Our Sao Tome walking holidays are a real adventure

Emma is trying out our Sao Tome walking holidays and shares her adventures scaling the islands highest peak.

Wow what an adventure we had climbing Pico de São Tomé!  At 2024m, Pico de São Tomé is the highest point on the island and offers the most spectacular views.

Emma takes a break on the ascent of Pico Sao Tome
Emma takes a break on the ascent

The walk takes two days (sensibly, or can be done – painfully – in one), each day with around 6 hours of trekking.

The trail starts at the botanical gardens of Bom Suceso plantation, at an altitude of around 800m. We took a narrow trail through fields planted with beans, carrots and avocado trees; Paulo, my guide leading the way and our porter bringing up the rear. After around an hour we entered Obo National Park (300km of protected area across both Sao Tome and Principe) and from here the terrain became more difficult as we started to ascend. We climbed up roots and scrambled up rocky sections (hands and feet were used!), ducked under and wriggled over fallen trees and tiptoed across muddy landslides. I gasped in wonder a couple of times as we crossed narrow ridges with steep descents on either side falling dramatically into a forest full of clouds. What a magical island!

Primary rainforest covers much of Sao Tome island
Primary rainforest covers much of Sao Tome island

After 3 hours or so of puffing and panting (and a quick stop for some snacks) we had a tasty lunch (pasta with peas and egg) in a clearing at around 1500m before continuing to the campsite, Mesa do Pico do Sao Tome, at 1850m.   Tents were up and dinner cooked before sundown and it was early to bed for the team.

We rose shortly after sunrise and Paulo and I headed the last 175m or so to the summit. We were lucky and the island was clear of cloud. On our approach to the summit our views to the south of the island were breathtakingly beautiful, and, from the summit to the north, were incredible.

After breakfast, we made our descent through the rainforest covering more gentle terrain with flatter easier sections. We heard monkeys calling and spotted several birds…and a few cobra along the way.

Walking up Pico de Sao Tome www.saotomechoice.com
Jurassic park-like views on the descent from Pico Sao Tome

The trail ends in Ponta Figo plantation, at the top of the cobbled road leading to Ponta Figo village. You’ll know you’re approaching as you start to see cacao, breadfruit, avocado and papaya trees taking over the primary rainforest.

Am I tired and do my legs ache? Yes!!

Would I go up again? Yes please!

Emma and her guides celebrate on completing their walk up Pico Sao Tome!
Emma and her guides celebrate!

São Tomé and Príncipe Holidays Specialists

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


Sarah Bennett