From the National Geographic Explorer in Africa
Apr 7, 2012 - National Geographic Explorer
Ilhas Tinhosas & Príncipe
The day began with a Zodiac cruise at the Ilhas Tinhosas, a small group of rugged rocky outcrops between São Tomé and Príncipe. This was a rare opportunity to see these islands, for they are difficult to reach and we think this is the first time an expedition vessel has stopped at these islands. The islands are known for their populations of tropical seabirds and they did not disappoint. Thousands of sooty terns and noddies (both brown and black) were packed tightly across the whole island while some birds had picked a nest site on precarious-looking ledges on the steeper cliffs. More careful scrutiny picked out brown boobies and for a lucky few a sighting of the beautiful white-tailed tropicbird.
For the rest of the morning we cruised from the Ilhas Tinhosas to our destination for the afternoon on the island of Príncipe. The approach to Príncipe was scenically stunning, with the peaks of the island draped in cloud and green forested slopes reaching down to the shore, which was punctuated with white sand beaches.
This vision of a tropical idyll continued when we reached our destination at the
resort of Bom Bom. Here a small lodge has been sensitively created and this was our base for a range of activities; swimming and snorkeling but primarily soaking in the ambience of a classic tropical island destination. The birdwatchers took a walk in the woods and had great success, finding a further 6 endemic species to add to the 12 seen yesterday. The name Bom Bom means “good good” in Portuguese, a sentiment that I think we all shared by the end of the day.