São Tomé Island

São Tomé Island

Infobox Islands
name = São Tomé

image caption = Map of São Tomé and Príncipe
image size =

map_custom = no
native name = "Ilha de São Tomé"
native name link = Portuguese language
nickname =
location = Gulf of Guinea
coordinates = coord|0|14|N|6|36|E|display=inline
archipelago = Bight of Bonny
total islands =
major islands =
area = convert|854|km2|sqmi
length = convert|48|km|mi
width = convert|32|km|mi
highest mount = Pico de São Tomé
elevation = convert|2024|m|ft
country = São Tomé and Príncipe
country admin divisions title = Province
country admin divisions = São Tomé Province
country admin divisions title 1 =
country admin divisions 1 =
country admin divisions title 2 =
country admin divisions 2 =
country largest city = São Tomé
country largest city population = 56,166
population = 133,600
population as of =
density = 156.44
ethnic groups = Mestico, angolares (descendants of Angolan slaves), forros (descendants of freed slaves), servicais (contract laborers from Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde), tongas (children of servicais born on the islands), Europeans (primarily Portuguese)
additional info =

São Tomé Island, at 854 km² (330 sq mi), is the largest island of São Tomé and Príncipe and is home to about 133,600 or 96% of the nation's population. This island and smaller nearby islets make up São Tomé Province, which is divided into six districts. The main island is located 2 km (1¼ miles) north of the equator. It is about 48 km (30 miles) long (North-South) by 32 km (20 miles) wide (east-west). It rises to 2,024 m (6,639 ft) at Pico de São Tomé and includes the capital city, São Tomé, on the northeast coast. The nearest city on mainland Africa is the port city of Port Gentil in Gabon located 240 km (150 miles) to the east.


The main language is Portuguese, but there are many speakers of Forro and Angolar (Ngola), two Portuguese-based creole languages.


The entire island of São Tomé is a massive shield volcano which rises from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, over Convert|3000|m|ft|-3|abbr=on below sea level. It formed along the Cameroon line, a linear rift zone extending from Cameroon southwest into the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the lava erupted on São Tomé over the last million years has been basalt. The youngest dated rock on the island is about 100,000 years old, but numerous more recent cinder cones are found on the southeast side of the island.

Environment and economy

The higher slopes of the island are forested and form part of the Obo National Park, but agriculture is important near the north and east coasts. The chief exports are cocoa, coffee, copra, and palm products, while there is also a fishing industry.

Large reserves of oil are in the ocean between Nigeria and São Tomé. The discovery has been lamented by some as endangering the nation's political stability and natural environment. In response to these concerns the government of São Tomé and Príncipe has drawn up legislation in an attempt to ensure the efficient and equitable use of oil revenues over time.

Natural history


The island "boasts" a mere 63 regular bird species, plus an additional 36 vagrant and unconfirmed species. Of these, 19 are endemic and 3 near endemic; in addition, the local subspecies of Olive Ibis ("Bostrychia olivacea bocagei") is endemic and considered critically endangered. Six species are considered vulnerable, and two critically endangered (São Tomé Fiscal and São Tomé Grosbeak). [http://www.africanbirdclub.org/countries/SaoTome/introduction.html African Bird Club – São Tomé e Príncipe] ]

Towns and villages

Villages on the island include:


* [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tp.html CIA Word Fact Book]

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