome grosbeak - these impressive volcanic islands seem impossibly remote. However, getting here is pretty straightforward thanks to TAP/ Air Portugal’s flights from Lisbon – and there’s no jet lag, making a seven - 10 day holiday there entirely manageable!
Discovered by the Portuguese in the 1470s, the islands were for many centuries given over to roças, feudal plantations growing sugar, coffee and cacao using slaves and contract workers imported from Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique. These became the forefathers of today’s São Toméans, who now number around 220,000. The colonists left abruptly in 1975, leaving a ghostly legacy of bandstands, churches and wide, tree-lined avenidas. Portuguese remains the official language, bars sell Superbock beer, hotel rooms are priced in Euros.
Our verdict: go now, before the masses discover these delightful isles!
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