São Tomé and Príncipe

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São Tomé and Príncipe

If you are planning to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, take a trip to São Tomé & Príncipe, Africa’s second-smallest country.

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This small island nation off the Atlantic coast of Central Africa is located in the Gulf of Guinea, straddling the Equator, west of Gabon, winning the hearts of its visitors with its Portuguese-Creole flavour and relaxed vibes.

The sublime easy-going tempo is enriched by an affluence of natural attractions with miles of flawless palm-trimmed beaches, huge expanses of bright gold rainforest, towering volcanic mountains and tranquil fishing communities. The birdlife is outstanding, and endemic flora (especially orchids) is abundant. In season, turtle- and whale-watching opportunities abound.

This two-island country has its cultural treasures as well, with a remarkable number of traditional buildings dating back to the colonial era, including striking plantation estates. These islands were once scattered with plantation houses, making them one of the world’s largest producers of chocolate.

Happily, and unusually in the 21st century, tourism is still low-key and is advancing in a carefully controlled, ecologically minded manner. There are no tacky resorts, just a number of locally run, enticing, nature-oriented lodges and hotels including two luxury properties, which work well together, allowing guests to explore both islands in tropical comfort.

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Quick Facts

São Tomé


1,001 sq km (386 sq miles)

Major Languages
Portuguese, Forro, Angolar, Principense

Major religion

Monetary Unit

Flight time from London
11 hours via Lisbon or Accra

Time Difference
GMT + 1

When to go
Sao Tome and Principe is a place that can be visited at any time. Depending on what you’d like to do there are different times that are best for visiting the islands.

There are two rainy seasons – the short rains in October and November and the long rains from February to May. A dry season lasts from June to September and it is the time when the sky is always clear and the sun shines strongly.

December and January are wonderful for birding as birds adopt bright breeding plumage. Trekking is best in the long dry season. From mid-November to early February turtles nest on the beaches, and you can watch the eggs hatching 45 days later. Humpback whales, killer whales and dolphins can be seen off the northeast coast from August to October.

At sea level, the climate is tropical—hot and humid with average yearly temperatures of about 27 °C (80.6 °F) and little daily variation. The temperature rarely rises beyond 32 °C (89.6 °F). At the interior’s higher altitudes, the average yearly temperature is 20 °C (68 °F), and nights are generally cool. Annual rainfall varies from 5,000 mm (196.85 in) on the southwestern slopes to 1,000 mm (39.37 in) in the northern lowlands.

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Where to stay

These are just a selection of the properties we can personally recommend. Please get in touch to hear more about our full portfolio.

In the Footsteps of Tusk – São Tomé & Príncipe

With coordinates 1°N,7°E, São Tomé and Príncipe is located at the centre of the world. Created by volcanic activity millions of years ago, these striking islands rise out of the Gulf of Guinea and the vibrant rainforests are amongst the most biodiverse on the planet. Remnants of it’s gripping past remain on the island with historic roças and cacao plantations which are, through eco tourism, being resurrected.

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Omali Lodge

A stylish boutique hotel, Omali is set in a fabulous location near the Obo National Park. Omali Lodge is the only 4* luxury hotel on São Tomé and it sits right on a lovely beach just outside the São Tomé Town centre.

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Roça Sundy

Roça Sundy is a beautifully restored cocoa plantation house in the heart of the African rainforest. It is located on the remote, little known and utterly beautiful tropical island of Principe, the smallest of the two islands that make up São Tomé and Principe.

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Sundy Praia

Hidden away 130 miles off the coast of West Africa, Sundy Praia is a tented luxury hotel at the wild northwest tip of the island of Principe. Praia Sundy is a nature lover’s paradise and a traveller’s nirvana.

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Get in touch with us now to start planning your journey