Hi there wanderlusters! happy new year to you reading this, hope your year took of great. In my previous post I hinted you I was going somewhere beautiful, we’ll I did and that place happens to be São Tomé and Príncipe Island. While some of you already know and have probably visited, some may have also never heard of this country(I’m glad you first heard of it here on my blog). São Tomé is the second smallest country in Africa after Seychelles and off the cost of the continent or Congo. Check here for detailed information about São Tomé.
My initial plan was to enter São Tomé on the 28th of September to begin the new year but the plan was distorted after our flight was overbooked which meant we(Bernice, 3 others and myself) had to be rescheduled to the next flight 2days after thus on the 30th, not too much damage was caused. Saturday finally arrived and we were on the 1hour 40mins long flight with Tap Portugal to São Tomé not ignoring the two hours delay so instead of arriving at 5:20pm we arrived 7:20pm.
The long queue and sorting out our visa took an extra hour to check out of the airport. We finally checked into our hotel around 9pm, had some good dinner and were ready to start exploring the country the next day. Check out my YouTube channel for all that went down on this African island. I’ll leave a link to one of the videos below.
São Tomé Travel Tips.
Getting A Visa
For Ghanaian passport holders it’s visa on arrival but you’ll have to start the process here, fill the form and submit online. It’s important you print out your hotel reservation for the number of days you’ll be staying in São Tomé, it’s a requirement and will it’ll help determine the duration of visa granted. Upon arrival in São Tomé, you’ll pay €20 or $30 as your visa fee if granted.
There’s only one way to get to São Tomé Island from Ghana and that’s by flight. You can get a direct flight from Accra to São Tomé which is of 1hour, 40mins.
Dobra is the official São Tomé and Príncipe currency however euros is equally accepted in both hotels and restaurants. Dollars will also do the trick. On the 1st of January 2018, they introduced the new dobra, extra zeros were taken off the old notes. Eg 100,000.00 dobra is now 100 dobra or 50,000 dobra is now 50Dobra.
Portuguese is the official language of the people of São Tomé and Príncipe.
Things to do
There are 3 places to visit in São Tomé, the North, the South and the Center. There are amazing landscapes to admire and beautiful sights to behold in each of these places. Your guide will explain everything to you during the trip. Coolest thing is, you don’t have to pay entrance fee to anyone, every attraction is free to access, all you need to pay is your guides fee.
Edson was my Guide in São and was of good help, he speaks both English and Portuguese so that helped a lot since I had no basics in Portuguese. A trip to the North cost you €60 per person To the south cost you €80 per person To the center cost €60 per person
P.S The above costs included transportation and lunch note that NOT all guides includes lunch in their offer and prices might vary depending on your guide. This is from my perspective so work around these figures.
Where To Eat
Due to language barrier I preferred eating in the hotels we lodged, there were only few times I went out to eat in restaurants, unfortunately I can’t recall the names of the few I visited except Papa Figos(I highly recommend). Please turn to TripAdvisor for more restaurant recommendations.
Where To Sleep
Hotel Praia and Pestana Hotel is where we lodged over a period of 8nights. Once again, I’ll recommend TripAdvisor to help you figure out a hotel of your choice. Airbnb is also a good place to find some beautiful accommodations.
Alright guys, if I missed out an information of interest to you, just hit the comment section with it and I’ll leave you a reply. Thanks for stopping by.