Sao Tome and Principe
São Tomé seems to embody a kind of lush tropical paradise usually associated with the South Pacific. The atmosphere here is palpably luxury and it is an intoxicating blend of sunlight, sea, air and fantastically abundant vegetation. São Tomé and Príncipe is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Africa. It consists of two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about 87 miles (140 kilometres) apart and about 155 and 140 miles (250 and 225 kilometres), respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon. Both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. São Tomé, the sizable southern island, is situated just north of the equator. It was named in honour of Saint Thomas by Portuguese explorers who happened to arrive at the island on his feast day. São Toméan culture is a mixture of African and Portuguese influences. São Toméans are known for ússua and socopé rhythms, while Principe is home to the dêxa beat. Portuguese ballroom dancing may have played an integral part in the development of these rhythms and their associated dances. Tchiloli is a musical dance performance that tells a dramatic story. The danço-congo is similarly a combination of music, dance and theatre.