Fast Facts:

1. It’s an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, located off the coast of Gabon, and is Africa’s second smallest sovereign state by size and population.

2. It consists of the 2 volcanic islands of São Tomé (the largest) and Príncipe, and several rocky islets, including Rôlas, Caroço, Pedras, and Tenhosas.

3. The capital and largest city is São Tomé.

4. Major languages: Portuguese (official), Forro, Angolar, Principense

5.Major ethnic groups: Forros, Angolares, Mestico, European

6. Major religions: Christianity (73%), Traditional and other religions (6%), No religion (19%), Islam (2%)          

7. It gained independence from Portugal in July 1975.

8. It was a vital center for the transatlantic slave trade and coffee, sugar and cocoa were cultivated on the 800+ plantations there.

9. Today, cocoa is the main crop and it represents 95% of its agricultural exports.

10. It is one of Africa’s least visited countries, but its tourism industry is steadily growing.    

11. It is known for its many beautiful beaches, natural landscapes and ecotourism opportunities.

12. Things to see and do on São Tomé include: Boca de Inferno blowhole, Cascada São Nicolãu waterfalls, Lagoa Azul, Pico de São Tomé mountain, Obo National Park, Fort São Sebastião, Central Market, Agostinho Neto and plantations, Corallo Chocolate Factory, dolphin and humpback whale watching, bird watching, black sand beaches, and water activities, including deep sea fishing, snorkeling and diving.

13. Things to see and do on Príncipe include: colonial architecture in Santo António, Pico Papagaio mountain, Baía das Alguhas, Príncipe Ecological Zone, bird watching, and beaches.

Map of São Tomé and Príncipe
Map of São Tomé and Príncipe
Video credit: Top Tourist Places
Video credit: Destination Africa