It is in certain circumstances possible to travel to São Tomé e Príncipe without a visa.
The following persons do in principle not require a visa if they stay in São Tomé e Príncipe for less than 15 days:
Citizens of the People’s Republic of China who hold an ordinary passport can obtain a visa upon arrival.
Should you require a visa, then the easiest way to obtain a visa is through the website: www.smf.st. After having completed (please ensure that the information is included) and submitted the form with the relevant documentation, an email confirmation of the application will be sent. It typically takes a couple of days before an email authorisation (electronic visa) is sent to the applicant. This email authorisation should be printed and presented to the airline upon departure and the border police upon arrival in São Tomé. The visa costs EUR 20 per person. Payment can be effected in advance by way of bank transfer (see the website) or upon arrival in cash (in which case it is important to have exact change available). The latter option is generally the easiest and cheapest
Please note that your passport needs to be valid for 3 months after the expiry date of your visa and a return or onward ticket is required. The border authorities can request that you show that you have sufficient funds available during your stay (EUR 100 per day).
Visas can also be obtained through the Embassy of São Tomé e Príncipe in Brussels.
Av. de Tervuren 175
B-1150 Brussels, Belgium
Although a number of cruise ships visit São Tomé e Príncipe, the main mode of transport is air travel.
From Europe, the easiest way to travel to São Tomé is via Lisbon, from where there are five to six flights per week to São Tomé: four times per week with TAP Portugal (with a stop in Accra, Ghana) and once or twice per week with STP Airways (direct).
In both cases, there are same day connections with flights from and to Amsterdam (or other European airports). It is possible to combine a trip to São Tomé with a short stopover in Lisbon.
STP Airways is the national airline of São Tomé e Príncipe and uses modern and safe planes, operated by Euro-Atlantic, a Portuguese aircraft operator. When flying with STP Airways, it will be necessary to book two separate tickets (Amsterdam – Lisbon and Lisbon – São Tomé). STP Airways often has special fares (also check with the hotels in São Tomé, who may be offer a package) from Lisbon to São Tomé. TAP Portugal, KLM, Transavia and Easyjet have regular flights to Lisbon.
TAP sells tickets from Amsterdam to São Tomé, although sometimes two return tickets (Amsterdam – Lisbon vice versa and Lisbon – São Tomé vice versa) can be cheaper.
Other airports with connections to São Tomé are: Accra (Ghana), Luanda (Angola), Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) and Libreville (Gabon). There are 3-4 flights per week from São Tomé to Príncipe operated by Africa’s Connection and STP Airways.
A yellow fever vaccination is normally required. Visitors from Europe (who enter the country with direct flights from Europe) are officially exempt from this requirement. However, health officials often still request to see your yellow fever vaccination certificate. In order to avoid any discussion, it may be better to have the vaccination and show the vaccination certification upon arrival.
Malaria medication is recommended. However, malaria is nowadays quite rare and is close to being eradicated. The use of malaria medication is therefore a more precaution.
Health care and hospital facilities are basic. There are no special clinics for foreigners. It is advisable to bring a small medical kit with basic medicines, although most common medication is available in local pharmacies. However, particular medication may not be available and should therefore be brought with you. Do not forget to bring insect repellent: some persons appear to be more attractive to mosquitoes than others.
Travel and medical insurance is required.