With dramatic volcanic slopes and a thick cloak of rainforest, Sao Tome is Africa’s lost tropical paradise. Lying 140 miles adrift in the Gulf of Guinea, the forgotten location and dense vegetation lend the island an irresistible air of off-the-map adventure. Sao Tome and sister island Príncipe form the second smallest - and least visited - African country. Lying on the equator’s bulge, you can discover a lost sanctuary of unique wildlife and tropical beauty. View more
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Discover the abundant beauty and bird species of Sao Tome on-foot during this picturesque, half-day bird-watching excursion through the tropical rainforest.
Ana Chaves, Tropical Rainforest, Volcanic Mountains, Migratory and Endemic Bird Species
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-drive south to the centre of the island, a land of tropical rainforests and volcanic mountains. The further inward you travel, the fewer the people and greater the opportunity to see an abundance of diverse bird species found on Sao Tome. Birders have reported spotting more than 135 species on the island, including many from the West African mainland. Sao Tome is even more revered for its endemic bird species, which are equal in number to those found in the more renowned and extensive Galapagos Islands.
Sao Nicolau Waterfall, Migratory & Endemic Bird-Watching Hike, Birding Opportunities
The cascading Sao Nicolau Waterfall, an idyllic setting in the heart of the rainforest, is one of the best places on the island for birding. Upon arrival, begin your guided, approximately two-hour bird-watching hike. Along the way, your guide points out some of the many migratory and 28 indigenous bird species. Whilst there is no telling what you can spot, you may see endemic species such as the bronze-naped pigeon, giant weaver and Sao Tome paradise flycatcher. The Sao Tome sunbird, formerly the 'giant' sunbird because of its size, is another species only found here. A supporting cast of birds from Africa also thrive here, including the harlequin quail and velvet-mantled drongos. At the conclusion of your picturesque bird-watching hike, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of walking, at times over uneven, natural and muddy surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. This tour is recommended for active guests who are in good physical condition. This tour is not suitable for pregnant guests, guests with back and/or neck problems, guests with heart and/or respiratory conditions, guests with limited mobility, and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing with long sleeves and pants, and flat, closed-toe, and non-slip walking or hiking shoes, and bring sun protection, insect repellent, a towel, bottled water, and a weatherproof jacket or rain slicker from the ship. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. Operation of this tour, and the sites visited, are subject to weather conditions. A signed waiver is required to participate on this tour. The tour sequence may vary. Space on this tour is extremely limited; we suggest you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Discover the coffee plantations of São Tomé and learn how coffee is produced during this half-day sightseeing excursion.
Uba Budo Plantation
Depart the pier for the scenic drive along the East Coast to Uba Budo Plantation. One of the few cocoa plantations still working in the country. Witness the full process of cocoa treatment from grain to roasted beans.
Igreja Bom Bom
Your tour continues with a stop at the local church to hear a performance by one of the most famous choirs on the island.
Monte Café Plantation
Leave the church for the scenic drive to the Monte Café Plantation. Located at a height of 2,480 feet (about 756 metres), and approximately 2,133 feet (about 650 metres) at its entrance, the plantation has a climate that's adequate for the cultivation of coffee. Upon arrival, take a guided tour to learn about coffee production, transformation, taste, smell, and quality.
Following your visit, re-board your coach and commence the drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour requires an extensive amount of walking over uneven natural terrain that is muddy at times, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach, four-eight stone steps leading up from the tender boat to pier, and 20 steps at the church. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear comfortable, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants, sturdy, closed-toe walking/hiking shoes and sun protection, and bring insect repellent from the ship. Carry small change in local currency, USD or EUR for any purchases. Credit Cards are not accepted. Photography is not permitted inside the museum exhibition rooms or in the Presidential Palace. Operation of this tour is subject to weather and road conditions.
São Tomé National Museum
Depart the pier in your mini coach for a fascinating look at this tiny island nation. Your first stop is at the São Tomé National Museum built in 1575, which was originally Fort São Sebastião. Here your guide introduces you to the colonial history and culture of São Tomé and Príncipe. This young Creole nation just rounded 39 years of independence but still has to deal with its past as a Portuguese colony, when it comes to political and economic relations as well as its cultural identity.
Praia Melão Beach & Cathedral of São Tomé
Continuing on, pass through Pantufo, a small fishing village where a folklore show will be waiting for a perfect performance and you may see the fishermen busily working on the beach of "Praia Melão", before arriving at the Cathedral of São Tomé. You will have time to discover this lovely sixteenth-century church independently.
Re-boarding your coach, your guide takes you on a panoramic drive through the town, pointing out important sites including the Presidential Palace and colonial homes. Note that it is forbidden to take pictures of the Presidential House.
Next, continue to learn about the culture of this Island by visiting Independence Square where you will see more first-hand influence of the Portuguese people. Here you will also visit the local market where you will interact with the local people and where you can purchase souvenirs at the Ossobê shop before returning to your coach for the drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking however there are steps to negotiate at most of the venues visited. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilize a wheelchair. Caution is advised as the stone stairs can become slippery when wet. It is strictly forbidden to take pictures of the Presidential House. Carry small change in local currency, USD or EUR for any purchases. Credit Cards are not accepted.