Pestana Equador Beach

Sao Tome Holidays

Sao Tome has plenty to offer outdoors enthusiasts, particularly hiking, birding, diving and sightseeing.

Pestana Equador Beach, Sao Tome

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The perfect holiday in Sao Tome

Explore Sao Tome with us

Just 2km north of the Equator and some 240km west of Gabon, Sao Tome island spans 854km2 and is the larger of the islands making up Sao Tome and Principe. Formed by a massive shield volcano rising up for 3,000m from the Atlantic Ocean floor, it is 48km long and 32km wide and has a rugged topography, with Pico de Sao Tome rising to 2,024 meters a.s.l. The capital, also called Sao Tome, is on the north-east coast. Referred to by some as the 'African Galapagos', these islands have a high rate of species endemism as they've never been connected to the African mainland.

The 157,000 people speak mostly Portuguese, as well as Forro and Ngola, which are Portuguese-based Creole languages. Portuguese were the first people to colonise the islands (from the 1400s, when they began settling convicts there) and everything revolved around plantations - Sao Tome was once a large cocoa producer. Agriculture is an important means of livelihood especially in the northern and eastern regions - exports are mostly cocoa, coffee and copra. There is a fishing industry.

Higher slopes on Sao Tome are forest clad and partly protected by Obo Natural Park. With just some 13,000 tourists a year, the islands remain somewhat of an unknown quantity and so, present a wonderful new destination for those after something refreshingly different. Visitors come to Sao Tome to enjoy its forest trails and for coastal pursuits including scuba diving. Birders are attracted by the 19 endemic and 3 near-endemic species, which include some of the world's rarest and least-known species such as three critically endangered 'megaticks', the Sao Tome race of Dwarf olive ibis; the Sao Tome fiscal and Sao Tome grosbeak. More easily seen endemics include Sao Tome giant sunbird and Sao Tome giant weaver.

Ask us for details about hiking excursions, visits to plantations and to villages and other activities which can be arranged.

Prospective visitors should note that tourism is still in its fledgling stages in Sao Tome, so often, standards of guiding are not up to the standards one would find in those of our better-known African destinations.




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  • Alistair

    Alistair

    Sao Tome and Principe Specialist

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