Sao Tome and PrincipeOfficial Name: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
6 months remaining
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
1 page per stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Yes, for stays over 15 days.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Report required when exiting with more than 10,000 Euros (see below)
Embassies and Consulates
There is no U.S. diplomatic presence in São Tomé and Príncipe. Contact the U.S. Embassy in Libreville, Gabon if you need consular assistance while in São Tomé and Príncipe.
Sablière B.P. 4000
Telephone: +(241) 01-45-71-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(241) 07-38-01-71
Fax: +(241) 01-45-71-05
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on São Tomé and Príncipe for information on U.S.-São Tomé and Príncipe relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
You must present a passport and proof of yellow fever vaccination to enter São Tomé and Príncipe. Holders of a valid United States passport do not require a visa when visiting Sao Tome for a period of up to 15 days.
São Tomé and Príncipe does not currently maintain an embassy in the United States. Travelers transiting Gabon can obtain the latest information on entry requirements from the Embassy of São Tomé and Príncipe in Gabon, B.P. 49, Libreville, Gabon, telephone +(241)-72-15-27, fax +(241)-72-15-28. For all other inquiries, please contact São Tomé and Príncipe’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations at 400 Park Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022, +1-(212) 317 0644.
While there are no restrictions on bringing foreign currency into São Tomé and Príncipe, visitors leaving the country must report carrying any sums equal to 10,000 Euros, and be able to provide financial statements proving that they entered the country carrying a larger sum than the amount with which they plan to depart.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of São Tomé and Príncipe.
São Tomé may deny entry to people coming from Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)-affected countries.
Safety and Security
There have been isolated incidents of civil unrest in the capital city. Avoid large gatherings or any other events where crowds have congregated to demonstrate or protest. Even gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational or violent.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in São Tomé and Príncipe is 2-22-22-22. In the event of a fire, dial 112. There is no U.S. diplomatic presence in São Tomé and Príncipe. If you need help, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Libreville, Gabon.
Crime: Crimes such as burglary, pick-pocketing, and armed home invasions occur on the islands, particularly around the winter holidays. Pick-pocketing is prevalent in markets, on the streets, or near hotels. Do not display large amounts of cash in public. Put valuables and extra cash in your hotel safe while sightseeing or visiting the beach. When dining in restaurants or visiting markets, carry a minimal amount of cash and avoid wearing flashy or expensive jewelry. If you are the victim of an attempted robbery or carjacking, you are encouraged to comply with the attacker to avoid injury, and to report all incidents to the police and the U.S. Embassy in Libreville. Police response time can be slow.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 2-22-22-22 and contact the U.S. Embassy in Libreville, Gabon at +(241) 01-45-71-00.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
- support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Illegal drugs: Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in São Tomé and Príncipe are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Language: Portuguese is the official language of São Tomé and Príncipe; travelers who do not speak Portuguese may face communication difficulties associated with the language barrier.
Photography: Taking photographs of the Presidential Palace, military, or other government buildings is strictly forbidden.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in São Tomé and Príncipe. Some societal discrimination does exist, and there are no legal protections for LGBTI individuals against discrimination.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. São Tomé and Príncipe law does not prohibit discrimination against those with disabilities, but reported discrimination is rare. The law does not mandate accessibility and it is not provided in most areas.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical facilities in São Tomé and Príncipe are extremely limited. There is one hospital in the country on São Tomé, Hospital Central Ayres de Menezes, phone number +(239) 2-221-222. A few clinics providing very basic services also exist. Visitors should be aware that credit cards are not widely accepted in São Tomé and Príncipe, and payment in cash up front is almost always expected before services are rendered. You will need to travel abroad for all but minor medical needs. The availability of medicine in local stores or pharmacies is very limited.
If you are diving be aware that the closest recompression chambers are in South Africa and Portugal. Before diving, check that the facilities are operational.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Streets in the city of São Tomé are paved, but large potholes are common. Major roads outside of town are also paved. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and animals on the roads can be a major hazard. Outside of the city of São Tomé, there are no sidewalks or shoulders along the sides of roads. In rural areas outside of the capital city, drivers are expected to honk their horn periodically as a warning signal of their approach. There is no street lighting outside of the capital. Some roads may be impassable without a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Only a few miles of improved roads exist on the island of Príncipe; the conditions are similar to those found on São Tomé.
Public Transportation: Although taxis are fairly safe, it is advisable to rent a car instead. If you must take a taxi, make sure that the taxi has seatbelts and negotiate the rate before entering the taxi. If staying at a hotel, ask the front desk to call a taxi for you, as they will use reliable providers. Hotels can also identify private drivers for hire.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
Air Travel: Airline service to São Tomé and Príncipe is limited. Flights are offered from Lisbon by TAP Air and STP Airways and regionally by Ceiba Airline and Afric Aviation. Note that Ceiba and Afric Aviation flights are subject to frequent delays and sudden cancellations. African Connection flies between São Tomé and Príncipe islands four times a week and also has charter flights.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in São Tomé and Príncipe, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of São Tomé and Príncipe’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.