Sao Tome and Principe is a group of two islands, located on the Gulf of Guinea. The climate and economy of these islands are intimately tied. As a Central African country, its climate is tropical.

Both islands have been independent for the past 35 years. The country is solely dependent on cocoa for its economy. Drought conditions make it difficult to cultivate cocoa, hence the dwindling economy. 

Between the two islands, Sao Tome is the larger one whereas Principe is the smaller one. Each island has its own capital city. The capital city of Sao Tome is the capital city of the country. Saint Antonio is the capital of Principe Island.


There is a sense of serenity on the islands. You can watch the birds in Obo National Park. The gushing waterfall of Pico de Sao Tome is a magnificent place to trek.

Visit the underwater caves or lounge on the sunny beaches of Principe. You can view the colorful coral reefs when you go diving and snorkeling.


You need to know either French or Portuguese to get around in Sao Tome and Principe. English is not spoken there at all. You can use guides who will translate for you. It is better if you speak at least a little of either language.


The official currency is Dobra. The approximate exchange rate is Db23594.4 for US$1. The currency exchange is available at banks and some hotels. There are no ATMs in the country. However, some hotels accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards. 

The prices of goods are rising. Hence hotels will charge you an exorbitant amount of money. You cannot buy a lot of different items on the islands. But if you visit, chocolate from Claudio Corallo Chocolate is a must buy.


Bus and cars are the only means of transport around the islands. Yellow share taxis and mini-buses are in operation on São Tomé. There’s also a minibus service on Príncipe. Bus networks join the residential areas, but if you want to see the country you better rent a car. You can take your guide along with you who will charge only ten euros per day.


Cars drive on the right side of the road here. Roads are in reasonable condition. However, animals on the road and potholes may cause numerous problems. Also, there is street lighting only in the capital.


As for electricity, the country uses types C and F sockets. You need to bring a travel adapter to fit the proper socket type. Check out the above-linked page to see the photos and other useful information. The standard voltage is 220 V. Many of your devices may need a step-up transformer to match the electrical voltage.

August 13, 2016 12:00 am Published by 1 Comment

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