Sao Tome and Principe; Definitive expat guide

Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe

Secluded and remote, Sao Tome and Principe is a popular destination for foreigners wishing to get away. Quite young in its independence from Portugal, the country is made of up two little islands  but with big history in cultivation and export of sugar, cocoa and coffee. Foreigners coming to Sao Tome and Principe can enjoy both the calm and ease of the island’s tropical charm and the fiery exhilaration 

Sao Tome and Principe

Expat Clubs

There are no expat meet up clubs as such in Säo Tomé and Príncipe and most expats communicate online through websites such as

International Schools 

There are no known international schools in Sao Tome and Principe. 

Local News in English

AllAfrica Sao Tome and Principe

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. They publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons.

Website: is the source for everything Africa-related, Countries in Africa, Travel, Maps, News, Business and Finance, Technology, Arts and Culture, Safari etc.


Country Information 

Location: Africa

Capital City: Sao Tome

Currency: Dobra

Language: Portuguese

Calling Code: +239

Internet TLD: .st

Electricity: Sao Tome and Principe runs on 230V 50Hz. Electricity is provided by the semi-government owned Empresa de Agua e Electricidade EMAE. They use both hydro power and gas power.

Emergency Numbers:   

 Police: 22 22 22

Country Information

Embassy Information

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Portugal are exempted from visa restrictions. Other nationals will have to obtain a visa through a Sao Tomean embassy or consulate in their home or host country. Alternatively, travellers may visit their online visa portal to apply for a visa:

Documents required:

Before you begin, please have the following ready:
  • Applicant's Passport in file pdf
  • Travel Information (Itinerary, Addresses, etc)
  • You must have some idea of where you will stay (at least an approximation is required).
  • If you do not have a person in São Tomé e Príncipe Contact, your accomodations (ex. Hotel)
  • will be your São Tomé e Príncipe in Contact.


Travel in Sao Tome and Principe is mainly short-term tourism. Expats will find a number of options that will suit their tastes and budget. Resorts are spread across the island of Sao Tome. Inns and guesthouses are also available for mid-range budgets. Also for eager foreigners, camping can be arrange in the deserted beaches.

The more popular hotels are:


Pestana São Tomé is the only 5 stars hotel in São Tomé e Príncipe, with panoramic views of the sea; it has all the comfort and sophistication you look for in a hotel. Wide spaces, conference rooms and a variety of leisure options, all under the flag of the internationally recognizable brand, Pestana Hotels & Resorts.



Bom Bom Island Resort

Located on a secluded beach, each room has an ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, TV with satellite connection, telephone, safe, mini bar and a private veranda.


Driving License

An international driving license is recommended in Sao Tome and Principe. The road conditions in the country are in need of repair. Hazards such as animals and pot holes are prevalent. Also night driving is not safe as street lighting is limited.


It is required to have vaccinations against Yellow Fever and Malaria to enter the country. Medical facilities in the island are limited but adequate only to basic, routine treatments. Expats are urged to carry with them a first aid kit, and also medications as these are scarce. Health insurance that can cover medical evacuation is recommended.

Insurance Companies

Cigna Global Health Options

Cigna Global Health Options specialise in providing expatriate health plans that are designed to give comprehensive overseas medical cover for people who are living and working abroad. They provide medical evacuation insurance cover.





Hospital Central Ayres de Menezes

Adress: Sao Tome Island, Sao Tome

Tel: +239 2-221-222