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Travel Insurance Sao Tome and Principe


Sao Tome and Principe Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
Capital City: Sao Tome
Language Spoken: Portuguese (official)

Sao Tome and Principe Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

1 00 N, 7 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Pico de Sao Tome 2,024 m

Land boundaries

0 km

Natural hazards


Natural resources

fish, hydropower

Land use

arable land: 8.33% permanent crops: 48.96% other: 42.71% (2005)

Environmental current issues

deforestation; soil erosion and exhaustion


An equatorial climate with heavy rainfall, high temperatures and humidity. The south of the main island, being mountainous, is wetter than the north. The main dry season is from early June to late September. There is another dry season, the 'Pequenha Gravana', from the end of December to the start of February.\nRequired clothing\nTropicals and lightweight cottons throughout the year. Umbrellas or light waterproofs for the rainy season are advised.

Time difference

time difference: UTC 0


193,413 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 47.5% (male 46,478/female 45,302) 15-64 years: 48.8% (male 45,631/female 48,661) 65 years and over: 3.8% (male 3,368/female 3,973) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 16.2 years male: 15.6 years female: 16.8 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

3.15% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

40.25 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

6.47 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-2.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 67.31 years male: 65.73 years female: 68.95 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.62 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Business meetings tend to be informal. Business cards are not widely used, but should be carried. The Portuguese influence is very strong and knowledge of Portuguese is useful. Every greeting is accompanied by a handshake. Office hours are generally 0800-1500 Monday-Friday


Visitors are targeted for petty burglary, essentially as a result of their relative affluence and their possession of items which are desirable and easily converted into use, e.g., money, watches, food, swim masks, fins, etc. Items such as cameras, automobiles, etc. Are not easily convertible, are easily detected and are therefore not as desirable to a potential thief.


There are currently 11 hotels in the country offering a total of 200 beds, including the Miramar Hotel in the capital Sao Tome, the Marlin Beach hotel and the Bom Bom Island Resort on the northern coast of Principe. Apart from the hotels there is also a chain of state-run inns, operated at more modest levels of comfort.


Limited IDD telephone service is available. The country code is 239. Fax and telegraph facilities are available in the capital and main hotels.


is 220 volts AC. Electricity Same as GMT

Plug Types

Food And Dining

There are several restaurants in the capital, augmented by a considerable number of more informal eating establishments patronized by the inhabitants. Reservations are nearly always required, even at the higher profile restaurants, not because of lack of space but to allow the proprietor to obtain sufficient food in advance. Grilled fish and chicken, fried fish and tropical fruit are popular. Most dishes are highly spiced.

Not always welcomed.

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information


Valid passport required by all.


Required by all except transit passengers continuing their journey to another country by the same or first connecting aircraft within 24 hours provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist: single-entry: US$60; mutiple-entry: US$70. Business: single-entry: US$80; multiple-entry: US$90. Visas processed immediately are available for an additional fee of US$5. Enquire at the Embassy for further details.


Three months from date of issue for single-entry; six months from date of issue for multiple-entry. Extensions are possible; apply at the Immigration Department in Sao Tome.

Application requirements

(a) Valid passport. (b) Fee, payable by money order only. (c) One passport-size photo. (d) One application form. (e) Stamped addressed envelope to cover international postal charges. (f) Letter stating purpose of travel. (g) Yellow fever immunization card "copy". Business: (a)-(g) and, (h) Company letter.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information. For applications in person, an appointment should be made with the Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy) in advance.

Working days required

Two days (personal application); up to one week (postal applications).

Temporary residence

Enquire at Embassy (see Passport/Visa Information).

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

US$20 per adult, payable in cash on departure for all international flights. US$10 must be paid for children, except those under two years who are exempt.


Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe in UK

Flat 8, Marsham Court, 58 Victoria Drive, Southfields, London SW19 6BB

Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe in Belgium

Square Montgommery, 175 Avenue de Tervuren, 1150 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: (2) 734 8966.

Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe in the USA

400 Park Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10044, USA
Tel: (212) 317 0533.
Crime rates are generally low, but armed robberies do happen.
The threat from terrorism is low, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.

US Department of State



Dobra (STD) = 100 centimos. Notes are in denominations of STD50, 000, 20,000, 10,000 and 5000. Coins are in denominations of STD20, 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50 centimos.

Currency exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and some hotels.

Currency restrictions

The import and export of local and foreign currency is unlimited, provided declared on arrival.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0730-1130. Currency exchange

Credit cards

Travellers cheques

Limited acceptance by banks and hotels. To avoid additional exchange rate charges travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Sao Tome2+ 5 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Medication Availability

Blood supplies

Medical facilities

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.


Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Malaria - common Relapsing fever - occurs Tungiasis - prevalent Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Cholera - occurs Dracunculiasis - occurs Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Lassa fever - occurs (exists in some rural areas, and people visiting these areas should take particular care to avoid rat-contaminated food or food containers; but the extent of the disease should not be exaggerated) Schistosomiasis - common Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although no cases have been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Rabies - occurs Trachoma - prevalent

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is requried.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks


Newspapers are printed in Portuguese. BBC World Service frequencies are MHz 17.84 15.19 12.09 6.195 and Voice of America frequencies are MHz 17.89 15.41 13.71 12.04. From time to time these change.