Exotic palm beaches, dense forested volcanic slopes and old sugar and cocoa plantations are what describe the Sao Tome and Principe islands on the west coast of Africa. The islands make one of the smallest country in Africa however brimming with wild beauty. You are a looking at paradise on earth, Sao Tome and Principe holidays are the exact gateway you need.
Tourist Attractions and Sights
The white sand palm beaches are secluded and almost free of crowds. Illheu Bom Bom Island from the north coast of Principe is the most popular tourist resort. Agestinho Neto is home to the largest cocoa plantations on the island reminiscent of the Portuguese colonial era. Stop by the old fortress museum of Sao Sebastiao and see religious art collections, colonial artifacts and items. The remains of Cacao Kings are tucked in a box. The museum rooftop will give you an iconic view of the ocean and the palm beaches
Over 60% of the island is covered in dense rainforests with 130 different plant species, some 28 endemic birds, 14 reptiles, 9 amphibian species and several mammals. You’ll find spontaneous orchids especially in the rainy season around January. Almond trees, bread fruit trees, bananas, cocoa, sugar plantations and different species of ferns fringes the coastal beaches.
Diving is good around the beaches particularly from the blue lagoon of Lagoa Azul. Here you’ll find unequalled wealth of fish, whales, sea turtles, rays and beautiful coral reefs. Fishing is good around May to October with catches like yellow tuna, dorado, sail fish, wahoo, snapper and others. July to December is time to watch humpack whales that visit the gulf for mating and calving areas. The beaches are also breeding ground for sea turtles like green turtles, olive ridley, hawksbill, leather back and others. Boat rides are available for whale watching trips.
Birding is good all year round wit 120 species of birds to enjoy on the islands and near Pico de Sao Tome, the highest mountain standing at 2,050m above sea level. Regular sights include parrots, Sao Tome Grosbeak and dwarf Olive Ibis.
Travel to Sao Tome is with a few options. You can book flights from London, Portugal or Gabon and later find a flight ticket to Sao Tome and Principe. TAP Air Portugal has weekly direct flights to Sao Tome from Lisbon and STP with Saturday departures from Lisbon, Portugal
Other airlines with flights to Sao Tome and Principe include Air Service, Angola Airlines and CEIBA with 3 flight departures a week from Libreville via port Gentil in Gabon, Luanda, Sal, and Lagos. There are no direct flights from America, Asia and the Middle East but you can connect from Portugal and other airports across West Africa.
Alternatively, travel to Sao Tome and Principe via cruise or passenger boat to the port and book cheap travel by minibuses and taxis to drive you around town. The roads are quite bad and use of 4WD vehicles is recommended.
This island offers a few local resorts to enjoy the summer breeze, but most notable is the luxury five-star Hotel Miramar with full sized pool, excellent service, well stocked bar, restaurants serving both European and African cuisine and beautiful lawn backyards.