50 Fascinating Facts About São Tomé and Principe

São Tomé and Principe is a tiny island republic off the Atlantic coast of Central Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea, west of Gabon. Slave labor was used to cultivate sugar cane and cocoa on the islands in the late 15th century, later replaced by coffee and cocoa production in the 19th century. Although independence was declared in 1975, democratic changes did not begin until the late 1980s, with the first free elections in 1991.

Fascinating Facts

1
First and foremost, there are two volcanic islands in the Gulf of Guinea off the West African Coast called So Tomé and Principe. They are among the tiniest republics in Africa.
2
São Tomé and Principe’s coordinates are 0.3333° N, 6.7333° W.
3
The island of São Tomé is called after St. Thomas the Apostle, while Principe is translated as "Ruler" in respect to the prince of Portugal, from whom the sugar produced upon that island was taxed.
4
In 2019, their combined population was 215,056, with almost 90% residing on So Tomé.
5
São Tomé and Principe's flag consists of three horizontal lines in green, yellow, and green, featuring two black stars towards the far right and then a red triangle towards the far left.
6
Both islands have a size of 386 square miles (1,001 square kilometers), with São Tomé nearly six times bigger than Principe.
7
The capital of So Tomé and Principe is So Tomé (city), which has an area of 6.6 square miles (17 square kilometers) and a population of 71,868 people (2015).
8
Inter-racial marriage was promoted. This means that starting in the 16th century, and there were Black and Afro-descendant people ruling in So Tomé and Principe.
9
The islands enjoy a tropical climate at sea, with average yearly temperatures of roughly 27°C, although seldom exceeding 32°C! Let's get started!
10
The average life expectancy in this area is 70.17 years (2018).
11
Praia Jale beach in Principe is noted for being a nesting location for green hawksbill and leatherback turtles. During November and March, enormous numbers of female turtles go to the shore to lay eggs.
12
São Tomé became one of the first African nations to embrace democratic change in 1990. Constitutional amendments and the establishment of opposition parties resulted in peaceful, accessible, and transparent elections in 1991.
13
While historically based on cocoa, São Tomé and Principe's economy is changing owing to investments in developing its oil sector in the Gulf of Guinea.
14
Cocoa exports account for around 95 percent of total agricultural exports. Copra, palm kernels, with coffee are among the other export crops.
15
São Tomé and Principe is a member of a Portuguese-Speaking Countries Community founded in 1996.
16
If you want to enjoy a refreshing drink on one of São Tomé and Principe's beautiful beaches, you'll need to swap your money for Dobra!
17
Because the islands were discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century and then only obtained independence in 1975, Portuguese is the primary language spoken here.
18
'Sao Tome' is Portuguese for 'Saint Thomas.'
19
São Tomé and Principe's international dialing code is +239.
20
Biodiversity is abundant in São Tomé and Principe. The nation is home to many native creatures, including the So Tomé shrew, several kinds of bats, the world's tiniest Ibis, and the world's biggest sunbird.
21
It's also a turtle breeding ground. To deposit their eggs on the sand of Praia, Jale beach is the most popular place in the country where turtles do so.
22
It's also a turtle breeding ground. To deposit their eggs on the sand of Praia, Jale beach is the most popular place in the country where turtles do so.
23
The Portuguese established the nation in 1470. The Portuguese explorers called the island of Sao Tome after Saint Thomas since they landed on Saint Thomas' Day. Sao Tome and Principe won independence in 1975. Principe gained independence in 1995.
24
Both islands are located in the volcanic mountain range of Cameroon. They were formed as a consequence of extinct volcanic activity.
25
The official name of So Tomé and Principe is the Democratic Republic of So Tomé and Principe.
26
Sao Tome and Principe constitute volcanic islands in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa.
27
It was among the first African nations to embrace democracy. The first elections were conducted in 1991, and they were transparent and fair, which was exceptional and rare in Africa. The polls are still being undertaken without any disruption or bloodshed, which is a significant achievement for the nation.
28
A significant number of birds live in the islands of Sao Tome and Principe. Here you will discover the world's tiniest Ibis and the world's biggest sunbird. This is a birder's heaven.
29
Coca is the island nation's principal crop, accounting for 95 percent of total exports. It was previously the world's biggest cocoa producer.
30
Sao Tome and Principe are two archipelagos separated by around 140 kilometers.
31
Principe is the nearest island to mainland Africa, located 225 kilometers off Gabon's northern coast.
32
Sao Tome is located somewhat south of Principe. They originated as a consequence of long-since-extinct volcanic activity.
33
The nation is mainly made up of people who had ancestors who were enslaved. During the 17th century, Sao Tome was the largest producer and exporter of sugarcane before Coca. Slaves, mainly of Jewish descent, labored on these plantations, and their descendants today make up the majority of the country's population.
34
The islands are ideal for nature lovers. Rain forests occupy over 30% of São Tome and Principe's land area. And, unlike the rest of Africa, there are no enormous hazardous animals or venomous snakes to worry about.
35
The islands remained uninhabited until the Portuguese arrived somewhere between 1469 and 1471.
36
In 1522 and 1573, the Portuguese monarchy took possession and governed So Tomé and Principe, respectively.
37
Throughout the 16th century, the Portuguese gradually conquered and populated them, and they jointly functioned as an important economic and trading hub for the Atlantic slave traffic.
38
São Tomé and Principe's fertile volcanic soil and closeness to the equator made it excellent for sugar farming, followed by cash crops like coffee and cocoa; the prosperous plantation economy was highly reliant on imported African slaves.
39
Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, cycles of social upheaval and economic insecurity culminated in peaceful independence in 1975.
40
It is the second-smallest nation in Africa.
41
At sea level, the islands enjoy a tropical environment that is hot and humid, with annual temperatures averaging over 270 degrees Celsius.
42
From October until May, the rainy season lasts. The dry season lasts from June through September.
43
The average life span is 65 years old.
44
These two islands are located in Equatorial Guinea. Mount Cameroon, which is situated on the shore of the Gulf of Guinea, is the only other mountain in this range.
45
Sao Tome and Principe is the world's 172nd smallest country and Africa's second smallest.
46
Sao Tome is about 854 square kilometers in size, while its sister island, Principe, is only 136 square kilometers, totaling around 990 square kilometers.
47
Sao Tome and Principe had a total population of 196,548 persons in 2007, with the most significant island accounting for 96% of the population.
48
Sao Tome, unlike the rest of Africa, lacks giant deadly animals. The mosquito, on the other hand, is the most dangerous animal.
49
The majority of the people of Sao Tome are descended from slaves. Slaves were gathered from as far away as Angola.
50
The island is abundant in natural food sources.

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