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.
- AbbreviationFinder: Offer a full list of commonly used abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms related to the state of Sao Tome and Principe.
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.
São Tomé and Príncipe Island state in equatorial Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea, formed by the island of São Tomé, the island of Príncipe and some uninhabited islets.
The largest island is São Tomé (836 km 2 with 131,633 residents in 2001) located near the equator, facing the coast of Gabon. Mountainous and of volcanic origin, it reaches its maximum height in the Pico de São Tomé (2024 m). The climate, of an equitable type, allows the development of rainforests, partly removed to make way for cocoa plantations. ● The residents of the state are largely descended from slaves imported from Angola and the Cape Verde Islands at the time of the Portuguese colonization. More than 95% are concentrated on the main island, whose homonymous city, the main center of the island and capital, had 57,000 residents in 2005. The population growth rate (3.1% in 2009) is among the highest in the world. In addition to Portuguese, the official language, a Creole-Portuguese idiom is currently used. The dominant religion is the Catholic one. ● The almost exclusive economic activity is agriculture, centered above all on the cultivation of cocoa, whose production is totally exported; also widespread are the crops of coffee, oil palm, coconut palm and peanuts, whose products also contribute to export. This type of economy is highly exposed to risks deriving from natural phenomena (adverse weather conditions) and from economic causes (such as, for example, fluctuations in the prices of export products on international markets). Important income comes from fishing, especially from the sale of licenses, in their own territorial waters, to fleets of foreign countries. The secondary sector is scarcely articulated: the few industries in the country produce soap, soft drinks, beer and artifacts. To encourage the influx of foreign capital, a free zone has been established since 2000 in the area of Baia das Agulhas, on the island of Príncipe. soft drinks, beer and artifacts. To encourage the influx of foreign capital, a free zone has been established since 2000 in the area of Baia das Agulhas, on the island of Príncipe. soft drinks, beer and artifacts. To encourage the influx of foreign capital, a free zone has been established since 2000 in the area of Baia das Agulhas, on the island of Príncipe.