Discover the Unspoiled Beauty of Africa’s Forgotten Islands With just 1,000 square kilometers of landmass and a population of less than 200,000, São Tomé & Príncipe is one of Africa’s smallest nations, but it has some of the richest biodiversity on Earth. Four decades after it gained independence from Portugal, an emerging tourism sector is harnessing the scenic islands' untapped potential. Photographs by Eric Martin/Figarophoto via Redux Bloomberg News January 5, 2017, 11:22 AM EST A woman swims at the Bom Bom Island Resort on Príncipe Island. A bungalow at the beach at the Bom Bom Island Resort, one of 19 overlooking the sea. A famous chef from Lisbon, Ljubomir Stanisic, designs the new menu for the Omali Lodge Hotel. Workers harvest cocoa pods at the Terreiro Velho plantation of Claudio Corallo, one of the best chocolatiers in the world. The laboratory of local natural products (jams, muesli, spices, cocoa oil) of Francesca Orlandi at the Roça Paciência plantation. Outside the Roça Sundy plantation. Alcide, an agricultural plantation worker, holds a cacao pod. A family at the Roça Agua Ize plantation. Fisherman at the beach of the village of Pantufo. Torches on the beach for a romantic dinner organized by the Bom Bom Island Resort. The Church of Santo Antonio, in the capital of the island of Principe.