Africa’s West Coast Gems | São Tomé and Príncipe

16 Feb 2018
2 min read
Consisting of two main islands and several smaller islets, São Tomé and Príncipe are some of West Africa’s best kept secrets. With a lush mountainous landscapes, and white sand beaches, the Archipelago is an impressive travel destination.

The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an island state in the West Coast of Africa on the equator. It consists of two main islands and several small islands, with a total area of 1001 km².  It has no land borders, but is situated near Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroons and Nigeria. São Tomé is the largest island with an area of 859 km², 65 km in length and 35 km in width. Príncipe Island covers an area of 142km² and is 16 km long and 8 km wide. The Archipelago has some impressive, majestic scenery, resulting from the predominance of lush tropical rain forest set within hills and valleys and crossed by rivers and streams, creating settings of rare beauty. The landscape is mountainous, with altitudes reaching more than a thousand metres on the Pico de São Tomé, the highest point of the Archipelago, with other prominent mountain peaks.



The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited until 1470, when the Portuguese navigators João de Santarém, Pedro Escobar and Edigel Campos discovered them. From thereon, it was a Portuguese colony, from the 15th century until its Independence on 12 June 1975. Used to be one of the largest producers or Cocoa in the world with more than 80 Plantation Estates called the “Roças”. The roças generally functioned as independent townships, with a main house, school, hospital, drying chambers, shops and workers’ quarters. One roça might have one or two dependencies, or rather, other smaller plantation that belonged to the main plantation.

To preserve and enhance the ecosystem of Principe and the surrounding waters and islets, by contributing to the sustainable development of its infrastructure, heritage, tourism, agro-forestry and fisheries, and by stimulating the well-being, potential and creativity of its people. Given its biodiversity, people and customs, Príncipe Island was classified by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve in 2012. In spite of being so small, Príncipe Island has been an example for other reserves because of the participation and involvement of its local population.


Hotel Omali São Tome | – Omali means “ocean” and “source of life” and the hotel’s perfect location next to the Lagarto beach but just 1.5 kms from the airport makes it a great base for exploring São Tomé. Tastefully decorated with lovely gardens, and well known for its excellent restaurant, the hotel offers 30 comfortable rooms and suites for families and business travellers.


Resort Bom Bom Príncipe | – Picture a small islet hidden amongst tropial forests with its own paradisiacal beaches and you’ll get some idea of what awaits you at Bom Bom Príncipe. With 19 comfortable rooms, you can opt for a pool view, garden view, sea view or step right off your veranda onto the beach.


Hotel Roça Sundy | – This lovingly restored old plantation house, whose grounds are shared with local villagers, will give you a real feeling of the character and history of Príncipe Island. Of its 12 authentically decorated rooms, you can choose between Colonial House or the Plantation House, with spectacular tropical views.


Sundy Praia lodge | – enjoy an intimate experience with nature, in the very edge of the ocean, surrounded by tropical forest. Creating the perfect balance of natural design and comfort, Sundy´s 15 tented villas have spacious indoor and outdoor areas, including private terraces, some with their own private plunge pool. Nature and style are enhanced by the original bamboo dining area where local organic produce transforms meals into unforgettable culinary journey.


Find out more about São Tomé and Príncipe here |