Climate of Sao Tome and Principe

Climate of Sao Tome and Principe

Where is the country of Sao Tome and Principe located? The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is a country in the Gulf of Guinea, made up of dozens of mainly uninhabited islands. The vast majority of residents live on the two main islands, Sao Tome and the smaller Principe. The islands have a volcanic origin, with the now extinct volcano Pico de Sao Tomé with a height of 2024 meters above sea level, forming the highest point of this smallest country in Africa in terms of land area. Sao Tome and Principe has a warm tropical climate. The mountainous, central part of Sao Tome is a lot cooler, which means that this part has a warm maritime climate within the otherwise tropical region.


With regard to the amounts of precipitation, the country has great contrasts. For example, the northern coastal areas receive less than a thousand millimeters of rainfall on an annual basis, while the southwestern slopes on Sao Tome can register up to five thousand millimeters per year. The rainy season starts in Sao Tome and Principe in mid-October and lasts until May. The months of June, July and August are considerably drier than the rest of the year. This is the best time to visit the islands.


In the lower areas of Sao Tome and Principe there is an almost continuous tropical daytime temperature, which varies from 27 to 31 degrees Celsius. The mercury rarely exceeds 32 degrees. The highest temperature is often reached in the middle of the morning. At the end of the afternoon the temperature starts to drop gradually, until it only rises to around twenty degrees or slightly higher at the end of the night. In the highest areas the temperature is a bit lower. The effect of the difference in height on the temperature is particularly noticeable during the night.

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

Maximum temperature Minimum temperature Hours of sunshine per day Days of rainfall per month Water temperature
January 29℃ 22℃ 3 12 28℃
February 29℃ 22℃ 4 12 29℃
March 30℃ 22℃ 4 16 29℃
April 29℃ 22℃ 4 17 29℃
May 29℃ 21℃ 4 14 28℃
June 27℃ 21℃ 5 10 26℃
July 27℃ 20℃ 5 8 26℃
August 27℃ 20℃ 4 10 26℃
September 27℃ 20℃ 3 15 26℃
October 27℃ 21℃ 2 21 27℃
November 28℃ 21℃ 3 18 27℃
December 28℃ 21℃ 4 12 28℃

Best time to visit Sao Tome and Principe

Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Sao Tome and Principe? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. A country that is barely known to the general public is Sao Tome and Principe. This archipelago is located off the west coast of Africa. Until the Portuguese discovered the islands of Sao Tome and Principe, they were unpopulated. From 1493 to 1975 the country was a colony of Portugal. The inhabitants of Sao Tome and Principe are a mixture of different peoples that the Portuguese brought to the islands. Despite the presence of beautiful beaches and a number of luxury resorts, tourism in Sao Tome and Principe is much less developed than in that other Portuguese colony: Cape Verde. Too bad, because it is a unique holiday destination with lush landscapes, excellent diving sites and enormous biodiversity.

Best months

The best time to travel to Sao Tome and Principe is from June to September. During this period it is pleasantly warm, the sun shows itself regularly and it hardly rains. Despite the fact that this is the dry season, it is quite often cloudy. This is actually the case all year round. On the island of Principe, the dry season is slightly shorter: from mid-June to mid-September. This is therefore the best travel time for a holiday on Principe.


The tropical climate that prevails in Sao Tome and Principe ensures that large parts of the country are tropically warm all year round. During the dry season (June to September) it is slightly cooler than during the wetter and especially clammier rainy season. On average, you can count on maximum temperatures of 26 to 28 degrees Celsius in the dry season. The highest temperatures occur from January to April: an average of around 30 degrees. Inland it can be cooler at higher elevations, especially in areas where fog is widespread.

If you want to go swimming in the sea during a beach holiday in Sao Tome and Principe, you can count on pleasant sea water temperatures all year round: 26 to 29 degrees Celsius.


Sao Tome and Principe is a fairly wet destination. It very much depends on where you are. On the island of Principe, for example, you can count on an average of two thousand millimeters of rain per year. That is about 2.5 times the precipitation sum of the Netherlands. On the island of Sao Tome you can see that the south is much wetter than the north. That’s because clouds cling to the mountains and rain out. On the wet side, that can produce up to five thousand millimeters of rain per year, sometimes even more. The north is a lot drier at less than a thousand millimeters on an annual basis.

Sao Tome and Principe