São Tomé and Príncipe Tours

São Tomé and Príncipe
Population - 219,275 
Language - Portuguese
Currency - STP dobra
Time Zone - GMT
Capital - São Tomé

The two Islands were uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese explorers Jaoa de Santarem and Pero Escobar in around 1470, after exploration of the islands they were deemed perfect bases for trade with the mainland.

Sao Tome was settled in 1493 and the smaller Island of Principe a bit later in 1500, mainly by undesirables from Portugal as it was difficult to attract people to these remote locations. The volcanic soil was perfect for agriculture and the Islands soon became Africa’s number one exporter of sugar. Sugar plantations were very labour intensive and the Portuguese imported slaves from the African mainland to work on the plantations. Sugar plantations eventually changed to the more lucrative coffee and cocoa plantations helping Sao Tome become the number one exporter of Cocoa by 1908, Cocoa is still the number one crop of these Islands. Sao Tome and Principe gained independence from Portugal on the 12th July 1975 and in 1990 became one of the first African countries to embrace democratic reform. Both islands offer outstanding biodiversity, pristine rainforest, exceptionally beautiful white sand beaches, fantastic diving and sea fishing an intriguing history, diverse culture, and wonderful warm welcoming locals for international visitors to experience. These volcanic Islands are popular for hiking and walking holidays and with 28 endemic bird species a must visit for dedicated birders and nature enthusiasts.

Zoom in to see where your trip will take you in São Tomé and Príncipe

Our tours of Sao Tome and Principe operate year-round, however the main dry season here is from June to September which is the most popular time for visitors.  Travelling during the rainy season is fine and should not affect your trip unless you are on a birding tour that visits the National Parks.

São Tomé and Príncipe Tours

Discover São Tomé and Príncipe with Ashanti African Tours

Our Price Promise

If you receive cheaper quotes from other legitimate companies, we will try to match or improve the price for the exact same tour package offered.

São Tomé and Príncipe Tours

Award-winning Local Guides

Our passion is to create the best overall experience for our guests during their time touring with us.

One of the key components to achieving this is the local expert guide assigned to lead your tour. Here at Ashanti we are lucky to have highly educated, passionate, personable, fun, friendly and professional local award-winning guides working with us on a full-time basis. Local guides with personal connections to the locations you visit, opens doors and experiences that add so much more to your overall experience during your time with us. Our team are excited to welcome you to West Africa.

For more information on our Award-winning Local Tour Guides

Discover São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe Birding and Nature Tours

Sao Tome and Principe are two stunning Islands seldom visited by birders that lie off the West African coastline in the Gulf of Guinea.

These ex Portuguese colonies straddle the equator and enjoy a tropical climate with a high level of rainfall recorded annually. Exceptionally friendly, welcoming, and safe Islands to travel around their volcanic mountains and rainforest covered rolling scenery protect a plethora of bird species. Depending on which taxonomic data you follow there could be a possible 29 endemic species to enjoy during a comprehensive birding and nature tour of these two Islands. The number of endemic bird species in Sao Tome and Principe equals that of the much more extensive Galapagos Islands and exceeds the Seychelles. These factors make them possibly the easiest and most concentrated group of Island endemics in the world. All endemic species could be possible with a little luck during our exceptional birding tours of these islands.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our São Tomé and Príncipe Birding and Nature Tours

Our small group all-inclusive scheduled tours operate year-round, alternatively we can design private customized tours for individuals, couples, families, small or large groups

Explore São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe Cultural and Historical Tours

This tour will put you in touch with the history of Portuguese colonialism in São Tomé and Príncipe, as well as the cultures of Cocoa and Coffee.

Also, on this tour you will be able to feel the impulse of the city of São Tomé, as well as the affection of Sao-tomean people. Walking the streets of the exotic capital, delving into local history at the national museum, and a must visit is the Fort of São Sebastião, where we take a journey of discovery through the history of the country, along with the most important events that have marked our existence since the discovery to the present day. A visit to the ancient Cathedral, the oldest in Sub-Saharan Africa, then taking in Independence Square and the fading remains of several colonial buildings on the outskirts of the city. Exploring local markets and meeting fishing communities adds so much to our experience of discovery in this rarely visited part of the world. Our tours operate year-round and can be customized to include additional areas of interest.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our São Tomé and Príncipe Cultural and Historical Tours

Experience São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe Hiking and Walking Tours

How many people can say they have hiked and walked the mountains, valleys, forests, and communities of Sao Tome and Principe these little-known islands off the coast of West Africa.

Breath-taking scenery, wonderful people and fantastic local cuisine await us on these customized tours that are designed for all fitness levels. If you are an adventurous and experienced hiker then the steep slopes and more challenging walks of the forests and national parks are a must. More relaxed walkers will also not be disappointed as we visit some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes ensuring we enjoy the feeling of isolation from the developed world and outstanding nature with every step. Depending on the time you have to dedicate to your trip, it is possible to enjoy a walking tour of both islands. Local guides with first aid training who are experts in all the flora and fauna found here add so much to your experience as you enjoy the butterflies, birds, and other nature we encounter during our walks. Contact our experienced team to customize a tour that suits your fitness level, timeframe, and if you have other areas of interest, we can incorporate these into your bespoke trip.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our São Tomé and Príncipe Hiking and Walking Tours

Booking a tour with us makes you an important part of our positive impact conservation and community projects, having the option to visit the rainforests and communities your trip helps protect is a special moment for many of our participants

São Tomé and Príncipe Travel

Customized Tailor-made São Tomé and Príncipe Tours

Ashanti’s strength is designing customized tailor-made tours incorporating any areas of interest you may have.

If you are a researcher, educational institution, solo traveller, couple, family, friends, small or large group or even a travel agent arranging a private group then allow our experienced team to design that perfect trip focused on the exact areas important to you. Organizing specific cultural and historical excursions, voluntary work, research trips, specific wildlife tours or incorporating personal locations of interest, nothing is beyond our capabilities as this is an area, we are highly experienced in. Having so many local guides experts in such a wide range of areas enables us to offer a varied tour portfolio. Tours of any duration and to fit all budgets ensuring the perfect combination for you.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our Customized Tailor-made São Tomé and Príncipe Tours

São Tomé and Príncipe Tours

Multi Country Tours

Due to its geographical location within West Africa and the excellent network of flights connecting this region, Sao Tome offers an ideal opportunity to experience more of West Africa during our multi country tours.

Principe is just a short flight from Sao Tome and is almost entirely covered by tropical rainforest and has a population less than 8,000 locals, exploring the stunning beaches, exotic capital and forests is a delight. Ghana is another destination easily incorporated into a multi country tour of these islands, with flights 4 times weekly and Ghana’s exceptional birding, wildlife history and culture just waiting to be discovered why not add Ghana on to your Sao Tome and Principe tour. Our team are excited to start working with you in designing that perfect customized trip of a lifetime.

For more information, itineraries and prices for our Multi Country Tours

Exceptional West African travel experiences that have a real sustainable impact in the locations and communities we visit

Travel Tips for São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe Tourist Visas

If you are European citizen or from the following countries UK, US, Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Korea, UAE, Russia, Qatar, Vatican City, Turkey and most (not all) African nationals then you do not require a visa to enter Sao Tome and Principe for the first 15 days, however you need to return home within 15 days of arrival and have proof of accommodation, a valid return ticket and proof of funds when entering Sao Tome and Principe. If you wish to stay longer than 15 days, then you would need to apply for an e-visa prior to arrival.

Very few countries have embassies or high commissions for Sao Tome and Principe, so it may be necessary to apply online for your visa. Please check - www.ivisa.com - to see if your country qualifies for an e-visa if your country does not qualify then it may be possible to obtain a visa at the airport on arrival in Sao Tome, please check this before booking your holiday and be aware this method could be more expensive.

São Tomé and Príncipe Weather and Climate

The climate in Sao Tome and Principe is tropical, hot, and humid throughout the year with average temperatures of approximately between 28°C and 30°C. There are 2 rainy seasons here with the main rainy season starting from February to May and the shorter rainy season from October to November. Rains ease in December and January and our main dry season is from June to September which is the most popular time for visitors. Seasonal changes are different from those of North America and Europe, due to its proximity to the Equator and Sao Tome and Principe’s temperature is reasonably consistent.

Guest Houses and Homestays

On some of our more adventurous Eco, Wildlife, Voluntary, Educational and Cultural tours in the more remote areas, local guesthouses are used and in some unique cases village homestays. Although these are more basic than hotels in larger communities, they are comfortable, clean, and safe. Staying in these types of accommodations brings us into closer and more intimate contact with the locals, their ways of life and fascinatingly, their wonderful unity.

Equipment and Clothing

Due to the wide variety of tours we offer, this information will be forwarded upon confirmation of your booking in your pre-trip information pack.

Tipping

All our company drivers, assistants and expert local guides are employed on full time contracts with Ashanti African Tours and receive a basic salary and daily bonus when on tour. Ashanti African Tours also have a company policy to tip all local site guides and hotel staff. Therefore, if any of our clients would like to tip any of our guides, site guides, drivers, or staff at hotels we use, it is at the client's own discretion.

Spending Money

The amount of spending money you will need is determined by the type of tour you have booked with us. The majority of our standard scheduled and customized tours are all-inclusive, so you only need to budget for the following: snacks, soft (not mineral water as this is always included) and alcoholic drinks and items of a personal nature. If you have booked a budget tour, then some aspects of the tour may not be included in the tour price and you will receive this information during your enquiry process.

Building schools, protecting rainforest, having a sustainable positive impact locally

Ashanti would like to think most international travellers coming to West Africa care about the locations they visit and about having a positive impact during their time here. Booking with a responsible travel company goes a long way to achieving this. Many companies state they benefit locals and conservation when they do extraordinarily little and are more focused on their profit margins. Ashanti are West Africa’s leading travel company putting their profits back into building schools, protecting wildlife, rainforest, biodiversity and connecting communities to the conservation of their environment through community development initiatives connected to eco-tourism. Click to learn more about where our profits go.

Travel Insurance

You must ensure that you have adequate personal insurance cover for your trip. It is a compulsory requirement for all our trips in Sao Tome and Principe and other African destinations and it is your responsibility to take out a suitable policy. You will not officially join our tours until evidence of your insurance has been provided to our office. This must include personal accident, medical expenses, and repatriation to your country of origin. We also strongly recommend that your policy covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please note that free insurance cover offered by some credit cards does not cover repatriation expenses.

Hotel Accommodation

As most of our tours are customized tailor-made tours then your budget will determine the standard of accommodation at each location. Sao Tome and Principe have a limited selection of hotels, however there is a choice of Luxury 5- and 4-star establishments, most are mid-range 2 to 3 star and there is a wide selection of clean and basic budget hotels. Our experienced tour planners will identify the best hotel to fit your budget in the right location. If you have booked onto one of our scheduled Sao Tome tours, then we usually use quality mid-range hotels when available and all with private en suite facilities and air-conditioning. In some remote locations where these hotels are not available, we will use the best standard alternative.

Camping

On occasions during some of our more adventurous expeditions in more remote areas, we will camp. This is not for the duration of your entire tour, but for a couple of days where accommodation is unavailable. Camping is usually on a shared basis, but single occupancy tents are available when requested. Our experienced camping team are on hand to make the experience special. All meals are cooked by our team and are usually a mixture of ample and delicious Western and salivating authentic local dishes eaten around an open fire, the local way for a memorable evening.

Immunisations and Vaccinations

You need to consult your doctor or travel clinic six to eight weeks prior to departure for extensive up to date information on foreign travel to West Africa.

Below is a guideline only:

Polio
Tetanus
Typhoid
Anti-malaria tablets (consult your chemist)
Hepatitis A
Meningitis
Yellow fever (you must carry a valid certificate with your passport)

Responsible Tourism

When you travel with Ashanti African Tours you can be assured that all trips are ethical and sustainable, as we put the environment and the communities at the heart of all that we do. As such, this policy draws on the criteria set out by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and tries to recognise many of the principles within the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. All Ashanti African Tours trips aim to have a positive impact on the countries, communities, and environments we visit. Our policy of operating low-impact, ethical tours allows us to create authentic, cultural connections, which not only enhances the traveller experience, but also creates economic opportunity and social development, whilst preserving local cultures for future generations. For full detailed information on our companies responsible travel policy please visit the Ethical Travel page of our website.

We Offset Your Trips Carbon Footprint

We plant 3 indigenous forest tree species for every person that travels with us. The main aim for this project is carbon offsetting - guests choosing to travel with us would offset their flights to/from West Africa by more than 15 times if the trees live to their expected lifespan. This is based on projected carbon dioxide generated on a return flight for the average guest (approximately 900kg/1980 lbs). The average tropical tree can absorb approximately 48lbs of carbon per year (when mature) and in West Africa it takes 30-50 years for a tropical tree species to grow to maturity, with an average life expectancy of 200-300 years. If the trees we plant for each guest are continued to be protected, then we are confident that we will be making a big difference in carbon offsetting: 3 trees planted would each absorb approximately 10,080 lbs of carbon, totalling 30,240 lbs/13,745 kg for all 3 trees (per guest).

Contact Us

For more information, detailed itineraries and prices relating to your preferred tour choice please fill in the below information request form.

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If you are having problems submitting the information request form please email us directly at - info@ashantiafricantours.com
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