Fall in love with Sao Tome and Principe

You too could fall in love with Sao Tome and Principe.

Is it possible to fall in love with a country even though you have never been before? It certainly feels like that to me. Or is it because I love the African continent so much, that it stirs feelings inside me, emotions I don’t have when I land on another continent

Is it the smell, the people, the sounds? It’s hard to pinpoint it, all I know is that I feel passionate about that part of the world. As a tour manager, I worked in a number of African countries, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and have visited Ethiopia and Namibia on my own holidays. And believe me, even though I have visited many other places around the world, Africa would still be my number one destination!

As described in my very first blog post, my introduction to Cape Verde was fantastic and beyond my expectations. The walking is great, the scenery amazing and the people very friendly. To be able to write about it and to design new itineraries for this destination was like re-living my own experiences again.

First impressions – São Tomé and Príncipe

It was different though with São Tomé and Príncipe, as I had not visited this country before, but still had to write and design itineraries. The more I read about it and the more I got to know the country, the stronger the feelings returned. I was moved by its past and definitely wanted to be part of its future.

The Portuguese saw its potential hundreds of years ago, even though that period and life on the plantations must have been really hard. They introduced sugar cane and the islands soon became a major trading post and a hub for the transatlantic slave trade when it started exporting sugar cane.

sao tome and principe

Soon after cocoa was brought over from Brazil and the tiny archipelago became the first African country to grow cocoa.

Independence for São Tomé and Príncipe

The islands became independent in 1975, and it’s hard to believe that this tiny nation used to be the largest chocolate producer in the world, and even now still produces the best quality cocoa beans.

Nowadays there are still working coffee and cocoa plantations on the islands and some have been converted to either traditional or eco-luxurious boutique hotels.

Best kept secret

Sao Tome and Principe is Africa’s best kept secret, it’s not the easiest place to get to, and it’s also not for everyone. But it’s worth the effort if you’re adventurous and looking for a safe and fairly untouched and undiscovered holiday destination.

Find out more

Holidays are very personal to each of us and planning a trip to somewhere less travelled requires good advice and careful planning.  For over 20 years the team at Archipelago Choice has travelled extensively to all the special destinations we offer and have unrivalled knowledge based on our own personal travel experiences.


Sao Tome and Principe are incredibly special islands to visit and if you think these islands are for you, then love to hear from you. For a friendly chat, please call 00 44 (0) 17687 721050 or email: info@archipelagochoice.com


If you’d like a free brochure then please click on the link –   São Tomé holiday brochure


Ian Coates