The duo of far-flung islands that is Sao Tome and Principe is hardly Africa’s best-known tourist destination. Nor is the tiny country the most glaringly of African places. For starters, the whole spot is Portuguese-speaking (save for a couple of pockets of earthy Creole). And then there’s the colonial feel of the towns and villages, which ooze the character of the New World more than that of sub-Sahara. However, there’s still a vibrant approach to life that’s undeniably African, not to mention a kitchen of spiced fish cuts and banana pap porridge that straddles the culinary traditions of both east and west.
If that’s tickled the travel glands, then add a wealth of gorgeous golden-sand beaches to the mix, rare sea turtles and beautiful mountain towns, along with the soaring spires of volcanic mountains, rare monkeys and more, and the wild and wonderful Sao Tome and Principe becomes pretty darn hard to resist!
Lets explore the best places to visit in Sao Tome and Principe:
1. Sao Tome
A chocolate box of beautiful Romanesque churches and ornate colonial buildings, palm-lined boulevards and pretty plazas, Sao Tome is the only real city on these islands.
The capital, and the economic hub, the political center and the main marketplace, it’s loaded with the likes of the Presidential Palace and Independence Square – marking the year that this Atlantic archipelago gained freedom from the powers of Europe.
Delve into the Central Market here and weave between terracotta-tiled townhouses, beautiful Baroque facades and the cannon-dotted bulwarks of Fort Sao Sebastian, all before hitting the fascinating exhibitions of the National Museum.
After that, you’ll discover lazy coffee shops spilling onto the cobbles, and plenty of places for strolling along the shoreline of beautiful Ana Chaves Bay.