São Tomé is a small tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean, close to Gabon. Discovered in 1470 by Portuguese navigators, this cone-shaped volcanic island that culminates in the 2,025-metre Pico de São Tomé offers dramatic landscapes of torrents and waterfalls, black and white sand beaches, sheer sea cliffs, tropical forest and extensive cocoa plantations. As smallest nation in the world, São Tomé combines well-developed infra-structure with rich flora – 700 species including a hundred orchids – and fauna – birds and marine turtles – of which many species are endemic. On the white sandy beach at Lagarto, 1.5 km from the picturesque town of São Tomé, you will find the stylish Omali Lodge.
Conveniently situated across from Lagarto beach, 1.5 km from the picturesque town of São Tomé, and close to Ôbo National Park, you will find Omali Hotel. This small luxury hotel has 30 suites, each with ensuite bath room, air-conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, and mini-bar, and all facing the pool. It has and air-conditioned restaurant (international cuisine) and bar with terrace overlooking the beach, a small spa with steam rooms, sauna and massage. The hotel also has a tennis court and a swimming pool with poolside bar.
The mixture of African, European and South American people shows in São Tomé’s culture, dance, music, art and food. Visit the old city centre, the lively central market, the beautiful plantations (locally known as roças) to get a real feel of what São Tomé must have been like during the colonial era. You can also take a trip to Malanza, a small village near São Tomé’s largest mangrove area, protected by the Ôbo National Park. From here, local fishermen will take you in their traditional dugout canoes into the heart of the mangrove forest.
Things to do
Discover the island
Take a guided tour through the virgin rainforest, or visit the local botanical gardens with more than 100 different orchids from São Tomé. Climb the Pico de São Tomé (2,025 metres) or follow a more relaxed walking trail through the forest of the Ôbo National Park. The island secluded beaches are a must for the explorers
Between October and April, four species of marine turtles are known to lay their eggs on the beaches of Omali hotel, including the great leatherback. You are invited you to accompany the eco-guides on their nightly patrols of the beach to supervise and protect the sea turtles as they crawl ashore to nest.
A birders paradise
São Tomé is also an ornithologist’s paradise: 143 bird species have been identified here and rare endemic species like the São Tomé short tail, São Tomé giant sun bird, and São Tomé fiscal shrike may sometimes be spotted.