São Tomé and Príncipe are two seldom visited islands close to equator in the Gulf of Guinea, Western Africa. Part of a volcanic range the islands boast stunning coral, beautiful beaches and pristine rainforest protecting an impressive 28 endemic species (depending on which list you follow).São Tomé is the larger more populated island with approximately 215,000 people living there and the smaller island of Principe having a population of just 8,000. They are both exceptionally friendly and safe to travel around and these islands are a paradise for birders with over 143 species being recorded with 40 families to date. The number of endemic bird species in São Tomé and Príncipe equals that of the much more extensive Galapagos Islands and exceeds the Seychelles. They are furthermore much easier to find than any other Island. These factors make them possibly the easiest and most concentrated group of Island endemics in the world. Most endemics can be seen in and around our hotel and guesthouse locations, however, to have a chance of seeing all the endemic species these islands protect, a few days of more difficult birding is required. With so many amazing birding locations globally and so little time and money to enjoy all of them, São Tomé and Príncipe are simply a must-go-to West African destination for birding and wildlife lovers.
We begin in São Tomé at Monte Carmo Forest for species such as São Tomé (Dwarf) Olive Ibis, São Tomé Short-tail (Bocage’s) Longbill), Giant Sunbird, São Tomé Grosbeak, São Tomé (Newton’s) Fiscal, São Tomé Weaver, São Tomé Paradise Flycatcher, Newton’s Sunbird, São Tomé White-eye, São Tomé Chestnut-winged Starling, São Tomé Prinia, São Tomé Speirops, Giant Weaver and São Tomé Seedeater. Moving on to Principe we will have 3 days to find the as yet undescribed Principe Scops Owl, Principe Drongo, Principe Kingfisher, Principe Speirops, Principe Golden Weaver, Principe Sunbird, Principe Glossy Starling, Dohrn’s Thrush Babbler and Principe Seedeater. Back on São Tomé we will spend the final couple of days mopping up the remaining endemics such as São Tomé Scops Owl,São Tomé Olive Pigeon, São Tomé Green-Pigeon, São Tomé Kingfisher, São Tomé Oriole, São Tomé Shorttail, São Tomé Spinetail and Gulf of Guinea Thrush. This promises to be an amazing adventure.