Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome e Principe
Capital city Sao Tome
Surface 1,001 km²
Population 200,000
Road network length 218 km
Length of highway network 0 km
First highway N/A
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Right
License plate code STP

São Tomé and Príncipe, formally the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (Portuguese: República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe) is an archipelago and country in the Atlantic Ocean, belonging to the continent of Africa. The country is about half the size of the Dutch province and has a population of 200,000. The capital is Sao Tome.


According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, São Tomé and Príncipe actually consists of two main islands; São Tomé and Príncipe which are 150 kilometers apart, west of the coast of Gabon in the Gulf of Guinea. São Tomé is the main island, where the capital of the same name is also located. Both islands are mountainous and covered in dense forests, with the Pico de São Tomé being the highest point at 2,024 meters. The equator runs along the south side of the island of São Tomé.

The islands have a tropical climate with a lot of precipitation, with a clear weir side and lee side. Temperatures are around 27°C all year round and there is 5000mm of precipitation on the southwest side and 1000mm of precipitation on the northeast side of the island of São Tomé. The southwest side of São Tomé is so cloudy that there are almost no satellite images of it.


The islands had only about 60,000 inhabitants in 1960, growing to about 200,000 inhabitants today. See Sao Tome and Principe population density. The vast majority of inhabitants live on the island of São Tomé, the island of Príncipe has only a few thousand inhabitants. A third of the population lives in the capital São Tomé on the island of the same name.

The islands have a diverse population. Most inhabitants are so-called Mestiços, a mix of Europeans and Africans. Portuguese is the national language and is spoken as the first language by almost the entire population.


The economy has traditionally been based on plantations, with cocoa accounting for about 95% of all agricultural exports. However, the country has to import most of its food. Fishing also plays a role, but tourism is barely developed. Attempts have been made since 2001 to set up an oil industry, as the Gulf of Guinea is rich in oil. Most countries in the region export oil.


The islands were uninhabited until they were discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century. The Portuguese developed the islands during the 16th century and it was an important resting place for sea trade. The islands were suitable for agriculture, first sugar cane, later cocoa. This required slaves that were brought elsewhere from Africa. After the fall of the Estado Novo in Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe became independent in 1975, along with most other Portuguese overseas territories and colonies. Its first president was Manuel Pinto da Costa who ruled the country for 16 years until democratic elections were held for the first time. Da Costa ruled again from 2011 to 2016. São Tomé and Príncipe is considered one of the most stable countries in Africa.

Road Network

The road network of São Tomé and Príncipe is very limited, with approximately 220 kilometers of paved roads. Most roads are paved, and roads mainly run along the coast of São Tomé, with one main road running inland to Trindade. The coastal roads on São Tomé do not form a complete ring road, and therefore come to a dead end. The road network of Príncipe is much more limited, with only a few paved roads in the main town of Santo António. Everything is unpaved outside here. There are no motorways in São Tomé and Príncipe, and the road network of the capital São Tomé consists mainly of regular streets, without a clear main road network. Most streets are paved.

Road numbering

There is no road numbering in São Tomé and Príncipe.


There doesn’t seem to be any signage. The road network is therefore very limited.

Sao Tome and Principe Location Map