You too could fall in love with São Tomé and Príncipe.
Is it possible to fall in love with a country even though you have never been before? It certainly feels like that to me. Or is it because I love the African continent so much, that it stirs feelings inside me, emotions I don’t have when I land on another continent
Is it the smell, the people, the sounds? It’s hard to pinpoint it, all I know is that I feel passionate about that part of the world. As a tour manager, I worked in a number of African countries, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and have visited Ethiopia and Namibia on my own holidays. And believe me, even though I have visited many other places around the world, Africa would still be my number one destination!
As described in my very first blog post, my introduction to Cape Verde was fantastic and beyond my expectations. The walking is great, the scenery amazing and the people very friendly. To be able to write about it and to design new itineraries for this destination was like re-living my own experiences again.
First impressions – São Tomé and Príncipe
It was different though with São Tomé and Príncipe, as I had not visited this country before, but still had to write and design itineraries. The more I read about it and the more I got to know the country, the stronger the feelings returned. I was moved by its past and definitely wanted to be part of its future.
The Portuguese saw its potential hundreds of years ago, even though that period and life on the plantations must have been really hard. They introduced sugar cane and the islands soon became a major trading post and a hub for the transatlantic slave trade when it started exporting sugar cane.
Soon after cocoa was brought over from Brazil and the tiny archipelago became the first African country to grow cocoa.
Independence for São Tomé and Príncipe
The islands became independent in 1975, and it’s hard to believe that this tiny nation used to be the largest chocolate producer in the world, and even now still produces the best quality cocoa beans.
Nowadays there are still working coffee and cocoa plantations on the islands and some have been converted to either traditional or eco-luxurious boutique hotels.
Best kept secret
Sao Tome and Principe is Africa’s best kept secret, it’s not the easiest place to get to, and it’s also not for everyone. But it’s worth the effort if you’re adventurous and looking for a safe and fairly untouched and undiscovered holiday destination.
Find out more
At Archipelago Choice, our small friendly team of island holiday specialists has been organising tailor-made holidays to the Azores since 1998 and more recently to Cape Verde, Saõ Tomé and Príncipe. Over this time we have developed the most comprehensive, flexible and fairly priced holidays to these beautiful islands.
All the holidays we organise are put together with great care using our extensive knowledge of the islands and our experience of travelling around them. We try very hard to give the most choice and flexibility possible combining activities, accommodation and island hopping so we put together holidays that best suit our clients.
So whether you want to go whale watching, walking, canyoning, kite surfing or just relaxing on the beach, you can be sure our team of island holiday specialists will be able to help.
Contact me or one of our team and we will help put together an amazing bespoke Sao Tome and Principe holiday that I promise you’ll never forget!