Sao Tome and Principe

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Sao Tome and Principe
Sao Tome and Principe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is an island state located in the Gulf of Guinea, composed of two main islands (Ilha de São Tomé and Ilha do Príncipe) and several islets, totaling 1001 km², with about 160 thousand inhabitants. It has no land borders but is situated relatively close to the coasts of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Nigeria.

The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited until 1470, when the Portuguese navigators João de Santarém and Pedro Escobar discovered them. It was then a colony of Portugal from the fifteenth century until its independence on July 12, 1975. It is one of the members of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
Documentation
Visa applications must be requested at least 7 days in advance, at an Embassy or Consulate of São Tomé and Príncipe. Visa applications for entry into the country of members of international organizations must be requested at least 72 hours in advance.
 
Foreign citizens from countries or geographic areas where there is no diplomatic or consular representation of S. Tomé and Príncipe may apply for an Entry Authorization, directly to the Migration and Borders Service, using "eVisaST" at the electronic address www.smf. st / virtualvisa, at least 7 working days in advance.
Official language
Portuguese
Currency
Dobra Sao Tome and Principe
Tourism
Beaches
The beaches in Sao Tome and Principe are far from crowded. The coast has a lot of beaches, with almost no people. You could see a fisherman going out to sea, but thats about it. If you like to have a beach for your self, this is the right place for you.

Bird watching
Sao Tome is not only a tourist place, but also a lot of birds. Specialists have sighted over 135 species in 40 families on the islands. Most variety of birds will be found in the southern part of the São Tomé island, but also on the island of Principe where parrots still live free in the jungle.

Boat trips
Take a day to explore the beautiful coastline by boat. Both sailing boats and speed boats are available. Along the way you may see dolphins playing around the boat and even whales.

Mouth of Hell
A couple of miles south of São Tomé you will find Boca de Inferno, Hells mouth. It is a natural phenomenon caused when the waves find their way into a narrow ravine that ends in a basement with a hole in the roof. The water is then forced up through the hole and creates a cascade of water that shoots up into the air. It is a very dramatic scene when the big waves hits the black cliffs.

Cascata São Nicolau
A couple of miles up in the mountains you will find St. Nicholas Waterfall, Saint Nikolaus waterfall. Its a beautiful waterfall that seems to come right out of a jungle wall.

Fishing
The waters around Sao Tome and Principe are filled with fish of different kind. Here you can get your chance to catch 1000 pound marlin or really aggressive sailfish.

Plantation houses
Take a couple of days to see the different plantation houses that were used during the colonial past. Many of them are now run the small hotels and cafes where you can spend the night and relax on the big verandas.

Here are some plantations to see:

Monteforte Rock
Bombay Rock
Roca de São João
I ate coffee
Ribiera Peixe
Izé water
Ponta do Sol (on Principe)

Sao Sebastiao Museum
This old fortress located in the harbor of Sao Tome is now used as a museum and hosts a religious art collection and artifacts from the colonial times. One of the strangest things is the remains of one of the cacao kings stored in a box under his painting.

From the roof of the museum you have a good view over the ocean and the light house is still in use today.

Illhue das Rolas
This small beautiful island is situated south of the Sao Tome island. On the island you will find very beautiful beaches and a monument physically pointing out the equator that is crossing the island.

São Tomé Peak
Climb from sea level up to 2024m through the exotic jungle. From the top of the old volcano you will get a fantastic view.

Jalé beach and sea turtles
On the south edge of the São Tomé island you will find Praia Jalé. Its a beach where giant sea turtles climbs up in the morning to lie their eggs in the sand. It is possible to stay the night on the beach in small huts without electricity. The beach is guarded, and if the turtles eat in the morning you can ask the guards to wake you up to experience the extraordinary procedure.

Scuba diving
Experience the fantastic underwater world around the coasts. The warm and clear waters are filled with fish and other interesting creatures like muraenas, octopuses, and green sea turtles.

Whale watching
Throughout the months of July to October Humpback whales visit the waters around Sao Tome as they move from their summer feeding grounds in low latitudes to more tropical mating and calving areas.
Gastronomy
With a vast maritime extension, it is natural for fish to be a prominent element in Sao Tome cuisine. The fish are usually very fresh which makes them more tasty. For seafood lovers, lobster, santola, conch, octopus and cuttlefish are much appreciated.
On the other hand, the existence of abundant fertile lands and vegetables give a special flavor to the cuisine of São Tomé. The banana is made in various forms, cooked, fried or roasted accompanied with vegetables with cooked or grilled fish. Calulú, a traditional dish much appreciated by São Toméan families that resembles a soup with dried fish or meat, is served with banana puree or cooked rice. In general, the cuisine of Sao Tome is rich and with high nutritional value in animal and vegetable protein.

The Sao Tome cultural heritage is also evident in the gastronomy, through dishes with origins so diversified particularly Portugal and Cape Verde.
Weather
The climate is tropical humid, where temperatures vary between 21ºC and 27ºC with frequent precipitations mainly in the south of the island of Sao Tome and Principe. There are only two climatic seasons; drought that occurs between the months of June to August locally known as gravana and the rainy season that occurs in the remaining months. Throughout the year, there are 1760 hours of sunshine descending to 1300 hours between 500 and 1000 meters of altitude.
Its mountainous terrain provides several microclimates. The highest areas have a high rainfall of up to 7,000 mm per year, while the lowlands (North and Northeast) have less rainfall and are generally less than 1,000 mm per year.
Safety
The safety conditions are reasonable. São Tomé and Príncipe's crime rates, although low, are rising, especially crimes against property and people. Caution is advisable with the robberies, particularly on seemingly deserted beaches.
Health care
The health network is deficient. Hospital infrastructures are extremely limited and many medicines do not exist.
 
Diarrheal diseases and intestinal parasites are common. There has been a regression of the malaria incidence rate but the traveler must take the usual precautions: use night repellent, prefer light clothing and sleep with mosquito nets whenever possible. Also typhoid, tuberculosis, tetanus and cholera must be taken into account by the traveler.
 
The following general precautions are recommended: the use of insect repellents, non-ingestion of raw food and non-bottled water. Hepatitis B vaccine is advisable for long periods of stay. The Yellow Fever vaccine is no longer mandatory.
 
It is advisable to have travel insurance contracted in the country of origin.
Electricity and Telecommunications
Electricity
The electricity is 220V and 50Hz.
It is advisable to have a universal adapter kit for the sockets.


Telecommunications
The internal and international telephone network works well. There are some public phone booths in the country.
Other tourist destinations in:
São Tomé and Príncipe
Sao Tome Island
Ilhéu das Rolas - Sao Tome

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