Sao Tome discovery tour
Description of Sao Tome discovery tour
This São Tomé discovery tour takes you to a country that few people have heard about. São Tomé and Príncipe - a two-island African nation moored off the coast of Gabon – is a quintessential tropical paradise, made all the more appealing by its rich culture, thick forest, friendly locals and smattering of crumbling colonial buildings.
After time to acclimatise in São Tomé town, you’ll head up into the mountains to Lagoa Amelia to learn more about the country’s coffee production. You’ll walk through secondary rainforest and visit a coffee plantation, from where the crop is exported all over the world. Next, you’ll travel along the coast, visiting old colonial mansions, tiny seafront towns and stunning stretches of near-empty beach. You’ll also explore the interior, touring former plantations estates and learning about the history of this beautiful island.
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3 Reviews of Sao Tome discovery tour
Reviewed on 18 May 2019 by Maurie OHaving the opportunity to visit some of the rural villages and understand how the local people live was memorable and visiting the Cacao and Coffee plantations to see the process from garden to table was very interesting. Read full review
Reviewed on 18 Oct 2018 by Caroline WheatonGreat holiday because of location Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Oct 2018 by Janice NewmanThe whole experience was memorable Read full review
PlanetSao Tomé receives less than 200,000 visitors each year, and is home to many spectacular beaches, some of which we visit on this tour. Our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and when visiting these areas of natural beauty, we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us to protect these valuable tourist attractions.
Furthermore, tourist numbers are not huge by mass tourism standards, and we make a point of monitoring our impact closely, not only of our group visits but the impact any increase in tourism may have.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling throughout this small island, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to responsible tourism all of our clients will receive a copy of our travellers code of conduct with their travel documents.
PeopleWhen possible we use local transport (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities they are passing through.
For example, on this tour we stop at Lake Amelia, famous for coffee production. Our team are keen to support this local industry, and clients learn about the importance of this crop, not only to the local area but to the whole country. Visiting the coffee plantations helps to support the workers and their livelihood.
We believe tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures - usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends not intruders, and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.
We are working hard to promote destinations that so far are not well known to mass tourism. We are investing in the future, in the belief that along with our local team we can create sustainable social benefits for corners of the world such as the remote island of Sao Tome and Principe, that to-date have been overlooked by larger tour operators.
Our philosophy is to only use small, locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced.
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