When to go
The islands have a hot and humid, tropical climate and can be visited year-round. At sea level the average day time temperatures are about 27°C and there is not much variation. The mountainous interior is cooler with average temperatures closer to 20°C.
While there is usually some inclement weather throughout the year because of the tropical and equatorial location, the wettest months are traditionally from March to May (peaking in April, though the rainy season starts in February), and then again in October and November (peaking during November). While we therefore do not recommend traveling to the islands in April or November, even then the rains generally come in the form of scattered thundershowers which are usually interspersed with hours of blazing, tropical sunshine.
If you plan to travel in July-August or December - January, we strongly advise you to book flights minimum 6 months prior to departure to avoid disappointment.
The best way to fly to São Tomé is on Air Portugal which operates regular flights from London (or selected other UK airports) to Sao Tome via Lisbon. Some flights are daytime all the way from UK to Sao Tome, others may necessitate an overnight stay in Lisbon. It is also possible to fly via Accra. Ask us for details.
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Visas (31 March 2022 update)
As of 31 March 2022, UK passport holders travelling to Sao Tome & Principe for less than 15 days no longer require a visa.
Most other passport-holders (USA, Canada, EU and CPLP/ Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries) staying for less than 15 days will also not require a visa.
However if staying for 15 days or longer, a visa will be necessary.
If the e-visa platform is offline, you can email the Director of the Immigration & Border Service requesting authorisation for entry: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your flight and hotel reservations in your email. The online visa fee is 28 euro per person.
Once the documents are obtained, print and present them at the border. Note: a 20 euro fee per person is payable in cash for everyone who requires a visa, even after an application has been completed and paid for. Your passport must be valid for at least twelve months beyond your intended stay in São Tomé and must contain at least two completely blank pages, one for the visa and one for the entry stamp.
Malaria prophylactics are a requirement.