‘Fairy-tale Islands’ or ‘Paradise on Earth’ — A Guide to the Reviews

Ilheu das Rolas

Ilheu das Rolas, one of the places on São Tomé and Príncipe that reviewers recommend. Photo by Maria Cartas

This week I read up on travel reviews, and accounts by tourists who’ve been to São Tomé and Príncipe. In a word: a lot of praise.

Excited Newspapers

English newspapers: the Times, the Guardian; French newspaper the Courrier – everybody loves the chocolate islands. Sarah Monahgan calls Sao Tome a ‘sweet island escape’. Adam Vaitilinham (Rough Guides) says Principe is a paradise island, as does Sandra Costa. French divers Jean-Louis Testori and Jean-Pierre Elophe talk about the tranquility of the island and the clean waters.

Inspired Guidebook

Kathleen Becker, right at the start of her Bradt Guide to Sao Tome describes colorfully how friendly a welcome she received from some local kids.

A Thoughtful Writer

A Portuguese writer, Miguel Sousa Tavares, says that Sao Tome needs to be visited by people who see it as a country of opportunities. In his exact, Portuguese, words:

“S. Tomé e Príncipe precisa (e muito) de ser visitada por gentes que vejam este País como uma terra de oportunidades, onde combater a pobreza dos seus seja entendido como meio de preservar a riqueza natural do arquipélago.”

I would say this loosely translates into an invitation.