São Tomé / Príncipe: practical information

Language

The official language of São Tomé and Príncipe is Portugese.

Communication

The telephone country code is +239. The coverage for mobile telephone varies from very good to non-existent, depending on the area on each island; while the international roaming agreements currently exist with one company. The internet cafes are available, but the access can be slow and relatively espensive.

Payment

The local currency is Dobra. Cash in Euro, US Dollar or Dobra are accepted. When using credit cards, only Visa, MasterCard & American Express are accepted. They do not accept any travellers’ cheques or CFA Fancs.

Electrical Power

Electric Power is 220V running at 50Hz. The Plug type used is Type C plug (European 2 pin).

Local Time

The local time in São Tomé and Príncipe is GMT +/-0

Post

Airmail from São Tomé and Príncipe takes at least one weak to reach Western Europe. Urgent letters must be sending by special delivery to ensure their safe arrival.

Nature

São Tomé and Príncipe is the second smallest African country – larger only than the Seychelles in terms of population. São Tomé is 50 kilometers (31 miles) long and 32 kilometers (20 miles) wide and the more mountainous of the two islands. Its highest peak reaches 2,024 meters (6,640 feet).

Wildlife

The geographic isolation from Africa has resulted in high levels of endemism. Overall, Sao Tome and Principe has 143 birds, 15 mammals, 14 reptiles, and 9 amphibians. The waters of Sao Tome and Principe are still largely unexplored. So far, 230 fish species have been distinguished of which many are endemic.

Climate

You can visit the islands of Sao Tome and Principe all year around. The climate is tropical with average yearly temperatures of about 27°C (80°F) and little daily variation. At the interior’s higher altitudes, the average yearly temperature is 20°C (68°F), and nights are generally cool.

People

São Tomé and Príncipe is a place with a rich cultural heritage where people are happy to meet you. The lack of tribal, ethnic or religious conflict adds to the friendly “leve leve” (as the locals say, “easy-easy”) atmosphere. The human history on São Tomé & Príncipe begins in 1470, when the Portuguese settlers came to the islands.