Sao Tome & Principe by Kathleen BeckerSao Tome & Principe by Kathleen Becker

Sao Tome & Principe

byKathleen Becker

Paperback | September 16, 2014

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Marooned off the coast of Gabon, the volcanic islands of São Tomé & Príncipe are a largely undiscovered, uniquely rewarding and safe destination with an exciting blend of African, Portuguese and Caribbean cultures. Explore secluded beaches and colonial plantation houses; spot endemic rainforest birds and learn about medicinal plants; scale the Pico and dive in toasty waters; taste the world's best chocolate; watch turtles hatching and get into the laid-back, 'léve-léve' Santomean groove. This remains the only dedicated guide to this island paradise.
Author Kathleen Becker combines her infectious enthusiasm and her considerable experience to reveal the delights of Sao Tomé and Principe, the antithesis of a mass-market destination.
Title:Sao Tome & PrincipeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.49 × 5.46 × 0.52 inPublished:September 16, 2014Publisher:Bradt Travel GuidesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1841624861

ISBN - 13:9781841624860

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Read from the Book

Excerpt from previous editionAmiiiiiiiga! Friend! 'Taxi?' These bright yellow taxis are everywhere - so many zoom around the central market square of São Tomé they show up on Google Earth. But wasn't life here supposed to be léve-léve? Calm, easy-going, relaxed. Escaping from the clinch of yellow fenders into the maze of the market building leads you straight into the rich colours of São Tomé: neat piles of green limes, red chilli pepper, yellow turmeric, dark grey charcoal, herbs and plantains, and the metallic shimmer and glassy stare of a swordfish in a bucket. Further afield, you'll find more colours: the waxy pink of the porcelain rose, the turquoise of a coastal bay, the rainbow of clothes spread to dry across the stones along one of the many rivers, and the luscious greens of the trees, plants and ferns of the rainforest that covers three quarters of the islands - nourished by rivers, waterfalls, and the tropical downpours of the rainy season. The forest creeps down to sandy beaches, white, golden, graphite-grey, where you are unlikely to meet a single tourist - but maybe a fisherman who'll sell you a fish from his catch. Freshly grilled fish 'belly', the sides of the Atlantic sailfish, is only one of the taste sensations of the archipelago; the delicious stickiness of the jackfruit, the acidity of a coffee cherry and the aromatic bitterness of a toasted cocoa bean are others. A hundred years ago, the archipelago was one of the world's biggest producers of cocoa; today, the faded glory and tumble-down charm of the plantations tell the story of the decline of colonial rule and the mono crops that sustained it. Rest your hiking feet on the creaking wraparound balcony of a restored plantation house, clutching a cold beer by candlelight, and you are in the middle of a living history lesson - on the story of West Africa, colonialism and the slave trade, and the crops that shaped these islands.

Table of Contents

PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION 1Chapter 1 Background Information 3Geography and climate 3, Natural history andconservation 4, History 16, Politics and society 22,Economy 26, People 30, Religion 32, Education 33,Culture 33Chapter 2 Practical Information 47When to visit 47, Highlights and itineraries 47, Touroperators 49, Red tape 53, Embassies and consulates 54,Getting there and away 56, Health 62, Safety 74, Whatto take 75, Money 76, Budgeting 77, Getting around78, Accommodation 78, Eating and drinking 79, Publicholidays and opening hours 85, Shopping and services 85,Activities 88, Arts and entertainment 94, Photography 94,Media and communications 95, Language 99, Business100, Buying property 100, Tourism 101, Cultural etiquette101, Travelling positively 102PART TWO SÃO TOMÉ 107Chapter 3 São Tomé: the Capital 109Highlights 110, Getting there and away 110, Gettingaround 110, Tourist information and travel agencies112, Where to stay 114, Where to eat and drink 118,Entertainment and nightlife 121, Shopping 123, Otherpracticalities 126, What to see and do 131Chapter 4 The North and Northwest 137Highlights 137, Getting around 137, Northern beaches137, Guadalupe town 140, From Guadalupe to Neves 142,Neves 143, Neves to the end of the road 144Chapter 5 The Interior 151Highlights 151, Getting around 151, Madre de Deus 151,West of Madre de Deus 153, Trindade 155, From Trindadeto Bombaim 156, Towards Bom Sucesso, Monte Café andNova Moca 158Chapter 6 The East and South 163Highlights 163, Getting around 163, From São Tomé toSão João dos Angolares 163, São João dos Angolares andaround 168, From São João dos Angolares to Porto Alegre173, Porto Alegre 173, Ilhéu das Rolas 178, Th e Southwest184PART THREE PRÍNCIPE 185Chapter 7 Príncipe 187Highlights 188, History 188, Culture and tradition188, Getting there and away 189, Getting around 191,Other practicalities 192, Santo António: the capital 193,Exploring the rest of Príncipe 199, Activities 204, BomBom Island resort 207Appendix 1 Wildlife Glossary 210Appendix 2 Language 219Appendix 3 Further Information 233Index 246