African secret: Principe Island

Principe Island is a tropical paradise in the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. It is off the West coast of Africa, in the northern major island of the country of São Tomé. Príncipe is has ancient rainforest, cocoa and coffee plantations with rivers and waterfalls.


The Portuguese discovered this volcanic island around 1470. After that, it was named “Príncipe” in honour of Afonso, Prince of Portugal. Príncipe’s economy has been based on plantation agriculture since the 1800s. Above all, cocoa production represents 80 percent of the exports. The country has four official languages and the most prevalent is Portuguese.

The main town is Santo António, a little village surrounded by mountains, water. The town is known for the colonial architecture style of the houses and its artisanal markets.

Nature and attractions

In addition, Príncipe has rainforest wildlife with Mona monkeys, exotic birds and African grey parrots. The island sand beaches, like Praia Banana or Praia Grande, have crystal-clear water. This area also has an incredible array of sea life, including surgeonfish, parrotfish, sea stars, corals, octopus, morays and sea turtles. Therefore, travellers can observe this underwater world, by snorkelling and scuba diving. Some examples to see are: volcanic rock and coral reefs like Pedra de Adalio, Pedra de Galle and Maria Coreo.

Moreover, to conserve and increase awareness about the incredible nature of Principe Island, the Fundação Príncipe  in collaboration with Bom Bom Island Resort, engage the local and international communities to create social and economical opportunities.


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