Sao Tome and Principe Basics

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The Basics


Time: Local time in Sao Tome and Principe is GMT.

Electricity: Electrical current in Sao Tome and Principe is 220 volts, 50Hz. A variety of plugs are in use including the European-style two-pin plug and Schuko two-pin.

Money: Electrical current in Sao Tome and Principe is 220 volts, 50Hz. A variety of plugs are in use including the European-style two-pin plug and Schuko two-pin.

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: The official language is Portuguese, and French is widely spoken, along with local languages.

Entry requirements for Americans: Passport required and must be valid on arrival. No visas for US Nationals required for a stay of up to 15 days.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: Passport required and must be valid on arrival. No visas for UK Nationals required for a stay of up to 15 days.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Passport required and must be valid on arrival. No visas for Canadian Nationals required for a stay of up to 15 days.

Entry requirements for Australians: A passport is required, along with a visa. No visa required for passengers with a visa issued by USA or a Schengen Member State together with a passport valid for a minimum of 3 months from the arrival date for a maximum stay of 15 days.

Entry requirements for South Africans: A passport is required, along with a visa. No visa required for passengers with a visa issued by USA or a Schengen Member State together with a passport valid for a minimum of 3 months from the arrival date for a maximum stay of 15 days.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: A passport is required, along with a visa. No visa required for passengers with a visa issued by USA or a Schengen Member State together with a passport valid for a minimum of 3 months from the arrival date for a maximum stay of 15 days.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Passport required and must be valid on arrival. No visas for Irish Nationals required for a stay of up to 15 days.

Passport/Visa Note: It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources. E-visas can be obtained before departure at http://www.smf.st/virtualvisa/ . Passengers must have a printed e-visa confirmation.

Travel Health: Hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever, measles-mumps-rubella, and tetanus are all recommended as pre-travel immunisations. Cholera vaccinations are not generally necessary for travel to Sao Tome and Principe. Schistosomiasis may be acquired through contact with contaminated water, and travellers are advised to avoid swimming, wading, or rafting in bodies of fresh water, such as lakes, ponds, streams, or rivers. Malaria is not as common a concern as it once was in Sao Tome, however visitors are still advised to take precautions, including insect repellent, netting, and antimalarial tablets. Either mefloquine (Lariam), atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone), or doxycycline may be taken. It is recommended to wear long sleeves, long pants, hats, and closed shoes in forested areas to prevent tick bites. Medical facilities in Sao Tome and Principe are extremely limited. The main healthcare facility is the Ayres Menezes Hospital, located on Sao Tome. Be advised that most doctors and hospitals will expect cash payment, regardless of whether you have travel health insurance. Serious medical problems will require air evacuation to a country with state-of-the-art medical facilities. It is also recommended that travellers carry a personal supply of basic first aid and antibiotics.

Local Customs: In Sao Tome and Principe, customs are fairly casual and relaxed, but you shouldn't wear beachwear anywhere but on the beach. It is considered polite to ask a local's permission before taking their picture, and do not try to photograph the palace. Sao Tomeans are very respectful of older people and those with high social status. It is considered a privilege to be invited into a person's home, and you should remove your shoes upon entering.

Duty Free: Visitors to Sao Tome and Principe may import a reasonable quantity of tobacco and perfume for personal use. Alcoholic beverages and lottery tickets are prohibited.