The 7 Districts – Our Coverage Thus Far

Banana beach

Banana Beach on Principe. Photo by Ana Rainho

São Tomé & Príncipe is divided into 7 administrative districts, six on São Tomé, and one on Principe. This post gives a geographical overview of the stories we’ve already covered – and those still missing.

The six regions of Sao Tome are Água Grande, Cantagalo, Caué, Lembá, Lobata, and Mé-Zóchi. The single region on Principe is called Pagué.

Hold on, and we’ll take you on a round-trip around the 7 seven regions, on the two islands.


1 – Água Grande, the Capital District

Cidade de São Tomé

Sao Tome Capital. Photo by Maria Cartas

This is the region around the capital of São Tomé & Príncipe, São Tomé including the city itself.

Most recently, Richar Heller wrote about the highschool Liceo Nacional.

A week before that, an overview of the Santomean air ban, and the poor state of the air strip in the capital, written by yours truly, was very popular.

Joao Morais wrote about the life of a taxi driver in the capital, in his 3-part series on living leve-leve on a dollar per day.

One of the first posts of the blog, was a listing of the restaurants in the capital, and we also mentioned the infamous Pilolo Atomico at Café & Compania.

Carlos Alberto Jr. wrote about his adventures with the fishermen on Gamboa beach, while yours truly said  Praia Lagarto was not the best choice.

2 – Cantagalo, the Eastern District

São Tomé

Boca do Inferno. Photo by Maria Cartas

This is the district down the road from the capital. The Roca Agua Izé plantation is beautiful for photography, sadly inhabited by squatters. Our own Jose Santos wrote about the Roca Agua Ize plantation.

There’s  also the Club Santana Resort nearby, with a French restaurant and bungalows. Close to Santana there’s the Cascada Blublu waterfall and a village by the same name. The most famous sight in the district is the Boca do Inferno.

3 – Lobata, the Northern District

Farol Lagoa Azul

View from the Farol Lagoa Azul. Photo by Inna Moody.


This district is on the road north. The capital of the Lobata region (the northern side of the island) is Guadalupe. Out on the sea there’s a small islet called the Ilhéu das Cabras (Island of the Goats).

We listed some of the Northern beaches, including the famous Lagoa Azul.

Notice the Baobab trees in the distance.

4 – Lembá, the Western District

Praia dos pobres

Neves beach by José Augusto

The capital of the Lembá district is Neves. This is where you arrive on the second day if you are doing the Pico Sao Tome to Neves walk. There is a petrol terminal and the Rosema beer brewery.

We’ve absolutely no coverage from the Lemba district so far. If you want to write about this part of the islands, you’re most welcome.

5 – Caué, the Deep South

Cão Grande

Cão Grande. Photo by Isaac Afonso

The capital of the Caué district is Sao Joao dos Angolares, which is where the famous Roca Sao Joao is located.

Richard Heller wrote about the Carnival in Sao Joao de Angolares nearby.

Your truly listed several beaches in the south, including Praia Jale and Praia Xixi.

We also wrote about the OLPC Project at the Sao Joao school, run by the fabulous Beth Santos.

Caué holds one of the best known sights of the islands, the Cao Grande or Big Dog. This is a huge phallic-looking rock formation that sticks out of the rain-forest 800 meters. We’ve used the rock as a symbol of the islands on our Facebook page.

6 – Mé-Zóchi, the Interior District

Sao Nicolau waterfall

Sao Nicolau Cascada (waterfall). Photo by Inna Moody

The capital of the Mé-Zóchi region is Trindade. Your truly gave a short oveview of the Obo National Park. Close to the city there’s the Cascada Sao Nicolao waterfall.

Towards the interior there’s Bom Suggeso. Most of the trails leave from Bom Sucesso, and you can easily get here on foot from the Boa Vista inn, which sits on Monte Café.

One of the  walks from Bom Sucesso is to reach Lagoa Amelia. This is a strange volcanic crater deep in the forest of the Obo National Park. On the way back , there’s the Bom Sucesso botanical garden. And a collection of more than 100 different orchids that grow on São Tome

There’s a two day walk from Bom Successo climb to Monte Pico, and descend to Neves. If no clouds, spectacular view of the island before the descent to Neves in the north part of the island. Michael Stein has written a wonderful account of the experience.

7 – Pagué, on Principe


Sprout on Praia Banana beach on Principe. Photo by Ana Rainho

So you’re thinking where’s number seven, right? That’s right, there is no number 7 – that’s because we want to challenge You to write us about Principe, and the Pagué region.

The sprout in the image symbolizes opportunity!

We know there’s a number of interesting stories on Principe, from the incredible newfound biodiversity and unknown species, to the infamous expedition made by Albert Einstein’s friend Eddington in 1919, to many newer stories we’ve not even heard about.

So get writing, and drop us a line!

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