Sao Tome and Principe Country Report
Travelers to Sao Tome and Principe (964 km²; population 194,000) are unlikely to experience any problems during their stay as long as common sense is exercised.
This small island nation, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, is generally considered to be politically stable. Parliamentary elections held in October 2014 took place without incident and presidential elections took place in 2016.The next legislative elections will be held in October 2018, following by presidential elections in 2021.
The country has undergone two attempted coup d’états in the past 20 years (1995 and 2003).
Local crime rates are not particularly high or worrying in this demographically young African country (nearly 45 percent of the population is under 15 years old). Travelers should nonetheless follow basic security precautions, such as concealing all valuable objects (jewelry, mobile phones) and keeping an eye on belongings while in public, particularly at the beach.
Roads are in good condition on both islands and all-terrain vehicles are not necessary. Nevertheless, due to a lack of street lamps, it is best to avoid driving at night outside the capital. STP Airways offers three weekly flights between the two islands.
Regarding health conditions on the island, visitors should be aware that medical facilities are relatively scarce and rudimentary; many types of medications are not available. Furthermore, travelers should never consume tap water during their stay, only bottled water.
In the event of a health emergency, a medical evacuation abroad should be considered due to a lack of hospital infrastructure in country.
The climate of Sao Tomé and Principe is equatorial; the island nation receives abundant rain and experiences high temperatures and high levels of humidity. Ocean breezes however often lower air temperatures. The dry season lasts from June until September; the month of January also sees a respite from rain (during the “Pequenha Gravana”). The south of the country's main island is mountainous and sees higher annual rainfall (7 meters) than the north (2 meters).
Useful NumbersCountry Code: +239 Police: 22 22 22
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz