SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE – the search for Eden ends here!
SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE – THE SEARCH FOR EDEN ENDS HERE!
Situated 250km off the coast of Gabon, in the Gulf of Guinea, lies the tiny African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. Spread over two archipelagos, it is the second smallest African country after the Seychelles, with a population nearing 200,000. Each archipelago is centred around the islands of São Tomé (Saint Thomas) and Príncipe (Prince’s Island). The film below provides a glimpse of these beautiful, mountainous islands, covered in thick jungle, where people still live a simple life...
Only 13,000 people visit these islands annually. It’s incredible with their ancient forests, unique nature and breathtaking beaches, they go virtually unnoticed by the wider tourism industry. Abandoned plantations, slowly overrun by the jungle; where sugar cane, coffee, and cocoa were grown; give a fascinating insight into the Portuguese colonisation up until independence in 1975. An interesting fact that certainly surprised us is that in 1908 these small unknown islands were the largest cocoa producers in the world!
Ninety percent of the islands are covered by lush forest with the rest taken up by quaint, last century towns and villages. At 50km x 30km, São Tomé is larger, more mountainous and more populous than its sister island lying 140km away. The 5000 residents of Príncipe live within an area of 30km x 6km, half of which contains the remarkable UNESCO established Biosphere Reserve. As a tropical island nation, stunning beaches go without saying...
It is said that São Tomé and Príncipe had been organic and environmentally friendly long before these terms were ever coined. The potential of this region, with its enchanting character and a location protecting it from mass tourism, was first spotted by Mark Shuttleworth. Known as the first African citizen in space, he is also an entrepreneur who has invested in high quality hotel resorts where we will be based on our visit to these extraordinarily beautiful islands.Why visit?
- adventure into a tiny but charming African nation in one of the smallest corners of the world.
- enjoy pristine diving spots few people in the world have explored (I know one, and he was impressed!)
- experience the abundant native flora and fauna of ancient forests, including the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- connect with the islands’ colonial past and visit the ruins of once-magnificent coffee and cocoa plantations.
- see the islands’ enchanting scenery and experience their unique ‘mystical’ atmosphere on trips by vehicle and foot.
- relax on some of the most beautiful, undiscovered beaches in the world. So undiscovered that you’re unlikely to find them in well-known travel and nature publications.
- rejuvenate in fabulously comfortable hotels with tropical island views you only dream about.
...what more could you wish for?ITINERARY: Day 1 — Fly to Lisbon from your departing location and transfer to the hotel for rest (or not!) before onward travel. Day 2 — Depart Lisbon for São Tomé at 09:35 am, a flight time of 9hrs 5mins. Touch down at 18:35 and transfer to our seafront hotel for rest, we will base ourselves here for the next two days. Day 3 — Today is our first dive and a visit to the underwater world of São Tomé! photo: Dom Nurki.pl Day 4 — Today is a 6hr tour of São Tomé taking in the incredibly picturesque scenery of the island. We visit the Agua Ize plantations and a section of coastline called Boca de Inferno. Along the way, we stop by the towns of Ribeira Alfonso and Angolares where it feels like time has stood still for 60 years. On route, we discover some beautiful beaches and a charming waterfall. Of course, there’ll be time for lunch on the way! Day 5 — Today starts with a short trip to the airport. From here we relocate to the second archipelago – Príncipe. If you thought São Tomé was wild, then the island of Príncipe will surprise even further. This princely island is truly off-world… and off the scale! They say Príncipe is more beautiful, wild, green and forgotten than its sister São Tomé. We will spend five nights here to immerse ourselves entirely in its untamed beauty.
In an unusual location and with spectacular surroundings, our accommodation will be a beautiful hotel by the sea. See below!Days 5 to 9 — During this time we will dive, rest, conquer more beaches, enjoy 4×4 excursions, trek, and live life to the fullest! We have arranged two boat dives per day in the abundant and crystal clear waters surrounding Príncipe. We will also spend a full day exploring the island in 4×4’s where we can admire local organic crops and astonishing views. In addition, there will be two treks where we come face to face with the beauty and diversity of the local nature. An interesting visit to Ribeira Ize is also on the itinerary, the first-ever settlement on the island. photo: Dom nurki.pl Day 10 — Transfer to the airport, a short flight to São Tomé to catch a 21:00 flight to Lisbon. Flight time of 7hrs 10mins. Day 11 — Touch down in Lisbon at 04:10 am ready to catch connecting flights to your final destination.
End of trip.PRICE per person:
EUR 3119 + flights, shared twin room.
EUR 4950 + flights, single room.
Included in the Price:
- hotel accommodation in Lisbon for 1 night (twin room).
- hotel accommodation on São Tomé (3 nights) and Príncipe (6 nights) in a twin room including breakfast and dinner (drinks extra).
- all airport transfers in Lisbon, São Tomé and Príncipe.
- one trip around São Tomé (6hrs), one trip around Príncipe (6hrs), return flight from São Tomé to Príncipe.
- insurance: medical expenses (PLN 120,000), personal accident (PLN 16,000), baggage PLN 300).
- the services of an English speaking guide/organiser/translator/diving instructor 24×7.
Not Included in the Price:
- the price of return flights to São Tomé. Price depends on the timing of your reservation and departing location. For logistical reasons, these should be purchased through our office.
- tips – about EUR 60 per person.
- tourist tax – EUR 3 per person per day.
- personal expenses.
- São Tomé - EUR 45 for each dive, Príncipe — EUR 65 for each dive, with diving equipment.
- passport fees and excess baggage.