The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is located off the western coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, about 299 km west of Gabon. The republic comprises the islands of São Tomé, Príncipe, and several small islets, covering an area of 960 km2.
The islands are extinct volcanoes, with mountainous interiors and fertile soils. The western part of São Tomé Island rises sharply from the sea and steeply to the centre of the island. The highest point is Pico de São Tomé (2 024 m). East of the centre, the land gradually slopes downward to the east coast. The topography of Príncipe is similar. Lowlands flank the north-eastern and south-western coasts of the islands.
The climate is tropical with little seasonal temperature variation. The average annual temperature is 25° C in the lowlands and about 18° C in the highlands. The average annual rainfall varies greatly with elevation, from 5 100 mm on the south-western mountain slopes to 1 000 mm or less in the north-eastern lowlands. There is a dry season from June to September and a lesser dry spell in January and February.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.