Health & safety
São Tomé is for the most part an exceedingly safe country. The influx of oil interests and tourism has increased some petty crime (like pick-pocketing). On deserted beaches keep an eye on your bags.
The roads and sidewalks also provide a myriad of opportunities to trip you up; watch out for potholes and open sewers.
The incidence of malaria, which has been a concern in the past, has been greatly reduced thanks to a Taiwanese spraying program.
As one of the few tourists, you can have an inordinate impact on this tiny country. A few years ago some tourists decided to show up like the Sugar Plum Fairy and throw candy out of their car window as they passed through villages. As a result, in some villages you will be bombarded by children – and adults – screaming at you for a doce (sweet) and it can get a bit hectic.
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