Weather & climate
The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe are located near the Equator, and have a tropical climate that guarantees hot and humid weather throughout the year. Temperatures range from 22-30C, dropping to 20-27C during the winter months (June-August). Rainfall is abundant in São Tomé and Príncipe, and the dry season usually runs from June-September.
Passports & visas
Australian passport holders require a visa to enter São Tomé and Príncipe which can be obtain in advance of arrival online here: http://www.smf.st/evisa/index.php. You will need a return air ticket, and current passport with two blank pages and twelve months’ validity from the date you return home (take note, as this is a longer period than usual).
Consult your GP or a travel doctor at least six weeks before you travel. You may be required or recommended to get vaccinations for measles, typhoid, tetanus, polio and diphtheria, and hepatitis A & B, among others. Malaria is present in São Tomé and Príncipe so malaria prophylactics are recommended. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for anyone entering São Tomé and Príncipe from a yellow fever endemic country.
To reach São Tomé and Príncipe, guests need to fly into the São Tomé International Airport (TMS) located on the main island of São Tomé. Príncipe Island also has an airport, though it only accepts commercial flights from São Tomé and private charter flights. Travelling between the two main islands requires a short flight on a small plane, or a 6-8 hour boat ride. The smaller surrounding islands can be accessed by boat.
There are a number of ways to get around the islands, from nature walks and hiking through the thick and lush forests, private charter boats along the shore line and between islands, and guided 4×4 adventures and transfer.
Currency & language
The local currency is the Dobra (Db). The dollar is increasingly less common; bringing cash in euros is the best option. The euro can be used almost anywhere, although you will often receive change in dobras. There are no international ATMs, and only certain high-end hotels accept credit cards. Portuguese is the official and most widely spoken language in São Tomé and Principe. A number of creole dialects are also spoken, including Forro, Angolar creole, and Principense creole. French and English are spoken by a small percent of the population