São Tomé & Principé is one of the smallest African countries consisting of these two main islands off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea and includes many smaller archipelagos which are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. It is located just north of the equator. It’s name is Portuguese for St. Thomas and is one of Africa’s oldest colonial cities. The Portuguese first came here in search of land to grow sugar cane in the mid 1400s and at that time the islands were uninhabited. Our tour this day however, took us to a cacao plantation. On our way we passed beautiful beaches, small villages and rivers where we saw women doing their laundry and then laying it out on the rocks to dry in the sun.
The plantation was no longer active but we were able to see how they treated the beans from picking, drying to packaging. Afterwards we were taken to a lovely restaurant, Roça São dos Angolares, which is an old restored plantation house where we were served a surprising seven course luncheon prepared by Chef Joao Carlos Silva, who we understand is a Michelin starred chef and an artist. Who knew?? Out there in the middle of a rain forest with a pretty beach nearby. It is also an inn and you can also stay at this beautiful old home.