São Tomé (Portuguese for “Saint Thomas”) is the capital and largest city in São Tomé and Príncipe, and home to the island nation’s primary airport and seaport. The picturesque city overlooks Ana Chaves Bay and features a number of historic Portuguese colonial buildings. As home to nearly a third of São Tomé and Príncipe’s residents, the capital is the country’s cultural epicenter, and frequently hosts many national festivals and celebrations. Despite the “big” city’s comparatively urban setting, life still seems to moves at the same leisurely pace as elsewhere on the island.
Women selling jackfruit at a market along the island’s main highway enjoy several slices for themselves while exchanging gossip on a typically idyllic evening.
Two children stand in the entrance of Nossa Senhora das Graças (Our Lady of Grace), the oldest cathedral in sub-Saharan Africa. Located across from the presidential palace in downtown São Tomé, the cathedral took more than 400 years to complete (1576-1978).
Children roll tires with sticks on their walk home.
Due to the island’s small size and limited number of roads, motorcycles are a popular form of transportation.
A woman holds a bundle of leaves along the side of the main highway outside the city.
School children and other residents take a stroll along the shoreline of Ana Chaves Bay.
São Tomé residents strike up a friendly conversation in front of a colorful building in the city center.
Soldiers participate in a change of guard ceremony at a barracks building near the presidential palace.
A woman watches out for traffic as she crosses the island’s main highway with her groceries.
Check out all the high-resolution photos from my trip to São Tomé in my set on Flickr.