The islands of Sao Tome and Principe are well situated across the western equatorial coast in Central Africa and make up one singular island nation. Also known for its soothing mood for relaxation, the island nation anchors its atmosphere on its relaxed vibes and Portuguese creole flavor. Sao Tome and Principe is blessed with natural attractions and long ending sandy beaches. The Islands also boast emerald forest vegetation full of wildlife with soaring volcanic peaks that promises many thrills on end. In true Afro Tourism style, we combed the islands and we are proud to present the very best 10 fantastic reasons to visit Sao tome and Principe.
1. Bom Bom Island
You cannot visit the beautiful islands of Sao Tome and Principe without stepping into this island. Infact make it your first port of call. Bom Bom Island is a tourist resort and an ideal location to go deep sea fishing and is perfect for viewing beautiful hump back whales in all their glory. You are guaranteed the time of your life.
2. Obo National Park
This beautiful park covers around 35% of the Islands’ surface and consists of two areas, one in Sao Tome and the other in Principe. If you think mountains that drop down to Savannahs, dense rain forests, waterfalls cascading down slopes, this is the place to be. Obo National Park also boast of white and black sandy beaches and around 700 hundred species of Flora and Fauna. It was created to protect the natural heritage of the country and it showcases this proudly.
3. Bom Bom Island Resort
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. There’s no better way to spend a good afternoon on the island. Go ahead, you can thank us later.
4. Lagoa Azul
Lagoa Azul, also popularly called (Blue Lagoon) lies just a little past the secluded beaches of Praia das Conchas and Praia dos Tamarindos. It is surrounded by giant baobab trees where you’ll discover many bird species. It also doubles as an excellent snorkelling location.The warm and clear waters are filled with all kinds of fish species and other creatures such as squids and green sea turtles. Experience the amazing underwater world in this beautiful location.
5. Principe Island
The Island of Principe is a great place to be. It is known for its unique topography, which comprises of volcanic mountains and rainforests. You can hire boats as this is a great place for snorkelling and fishing. It is also one of the best places to find under crowded serene beaches with crystal waters.
6. Big Game Fishing
Blue Marlin fish is great on the island and is often referred to as the holy grail of fishing. This ray-finned fish belonging to the sailfish family and thus the order of perch-like fish may reach up to 4.3 metres long and weigh 900 kg. Aside from the blue marlin, the waters around Sao Tome and Principe Island’s are filled with different kinds of fish such as the Enormous sailfish, Wahoo and Barracuda which swim in this part of the Atlantic. Dolphin-fishes and Atlantic bluefin tunas, among other species of tuna can also be spotted. The island promises you a chance to catch a 1000 pound marlin or a really aggressive sailfish. On land, it is possible to find specialised operators of big-game fishing. If independent fishing is your style, you may rent boats and equipment and leave in search of the coveted trophies. Happy fishing!
7. Sao Tome Birdwatching
São Tome is one pleasant place for a lot of birds. Bird 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 Toméan Island, but also on the island of Principe where parrots still live free in the jungle. This activity is one that you’d want to return to the island for, especially if you love bird watching and appreciate a serene environment.
8. Praia Jale
On the south edge of the São Tomé Island you will find Praia Jalé, a relatively safe beach. Behold the wonder as giant sea turtles climb up in the morning hours to lay their eggs in the sand. You can spend the night on the beach in small huts without electricity if you fancy a concrete jungle experience.
9. Boca de Inferno
Boca de Inferno is a blowhole popularly called “ Hells mouth”. It derived this name from an activity whereby waves hit the dark cliffs and water sprouts out forcibly into the air through a hole in the roof of a cave. This is due to waves forcing themselves through its narrow ravine. It’s an amazing sight and one you’d be glad you saw.
10. Cascata Sao Nicolau
Located a few miles into the mountains, Cascata Sao Nicolau ( Saint Nikolaus waterfall) is a sight to behold. This lovely waterfall is a wonder as it appears to gush right out of the wall of the jungle. Simply amazing!
Chinenye Emezie-Egwuonwu is an author and essayist. She enjoys reading, baking, and when not writing, she spends her time buried in the pages of decor magazines! She is the subeditor at Afro Tourism.