São Tome and Principe in the DX world
CQ Zone: 36
IOTA reference: AF-023 (São Tome) & AF-044 (Principe)
QTH Locator: JJ30GA
Time: +0,00 UTC
Ranquing position: #132 (Clublog DXCC Most wanted list – August 2016)
Read more about the country and our QTH
About São Tome and Principe
It is the second-smallest African country after Seychelles, situated in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of 2 archipielagos around the 2 main islands: São Tome and Principe, situated about 140 kilometres (87 miles) apart.
The islands were uninhabited until their discovery by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. Gradually colonized and settled by Portugal throughout the 16th century, they collectively served as a vital commercial and trade center for the Atlantic slave trade. The rich volcanic soil and close proximity to the equator made São Tomé and Príncipe ideal for sugar cultivation, followed later by cash crops such as coffee and cocoa; the lucrative plantation economy was heavily dependent upon imported African slaves. Cycles of social unrest and economic instability throughout the 19th and 20th centuries culminated in peaceful independence in 1975. São Tomé and Príncipe has since remained one of Africa’s most stable and democratic countries.
Its people are predominantly of African and mestiço descent, with most adhering to Roman Catholicism. The legacy of Portuguese rule is also visible in the country’s culture, customs, and music, which fuse European and African influences.
About Ilhéu das Rolas (our QTH)
Our operation will take place from the hotel Pestana Equador, situated on Ilhèu das Rolas, an islet lies on the equator, off the southern tip of São Tomé Island, in the Caué District of São Tomé Province.
The main and dominant economic activity is tourism, related mainly to the resort. A permanent population of approximately 200 people works in the island’s tourism sector.
The island can only be accessed by boat departing from São Tomé Island.
The most characteristic of the island is that it is crossed by the equatorial line, and you can visit a lookout point where this event is indicated. Gago Coutinho (1869–1959), officer of the Portuguese Navy, navigator and historian, headed a geodesic mission to São Tomé between 1915 and 1918, when marks were placed as a basis for a geodetic network in the archipelago. After that, observations for triangulation, precise base measurement and astronomical observations were made. In the process, Gago Coutinho proved that Ilhéu das Rolas is crossed by the equatorial line. The resulting map was published in 1919, together with the Report of the Geodetic Mission on São Tomé Island 1915–1918, that was officially considered the first complete work of practical geodesy in the Portuguese colonies.
Some general facts about São Tome and Principe
Official name: Democratic Republic of São Tome and Principe
Population: 194,000 (2013)
Capital: São Tomé; 54,000
Area: 1,001 square kilometers (386 square miles)
Religion: Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Protestant, Seventh-Day Adventist
Currency: Dobra (1 euro = 24 dobras ; $1,00 = 22 dobras)
Life Expectancy: 65
GDP per Capita: U.S. $1,200
Literacy Percent: 79