Sao Tome and Principe is an island nation located off the western equatorial coast of Africa. While there are two main islands, each of them is surrounded by an archipelago of further islands, offering more to explore. The small, Portuguese-speaking country is 140 miles from the African coast, making it an idyll for a lot of travelers. It can be an excellent choice for a beach vacation, but there are also plenty of other activities for anyone who wants to enjoy the natural wonders and environments the islands offer. If you’ve never considered Sao Tome and Principe as a destination, check out these fantastic reasons to visit.
One the main draws of Sao Tome and Principe for many people is the unspoiled nature the islands offer. Travelers are often looking for natural environments that have yet to be spoiled by people. Although, visiting these places does pose a problem in that you need to be careful not to have too much of an impact on them. Sao Tome and Principe offers waterfalls, rainforests, and crystal-clear waters. You can explore Obo National Park, which covers around 35% of the islands. There are birds, fish, and plenty of other flora and fauna to take in. Any nature lover is sure to love the islands.
The people of Sao Tome and Principe are another big plus for the nation. They’re friendly and welcoming, and manners are very important. In fact, the islands are known for their friendly locals. People on the island love sharing their culture with others, including music, dance, theater, and food. The country has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa too, even though it’s a small and poor nation. You can also learn more about the culture and history of the people, whose heritage is African and Portuguese, by visiting the National Museum on Sao Tome.
Big Game Fishing
Anyone who loves fishing has possibly considered Sao Tome and Principe as a travel destination. It’s a great place to visit for big game fishing, offering chances to catch fish such as Blue Marlin and Barracuda. If you prefer the fish you catch to be supersized, fishing around the islands could give you lots of opportunities to snag something impressive. For those who aren’t into fishing, there’s always the opportunity to go on a dolphin safari, whale watching or to look out for some leatherback turtles who come to lay their eggs.
Luscious beaches are the priority for a lot of people looking for an island vacation. The tourist resort of Bom Bom Island is a good place to start for brilliant beaches, and it’s a top choice for many travelers. For a slightly more simple experience, you might like to try Praia Jale on the south side of Sao Tome. This pristine beach is a great place for watching sea turtles lay their eggs. You can stay the night on the beach in small huts without electricity if you want to enjoy the peace of the beach overnight.
Peace and Safety
As a small country, Sao Tome and Principe is quiet and peaceful, with a low crime rate. There are some things to watch out for, such as staying safe on the roads, but generally, you don’t have to worry a lot about your safety. Violent crime is virtually nonexistent in public, although you do need to be a little careful about crime targeting tourists. The risk of malaria is low, although you should still talk to your doctor about using Mefloquine or Malarone for malaria prevention. Tap water is safe to drink, and there is just one dangerous animal on the islands (the black cobra). You can find peace there, with easygoing people ready to welcome you.
Food is important for a lot of travelers, and Sao Tome and Principe doesn’t disappoint when it comes to cuisine. As an island nation, fish is naturally a staple of the local diet. It often comes with breadfruit or bananas, and there’s a great variety of fish to choose from. Tropical fruits keep the people of Sao Tome and Principe fed all year, while slightly more unusual offerings like snails are available too. You can also find European options in some places, including in hotels in the capital of Sao Tome.
It’s always worth considering alternative destinations for your next adventure. Sao Tome and Principe offers a smaller alternative to busier choices. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, you can find it on the islands.