About this book
Bradt's São Tomé and Príncipe is the only standalone guide to Africa's second-smallest country, considered by some to be the centre of the world as it is the site of the closest point to the intersection of the Greenwich Meridian and the Equator. In this comprehensively updated third edition, Kathleen Becker, regular tour leader for a major tour operator on São Tomé, and Sean Connolly, who first visited and fell in love with São Tomé in 2015 and has been raving about ever since, provide priceless insider information to the best spots for sleeping, eating and drinking, hiking, watersports, turtle-watching and rainforest hikes.
Since the previous edition of this guide, a wider choice of accommodation has become available – trendy guesthouses, a surf lodge, a homestay and new plantation tourism on Príncipe to name a few options – and the country has gained an even greater reputation as a gourmet hiking destination, from the ‘best chocolate in the world’ to the freshest fish straight from the beach alongside the equator mark. Meanwhile, Príncipe, São Tomé’s jewel sister island, is now a UNESCO Biosphere offering more watersports opportunities such as stand-up paddle boarding and surfing lessons.
Bradt's São Tomé and Príncipe is the perfect companion for independent travellers, wildlife enthusiasts, trekkers, foodies, anyone interested in colonial history and African developments, or in setting up in business there. This indispensable guide to the second-most important biodiversity hotspot in Africa offers sections on background and practical information, followed by four easy-to-follow chapters on São Tomé and a dedicated chapter on Príncipe. It shows the way to plantations lost in time and an organic cocoa cooperative and includes local expression, advice on cultural and medical issues as well as on how to get by on a budget in a destination without backpacker infrastructure. All budgets are catered for, from luxurious chic boutique resorts to city apartments and budget guesthouses. It also includes additional contributions by local experts on wildlife, politics and economy, controversies and tourism.
About the author
A tour leader, travel writer and translator, Kathleen Becker spends a large part of the year on São Tomé & Príncipe, the tiny cocoa islands on the equator, leading hiking groups for UK and German operators. A European Creole of German-Irish heritage, she first explored São Tomé & Príncipe for Bradt’s pioneering guide in 2006.
Recently picked up by mainstream travel media as one of the Top Ten Places to Visit in the World, São Tomé & Príncipe is one of those places that stays with you. With Kathleen’s guide, part the thick green curtains of the rainforest on a trail once taken by escaped slaves, grapple with kizomba moves in the company of the dance-mad youngsters (the median age is 18), learn to tell the endemic Speirops from the White-eye or watch a turtle dig her nest on deserted beaches, sample the latest fluffy creation at a new chocolate factory, surf the warm waters of magic Seven Waves Beach, and share a slice of humble daily life with the friendly and curious Santomeans. Leve-leve is the country's motto with many meanings: a response to a greeting, an invitation to take things slowly, to go with the flow, but also in the right direction with an assured step. Based in a workaday city neighbourhood of street food sellers when not leading tours, she was involved in ecotourism training along the Cocoa Route in the north in 2015 and started teaching English to local agency guides in 2018, picking up aspects of Santomean life and Creole words from her students along the way – sharing in the lifelong adventure of learning.
This edition was updated with the help of Sean Connolly ([ig] shanboqol), who first travelled to Africa as a student in 2008 and returns to the continent whenever possible to research, teach or simply soak up the ambiance in Africa’s countless little-visited corners. He’s been poring over maps since before he could read them, and working with Bradt Guides since 2011. Along with authoring two editions of Bradt’s Senegal, he’s also updated or contributed to the Bradt guides to Somaliland, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Uruguay, Sierra Leone, two editions of Rwanda and Gabon. He first visited and fell in love with STP in 2015, and has been raving about it to anyone who will listen ever since.
1 GENERAL INFORMATION
1 Background Information
and climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Politics and society,
Economy, People, Religion, Education, Culture
2 Practical Information
to visit, Highlights and itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Embassies and
consulates, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, What to take, Money,
Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays
and opening hours, Shopping and services, Activities, Arts and entertainment,
Photography, Media and communications, Language, Business, Buying property,
Tourism, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
2 São Tomé
3 São Tomé: the Capital
Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information and travel
agencies, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife,
Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do
4 The North and Northwest
Getting around, Northern beaches, Guadalupe town, From Guadalupe to Neves,
Neves, Neves to the end of the road
5 The Interior
Getting around, Madre de Deus, West of Madre de Deus, Trindade, From Trindade
to Bombaim, Towards Bom Sucesso, Monte Café and Nova Moca
6 The East and South
Getting around, From São Tomé to São João dos Angolares, São João dos Angolares
and around, From São João dos Angolares to Porto Alegre, Around Porto Alegre,
Ilhéu das Rolas, The Southwest
History, Culture and tradition, Getting there and away, Getting around, Other
practicalities, Santo António: the capital, Exploring the rest of Príncipe,
Activities, Bom Bom Island resort, Belo Monte, Sundy, beach resorts