Sundy Praia: About

Located in Príncipe Island, São Tomé & Príncipe

Adrift in the Gulf of Guinea, some 140 miles off the western coast of Africa, a primordial rock skyline pokes up through an impossibly green forest. This is the real-life island of Príncipe, the oldest of a string of three volcanic islands—and the entire place is protected as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. On the isle’s golden-sand fringes, cocooned among tropical almond trees and hanging vines on land that was once a vast cacao plantation, are the 15 tented villas of Sundy Praia. At once sumptuous and true to place, the wood-paneled structures stand as testament to the days when fishermen huts stood in this place at the edge of the sparkling sea. Nesting turtles take refuge here, and the jungle beckons tantalizingly, rich in endemic birds and hidden waterfalls.

Highlights

  • Linger on a sandy beach and have a picnic lunch of freshly caught fish delivered to your lounge chair.
  • Kayak along the shores of this wild isle, or go snorkeling in its warm waters.
  • Watch for endemic tropical birds on a guided hike, and return to the lodge for a soak in the infinity pool.
  • Glimpse an endangered sea turtle nesting on the beach, or witness the incredible moment when a baby turtle hatches from its shell, and hear about the island’s turtle conservation efforts.
  • Meet members of a local artisan cooperative and learn to make jewelry from recycled glass.

Why We Love This Lodge

After South African entrepreneur and millionaire Mark Shuttleworth became the first African to rocket into space, he returned to Earth with a new perspective on the planet’s fragility. He visited the remote, wildlife-rich island of Príncipe and fell under its otherworldly spell—and formed the company HBD Príncipe, an affiliated NGO, and a network of four luxurious eco-lodges with the stated mission of transforming Príncipe into a model of sustainable development. The lodge is a pioneer in recycling initiatives and is striving to completely eliminate plastic from the island. Engaging with the native community is also integral to the lodge’s goals. Sundy Praia gives the island its first five-star accommodations, run by a highly trained and eager local staff made up of the descendants of slaves and plantation workers.

Lodge Features

  • 15 elegant tented villas with private decks
  • Shore-facing freshwater pool with cabanas and open-air lounges
  • Bar offering tropical cocktails and full service by the pool
  • Vaulted, open-air restaurant
  • Wellness tent
  • Gift shop selling local crafts and organic products
  • On-call medical assistance
  • Free Wi-fi in guest spaces
  • Reception area with computer and iPad available for guest use

National Geographic Exclusive

Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit through a National Geographic expedition. At Sundy Praia, National Geographic guests are invited to take an exclusive canoe tour with a local fisherman on a traditional wooden pirogue.

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