São Tomé & Príncipe
São Tomé & Príncipe
São Tomé & Príncipe
São Tomé, with the capital of the same name, is the larger of the two main islands. It is known for its diverse landscape as well as historical buildings and plantations. The quiet island of Príncipe invites to relax on the paradise beaches such as Praia Banana. The Obô do Príncipe and Obô de São Tomé nature parks stretch across both islands. The offshore equator islands Pedras Tinhosas, Ilhéu das Cabras, Ilhéu das Rólas are extent the archipelagic state.
During boat trips to hidden bays with crystal clear water, on the way dolphins are often encountered. The island state offers many opportunities for water sports enthusiasts, as pristine coral reefs invite one to snorkel and dive trips. The neighboring islands, which are full of coconut palms, can be discovered on canoe trips. In the south and north, giant sea turtles come to the beaches in November to lay their eggs and breed.
The landscape of the islands contains a wide variety of shapes and colors. The extinct volcanoes offer a view of mountainous grasslands with mountains over 2000m high. Numerous rivers pave their way to the sea. The islands are also famous for special rock formations. The most famous volcanic rock is the Pico Cão Grande on São Tomé, which resembles a skyscraper. On Príncipe, Pico Papagaio rises out of the middle of the jungle.
The jungle in the Obô Nature Park is one of the most species-rich primeval forests in Africa. Here one encounters rare bird species, of which 15 can only be found there. The flora is also diverse with up to 700 local plant species, of which 100 only exist in the Obô. Atlantic mountain forests, rainforests, mangrove forests and savannah alternate with volcanic mountain landscapes, including the highest mountain Pico de São Tomé, lagoons and waterfalls.
São Tomé, founded by the Portuguese in 1480, is one of the oldest cities in Black Africa. The art scene, about which one can learn more at the Teia D’Arte gallery, is attracting international attention. Today there are two groups of people living on the islands, who speak different Creole languages. The Angolares circumnavigate the islands as fishermen in their dugout boats while the Forrós live in the interior of the islands and operate plantations.
The infrastructure is not very well developed. The best way to get around is by taxi. In the rainy season there may be restrictions due to flooding. The São Tomé air traffic does not meet the European standards.
Many old mansions and residences from the Portuguese colonial times, called “Rocas”, have been restored for tourism and are now home to romantic, authentic accommodation. The most beautiful colonial houses can be found on the edge of the Obô National Park.
Climate and travel season
The climate is tropical and humid with temperatures between 21 and 31°C. The rain season is between October and May, but it only consists of short rain showers that leave cooler and fresh air behind.
Visa and entry
Citizens from Germany, Austria and Switzerland need a passport for entry that is valid for at least 3 more months after the end of the trip. A visa is only required for stays longer than 15 days. This can be requested before the trip, either at the embassy of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe in Brussels or online via the website of the São Tomé Migration and Border Service. The fee for a visa is around €60.
Since the regulations can change at any time, all information are non-binding and without guarantee. Please observe the visa regulations and the current information of the Federal Foreign Office / Federal Ministry European and International Affairs / Federal Department of Foreign Affaires at all times.
Impressions from São Tomé & Príncipe
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