Sao Tome’s Mouthwatering Waterfalls — Transcontinental Times

Sao Tome and Principe : Anyone who visits the charming islands of Sao Tome and Principe feels truly close to nature. The beautiful landscape of Sao Tome and Principe includes many waterfalls.

Many of the waterfalls on these islands are fed by the islands’ mountainous terrain and heavy rainfall, which lasts for about six months.

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The central highlands of Sao Tome are full of many waterfalls, all embedded in a dreamlike environment of lush forests.

Cascata Sao Nicolau Waterfall

The most popular and visited waterfall is the Cascata Sao Nicolau (St. Nicholas Waterfall), which is reasonably accessible from the main road. This beautiful waterfall about 60 meters high is hidden by dense vegetation in the middle of a dense forest.

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The waters aren’t that thunderous, but its setting is enchanting, surrounded by lush vegetation and unique tropical flowers.

The clear waters flowing through the green forest not only refresh the surroundings, but eventually turn into streams, providing much-needed running water to communities in the area.

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The gateway to this waterfall is through the famous Roca Monte Café, which is the oldest coffee plantation in São Tomé. This converted coffee museum, located in the old plantation site, bears witness to the time (1850) when Arabica coffee was grown in large quantities for export.

Cafe Roca Monte. Photo credit: Unsplash

The museum offers an interesting insight into the entire coffee processing chain as it was done in the 1850s.

A coffee trail through thick coffee plantations leads to the Cascata Sao Nicolau. On the trail, it is common to see local boys and girls selling freshly picked local berries in a banana leaf to visitors.

Vale do Rio Waterfall

The Vale do Rio waterfall (valley of a river) is located about 15 km from Monte Café. This large waterfall in the depth of the forest is accessible after a moderately difficult 15 km hike. It passes through some of the most fascinating small villages in the country, narrow paths and dense cocoa plantations. It is also punctuated with small trusses of porcelain roses and honeycomb flowers.

Although the hike is long, it’s easy to get carried away by a sense of nostalgia for the coffee and cocoa plantations of the colonial period. The sounds of the many small waterfalls and streams nearby accompany the visitor to the end of the trail.

Bombain and Angolares waterfalls

The Bombain waterfalls are at the center of some of the world’s untouched primary forests, located close to others in the region. Not as high as the San Nicolau waterfall, it is deeper and surrounded by the lush greenery of the rainforest in the small village of Bombain.

The Angolares waterfalls, on the rugged southwest coast of Sao Tome, are one of the best waterfalls in the country. At 17 meters tall, it is pleasing to the eye. It stands out from the others because it is located between two water tunnels on a friendly mountain trail.

Other waterfalls in Sao Tome

While Sao Tome and Principe are known for their natural beauty and biodiversity, traveling deep into the country offers fascinating insights into the local culture of community life in these regions that is quite authentic. Small houses, fenced with metal sheets and thick shrubs located inside the plantations, punctuate the whole region.

The scene is completed with villagers carrying water from nearby natural water sources, local women washing clothes in the river stream, chirping children eager to engage in conversation with guests and heading probably cheerfully to their schools, and vendors selling regional fruit. .

There are several waterfalls in other parts of Sao Tome. The Cascata de Praia Pesqueira in the south is a unique place where the river meets the sea. The mixture of the clear waters flowing from this waterfall on the island near Ribeira Peixe with the turquoise blue sea of ​​the Atlantic is a delightful sight .

Superstition surrounds the Guegue waterfalls, one of the lost and pristine waterfalls on the island of São Tomé. People somehow believe in a tradition of bathing in these cool waters the first week of every new year to wash away the bad memories of the previous year.

The Oque Pipi waterfalls are located almost in the middle of the tropical forest, not far from the first cocoa plantations of Sao Tomé which produce the most famous chocolates of Sao Tomé.

Waterfalls of Oque Pipi. Photo credit: multiple sources

Although uncommon, some waterfalls can be found entirely underground in cave systems. Access to these underground waterfalls is usually via rugged walkways. Few tourists would like to endure an exhausting trek to reach them.

Sao Tome’s many wild waterfalls are a welcome getaway and an escape from everyday city life. But many of them are either hidden away or inaccessible due to Sao Tome’s wild terrain. Unlike other countries, a visit to one of these falls involves a bit of a trek through dense vegetation and plantations, but in the end it’s a rewarding task.

Read also: Ilhéu das Rolas: the equatorial island of Sao Tomé

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