Sao Tome and Principe Guide

Sao Tome and Principe Guide

São Tomé and Príncipe – information about the state

Country name Saint Thomas
Official name Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
Capital Sao Tome
Continent Africa
Area 964 km2
Population 187,356 (2012)
Foundation of a state 7/12/1975
The highest mountains Pico de Tomé 2024 m
State system a pluralist republic with a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Sao Tomé (capital) 50,000, Tinidade 17,000
Official language Portuguese
Ethnicity/National Composition mestizos, Angolans, forros (descendants of slaves), Portuguese
Religious affiliation Roman Catholics 81%, other Christians 18%
Currency 1 dobra (Db) = 100 centavas
gross domestic product (GDP) US$2,121 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 67.31 years (2006)

Country overview

São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea 250 km west of the coast of Gabon.

According to Abbreviationfinder, Sao Tome and Principe (chocolate island) is an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Africa.

The capital is Sao Tome (also known as Salazar) – the capital and the only major city of Sao Tome and Principe. It is located on the northeast coast of the island of the same name at an altitude of about 2000 meters above sea level and is the main port of the country on the Atlantic Ocean.

The population of Sao Tome is about 56,152 people. All exports of the country pass through the city port. These are cocoa, copra and bananas. Industry is underdeveloped and includes soap, beverage, and wall tile manufacturing. In Sao Tome, the Portuguese fort and several other ancient buildings have been preserved.

Sao Tome is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western coast of Africa (about 300 km), the main part of the state of Sao Tome and Principe.

The climate is tropical maritime. The temperature is around +25*С all year round.

Interesting facts

The islands were discovered by Portuguese navigators in 1470.

In 1999, a clock coin was made in Sao Tome and Principe, the mechanism of which started on January 1, 2000 at 00:00.

The coat of arms of Sao Tome and Principe – the official heraldic symbol of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, was approved in 1977. The cocoa tree symbolizes the basic culture of the economy. On the oval shield is a green-gold burelite (in the colors of the flag of Sao Tome and Principe), on which a large 5-angled blue star is placed, symbolizing the country’s belonging to Africa, the unity of the state and the waters of the Gulf of Guinea. Supporters – falcon and parrot. On the top line we see the name of the country, on the bottom – the state motto: Unity – discipline – work. The most common is a black and white or brown and white coat of arms.

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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