Sao Tome and Principe Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Sao Tome and Principe in 2024
Welcome to Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe

São Tomé and Príncipe is an isolated country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Central Africa. It consists of two significant islands, São Tomé, Príncipe, and several smaller islets. An overview and travel guide to the São Tomé and Príncipe islands are provided below.

Document checklist for Sao Tome and Principe

  • Valid Passport
  • A valid visa
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Proof of Accommodation
  • Proof of Funds
  • Health records

Essential Sao Tome and Principe travel information

Currency – The São Tomé and Príncipe Dobra (STD) is the country’s official exchange unit.

Daily budget for one person: $250.

Languages: Portuguese is Sao Tome and Principe’s official language.

Socket type – The Type C electrical socket, which uses a voltage of 220-240 volts and a frequency of 50 hertz, is the norm in São Tomé and Príncipe

Time zone – West Africa Time (WAT). (UTC+1).

The top 3 cities/islands to visit are São Tomé, Santo António, and Neves

Top 3 landmarks/monuments – São Tomé, Santo António, Trindade

Typical costs and budget for Sao Tome and Principe

Daily spending –:  $ $150 per person.

Meals – $10-20 per meal

Transport: Local transit costs $10 to $20 per day, depending on how you wish to get about.

Hotel: $70-150 per night

Travel options in Sao Tome and Principe and the finest modes of transportation

In São Tomé and Príncipe, particularly in metropolitan areas, taxis are widely accessible. They are a practical means of transportation for quickly getting across towns and cities. It’s essential to haggle over the fee before leaving on your trip or request that the driver use the meter if available.

The most common way to independently explore São Tomé and Príncipe is by renting a car. The main island of São Tomé has a well-developed road system that makes it possible to see several sites and go through the countryside at your speed. However, it’s vital to remember that the quality of rural roads might vary, and driving can be difficult because there isn’t much signage.

Another option for getting about São Tomé and Príncipe is renting a motorcycle. It provides more flexibility than a car, especially when negotiating curvy and petite routes. However, because road conditions might be difficult, take caution and make sure you are familiar with riding a motorcycle.

A common way to travel small distances and get around town is by bicycle. Some lodgings may provide bikes for their visitors, or you may hire them from nearby stores. This choice is excellent for relaxed journeys and seeing smaller cities and towns.

On São Tomé Island, public buses are in use to carry people between cities and villages. Although these buses are not costly, they may be packed and may not follow rigid schedules.

Safety in Sao Tome and Principe

Travelers can generally feel comfortable in São Tomé and Príncipe, but being cautious is always vital. Here are some safety recommendations for traveling to São Tomé and Príncipe:

Despite the relatively low crime rate in São Tomé and Príncipe, petty theft and pickpocketing can happen, especially in busy areas and popular tourist destinations. Observe standard safety procedures, including keeping an eye on your valuables, carrying cash in a secure bag or money belt, and avoiding flashing costly objects or vast sums of cash.

The political climate of São Tomé and Príncipe is stable.

The location of São Tomé and Príncipe makes it vulnerable to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Weather in São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe have tropical weather, impacted by its location close to the equator. As a result, the islands have a year-round warm and humid environment with little seasonal temperature change. Below is a summary of the weather in São Tomé and Príncipe:

(June to September) Dry Season: In São Tomé and Príncipe, this time frame is called the dry season. Temperatures typically range from 24°C to 30°C and are bright and mild. Tourists frequently travel during this season since there is seldom rain and the sky is often clear.

The rainy season in São Tomé and Príncipe is marked by high humidity and precipitation. During this time, rainfall is more frequent and robust, peaking between November and February. Although they might be intense, rain showers are often brief and are followed by periods of sunshine. Warm temperatures of 22°C to 29° are still present.

Must do and see in São Tomé and Príncipe

Visit Príncipe Island, renowned for its spotless beaches, beautiful jungles, and varied animals. Explore the Bom Bom Island Resort, go to the Obo National Park, and take in the peace of this idyllic tropical setting.

Discover the colonial architecture, vibrant buildings, hopping marketplaces, and ancient sites like the Cathedral of São Tomé and the Presidential Palace as you tour the capital city of São Tomé.

Visit the sustainable eco-lodge, formerly a cocoa plantation in Roça So Joo dos Angolares on São Tomé Island. Take guided tours of the plantation and learn about the evolution of cocoa production while taking in the stunning surroundings.

Typical São Tomé and Príncipe Islands food to try

Cachupa: A filling meal prepared with maize, beans, vegetables, and various types of meat like fish, chicken, or hog. It is gently cooked with spices and frequently eaten as a main course in São Tomé and Príncipe.

Fresh fish, palm oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices are used to make the delectable fish stew known as moqueca. Usually, it is served with fried plantains and rice.

Calulu: A traditional cuisine that resembles a stew and is created from various ingredients, including fish, chicken, smoked pig, and dried shrimp. It is prepared with okra, tomatoes, onions, and palm oil and frequently eaten with rice or funge, a dish made of dough-like cornmeal.

Vaccine information for São Tomé and Príncipe

There are no special vaccination requirements for entrance into São Tomé and Príncipe. However, it is vital to ensure that standard vaccinations are current before traveling to any location, such as measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), and polio vaccines.

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To enter Sao Tome and Principe, Indian citizens must get a visa. Per the reason for the visit, several sorts of visas are needed.

The optimum time frame for applying for a visa is at least one month before the date you want to travel.

E-Visas are acceptable for travel up to 30 days following the date of issue. They are valid for a single entry and up to a 30-day stay. The validity includes the length of stay.

You must leave São Tomé and Príncipe before your visa expires to avoid fees, as the e-visa cannot be renewed.

Three to four weeks before your departure date is the ideal time to submit your São Tomé and Príncipe application.