São Tomé & Príncipe

São Tomé & Príncipe

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, west of Gabon, formed by two main islands and smaller islets that are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. This is the second smallest country in Africa with a population of about 190,000 people. The government is a republic with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government. São Tomé and Príncipe gained independence from Portugal in 1975. The first free elections were held in 1991.

The islands were discovered by Portugal in the late 1400s. Portugal claimed the territory and developed an economy first based on sugar, and later coffee and cocoa, and with a plantation system of slave labour. After a fall in prices of cocoa, the country became dependent on foreign aid. Recently oil has been discovered in the Gulf of Guinea, and São Tomé and Príncipe stand to benefit from the expected revenue.

São Tomé and Príncipe is not a well-known tourist destination but is described as a tropical paradise. Travellers can relax on the quiet beaches, enjoy the Obo National Park, dive and snorkel among the coral reefs, or visit Fort São Sebastião and the São Tomé market.

Currency STD: Dobra
Language Portuguese
Capital São Tomé
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in São Tomé & Príncipe. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in São Tomé and Príncipe through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in São Tomé and Príncipe.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in São Tomé and Príncipe, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

There is a low risk for yellow fever transmission in this country. This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in São Tomé and Príncipe. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are also at higher risk.

Malaria

All areas of São Tomé and Príncipe are at high risk for malaria.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in São Tomé and Príncipe. Travellers to São Tomé and Príncipe are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in São Tomé and Príncipe and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in this country.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya may occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to São Tomé & Príncipe.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccination is not recommended for this country. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to São Tomé & Príncipe.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medications include atovaquone-proguanil, mefloquine or doxycycline. Resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxime-pyrimethamine has been reported.

Safety and Security in São Tomé & Príncipe

Emergency Numbers

2-22-22-22
112

Personal Safety

São Tomé and Príncipe is a very safe country. As in any tourist destination, petty crime such as pickpocketing or bag snatching does occur. Travellers should always be aware of their surroundings and personal safety. To avoid becoming a target for theft, keep valuables out of sight.

Many roads are not in good condition and are not well lit. Avoid driving at night.

It is forbidden to take photographs of military or government installations or the presidential palace buildings.

There are severe penalties for possession or sale of illegal drugs in São Tomé and Principe.

Note that the black cobra snake can be found in the eastern and southern parts of the island. Young cobras are completely black, and adult cobras have pale yellow scales on the front. These snakes are shy and avoid humans. Use caution during outdoor activities.

Political Unrest

There is generally very little civil unrest in São Tomé and Príncipe. In any country, travellers should always minimize safety risk by avoiding public gatherings or demonstrations.

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