Terrain shapes and bedrock
Both islands are of volcanic origin and are a
continuation of the course of volcanism that extends from
the Cameroon Mountains to the southwest. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the islands have
volcanic highlands and lowland coastal areas. The highest
mountain is Pico de São Tomé (2,024 m above sea level) in
the western part of the main island. From the highlands,
watercourses are striving down to the lowlands.
The islands have a tropical climate and the temperature
is around 27 °C, with slight variations during the year.
Above the 600-meter level, the temperature drops to about 20
°C. The rainfall is around 1000 mm per year at the city of
São Tomé. The rainy season lasts from October to May. In the
mountain areas, the annual rainfall rises to 2,000 mm.
Plant-and animal life
Thanks to the steep and difficult to reach landscape,
there are still large areas of tropical rainforest, which in
higher areas turn into mountain rainforest. In the lowlands
there were formerly large cultivations of sugar cane, coffee
and cocoa, which today are partly replaced by mainly forest.
On the coast there is a local mangrove. There are about 750
species of flowering plants.
Only eight land mammals are known from São Tomé and
Príncipe, two of which are endemic, the fly dog
Myonyʹcteris brachyceʹphala and the beak mouse
Crociduʹra thomeʹnsis. The proportion of endemic
species is also high for other animals: 24 out of 63
breeding bird species, 7 out of 16 herbivorous species and
all nine amphibian species.
In 2011, São Tomé and Príncipe had no nature-protected
areas. However, discussions have been held about
establishing a so-called ecological zone comprising the
still untouched parts of the two main islands.