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Sao Tome and Principe Holidays
Sao Tome and Principe
A stress-free destination with everything a ecological paradise can offer, blessed with a great location and peace loving people but not open to mass tourism!
Over the centuries some of IUCN most endangered species have chosen Sao Tome and Principe's island as their own sanctuary to enjoy the ’leve leve style’ (stress-free) life, safe from the modern world hustle and bustle.
So far 700 plant species (including 200 orquideas) and 135 bird species have been recorded in the islands, many of them totally new to science and found nowhere else in the world but here.
New species turn up regularly every year - the Príncipe shrew in 2015, the São Tomé mamba in 2017 - ask professor Bob Drewes from the California Academy of Sciences if you're doubtful.
A large part remains wild and amazingly jurassic, with our forests showing the highest concentration of endemic birds in the world, the number one reason we are called Africa's Galápagos by naturalists. Even oceanwide species associated to colder environments like humpback whale, dolphins and marine turtles have found refuge in this island.
Things to do in São Tomé
São Tomé may be best known for its beautiful beaches and perfect weather, but venture off the sand and check out fun attractions. You’ll find a island full of history, culture, rugged landscapes, exotic local dishes and even more fun activities.
If you are looking for adventure, cultural experiences, places to try exotic food or want to know where to buy some cool paint there is a chance to find it here.
Plan your perfect São Tomé escape right now! With the Trip Planner you can make your own customized itinerary and create the perfect São Tomé experience for you.
To help you get some ideas for your trip, here are a few suggestions for great excursions, activities, and attractions to sample all that the island has to offer.
- We're not as small as everyone tries to convince you! The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe of 1,000 km2 (372 sq mi) are just the terrestrial part of an immense oceanic nation that expands in more than 160,000 km2 (61,776 sq mi) of area in the Atlantic ocean. The whole country including its marine area is 160,000 times larger than its land area.
- Sao Tome is one of the few countries luky enough to lie at the equator line, a imaginary line that runs across the center of the Earth at a latitude of exactly zero degrees and divides the earth into the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. This gives a country a warmer experience and two seasons of dry and wet weather. Tourists stop at the Equator not just for photographs, but also for simple demonstrations that prove it is indeed the famous crossing.
- This is the reason we are known as "the islands in the middle of the world", because of our proximity to the zero point on GPS, with the prime meridien just few degrees to the west and the equator crossing one island. According to the theory of continental drift, this may have been the location where South America and Africa were once joined.
- The twenty century single most important scientific experiment that catapulted Albert Einstein into rock star fame taked place in São Tomé and Príncipe. In 1919, during an eclipse expedition, British astrophysicist Arthur Stanley Eddington successfully proved Einstein’s theory of relativity on Príncipe.
- Once upon a time São Tomé and Príncipe was a portuguese colony. Sao Tome and Principe was one of the last places to have slaves right up to 1910. On the island of Sao Tomé in the nineteenth century, more than 100,000 Africans labored on cacao plantations; though slavery was formally abolished in 1876, their descendants worked as de facto slaves until 1975, when the island gained independence from Portugal. One of the few places in the world where you can see the faces of the last ex-slaves in life.
- West Africa’s ‘Chocolate Isles’ or Africa's sweet spot. In the early 20th century, most of the world’s chocolate originated from here. At one time it was Africa's largest producer of sugar and the world's largest producer of cocoa.
- In recent years we acquired a new reputation as one of Africa’s most successful countries in fighting malaria. According to the World Health Organization: "Since 2014, the nation of São Tomé and Principe has had zero malaria deaths, making it the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to maintain that achievement for several consecutive years." These figures put São Tomé at the vanguard of a small, elite group of African countries that are poised to eliminate malaria within the next five years.
- If you are making plans for a vacation, São Tome and Principe is the right place to go if you want to find the cleanest air in the world. It's the nation with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions and one of few Carbon Negative Nation On Earth. In fact, in terms of greenhouse gases (GHG) ballance, the country is an absolute sink of greenhouse gases, i.e. it removes four times more GHGs than it produces.
- Sao Tome and Principe is the country with the lowest prevalence of smokers in the world, just after Antigua and Barbuda.
- Sao Tome and Principe has built sustainability into its national identity. 90 per cent of the country is covered in forest. Sao Tome and Principe currently has a staggering 42% of its territorial area being protected as national parks, charing the Africa's number one ranking position with Seixelles.
- The island is very popular among bird watchers and biologists because of its many endemic species and the vast areas of unspoiled nature. There are approximately 135 different species of birds in the Sao Tome and Principe Islands. 29 species of endemic bird live on the islands.
- Part of the country was declared a Unesco biosphere reserve. In 2012, the whole island of Príncipe and surrounding waters and islets were classified as a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO — a classification that has helped promote sustainable development goals in the country’s smaller island.
- In 2016, more than 13% of saotomean useful agricultural land - 13.8% exactly - was in organic farming. Sao Tome and Principe is the african country with the highest share of organic agricultural area. In global terms, this figure represents the fifth place in the world ranking of country's with highest "Organic shares of total agricultural land 2015". Organic Cocoa is the most important export product (95%).
- Saotomean people have an average lifespan of 69 years old, which ranks second in western africa. According to a WHO life expectancy list published in 2018 we are in the top 5 African countries where you can live longer than expected, just after Mauritius, Seychelles and Cape Verde.
- Gordon-Conwell Seminary's Center for the Study of Global Christianity ranked São Tomé and Príncipe as having the highest percentage of Christians (at 96%) in Africa. Other sites estimate that 87% of the population is nominally Christian, but only 4.3% is evangelical. A huge majority of the citizens claim Catholicism, but syncretism is prevalent among Christians, as it is among the 2% of the population that is Muslim.
- Sao Tome and Principe has the second highest literacy rate in Africa. In this country, 92 per cent of all individuals over the age of 15 are able to comprehend what they read and write.
- One must be 18 years of age to drink and drive in the São Tomé and Príncipe (not at the same time, obviously).
- São Tome and Principe is one of the world "least visited Must Go Destinations". The right place if you want to go off the radar to a hidden paradise in a tropical islands no-one has heard of. The few tourists that visit the island, mostly Portuguese, enjoy unspoiled landscapes and a warm tropical climate.