I’m pretty sure most have never heard of the hidden gem Sao Tome and Principe, however if you have found out about this magical place and would like to head out there, I totally recommend exploring these islands with the guys at Navetur Equatour. I went on a day trip with Navetur Equatour, the foremost tourism company in Sao Tome and Principe and I can totally say it was the most informative and enlightening trip I took throughout my stay.
You know how a place is so pretty and you can be lost in the views however, you really want to take in more than just that, well Navetur Equatour did it form me. I learnt more about Sao Tome and Principe on my single day trip with them than I had in all the days prior. I learnt some history culture and through properly told witty stories by our tour guide.
I was picked up at my hotel by Augustino of Navetur Equatour who was our tour guide for the day with the company bus. I was on the trip with a Danish couple who had recently gotten married and were honeymooning in Sao Tome and Principe and we got on quite well. Augustino gave us a brief introduction about our trip to the east coast, down to the Anglorares and we headed out.
As we drove by, he told us bits and pieces about each place. Our first stop was the colonial plantation of Roca Ize which was a bit up hill, he told us about the colonial master and owner of the plantation who was powerful and popular during those times. He showed us hospitals which served the colonialists and those that served the workers. He also told us that the people of Sao Tome did not work for colonialist. They insisted that they were the first inhabitants of the island and thus would not work for them. The colonialists thus brought their workers from their other territories.
Most fascinating for me on the trip was our visit to Boca do Inferno which is also called Hell’s mouth or Gateway to Hell. For a place with such name, I would give it a 7* in terms of juxtaposition with what hell is popularly known for. There was also a quite fascinating story to it. According to Augustino this was the teleportation spot for the popular colonial master and owner of Roca Agua Ize who was also a magician. He told us that whenever he wanted to travel to Portugal, all he needed to do was to get on his horse and head straight in for the tunnel in between the rocks below.
I found the story fascinating but did not quite believe but then what do I know about magic. I just sipped the information in with my coconut water. I asked Augustino, how the master came back to Sao Tome, he said to me, nobody knows, the master would usually just be found in his house or in the city.
The Boca do Inferno to me is actually a natural phenomenon in which the waves are pushed through the narrow rock, from which water then splashes out in fountains. It is an impressive sight with a very pretty landscape. However, the waters are only exclusive to the master as those who tried to experience this magic paid with their lives.
I was excited to have come on the trip, we discussed life, what living in Sao Tome is like, took several pictures and headed to have lunch.
Lunch was at a fine dining restaurant called Sao Joao dos Angolares, we had many little different and delightful combinations of flavor and textures which was explained in detail by our guide. I would recommend having your driver or guide partake of this outstanding meal with you. The Navetur Equatour guide explained each morsel in detail which made it all the more fascinating. I would have preferred filling food but then its fine dining.
We also had an awesome time exploring the plantation just before our meal. So if you’re ever headed to Sao Tome and Principe, don’t hesitate to holla at them via email or visit their office at Rua Viriato da Cruz São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe.