Itinerary Highlights

  • 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
  • Learning about Santomean culture and enjoying traditional cuisine
  • Turtle-watching and Whale watching in season

What's Included

  • Flights
  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Travel Guide
  • Transfers
11 nights from £3,950 - £4,425 per person

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

This delightful breakaway is perfect for active travellers with a thirst for new and remote destinations off the beaten track. Start with 4 nights on Sao Tome at the relaxed Omali Lodge, your comfortable base for exploring the larger of the two islands. Our selected range of excursions will give you the opportunity to explore a rainforest trail and take in some birding; enjoy a culinary experience and visit the quiet, remote beaches on the wilder southern coast.

Then flit off to Principe, a delightful island where you enjoy a break at the stylish and atmospheric Roca Belo Monte, which has access to five very photogenic beaches, notably the glorious Praia Banana.

Enjoy warm hospitality, good food and apart from relaxing and taking in the ambience, you might wish to try some of the many activities possible here, such as scuba diving, turtle watching (in season), and hiking.

As with all of our Sao Tome trips, this itinerary is a sample which can be tailored to suit individual interests and requirements. 


Take your early morning flight with TAP*** from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to São Tomé via Lisbon. On arrival into Sao Tome, you will be welcomed and transferred to Omali Lodge for a 4 night stay with breakfast included. *** Many TAP flights stop for an hour at Accra Airport. *** If you prefer to overnight in Lisbon on the way (or, to spend a few nights there), do let us know as we can assist with arrangements.
For this half- day, private tour you will be collected from your hotel at 08h00 by your guide and driver. From the Pousada de Boa Vista, you can take in panoramic views (weather permitting) of the city of São Tomé before continuing on to the picturesque Cascata de São Nicolau (Saint Nicholas) waterfall. Part of the journey to this waterfall will be on foot through the secondary rain forest; the walking time is about 45 minutes. At the waterfall there is a refreshment stop for Santomean coffee and a local dessert. You then descend to the high altitude coffee plantation of Monte Café, formerly the largest and most prosperous of the island's coffee plantations. Here, excellent quality coffee was produced for export. You'll be able to learn about the treatment process of the coffee in the traditional and modern methods. Included: Rain cape, bottled mineral water, coffee and typical local sweet. Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes and clothing - paths are usually wet and muddy; take snacks; sun-screen, some insect repellent; hat and sunglasses. If you wish to purchase coffee at Monte Café plantation, some local currency will be handy.
An introduction to the Obô Chiflera: your guide will collect you from Omali Lodge at about 09h00 (time to be confirmed locally) and drive you in your private 4-wheel drive vehicle up to Bom Sucesso. After a cup of coffee and a short visit to the botanical garden of ECOFAC, you begin the walk through the zone of Esperança. After walking through some cultivated plots, you will arrive at the entrance of Obô Natural Park, where the primary forest begins. Explore the rainforest along the trail with your guide, who will help you to find some of the island's rare endemic birds, and who will also explain the ecosystem to you. (You needn't go to the volcanic lake Amelia if you don't feel like it, as its more the rainforest trails that tend to appeal here). Endemic birds we easily encountered during our March 2023 visit include Sao Tome green and Island bronze-naped pigeons; Sao Tome oriole, Sao Tome paradise flycatcher, Black-capped speirops and Sao Tome weaver. After a break and a picnic in the rainforest, descend to Bom Sucesso where your vehicle awaits for the drive to Casa Almada Negreiros, a delightful restaurant run by two Santomean brothers. Enjoy the stunning views from the deck over the forested gorge, and a great meal here before you are taken back to Omali Lodge.
This is a fun day out: your private guide and private driver will collect you at Omali Lodge around 09h00 (time to be confirmed with you, locally). Set off in your private 4-wheel drive jeep on the approx. 2 hour journey to remote south Sao Tome. (Note that some of the roads are rough). Along the way, stop for a Mangrove boat trip. There will also be some sightseeing stops, including the chance to take the obligatory photos of Pico Caio Grande, and then proceed to the lovely Praia Inhame beach, where you can learn about Turtle conservation efforts; see the Hatchery, have a relaxed seafood lunch and enjoy a swim. In the afternoon, return to Omali Lodge.
An early start: transfer after breakfast to Sao Tome Airport for the 30 minute flight to Principe departing 09h00. On arrival into the tiny Principe Airport, you will be welcomed and transferred to Roca Belo Monte, where you stay for 5 nights in a Plantation Room, with dinner and breakfast included. > Do ask us about supplements should you prefer to upgrade to one of the Suite rooms. This elegant property is much enjoyed by our clients. Rooms are comfortable, and the main house, with its swimming pool and the gorgeous views that can be enjoyed nearby, is conducive to relaxation. The hotel has access to seven beaches, which are down a twisty track but that in itself is a nice little walk - which, if you don't want to do it, worry not - the staff will come and collect you. The friendliness of the staff is also always appreciated and complimented.
Another day to enjoy beautiful Principe with Roca Belo Monte as your comfortable base. If you are there from late December through to late March, you'll be able to do as we did in 2023 and see (and assist) hatchling marine Turtles make it to the ocean! Speak to Veronica or Miles at reception to arrange one of these unforgettable experiences at nearby Praia Grande - the cost is 75 euros per person.
Enjoy two more days on remote and lovely Principe with its quiet beaches and laid-back ambience. Go hiking (very energetic guests could try taking on the trail to Parrot Peak); visit Santo Antonio, or in season enquire about Turtle and Whale watching; seek some of the endemic birds or just kick back and enjoy of the lovely beaches, such as Praia Banana. Roca Belo Monte's involvement in conservation of Principe's natural heritage, is worth elaborating on here: as part of Africa’s Eden, a sustainable tourism organization operating under the concept of ‘Tourism Pays for Conservation' the hotel aims to give travellers the opportunity to experience nature in rarely explored destinations and revenues generated through tourism are then invested in conservation projects. Africa’s Eden works in a local context to achieve sustainable protection of unique nature and facilitates employment and education opportunities. After successfully introducing this concept in Loango National Park in Gabon, Africa’s Eden expanded its activities to São Tomé and Príncipe. For years Africa’s Eden has supported the research expeditions of the California Academy of Sciences on Príncipe and also marine research and sea turtle conservation activities of the Fundaçao Príncipe Trust. Conservation activities: Príncipe has a unique biodiversity, but a lack of data and resources complicate its conservation. In 2017 Africa’s Eden founded the 'Forever Príncipe!' conservation alliance located at Belo Monte Plantation Hotel. Forever Príncipe! has set up a conservation program consisting of seven pilot projects through partnerships with renowned universities. These conservation projects have been selected for the conservation relevance by informing conservation action on current challenges on Príncipe, as well as the potential for community engagement. Forever Príncipe!’s conservation projects are as follows: Fish reproduction and maturity: Aim: Understand the life cycle of important demersal fish species in order to formulate better fishing regulations to keep these populations healthy and the food chain in balance. Campaign against unsustainable fishing and trial a seasonal closure or locally marine managed area Aim: Reduce unsustainable fishing practices and ensure improved marine conservation through the creation of a seasonal closure or a locally marine managed area. Ex situ conservation of Príncipe’s orchids Aim: Conservation of Príncipe’s orchids, with a special focus on the endemic and threatened species. Orchids have been collected and put in a shade house at Belo Monte Plantation Hotel for further research. Create a citizen science scheme on reef fish, bird and butterfly diversity Aim: Monitoring butterflies, birds and reef fish biodiversity across seasons and years within the concession through a participatory approach Ecological assessment of the endemic scops owl Aim: Understand the ecology of the scops owl on Príncipe in order to protect the species. Assess the importance of Príncipe’s rhodolith beds Aim: Assess the ecological importance of Príncipe’s rhodolith beds. Botanical and entomological assessment of Príncipe’s mountain and cloud forest Aim: Unravel the botanic and entomological diversity of Príncipe’s cloud forests, as well as their main ecosystem services.
Morning to enjoy Principe. This afternoon (time to be confirmed locally) you will be transferred back to Principe Airport to check in for the 30 minute afternoon flight, back to Sao Tome, where you are met on arrival and taken to Omali Lodge, to stay overnight in a premier double room with breakfast.
This morning at about 09h00 (time to be confirmed locally), your private guide and driver will collect you from Omali reception. Set off in your guided city highlights tour of Sao Tome today, with lunch at a carefully chosen restaurant where you might wish to try local speciality dishes such as calulu, a delicious stew containing fish and a complex combination of vegetables and herbs. Late checkout at Omali Lodge, included. In the late afternoon or evening, depending on the time of your TAP flight back to Lisbon, you will be transferred back to Xavier Nuno Airport to check in for your flights home via Lisbon after a wonderful break.
On arrival back into Lisbon this morning off the overnight TAP flight from Sao Tome, check in for the connecting TAP flight back to London or selected other UK cities.

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Pricing Information & Dates

11 nights from £3,950 - £4,425 per person
Itinerary Dates

1st Sep 2023 -
20th Dec 2023
1st Jan 2024 -
20th Dec 2024

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Price Includes

  • Return International Flights as per the itinerary
  • All airport taxes and security charges
  • Accommodation and meals as specified
  • Transfers as specified
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • All entrace fees on sightseeing tours as specified
* Return international TAP flights from London Heathrow or selected other UK airports to Sao Tome via Lisbon * Return inter-island domestic flights * Air taxes * All transfers and transportation * Accommodation with meals as indicated * All privately guided excursions as per the itinerary, with lunches and entrance fees.

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions
* Meals not included * Drinks, tips, travel insurance, laundry * Activities in Principe are not included in Roca Belo Monte's rates: the hotel prefers for guests to arrange these while on-site, due to weather conditions.

Pricing Notes

*This sample itinerary can be adapted to suit special interests and requirements. So if for instance you would like to add a night or more onto the stay in Principe, do let us know. * Also, if you would like to stay for a night or more in Lisbon en route to the islands, we will be pleased to assist.

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
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