Sao Tome: Forte de São Sebastião

The capital of São Tomé & Principe is also named São Tomé and about a third of the population of the entire country lives here, still only about 70k people. The town was founded by Portuguese in 1493 who discovered the otherwise uninhabited islands about a decade earlier. The town is chock-full of old colonial architecture, slowly decaying and falling apart – it almost seems the time stopped when the country became independent in 1975. The town is pretty small and it’s fun to explore its old center, around the cathedral, the pink presidential palace, and old colonial mansions. Friendly people (perhaps the friendliest of all the African countries) hang out in the streets, go to markets, or eat in little Portuguese or Brazilian style coffee shops and snack places.