You will not get a more accurate description for a country as 'unspoilt' and 'off the beaten track' as you do to describe the small islands of São Tomé and Príncipe which are just off the West African coast of Gabon. As an ex-Portugeuse colony the islands were a major 'holding bay' for African slaves with slave ships arriving daily into the port to pick up its 'cargo' destined for the Caribbean. In the past few years tourism has slowly been introduced with the building of a few international hotels but the majority of visitors are still expats and NGOs from the African mainland. The islands which are on the equator have tropical jungles, exotic birds, trees and flowers, deserted beaches, volcanoes and volcanic plugs and some breathtaking scenery. São Tomé is the oldest of the Gulf of Guinea islands and has the greatest biological diversity with many endemic birds and plants which attract only the most hardy of nature lovers as the jungles can be pretty thick and some of the rarest endemics are hard to spot.
Like Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe will not be for everyone, unless you want to head straight for the international hotels so please give us a ring for more information.
Príncipe in contrast to São Tomé is a tiny island only 12 miles long and 9 miles wide. Its capital Santo Antonio is thought to be the smallest settlement in the world to be given the status of a town! When the Portuguese left in 1975 the small population of 5,000 turned to subsistence farming and the plantation houses and roads have slowly been taken back by the forests. There are very few navigable roads on Príncipe and the south of the island is nearly totally uninhabited except for a few fishermen. There are a few mountains but not as high as the ones in São Tomé but the flora and fauna is just as rich and relatively unexplored. Príncipe has virtually no tourists because no one has ever heard of it but there is one beach hotel on the north coast which has some fantastic diving and deep sea fishing and well worth a visit.
If you want to get away from the world for your holidays you couldn't be further off the tourist trail than at Bom Bom Island Resort.Bom Bom, which means 'Good Good' in Portuguese, is a tiny islet off the coast of Príncipe, and the hotel is a haven of seclusion and calm in staggeringly beautiful natural surroundings. A book, gentle strolls along the beach and enjoying the just taking each moment as it comes are definitely top of the agenda.
Bom Bom Island is joined to the mainland of Príncipe Island by a wooden walkway.The 21 bungalows and swimming pool are on Príncipe, and the restaurant, bar and marina are on Bom Bom Island. The bungalows have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning. As well as relaxing on the beaches or by the pool, there are plenty of activities including some great diving and deep sea fishing, boat trips, and tours around the island to old plantation lodges and to the capital Santo Antonio. There are also lovely walks along the beaches and inland, where you'll see an amazing array of birds.