Travel Information & FAQs
Visas
Covid-19
Medical advice
Weather
What to pack
Currency
FAQs

We want your travel planning to run as smoothly as possible. Please find comprehensive information below about everything from visas to the islands’ weather, as well as some of the most frequently asked questions.

Travel Information
Visas

Visa requirements are not the same for all travellers so please read the below information carefully.

  • Visas are not required for travellers from USA, Canada, the EU and CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries) if staying in the country for fewer than 15 days. UPDATE 1st April 2022: Visitors from the UK now no longer require a visa.
  •  A valid Schengen visa or a valid visa for the USA (that is present in the passport) also entitles the holder to the visa waiving program.
  • All other nationalities currently require a visa.
  • Visas must be obtained before arrival in São Tomé and Príncipe, through the online visa portal.
  • If the online service is used, documents should be printed and presented at the border. Please note there is a € 20 fee on arrival at São Tomé airport, payable in cash, for everyone who requires a visa, whether or not an online application has been completed.
  • If your journey requires an overnight stay in Ghana, you may require a visa for Ghana. Please double check your flight arrival times and overnight arrangements prior to travel.
Covid-19

Please refer to our dedicated COVID-19 page for the most up-to-date COVID-19 requirements surrounding entry to and travel in São Tomé and Príncipe.

Vaccinations and medical advice

Yellow Fever

  • If you have visited or travelled through (including connecting flights) any another African country during the prior three months upon arrival to São Tomé and Príncipe, a valid “International Vaccination Certificate” for Yellow Fever must be presented at the airport in São Tomé.

Malaria

  • There haven’t been any deaths from malaria in São Tomé and Príncipe since 2014. However, some of the population live with malaria and it is considered a malarial zone by most health authorities. It is advisable that you consult your doctor about taking a course of anti-malarial drugs before travelling.
  • Always apply insect repellent, ideally one containing 50% DEET, and wear long-sleeved clothing at dawn and dusk to avoid mosquito bites.

Notes

  • No other vaccinations are required. However, it is recommended that a travel medicine specialist is consulted before arrival, especially for guidance on malaria.
  • HBD Medical Support: A nurse is available at our hotels should any medical assistance be required.
Weather & seasons

Exploring São Tomé and Príncipe is enjoyable throughout the year with temperatures ranging from 20° to 30° Celsius (68° to 86° Fahrenheit) depending on the time of day and season.

  • Online weather forecasts will generally show rain and thunderstorms. Although the island has a high rainfall, there are many balmy days with beautiful sunshine. The island has a microclimate and there is seldom a day when you are not able to head out somewhere to catch the best weather for your chosen activity.
  • There are two rainy seasons in the year, and although their dates can vary from year to year, the normal pattern is that the first occurs between February and May and the second between October and early December.
  • Regardless of the season, weather fluctuates between periods of sun, cloud and rain. An enjoyable mix at any time of year!
What to pack

During all times of year, loose, light-fitting clothing in natural fibres (cotton and linen) or synthetic fabrics that breathe are recommended. In the evening, a sweatshirt or cover-up may be useful and we advise wearing long sleeved items to combat mosquitoes. A light raincoat or jacket is suggested for all times of year. We also recommend bringing a reusable water bottle to cut down on plastic waste.

  • Beach days: Swimming costume/suit and beach wear. A good sunscreen, sun hat and sunglasses.
  • Forest days: Comfortable walking shoes (e.g., sneakers, trail running sneakers, sturdy hiking sandals) that can get wet. Comfortable walking clothes, including long hiking/walking trousers and a small day backpack.
  • Walking in the rainforest: Make sure you are wearing covered footwear with a good grip, especially following wet weather, as trails can become slippery. Keep your shoes on and skin covered to avoid unwanted bites.
Currency
  • Cash: Euros (€) are widely accepted, and it is recommended that travellers bring some cash as ATMs are not readily available. The São Tomé & Príncipe Dobra is the local currency, which can only be exchanged upon entering the country.
  • Cards: All of our HBD hotels accept Visa, Mastercard and Amex. In the city of Santo António in Príncipe, only Visa is accepted.
FAQs
Where is São Tomé and Príncipe?

With geo-coordinates 1°N, 7°E, the twin-island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe, the second-smallest country in Africa, is located at the center of the world, almost on the Equator, and offers year-round average temperatures of 29° Celsius (84° Fahrenheit). Learn more about this extraordinary country, getting here and discovering Príncipe with HBD.

What is HBD Príncipe?

We, HBD Príncipe, are a sustainable ecotourism and agroforestry company founded more than a decade ago with the vision of the sustainable social and economic development in Príncipe and conservation of the island’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. We have four hotels, three on Príncipe Island and one in São Tomé, and local and organic agricultural operations. We look forward to welcoming you to discover these remarkable islands with us.

Can I request a double or a twin bed?

Sundy Praia: All master bedrooms at Sundy Praia have King-size beds and are not able to be made into Twins. In the two- and three-bed villas, the secondary bedrooms may have Queen-size or Twin-size beds; please enquire for details.

Roça Sundy: All rooms at Roça Sundy have Queen-size beds and Twins are not available. In some room types, an additional single bed may be added. There are also two inter-connecting rooms available.

Omali: All Classic Rooms have Queen-size beds. Premier and Family Rooms have King-size beds or Twins. All Suites have King-size beds. Unfortunately, these configurations cannot be changed.

What are the differences between 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom villas at Sundy Praia?

One-bedroom tented villas have an indoor lounge area, as well as a wraparound deck outside. The indoor space is 70m2 and the outdoor areas are 50m2.

Two-bedroom villas are ideal for families and friends staying together and are comprised of two one-bedroom villas with a bedroom and lounge area, that share a large outdoor deck. Indoor space is 110m2 and the outdoor areas are 100m2.

Three-bedroom villas comprise three, one-bedroom villas (bedroom and lounge area), that share a large outdoor deck. Three-bed villas come with their own private pools (10m x 4.5m) and indoor space is 150m2 and the outdoor areas are 140m2.

What are the options for lunch on Príncipe Island?

There are several delicious options for lunch on Príncipe Island, serving a variety of cuisines. In Santo António, try Romar for its traditional flavours with a modern touch, Juditinha Restaurant (owned by the wonderful Juditinha) for specialties from the sea, or Barbosa, serving traditional dishes cooked on a wooden stove.

What is the difference between the Eclipse House and the Cacao House at Roça Sundy?

Eclipse House is the main building at Roça Sundy, in which the restaurant and lobby are located. The house has three rooms with panoramic views on the first floor, all with their own private balconies. Two of these rooms are interconnecting. On the ground floor, there are a further three rooms: one master suite, and two rooms with garden views.

In Cacao House, the adjacent building, there are nine rooms and a conference room. These rooms are slightly smaller than those in Eclipse House and there are four Yard rooms, four Panoramic rooms with a balcony and view of the landscape, and one Cacao Suite.

Can I request a late check-out at any of the hotels?

Standard check-out at all hotels is 11:00 AM. At Omali, late check-outs and day-use of the room can be arranged at an extra cost. If your flight departs in the evening, the public facilities (swimming pool, gym, etc.) at Omali are available throughout the day and luggage storage is available. Sadly, late check-outs are unavailable at Sundy Praia and Roça Sundy.

What is the difference between the Conservation & Communities Contribution and the Tourism Levy?

100% of the Conservation & Communities Contribution supports related local projects—such as those led by our non-profit partner Fundação Príncipe—and the Parque Natural do Príncipe, whereas the Tourism Levy is a mandatory tax implemented by the government of São Tomé and Príncipe, with proceeds going towards the development of the islands.

What are the different room types at Omali?

There are 10 Classic Rooms, which are 20m2, and 10 Premier Rooms, which have an added living room and balcony, with 45m2 of space. Suites also have 45m2 of space and have a small seating area, whilst the Family Suites are the largest, with 55m2 of space and accommodation for four people in a double bed and two single beds.

What is the minimum size for a group booking?

A group booking comprises six or more guests in one booking.

How far apart are Roça Sundy and Sundy Praia?

Roça Sundy and Sundy Praia are about 2 kilometres apart, linked by a beautiful walking trail that takes about 20 minutes to complete. If you would like to walk only one way, you can enquire at reception about free transfers and availability.