São Tomé is the larger of the two islands, home to the capital (also called São Tomé) and where the international airport |(Nuno Xavier Aeroporto) is located.
Most visitors to São Tomé are nature-lovers, keen to try hiking in the interior, where most paths are cleared by athletic guides wielding machetes.
One compelling sight is the country’s stately roças, which seem straight out of an Isabel Allende novel. Some are huge, with castellated gates and forlorn, semi-derelict hospitals. Others are reviving as the world awakes to the joys of São Tomé’s delicious organic chocolate. A century ago, these islands were the world’s largest producer of cacao, and you can take estate tours to learn how this tropical fruit gets turned into the prized bars and drinking powders now available in gourmet shops in the UK. Please do note however, that Sao Tome is a very poor country.
We are able to arrange privately guided excursions for you to various parts of Sao Tome, depending on what you are interested in. A tour of the capital, Sao Tome takes in the Municipal Museum; S. Sebastião fortress, Nacional Library, Historical archive, Presidential Palace /“Pink palace”, Cathedral, Municipal Market, Coco Market and Our Lady of Conceição church.
Those keen on a bit of light adventure could head to the Southern Sao Tome beaches: on this full day trip, you can explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in São Tomé in a leve-leve (easy, unhurried) pace. Stops you can incorporate include a Mangrove for a boat trip, lovely Praia Inhame beach; Jalé beach and Piscina beach. At all 3 beaches, you'll see markers of Turtle nests if you're there at the right time of year and it is possible by arrangement, to do some Turtle watching.
Or head inland on the Mountains and Coffee outing, during which you travel into the heart of the island and get to know the most iconic sites where coffee is produced. Visit Trindade town Santa Clara plantation, Batepá historical place, Monte Café plantation, the Botanical Garden - Bom Sucesso and the Cascata de São Nicolau waterfall.
Keen natural history enthusiasts should not miss Obô Natural Park hiking and Lagoa Amelia. Enjoy the views from the volcanic crater of Lagoa Amelia after discovering the rainforest and its rare birdlife. See various endemic Orchids, Giant begonias and other plants in the Botanical Garden of Ecofac. For serious birders, we are also able to arrange excursions with a birding expert guide; let us know in advance if you're keen to seek out the rarer endemic species.
- 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
- 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
Omali Lodge Boutique Hotel is set along the shore of Lagarto Beach close to the cultural melting pot of São Tomé Town. Just 5 minutes outside of town and an hour away from Obo Natural Park, the lodge provides a comfortable base both to relax and from which to explore the island of São Tomé. The narrow, crescent shaped beach is separated from the hotel by a road and string of palm trees. Accommo...
This relaxed seaside hotel offers an alternative choice for visitors who are keen on experiencing more of Sao Tome. Located about 15km from Sao Tome town, the property has a private beach and offers 31 comfortable, en-suite bungalows. There are three types of bungalow: The Standard bungalows (Twin/Double/Single) are air-conditioned and can accommodate two adults and a young child up to age 12. ...
Looking for inspiration?
You'll find expert travel guides, holiday ideas and insider tips now on the Rainbow blog
Why Choose Us?
Passionate travel experts
- We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
- Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
- We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences
Personal & tailor-made
- You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
- We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
- Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love
Responsible by nature
- We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
- For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
- We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours