Central Africa

Sao Tome and Principe Travel Overview

GENERAL

Official name of the state

Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.

Capital

Sao Tome.

Geography

According to a2zgov, São Tomé and Principe consists of two large islands (São Tomé: 836 square kilometers and Principe: 128 square kilometers) and the smaller islands of Cabras, Gago Coutinho, Pedras Tinhosas and Rolas, which are located about 200 km off the west coast of Gabon in the Gulf of Guinea. The landscape is rugged and densely forested.

Government

Republic since 1975. Constitution of 1990. National Assembly with 55 members. Direct election of the head of state every 5 years. Independent since 1975 (former Portuguese colony).

Head of state

Evaristo Carvalho, since August 2016.

Head of government

Patrice Trovoada, since November 2014.

Electricity

220 V.

Time zone

Greenwich Mean Time: CET -1

Sao Tome and Principe Travel Overview

MONEY

Currency

1 dobra = 100 centimos. Currency abbreviation: Db, STD (ISO code). There are banknotes in denominations of 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000 and 5,000 STD; Coins are in circulation in denominations of 2,000, 1,000 and 500 STD. The Dobra has been pegged to the euro since 2010.

Credit cards

Visa and MasterCard are only occasionally accepted in upscale hotels. Details from the credit card issuer.
ATMs

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

There are no ATMs available.

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank prior to departure.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 7.30 a.m.-11.30 a.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

Unrestricted import of local and foreign currencies, obligation to declare. Export of local and foreign currency up to the amount declared.

Currency Exchange

Bringing US dollars and euros with you is recommended. Currency exchange is possible in banks, at the airport and in some hotels. Partly you can pay in US $ and Euro.

LANGUAGE

Overview

The official language is Portuguese. Crioulo, a Creole based on Portuguese, is used as the colloquial language. English and French are also spoken.

DUTY-FREE SHOPPING

Overview

The following items can be imported into São Tomé and Principe duty-free:

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g tobacco (cigarettes are hardly available in the country);
Eau de toilette and perfume for personal use (open).
Valuables such as laptops, cameras or video cameras should be declared to avoid problems during export.

Prohibited imports

Alcoholic beverages, weapons.

ECONOMY

Business etiquette

Tropical clothing (safari suits) is appropriate. Appointments are usually made in advance.

Economy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation
Avenue 12 July, CP 111, São Tomé
Tel: (012) 223 09, (012) 210 17.

Business contacts

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation
Avenue 12 July, CP 111, São Tomé
Tel: (012) 223 09, (012) 210 17.

COMMUNICATION

Phone

Limited auto dial service.

Cellphone

GSM 900. Network operator is CSTmovel, a subsidiary of Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes (SARL) (Internet: (Internet: www.cstome.net).

Post Office

Airmail shipments to Europe take up to two weeks on the move.

Radio

Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de) to request.

CULTURE

Religion

80% Christians and followers of natural religions.

Social rules of conduct

You shake hands to greet you, the usual forms of courtesy are expected. Smoking is permitted everywhere. Tips are not welcome.

CLIMATE

Best travel time

Tropical climate with lots of rain, high temperatures and high humidity. The more mountainous South Island is more humid than the north. The main dry season is from the beginning of June to the end of September, another from the end of December to the beginning of February.

COUNTRY DATA

Area code +239 Area (km2) 1001 Population 194006 Population density (per km2) 194 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No major emergency number 222 222