São Tomé Island Island-Everything You Need To Know



São Tomé Island Island


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São Tomé Island is a volcanic island located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the west coast of Gabon. It has an area of 2,032 km² and a population of around 9,000 (2006). The capital and largest city is São Tomé. The island was first settled by the Portuguese in the early 16th century.

In 1775 it became a possession of the Kingdom of Portugal. The island was invaded by the French in 1851 and by the Germans in 1915 during World War I. It became an autonomous colony within the French Republic in 1946. The president is elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term.

São Tomé Island Island


The island was first settled by the Portuguese in the early 16th century, and it became a possession of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1775. The island was invaded by the French in 1851 and by the Germans in 1915 during World War I. In 1946, São Tomé Island became an autonomous colony within the French Republic.

In 1975, São Tomé e Principe achieved independence from France as a result of a revolution that overthrew President Marcelo Caetano de Almeida e Silva. Independence was peacefully granted on July 5, 1975, with De Gaulle stating that he looked forward to a new era of friendship that would have no boundaries because it is based on a shared history.

Within 30 years, the island had gone from peace and stability under French rule, to form part of a dictatorial military junta led by João Lourenço e Silva through the O Rei do Fogo (King Fire), including slave labor camps in which several political opponents were executed upon request.

In 1991 a coup d’état saw democracy return, with Agostinho Neto becoming president: still today São Tomé remains ruled by an authoritarian regime with President Marcelo Vieira under a state of emergency.

This dictatorship is maintained despite widespread international condemnation, due to continued support by neighboring countries and South Africa, currently holding the island’s main foreign debt in exchange for military aid (see below). In 2008 São Tomé e Principe was selected as one of the New7Wonders Cities.

Geography and climate

Geography and climate

The island has an area of 446 km2 (173 sq mi), with 240 km2 (93 sq mi) land; 212 km² water, leaving 114 km² natural protected areas on both coasts. The island is approximately 18 miles (29 km) long.

As a colony of Portugal, it never had three-year rainy seasons; the first two years have short rainfalls followed by dry weather conditions for one to two months out of each year. As a result, in colonial times Castro Marim was considered ideal topsoil due to its having good moisture/rainfall retention and thus being more productive than mainland areas with similar climatic environments, such as São Tomé e Príncipe’s other main islands or neighboring Angolan island Bas-Congo where the soil has been claimed to be virtually non-existent.

In contrast, the island’s climate is relatively warm compared to most other African nations. Mean temperatures range from 24°C (75F) in winter to 27°C (80F) and rarely above 31˚ C during summertime.



The island experiences a tropical monsoon climate, with hot, humid summers and cool to mild winters. Annual rainfall averages 1,650 mm (59.1 in).

There is a significant diurnal variation; even though average daytime high temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year, nighttime lows can be quite different from day to day due to the pronounced fluctuations in daily air temperature caused by onshore and offshore breezes as well as differences in elevation.

Annual maximum temperatures range from 28 °C (82 F) during January to 32°C (89F) during July, while minimum temperatures range from 18°C (64F) in January to 23°C (73F) in December.



The island’s culture shares many similarities with the rest of Portugal, including a strong Catholic faith. The official language is Portuguese, although some English words are used in government and business.

The main religions on the island are Christianity (mainly Roman Catholicism) and Islam.

Festivals include Fogo de Bolinha (Candy Fireworks Festival), Virada do Sol (Dawn Parade), Primavera e Verão (Spring and Fall Festivals). Carnival is a period of masked balls, parties, and street parades. People wear masks made of burning charcoal, vegetables or wax candles; they are sold throughout the island at carnivals held in many towns around Christmas time.



The island is a member of the European Union and the economic, political, social, and cultural ties between Portugal and its African island colonies are close. The Portuguese Republic is a parliamentary democracy headed by a president who is directly elected by universal suffrage for a seven-year term.

The government structure includes an executive branch (the Council of Ministers) responsible to Parliament, as well as an independent judiciary.

Government services

Government Services

The island has its own representative in the European Parliament. The currency is the euro (EUR). Health care, education, and public transportation are all either provided by Portugal or have Portuguese as an official language. Internet access is widespread and relatively cheap. News and media

Recent issues to be addressed include the island’s overreliance on agriculture, a dearth of jobs, lack of infrastructure development in rural areas, high unemployment among young adults, problems with illegal immigrants attempting to emigrate from mainland Portugal via boat or plane.



The island is popular among Portuguese tourists, who visit for its beaches, clear waters, and azure skies. The main tourist destinations are São Vicente (the capital), Faial, Pico, Flores and Corvo. Accommodation ranges from humble pensions to high-end resorts featuring world-class amenities such as golf courses and spas.



Football is the most popular sport on the island with tournaments taking place throughout the year at various venues including Casa da Música in Santiago do Fogo and Estádio dos Arcos in Terceira.


If you’re looking for a tropical paradise, look no further than São Tomé Island! This uninhabited island nation is located in the Gulf of Guinea and is about the size of New Jersey. It was once known for its thriving slave trade, but today tourism is the major industry on the island. Whether you’re a nature lover, want to relax on the beach, or want to explore the culture, there’s something for everyone on São Tomé Island.


1 . What Is The Currency Of São Tomé Island?

The island operates with the French franc. However, it is possible to obtain credits and cash advances in various currencies.

  1. How Many People Live On São Tomé Island?

There are around 9,000 people who live on the island, making it a small population compared to other African countries.

  1. Are There Any Airports Or Seaports Located On São Tomé Island?

There are no airports or seaports located on the island – all transportation must be taken via ship or airplane.

  1. What Is The Climate Like On São Tomé Island?

The island has a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 26°C in the summer to 18°C in the winter.

  1. Are There Any Natural Resources Available On São Tomé Island?

The island does have some natural resources – such as sugar cane, cotton, and coffee – but these are not abundant enough to support a large population.

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