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My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

Stockholm, Sweden
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My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

Now I am back from Sao Tome e Principe and it was very nice there, one wonderful holiday. We came last day in December to celebrate last day on the year and to welcome the New Year and it was interesting to see how the people there celebrate this holiday.

We were there 2 weeks, stayed at hotel O Bigodes, which I recommend very much. The hotel is by the ocean on the edge of the town Sao Tome and from the terrace and restaurant is a beautiful view over Sao Tome town, palms, rainforest and mountains in the background. The price for this hotel was not so bad either, 35EUR per night and person incl. breakfast. Good food they had too. Service was a little slowly, but we had not hurry, we were on holiday.

Unfortunately, we have never been able to go to Principe because our luggage did not arrive with us, it came only after a week because the plane, to Sao Tome only one per week, so it was difficult for us. We flew from Barcelona to Lisbon to Sao Tome with TAP and our luggage was left in Lisbon.

So if you planners to come here, take some clothes with you as hand luggage because it is not so easy to find your size when you want and buy some clothes for you. People there are smaller and shorter, so it took all day before we found something suitable.

We rented a car and it was a good choice because it should be a little difficult to travel by taxi and bus the whole time. We travelled over the whole island both on west and east side, even inside the island as to Monte Caffe there we saw one old coffee plantation and tasted also coffee there, which was very tasty. We were going around to waterfall S. Nicolau and Bombaim there it is one other plantation house, now as hotel. We were visiting even one old cacao plantation in Agostinho Neto and in Agua Ize, one old factory there they still produced cacao and even palm oil. Near Agua Ize is the Boca de Inferno, in the cliffs is a large hole through which water rapids and it seems that the mouth is full of white shaving. We were also going to one school which is placed in the old Portuguese hospital, in Diogo Vaz, there it was even art school. It is possible also to overnight there in simply but clean rooms. Monte Forte saw we too, took a coop of good coffee there. So I think we saw almost everything on the island, only Vulcan we not saw. Pico de Sao Tome not missed we either, it was very good and impressive to see from the road to Porto Alegre.

Because of course we were travelling even to Porto Alegre, wanted to stay over night in Jale Ekolodge and take a boat trip to island Das Rolas for to stay on Equator. But because our problem with the language (cannot Portuguese or French) we could not stay there because we had no idea where in Porto Alegre we can find responsible for this lodge. Or boat. Otherwise it would be very nice there because it was on the wonderfully sand beach, surrounded by palms trees. Instead we were going back for to overnight in Roça Sao Joao de Angolares, one old also Portuguese plantation house. The room costs 35€ half board per person, good price and not talk about the dinner, which was really tasty and exciting. The house and place was nice, on the hill with wonderfully view over the ocean and forest too.

The roads are paved but in terrible condition especially against Porto Alegre, already after Santana is the road very bad. So count with that even if it is not so far from Sao Tome to Porto Alegre, about 80-90 km, it took 4 hours I think it was.

Sao Tome city is not so nice, chaotic, crowded and taxis everywhere. Unfortunately, many houses are in very poor condition because Portuguese people did get in a hurry to leave the island and people there were and still are of course not afford to renovate all the houses. But to sit there and watch people and life on the streets is very interesting and fun.

I recommend this trip, to go and stay at least one week on the island, it is really worth all the money and effort to come there. Pity only we could not go to Principe which is probably much nice, maybe more than Sao Tome, I heard, but next time???.

It was a good time to be there, we had nice weather, it was warm around 30 degree C and the water was warm and nice to take a bath too. I know Atlantic from Portugal there the water is so cold, so it was funny to swim in Atlantic again, but warm Atlantic. We were lucky because it was rainy only twice and only about 1 hour so it was nothing. It was not so much sun, but some days it was sunny anyway, anyway it was good when it was cloudy because it was warm enough.

Have a nice trip to you all who will go there.

43 replies to this topic
Stockholm, Sweden
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21. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

Ha en trevlig semester och fråga gärna mera om du funderar över någonting. Hoppas du hittar billiga biljetter, vi fick betala så där 10 000SEK per person med TAP, nu såg jag att det är ännu dyrare uch. Men ni norrmen är ju rika, rikare än vi :).

Vi själva tänker, än så länge, att ta och åka till Kameron så vi får se hur det blir med den resan.

Stockholm, Sweden
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22. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

Hej laxoring,, undrar bara om det blev av din resa till Sao Tome.

stockholm
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23. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

hej Khamlia, nej, ännu har det inte blivit en resa för mig till São Tome, är osäker på om det blir av, men man ska aldrig säga aldrig.

Stockholm, Sweden
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24. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

I want now complete this with new report from Principe and Ilheu das Rolas, the island on the equator.

Principe is a really small paradise island, with a few roads, mostly not paved and difficult to travel on that ways. We were staying in the Saint Antonio, one really really little, very much torn city. But it was nice to be there, to go there and look at the life, a little sleepy life in one part of city, in other part very full of life, with market, shops etc. One funny petrol station was there too, one big barrel and many bottles with petrol. I took the pictures there and he wanted have 50EUR for that, but I not gave him nothing, and he only laughed.

We rented a car with driver because it is not possible to drive there self, and find the ways. It was a good choice even if I not like to have guides, but there it was necessary. On this way we saw the most of the island, old plantations, beaches and small villages. The people was very nice, maybe more nice and friendly than on Sao Tome. We were there 3 days, then we flew back to Sao Tome. To fly was one journey that too, it was a little propeller plane, Africa´s connection, for only about 16 people. We were lucky to sit on first line, so I saw to pilot cabin. It was funny to look how the captain enjoyed of how his plane flew good. He literally patted and caressed the control desk.

It is there on island also one very good hotel BomBom on the beach, but we not were staying there because we not like to only lie and not do nothing.

We were also going to Ilheu das Rolas, the island on the equator. This island is south of Sao Tome island and we took the boat for to come there. The journey was a little exciting because it was raining before quite much and the roads were full of water, especially over bridges. But the bus driver drove through the "flooding" without problem and we came in time to Ponte Baleia.

It took about 20min with boat to come to the Ilheu das Rolas. We went to equator so it was funny to be just in the middle of earth. Wonderful view was there over the sea and Sao Tome island. Self island was really little and really beautiful, we explored it a little, I took bath there between other, got a good lunch on the restaurant on Pestana hotel and at evening we went back to Sao Tome.

On the way home I experienced the not-fun event at the airport. When we went through the X-ray with our handbags, I was stopped because of my simple tweezers to remove the brow. I tried to explain that it's just a pair of tweezers that I usually have with me always and never was there a problem somewhere. But it did not go forward because they could not speak English and I could not Portuguese. I just showed that it is not dangerous, but without success. I became a little upset and gave her forceps so that I could go to the transit hall. But for some reason it was stopped in the passport control and they refused to let me pass. Took my passport and refused to stamp in the even though I said that she can not do so. Had to stand there quite a long time and when it was time to go to the plane so she let me go. Then I heard that they like to cause problems for travelers, probably because the job itself, the stamping of passports is quite monotonous so they want to have some fun too?

San Francisco...
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25. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

The funniest story is when Air Nigeria (Air Nightmareria )comes into Sao Tome the airport personel tell me no flights to Douala Cameroon today or until further notice.I went back to the airlines office in Sao Tome City then the office manager tells me the flight from Libreville will be landing in about 15 minutes.Air Portugal is TAP which means "Take Another Plane".I just went to the airport kicked back at the Bigones Hotel drinking a beer look at Chaves Bay.It's an interesting destination yet one that is still hidden to the outside world. Worth the trip getting there.

Baltimore
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26. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

Thank you for your thorough description, it is very helpful

Stockholm, Sweden
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for Morocco
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27. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

Hi Veter, I am glad you like it and was helpful :)

and I hope, Kraor, that this destination will still be hidden to the world so mass tourism not destroy it.

Edited: 21 December 2013, 13:05
South East London
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28. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

We had a tour with Navetur Equatour whilst we were in Sao Tome. The tour was Ok but the guide left a lot of interesting stuff out and I think we missed out big time. He was in a big hurry to finish at the end of the day. My advice would be to read the excellent Bradt guide before leaving for a trip here and then you will be more able to ask for what you want.

Berlin, Germany
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29. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

Thanks for this! I got the Bradt guide and am excited for the trip. Do you have a recommendation on how to split a 7-day trip among the two islands? We were thinking 2 nights ST, 2 or 3 nights Principe, then 2 or 3 in ST. I'm finding it hard to get this recommendation and would love your gut reaction! :-)

South East London
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30. Re: My trip to Sao Tome e Principe

We found 4 days on Principe plenty of time - a good mix of seeing some of the island and also some chill time on the beautiful beaches. It is quite a good idea to have a couple of days either side of this on Sao Tome, especially if you are flying overnight with Tap airlines back to Lisbon. We did the journey back from Principe to Lisbon in one go and it wasn't ideal. Would be too much if you were going to fly straight back to the States too I would imagine.

Enjoy your trip. The islands are absolutely lovely and very unspoilt by tourism.

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