São Tomé and Principe

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Advisories

Advisories

São Tomé and Príncipe - Exercise normal security precautions

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for São Tomé and Príncipe. Exercise normal security precautions.



Security

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

There is no resident Canadian government office in São Tomé and Príncipe, which limits the Government of Canada in providing consular assistance to Canadian citizens in São Tomé and Príncipe. If you are confronted with an emergency, you will have to make your way to the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate or rely on your own resources.

Although the country is generally stable, incidents of unrest can arise occasionally. Indications of tension have recently been observed between the government and members of the São Tomé and Príncipe special police forces. You should be vigilant in these circumstances even though these incidents are relatively isolated. You are advised to avoid large crowds and demonstrations and monitor local news reports.

Armed robbery, burglary, and pickpocketing can occur, particularly in public areas such as markets, streets or near hotels, but incidents are rare. Ensure your personal belongings and your travel documents are secure. Avoid deserted beaches and poorly lit areas after dark.

Tourist facilities are limited but adequate.

Power outages occur frequently.

Telecommunications services such as mobile phone, landlines and internet access are limited, making it difficult to communicate with anyone outside the country.

Road travel

Streets in São Tomé are paved but there are many large potholes. Roads outside the capital are paved and in fair condition, but they are poorly lit and can be impassable during the rainy season. Roaming animals pose a hazard. Car rentals, with or without drivers, can be arranged through major hotels. Honking to warn of your approach is considered a normal practice. Emergency roadside services are non-existent.

Public transportation

Other than taxis, there is no public transportation. Taxi fares should be negotiated prior to departure.

There is air transportation between São Tomé and Príncipe islands but seats must be reserved in advance.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Piracy

Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

Entry/Exit Requirements

Entry/Exit Requirements

It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the São Toméan authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of São Tomé and Príncipe and its consulate for up-to-date information.

Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.

Passport

Canadians must present a passport to visit São Tomé and Príncipe, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country.

Visas

Canadians must also be in possession of a visa to visit São Tomé and Príncipe.

Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Not issued (a tourist visa is issued to students).

Airport tax

An airport tax (US$20 for adults and US$10 for children) is charged upon departure from the country. These fees are set by the local government and may change without notice.

Children and travel

Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. Please consult our Children page for more information.

Yellow fever

Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination before allowing entry. Consult the World Health Organization’s country list to obtain information on this country’s requirements.

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupucture or or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is low potential for yellow fever exposure in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination may be recommended depending on your itinerary.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers at high risk visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Africa, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited, very poor and many medicines are not available. Serious medical cases may need to be evacuated to another country for treatment.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws & Culture

Laws & Culture

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and detention page for more information.

Homosexual activity is illegal.

It is prohibited to photograph airports, military establishments and government buildings.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

An International Driving Permit is required.

Money

The currency is the Dobra (STD). U.S. dollars, euros and CFA francs BEAC (Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale) are widely accepted. Credit cards can only be used at major international hotels. Traveller’s cheques may be cashed at hotels and at one private bank in São Tomé.

There are no automated banking machines (ABMs).

Natural Disasters & Climate

Natural Disasters & Climate

The rainy season extends from September to May. Some roads may be impassable during this period. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Help Abroad

Help Abroad

There is no resident Canadian government office in São Tomé and Príncipe. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Deputy High Commission of Canada in Lagos, Nigeria.

Lagos - Deputy High Commission of Canada
Address 4 Anifowoshe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria Telephone 234 (1) 271-5650 Fax 234 (1) 271-5651 Emaillagos@international.gc.caServicesPassport Services Available

For emergency assistance after hours, call the Deputy High Commission of Canada in Lagos, Nigeria, and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Department in Ottawa at 613-996-8885.

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