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Sao Tome And Principe Travel Information

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.

Language

The official language is Portuguese, and French is widely spoke along with local languages.

Travel Health

Hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever, MMR (measles-mumps-rubella), and tetanus are all recommended as pre-travel immunisations. Cholera vaccinations are not generally recommended for travel to Sao Tome and Principe. HIV is not as common as in other African countries, and travellers are not at risk unless they have unprotected sexual contacts or receive injections or blood transfusions. Schistosomiasis may be acquired by swimming, wading, or bathing in contaminated fresh 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 given. 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. Travellers are also recommended to 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 if you are.

Duty Free

Visitors to Sao Tome and Principe may import a reasonable quantity of tobacco and perfume. Alcoholic beverages and lottery tickets are prohibited.

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