Nestled within the Gulf of Guinea are two beautiful islands: Sao Tome and Principe. Located on the west coast of Africa, the islands offer a remote and beautiful diving oasis within a vast span of ocean as they are one of the only areas for diving on the western coast between Cape town in the south and the Cabo Verde Archipelago further north. This former Portuguese colony is an independent nation and still relatively unknown to tourists making it a prime location for divers to explore. From its wreck diving in the north, the famous Santana Island in the east, and the abundance of seasonal pelagic life in the South Rolas Islands.
Sao Tome ranges from the jungle and savanna of the Ôbo Natural Park to mountains such as the Pico Sao Tome, standing at 2024m in the center of the island. It is also is home to the Lagoa Azul lagoon. Coffee and cocoa lovers will be in paradise here as they are both amenities of national pride as well as unique and rich in taste! The west coast of the island is wild with no easy entry points, both adventurous and exciting and miles away from the hustle and bustle of tourism.
The underwater topography of Sao Tome is quite typical of the equatorial Atlantic, a mixture of formations with a volcanic past, including both tropical and sub tropical fauna. There are plenty of beautiful surprises to be found underwater although as of yet, there are no protected areas and net fishing is still permitted. Divers can spot barracuda, sea horses and stingrays of all sizes. Underwater Photographers should plan to spend a week or up to 10 days in order to cover all the rich and beautiful sites that Sao Tome has to offer! Santana and the east coast is a good vantage point for accessing all the best spots on the island.
Sao Tome has not yet been struck by the damaging effects of tourism, neither on land or underwater - a truly refreshing discovery for sure! So don’t wait much longer to visit this incredible place.