< Back

Contact us

Our scuba travel experts are available 24/7 to assist you in planning and booking a fantastic scuba diving vacation

Diving in São Tomé and Príncipe

Tucked beneath the bulge of northern Africa, Sao Tome and Principe are some of this region’s best kept secrets. With unbelievable diving and fascinating landscapes, it would be a pity to miss out.

Diving in São Tomé and Príncipe

Quick facts

The visibility on the islands is clearest from December to March, and you can expect lovely warm water during this time. Awesome dives await off the coast of Sao Tome. The pinnacles of Pedra and Dahlo are excellent places to see huge barracuda. The two formations poke above the surface, stretching to meet the sun. You can see octopi in the cracks, as well as a variety of eels. Down at the bottom, nurse sharks relax, waiting for night to fall.

Head to Bone de Jockey, a stellar site that dons a humungous boulder. There are several sites around the huge rock, all of which give great views. There are massive grouper to be found here, sometimes surprisingly massive.

When to go

Rain and temperature

Click to expand

Water temperature

Click to expand

What to see

Come to see the hawksbill turtle lay their eggs, or even hatch out into the sea. You can find grouper in deep water, as well as a variety of rays. Octopi and eels are abundant, as well as fantastic reef fish of all sorts. Many animals here are found nowhere else in the world.

Flying above the seas you may see the African grey parrot, widely appreciated as one of the most intelligent animals in the world. They are highly endangered because of the pet trade.


For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings


Made up of two archipelagoes, Sao Tome and Principe are fertile islands ripe for exploration. Together, they make up Africa’s second smallest country. The two main islands are nearly 90 miles (140 kilometers) apart, and were uninhabited until they were discovered by the Portuguese in the 1400’s.

Portugal, regrettably, used the islands as a port for slave trade, and used the islands to farm sugarcane. It was not until 1876 that slavery was abolished. However, because of the islands’ isolation, forced labor continued, ending in a massacre of hundreds of laborers in 1953.

Revolutionizing, in 1975 the country gained its independence. Democracy still reigns, today.

Other attractions

Take a gander at the fantastic Pico Cao Grande, a volcanic peak that seems straight out of a fantasy novel. Sheer sided, it dramatically shoots 1000 feet (300 meters) from the jungles below. You can even climb it, if you have the proper gear and mindset. Head to the gorgeous golden beaches to relax and have a meal of fresh fish. Lovely landscapes can be spotted in every direction.

Getting there

Fly to Sao Tome from Africa or Portugal, with flights coming in several times a week. Sao Tome has a public transportation system, but renting a car is the most effective way to get where you need to go.


Time zone




Calling code

230 V

Electric volt



Plug type


Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

Save that favourite

With a PADI Travel account, you can favourite dive operators to come back to later on any device or computer

Log in or sign up