Wonderfully untouched, the island receives few foreign visitors and has a local population of less than 8,500 people. Since independence from the Portuguese in 1975, the islanders have mainly lead subsistence livelihoods in agriculture and fishing, taking life day by day and having little formal employment. Principeans consider themselves a different nationality to Santomeans. Their impact on the biodiversity of the island has been minimal and when visiting, you genuinely have a sense of escape from globalisation, the digital world and the pace of western life.
UNESCO established Principe and its surrounding uninhabited islets as a Biosphere Reserve in 2012. Since then it’s development, including tourism, has been carefully managed under the Man and Biosphere Programme that (amongst other great things) aims to improve human livelihoods and sharing of benefits, and protect natural and managed ecosystems. The islanders are proud of their biosphere status and it’s something that unites locals and visitors. There are some amazing projects underway and if this interests you, we’ll make sure you have the opportunity to learn about these during your holiday.
We’ve chosen some truly special places for you to stay on Principe, and there are a whole host of exciting and interesting things to do. Our island experts have explored the islands extensively themselves, so have a look at our holidays ideas for inspiration and get in touch with our experts to put together your unique tailor-made holiday experience.
Follow us online