The nature of São Tomé e Príncipe

So much to see!

São Tomé e Príncipe is the perfect African holiday destination for nature lovers. Find yourself in lonesome valleys and climb majestic volcano mountains. Observe dozens of endemic bird species such as Príncipe Grey Parrot, Tomé Gágá, Truqui, Merlo and Tchin-Tchin-Xolo. Swim with Dolfins, watch the wales, take a rest at truely lonesome beaches. Observe the turtles and dive to unique Atlantic submarine landscapes. Discover ruins of ancient agricultural outposts, villages and railroads overgrown by São Tomé e Príncipe’s dense rain forest vegetation. Discover mystical lakes and waterfalls, learn about jungle spices and breath the fresh air of the Ocean and the forests. Although our landscape is rough and wild, our country is  very secure, making São Tomé e Príncipe the perfect place for everybody who wants to get to know Africa – easy, yet real. Enjoy truely unique nature in truely tranquil holidays.

Protected nature

Approximately one third of São Tomé e Príncipe is the “Ôbo” Natural Reserve Park (indicated approximately in the map). Implemented with help of the European Union, this park is part of the regional protection of Equatorial forests, flora, fauna and maritime life. The park includes an easily reachable botanical garden in the foggy mountains, showing our endemic-, herbal- and medical plants as well as orchids, flowers and decorative plants from both islands. A variety of guides assist travelers with hiking, cycling and diving.

The protected park areas include primary forests, the highest peaks of the country, breathtaking views from ancient volcano craters in an extremely diverse nature. Colourful birds, lizards and shy monkeys are the main animals. Coffee and cocao plantations cover a large part of the unprotected rest of São Tomé e Príncipe. The northern parts of both main islands come in dry climate with extense grasslands, with baobab trees and cactus, whilst the southern parts boost a tropical wet climate, and at all higher mountains the air can get chilly fresh. This diverse climate makes São Tomé e Príncipe a truely healthy destination.

Truely wild. True tranquility.

Nature highlights in São Tomé e Príncipe

Lagoa Amélia: Mystic lake inside ancient volcano crater, overgrown by thick layers of grass. Cascata São Nicolau: Famous waterfall in the dense mountain forests, easily reachable by street. Roça Bombaím: Ancient agricultural outpost on a plateau valley inside the rain forest, with its own little botanical garden. Monte Café: Once one of the largest coffee plantations, still with wide fields of coffee, cocao and some vanilla around. Boca do Inferno: ” The Mouth to Hell” – Tunnel made by the Atlantic Ocean, impressively spraying spindrift. Lagoa Azul: Clear water bay, with surreally turquoise waters before noon (due to sun direction). Praia Inhame and Praia Piscina: Two of the superb beaches at the south tip of São Tomé e Príncipe. Ilhéu Santana: Small rocky islet, overgrown by palmtrees, cut by a tunnel a the Ocean’s surface. Malanza Mangroves Lagoon: Spot bird species on a canoa tour. Sete Pedras: The Seven Stones – superb diving spot with rocks raising straight from the Atlantic Ocean’s ground. Sete Ondas: The Seven Waves Beach – Yes, these are really seven waves in front of this sandy beach braking. Pico de São Tomé: Our highest peak, 2014 meters above the Ocean, aproximately 8 to 12 hours hike one way, with overnight sleep and only for those you like it tough. Pico Papagaio: the highest peak of Príncipe Island. Not easy to climb either. Zampalma Waterfall: Well hidden in the São Tomé rainforest, with a small pool to take a chilling bath. Praia Tamarinas: get some sweet-sour refreshment directly from the Tamarind trees at this beach. Plus: Many, many other beaches and truely wild nature.

Discover São Tomé e Príncipe by foot (local guide recomended):

Selected hiking trails

South Beaches Mangroves Walk
(0°02’56.1″N/6°32’06.1″E)

Look out for: lagoon, mangroves, Ylang Ylang, Piscina (“Pool”) beach, Jalé beach, views to Rolas Island, hills and beaches in a sunny dry area. Starts at crossroads before Porto Alegre (0°02’56.1″N/6°32’06.1″E). Elevation min/max: 0m/262m. Approx. distance/duration: 8.9km/3h.

Praia Boi Turtle Beach Hike
(1°38’44.8″N/7°25’11.6″E)

Look out for: Diverse nature, Jackfruit trees, villages, protected turtle nests, Praia Grande (no swimming), coconuts and relaxation at Praia Boi beach. Starts northward out of Santo António (1°38’44.8″N/7°25’11.6″E). Elevation min/max: 0m/160m. Approx. distance/duration: 12,5km/3.5h

Lagoa Amélia Primary Forest Hike
(0°17’18.9″N/6°36’44.0″E)

Look out for: botanical garden, maniok fields, fog forests, Truque birds, lianes, the escaping slaves trail, monkeys and the mystic Amélia lake covered by thick grass. Starts Bom Successo (0°17’18.9″N/6°36’44.0″E). Elevation min/max: 470m/1473m. Approx. distance/duration: 7.3km/4h.

Angolares Forest Circle Hike
(0°08’16.3″N/6°38’55.5″E)

Look out for: Wild herbs, coconuts, Osami spice flower, Safú trees, Ossobo and Yellowbird, Pepperwood, Soap tree and the famous “Rosa de Porcelana”. Starts at S. João d. Angolares (0°08’16.3″N/6°38’55.5″E). Elevation min/max: 0m/291m. Approx. distance/duration: 17.5km/6h

Rolas Equator Short Walk
(0°00’00.3″S/6°31’16.9″E)

Look out for: art shops, Starfruit trees, coconuts, fishermen’s boats, views over the channel to São Tomé, Cão Pequeno and Cão Grande mountains and the Equator. Starts at Ilhéu das Rolas Harbour (0°00’00.3″S/6°31’16.9″E). Elevation min/max: 0m/95m. Approx. distance/duration: 2.6km/1h.

Ribeira Izé Ancient Settlement Hike
(1°38’30.8″N/7°25’09.8″E)

Look out for: Jackfruit trees, the hidden jungle ceremony, grey Parrots, Breadfruit, cocoa plantations and Principe’s first settlement. Back by car. Starts at Santo António cinema (1°38’30.8″N/7°25’09.8″E). Elevation min/max: 0m/121m. Approx. distance/duration: 11.8km/3.5h.

Jungle, waterfalls, wild plantations, hidden volcano valleys, trails, lagoons and wild beaches:

Season all year round

Some of  São Tomé e Príncipe’s nature and festive seasons: January: New years Bath in the Ocean, King Amador Day, Santo Izidoro at Ribeira Afonso, bread fruit, turtle oviposition, turtle eclosion, short dry seaon. wale spotting. February: short dry season, Batepá National Memory’s Day at Fernão Dias. March: Orchids blossom. April: Orchids blossom, bread fruits. June: Mangostane fruits, World Music Day at São Tomé City. July: Mangostane fruits, Independence Day, Nossa Senhora Perpetuá at Conde, Santa Maria at Madalena. August: Orchids blossom, Palm wine event at Otótó, Floripes Dance and Traditional Event at Santo António. September: Orchids blossom, Nossa Senhora de Nazaré at Trindade. October: Orchids blossom, Mango fruits, Nossa Senhora at Guadalupe. November: Mango fruits. December: Wale spotting, Christmas, turtle oviposition, turtle eclosion. All year round: palm wine, cocoa (each 3 months), coconuts.

Professional guides, insider views and in depth information:

Local travel agencies

NAVETUR EQUATOUR
Tel:  (00 239) 2222 122
E-mail: navetur@cstome.net
www.navetur-equatour.st

MISTRAL VOYAGES
Tel : (00 239) 2222 246
fatima.mistral@cstome.net
www.mistralvoyages.com

GOLD TOURS & SERVICES
Tel:  (00239) 2224 598
info@goldtours.st
www.goldtours.st

PRINCIPE TOURS
Tel: (00 239) 9916 024
principetour@gmail.com
www.abadeprincipe.com

Drive around São Tomé e Príncipe on your own:

Local Rent-a-Cars

HANNA & SIlVA
Tel:  (00 239) 9839188 / 9066466
E-mail: hannaesilva–rent@hotmail.com
Contact via Facebook

TORTUGA RENT A CAR
Tel : (00 239) 9916617

Contact via Facebook

TURIART RENT A CAR
Tel:  (00239) 9907660
turentacar@cstome.net
alexpsanto@hotmail.com

NETU SERVICES
Tel: (00 239) 222 67 28
netoagosto@cstome.net
www.hotelagostoneto.com

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