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Favorite thing: As I said in my intro i found many tips and information about this destination
on the consulate portal website in marseille (in french)
They know very well the destination and can provide travel assistance as they work with a local travel agency (Mistral Voyages)
Here is the web site
you ll find also many nice pics etc..
Here the direct page to tourism info
Written Dec 28, 2009
Favorite thing: If you just want to become acquainted with Sao Tome, I recommend one week. The second option is stay two week, and so on, in weekly basis, because there is only one flight in a week to Europe. More flights to Central Africa, though.
Many of the activities in Sao Tome is based to the ways of enjoying of the nature and relaxed time ongoing.
As an occasional example, we met a Dutch guy who had 2-week flying ticket. He paid 800 euros for getting back to home one week earlier than intended.
Sexond example: we hired a 4WD jeep from another Dutch, who spend 3 months at Sao Tome, 3 months at Netherlands and so on.
Updated Mar 29, 2003
Favorite thing: It is quite difficult to find a map of Sao Tome island. If you stay mostly in the capital and nothern coast line (beaches) areas, you actually do not need map, due to lack of roads.
But if you head to inland, like Cascadas da Sao Nicolau, local map is handy. For general orientation, Lonely Planet has a not-so-detailed version:
or if the link is broken, go through the opening page of the site.
This is one of the most comprehensive map you can find via net. Most of the net maps just places tiny dot to the blue box (presenting Gulf of Guinea).
For road map, ask from Sao Tome, maybe from Mapping Institute. If you find it, it might be quite expensive at Sao Tome scale, but definitely worth of.
For the street map of capital and other details, I used Central Africa (2nd edition) of Lonely Planet.
Written Mar 29, 2003
Favorite thing: History
For centuries, the islands were one of the main trade centres of the organised slave trade. In the sixteenth century, the islands' sugar cane trade was economically dominant and led the world.
Later on, the plantation cultivation of coffee and cocoa was developed, and the islands and their impressive large-scale plantations (Rocas) became the largest cocoa producers in the world by the start of the 20th century. This unique position was based on the one hand on the unusual organisational talent of the Portuguese colonialists and traders, but also on the slave-owning economy, which had been standard across the world for centuries, and which was not superseded until the 19th century by the introduction of the contractual worker system, which was, however, considered to be just as oppressive by the workers.
In 1975, a national freedom movement within the population, the global influence of communism, and the take-over of Portugal by communist forces led to the collapse of the Portuguese empire and to the independence of São Tomé e Principe in the same year. From that time on, the new state was embedded in a network of communistic African states until 1990.
During this time, there was an exodus of about 2,000 Europeans, the expropriation of the Rocas, the complete decline of the plantation economy and the far-reaching decay of the infrastructure, some of which was centuries old. The population resolutely exploited the global collapse of communism and decided in 1992 through an overwhelming majority to introduce a democratic multi-party system characterised by a market economy.
Since then, under the democratically elected President Miguel Trovada and the Prime Minister Guilherme Posser, the country has tried, with increasing success, to recover economically under its own forces and with international support. Today, unlike almost every country on the continent of Africa, the island state can be characterised as stable. There is trusting co-operation with experienced government advisers from different EU states.
Written Aug 26, 2002
Favorite thing: Watch the fishermen bring their catch of fish to the beach, and the women have a fish market right there on the beach.Ask permission to take photos . Some of the natives are pickey about photos.
Fondest memory: Friendly people,always seem happy and smiling and willing to help. It is very safe to walk anywhere in Sao or Principe on your own. Crime is almost unheard of. Be careful at night walking , there are large holes in the sidewalk and easy to fall into them unless you have flashlight, which you would be wise to carry at night. DO NOT TAKE PHOTO OF THE PALACE,I did and the guard raised their rifle and pointed it at me. I got the message fast.
There are no dangerious animals on Sao or Principe. Mosquitoes Yes.
Written Aug 25, 2002
Favorite thing: The view from the main street, near presidents house.
It was nice to walk there and watch peoples, though it felt like peoples were watching mostly us...
Updated Nov 26, 2002