Sao Tome and Principe Guide

Sao Tome and Principe Guide

Country data

Location: West Africa

Time zone: CET – 1 (during summer time: CET – 2)

Total area: 964 km²

Land area: 964 km²

Water area: 0 km²

Length of the state border: 0 km

Coastline: 209 km

Capital: São Tomé

Provinces: 2 (Principe, Sao Tome)

Telephone code: 00 239 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Pico de Sao Tome 2,024 m


Population: approx. 190,000 residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.9% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 197

Life expectancy: 63 (male), 66 (female)

Official language: Portuguese, Crioulo


  • 56% Catholic
  • 44% other


Due to the proximity to the equator, the climate is tropical, with high temperatures, constant high humidity and a lot of rain.

Sao Tome and Principe

The driest months are from June to September, while the rainy season is from October to May. All year round the temperatures are between 25 and 32 ° C.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Dobra (STD)

Classification: 1 Dobra = 100 Cêntimos

ATMs: unknown

International credit cards: Very few hotels accept them.

Regulations: The import of national and foreign currencies is permitted in unlimited amounts. There is an obligation to declare.

The export is limited to the declared import. All exchange receipts should be kept until departure.

We only recommend that you take US dollars with you as a foreign currency, as many car rental companies, hotels and airlines only accept cash payments in this currency.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

All valuable items (computers, cameras,…) should be declared upon entry in order to avoid problems during re-export.

Travel advice

Care in the event of a medical emergency is completely inadequate within the country and still far from European standards.

Before entering Germany, you should definitely take out insurance that includes a medical rescue flight that will bring you back to Germany in the first instance.

Behavioral advice

You should not use tap water to drink or to prepare food. Only use bottles that you have bought from retailers in their original cap.

Airports, seaports, public buildings, military facilities and military personnel may not be photographed.


Effective agriculture is hardly possible due to constant droughts and poor management.

Almost all everyday goods have to be imported, which plunges the country into ever greater debt.

By building up the tourism industry, attempts are now being made to stabilize the economic situation and balance the state budget.

Industries: beer production, fish processing, wood processing, light industry, soap production, textiles

Natural resources: fish, hydropower, oil

Land use:

  • Usable land: 2%
  • Grain cultivation: 36%
  • Pasture area: 1%
  • Forests: 0%
  • other: 61%


A large part of the islands is now a national park (Obo) in which many rare animal and plant species are protected.

The large areas in the south are home to dense rainforests and many plant species that only exist on these islands.

In the north it is a little drier. There are mainly baobab trees here.


There are various insects and small animals on the islands. Free living mammals are not represented.

The fish world around the islands is particularly rich in species.

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