Sun, sea, sand and surf. For many this may seem like a normal set of tropical islands, but São Tomé and Príncipe is anything but a normal.
Discovered in the 15th century by the Portuguese, these islands 250km from land in the Gulf of Guinea were completely uninhabited by humans. What this isolation has created is one of the most beautiful, wild and diverse ecosystems on earth. A place where you will truly feel like you’re in wildest Africa…
Wild Frontiers’ directors John and Debbie list this as one of their top 3 places to visit in Africa. Get in touch with us to find start planning your trip to one of the most interesting places in Africa.
For bird lovers, São Tomé and Príncipe is a mecca. 28 endemic species live between the 2 main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, with some being discovered as late as 1991. The islands are also home to 19 endemic butterfly species, showing the truly incredible diversity on show on this archipelago. For comparison, this means São Tomé and Príncipe has a higher percentage of endemic species than the Galapagos Islands in an area approximately an 8th of the size.
If you’re not interested in anything with feathers you’ll still be blown away by the other fauna on the islands. São Tomé and Príncipe are the nesting grounds for 4 of the 7 species of sea turtles found worldwide and there are huge conservation pushes to help the populations on the island recover from years of poaching.
Wild Frontiers is lucky enough to work with some of the lodges and camps that contribute directly to the conservation of these species and we’re glad to be able to help in the fight for seaturtle conservation.
São Tomé and Príncipe consists of 2 main islands, as well as many smaller islands, that make up the archipelago.
The main island, São Tomé, is surprisingly diverse. In the north you’ll find rolling savannahs and scattered baobab trees; while the south west contains one of the most mysterious and dense forests in Africa. In the center of the island the mighty Pico de São Tomé dominates the landscape and the surrounding area is famous for its dense jungles and waterfalls.
Look out for the Cão Grande, a volcanic plug that rises from the landscape almost 600 meters.
Príncipe is the smaller of the two main islands and is also dominated by a massive dormant volcano, Pico do Príncipe, and has huge swathes of forest that are largely untouched by humans. Although smaller, Príncipe also has incredible biodiversity and plenty of endemic species.
Both islands are blessed with amazing beaches and coastlines to keep even the most demanding of beachgoers happy.
São Tomé and Príncipe lie in the perfect position to grow a lot of crops, but none have done quite as well as chocolate. Affectionately called the Chocolate Islands, São Tomé and Príncipe were once the world’s top producer of chocolate. Since independence the chocolate producing fame of these islands has waned, but it’s now slowly having a resurgence with some of the highest quality chocolate on earth grown on these shores.
We’re sure even the most particular of people will end up loving the chocolate of these emerald green islands.