Sao Tome and Principe Island
Sao Tome and Principe is a small island nation found off the western coast of continental Africa. Sao Tome and Principe are two separate islands in the Gulf of Guinea, and are about ninety miles apart. Sao Tome and Principe is the second smallest African nation in terms of population, and currently has only one hundred and sixty three thousand residents. Sao Tome and Principe are both volcanic in origin, although Sao Tome is considerably larger than Principe. Combined, the two islands have a total area of less than four hundred square miles. Sao Tome and Principe were uninhabited until the fifteenth century, when Portuguese settlers and explorers arrived in the area. Sao Tome and Principe won its independence in the year 1975, and has subsequently instituted a democratic government. Sao Tome has six different government districts, although Principe has only one, reflecting its smaller size and smaller population.
Because Sao Tome and Principe are both tropical volcanic islands, they boast an impressive range of scenery and geological landmarks. One of the most notable of these is Pico Cao Grande, a majestic mountain peak that often appears to extend above the clouds. Sao Tome and Principe enjoys warm weather throughout the entire year, and many of the beaches on the islands are great places for fishing and swimming. The tallest peak on Sao Tome is Pico de Sao Tome, at six thousand, six hundred and forty feet, while the tallest mountain on Principe is Pico de Principe at three thousand, one hundred and ten feet. Sao Tome and Principe have a number of rare native mammals and plants, and the economy is largely driven by agriculture, specifically cocoa. Sao Tome and Principe boasts a unique local culture in addition to an improving education system and a developing economy.