In the gulf of Guinea, a serene cocoa state exists between two beautiful islands. As hidden as it could get, São Tomé and Príncipe’s geographical beauty has turned her to a main tourist attraction.
When the skies turn dark for the night, the moon and the stars shine up high. They reveal beautiful views at the beaches with sea turtles quietly going about their business. About five different rare species of turtles thrive in the area. During the morning sun escapes, long beaches with attractive sands and coconut tress appear heavenly.
As the day unfolds with clouds slowly parting in the far south of São Tomé Island, you can never miss the prehistoric dark Pico Cão Grande. The volcanic tower comes to life. As if alive, it looks magnificent and proud to be looking over the island. The phonolite seems like it still harbours Jurassic dreams in its wake. For a nice hike, São João dos Angolares is the closest town near this historic attraction. It has formidable cliffs watching you overhead and confusing routes You an experienced guide to conquer the towering beauty.
There is an incredible abundance of endemic species in Parque Natural Obô de São Tomé. This was the reason why it was recognized as an ecological jewel of global significance. This beauty also straddles parts on both islands of STP.
The Congo Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) with its strikingly red plumage thrives in the area. This is together with a wide range of rare life species. Hunting for rare pictures becomes fun as one goes deeper to be graced by breathtaking waterfalls.While some waterfalls are located gorgeously along the road (Cascata São Nicolau), others require a little more effort.
One of them is Cascata Nazaré, hidden away beyond the village of Ponta Figo. One hikes through stunning patch of tropical forest littered with cocoa plants gone wild and random moss covered bridges. In the interior, one finds ancient Portuguese built aqueducts. They go into complete darkness only to emerge at the most spectacular waterfall on the island, Cascata Nazaré.
Real GDP growth in São Tomé and Príncipe is projected to accelerate to 4.5% in 2020 and 5.1% in 2021. To unravel the real potential of tourism, agriculture, and services, the country has to improve the business environment. STP has absolute advantages, lush forests, spectacular waterfalls, aesthetic coastline, and long sandy beaches. The country attract more visitors through niche tourism products. Tourism in STP contributes 32.9% to GDP. It is currently one of the main sources of foreign exchange.
Cocoa exports are becoming another source of foreign exchange representing 66.6% of exports. The country seems to be on the right track. Although most of STP’s cocoa fields remain under Ivory Coast, the country have refurbished the cocoa business. The Tourism Development Strategy which was launched in January 2018 is expected to benefit the industry. This is together with the country’s e-Visa system. Tourist arrivals are expected to increase especially from all the neighboring countries