What you need to know before you leave
Travelling to Sao Tome and Principe requires a fair amount of planning and we advise arranging as much as possible in advance. Visas, insurance, vaccinations, hotels, what to bring - you need answers to all these questions, and we are here to help. Let us help you put the pieces together and make your travel experience a pleasurable one.
Visas, Passports and all that stuff..
Passports, Visas and other documents required when travelling to Sao Tome and Principe.
All persons entering Sao Tome and Principe must have one years valid passport and Visa. You have to apply for a visa before you came. Visas are issued at Sao Tom', overseas missions.
Visa Help Page
In some cases travelers reside in countries where there is no Sao Tome and Principe diplomatic representation or may require commute to such an office. In other cases, they may be unwilling to put their passport in the post or simple do not have time to go to the embassy or consulate. In these cases we can facilitate a visa from Sao Tome wich can be e-mailed to you. To find out more please see the visa application page.
Hotel Reservation and Credit Card Use
Credit card use in Sao Tome
Credit card use in Sao Tome is practically non-existent and transaction are done in cash. Should you wish to settle your hotel reservation bill before you arrive, we can help you do so by going to the featured hotels page.
Health and Travel Insurance
A vaccination certificate for yellow fever is required if traveling to and from certain areas. Passenger from europe countries do not require vacination certificate for yellow fever to enter the country. It's advisable to take anti-malaria tablets and consult your doctor or travel agent at least six weeks before travel, on what other pracautions should be taken whwn traveling to tropical regions.
There are several hospitals and clinics operated by Government and private sector which provide both therapeutic and private health care. The main hospital in Sao Tome is:
Hospital Dr. Aires de Menezes
It is advisable for visitors to take a comprehensive travel insurance.
Local People and Customs
Sao Tome and Principe people and customs reflects the mixing of the various group that have migrated to the islands since 1485. These differences can be seen in the traditional music and local cultural perfomances. Come listen to the Bulawe, a musical performance with drum instruments, or watch the Puita dance; See the Tchiloli or Congo dance. The people of Sao Tome and Principe welcome visitors and are proud to show off their country.
Always ask permission before taking pictures of nationals. In most cases they will be happy to comply, especially if you promise to send then a copy of the picture! But if you promise, be sure to follow through!
Telephone and Electricity
The telephone code for Sao Tome and Principe is: 00239
In Sao Tome there is 1 mobilephone network:
CST (GSM 900)
When you are in Sao Tome and Principe you can make use of these networks if you mobile phone is dual band or suports the GSM 900 standard to phone worldwide.
Phone cards to make cheap international call are now available.