For a small island, Principe has an impressive array of waterfalls, some can even be seen from far out to sea – that is how tall they are!

On a previous day I had passed this side of the island on the way to Caroço Islet and noticed an impressive waterfall standing out in an all-green forested landscape, which made me think of the tepuis, or table-top mountains of Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. Principe also has these remarkable towering fortress-like mountains, but in much smaller scales, so each table mountain does not have a lot of land on top. What truly impressed me was the amount of water coming out of these towers! Despite the limited area on top to collect water.

First and foremost the island is so green and still so forested that you might think of it as an untouched island from a distance, but the most pristine and valuable part of the island is on the southern parts. This is where the tallest mountains are and were the rain is the heaviest during the rainy season. Often the beautiful mountains are hidden in the low clouds in the rainy season.

The mountains themselves are rainmakers, but without the primary forests the water would have been flowing fast to the ocean and the soil washed out with it and the amount of rain would be much lower without the forest as it is in itself a rainmaker. Each and every leaf from the smallest plant on the forest floor to the canopy is breathing and exhaling water to the air.

No wonder this is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve!

This is a capture of where the waterfall touch down after a long free fall in the air. Due to the very steep terrain, dense primary forest and no options to get away from the cliff wall it is not possible to get a good capture of the fall, unless you have a drone or use a telephoto from a boat on the ocean. Thus me and the camera got wet constantly as the waterfall was creating its own gusts of misty winds on its way to the black and volcanic rock seen here.

On my way back from this waterfall I experienced a small bat flying around in circles over the trail and several tadpoles swimming in what looked like a precariously chosen location – some large leaves with water in them. I wondered how this small bat species could have made it all the way out to this island, and very much so for the frog species which I really wonder what looks like.

Principe is indeed a treasure trove on so many levels!

Elevation: 198 meters

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