US to Sao Tome power adapters - what adapter is needed for a Sao Tome power outlet?

Sao Tome power outlet

What adapter do I need for Sao Tome?

Bring a Type F plug adapter to Sao Tome if the plug you need to use won't fit in a Sao Tome power outlet.

The type of plug adapter, power converter or charger that's needed when visiting Sao Tome will all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to power with a Sao Tome power outlet. If you don't know what voltage your device uses then read the section below on how to find out the voltage of your device before going any further.

  • Expect limited access to power in certain areas of Sao Tome, it is advised to bring a portable charger if you need to keep your mobile phone charged whilst in a region with no power.
  • If you're planning on visiting Sao Tome from America you will need to bring a suitable power adapter to fit a US plug in a Sao Tome power outlet. As the voltage is different in Sao Tome you also need to pack a power converter for Sao Tome if your device isn't dual voltage and check that it can work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 220 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in a Sao Tome power outlet then it should work in Sao Tome.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage but the plug doesn't fit in a Sao Tome power outlet you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Sao Tome such a Type F plug adapter. A plug adapter for Sao Tome (or power adapter) changes the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Sao Tome, but can't change the voltage from 220 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device can't run on 220 volts and isn't dual voltage then you will also need a power converter for Sao Tome to convert the voltage from 220 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You will still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Sao Tome if the power converter doesn't have the correct Type F plug adapter.
  • If you simply need to power one or more USB devices such as tablets or cell phones then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it should be dual voltage, but ensure that you bring a USB travel adapter which includes a Type F plug adapter otherwise you will still need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Sao Tome[3]

Warning: If your device won't handle 220 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in Sao Tome please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Sao Tome power adapters

Power adapters for Sao Tome

Varying different voltages and standards can all be confusing when planning on travelling to a new country if you've never been there before. With only a handful of different types of standards being used in the world this guide tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in Sao Tome. This page contains links to step-by-step instructions showing how to charge your devices when you're travelling to Sao Tome by using the F or C type Sao Tome 220 volt 50Hz wall outlets. You'll discover that power sockets will vary depending on which region you are visiting therefore we suggest reading the travel power adapters page for a full list of countries.

What is the best power adapter for Sao Tome?

The best power adapter for Sao Tome is a Type F power adapter which allows you to use any 220 volt device or appliance. [3]

What is the best power adapter for Sao Tome?

What is a power adapter?

A power adapter is a compact and cheap plastic adapter that permits a different type of power plug on an appliance from a foreign region to correctly fit into a Sao Tome power outlet.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor[5]

Can a power adapter change the voltage in Sao Tome?

Power adapters can only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 220 volt Sao Tome power outlet and is unable to convert the power to a higher voltage. If you wish to safely use any 100-120 volt appliance then you will also need to bring a step down power converter for Sao Tome along with the correct power adapter.

Do I need a power adapter in Sao Tome?

This will depend on where you are travelling from and the shape of plug you are using.

Sao Tome

Will I need a plug adapter for Sao Tome if I'm from the US?

If you are visiting from the US bring a power adapter for Sao Tome as an American plug won't physically fit into a Sao Tome power outlet, and because the voltage is much higher you will also need to use a power converter for Sao Tome if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage to prevent overheating or damage.

Sao Tome

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter enables a visitor from a different location to use their own electronic and electrical appliances in Sao Tome simply by adapting the shape of the plug.

Where to buy a power adapter for Sao Tome in the US

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for Sao Tome in the US

Sao Tome to US power adapters will most likely be available in most major US International airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists such as Hudson News or Brookstone, but expect to pay more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

It will be more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street electrical stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Home Depot or Fry's normally sell a limited range of travel adapters to popular locations but for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for Sao Tome

Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB travel charger with swappable plugs

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect if you only have to charge devices which use USB.
  • You only have to bring a single unit instead of packing lots of domestic USB power chargers which costs roughly between $15 to $20.
  • Travel USB wall chargers are typically supplied with swappable heads meaning they can be used in a large number of different countries. Interchangeable adapter heads supplied with travel USB wall chargers are typically small and lightweight which makes them easy to pack.
  • Most models should also include a built in surge protector.
  • When you return to your home country it should still work.
  • The interchangeable heads fit in Types A/B, E/F, G and I power outlets so will work in Sao Tome.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • Restricted to USB ports so you will be unable to charge any electrical appliances, only USB devices. [6]
Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Capable of powering several electrical appliances at once via a single plug socket, costing under $40.
  • Some types of travel power strips have voltage conversation for lower wattage devices (for example laptops). Even if the appliance isn't dual voltage it will still function in Sao Tome by using just a travel power strip, making them a lightweight and cheap alternative to a dedicated voltage converter.
  • Normal models will also include multiple USB charge ports.
  • Offers surge protection. The voltage from power grids in certain areas can be tempremental, a sudden power surge can damage your delicate electrical items. Some power strips will include a surge protector which will prevent your device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid.
  • When you return to America it should still work.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in Sao Tome.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Unlike normal voltage converters, the voltage converter on a travel power strip doesn't convert higher wattage appliances such as hair dryers or curling irons.
  • Because of their size travel power strips might be unsuitable for hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips could be considered excessive for travellers with only a small number of items that need powering. [7]
Universal Travel Power Adapters

A universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Perfect when travelling to multiple countries. Most models function in around 150 countries.
  • All in one compact design. Both lightweight and small, under $15.
  • There are some universal travel power adapters which have multiple USB charging ports built in.
  • Straightforward operation.
  • Some models will have a surge protector to prevent your electronics from being overpowered by unstable power grids in some countries.
  • The retracting pins don't catch against other items in baggage.
  • When you return to America the power strip will still be useful as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so will fit into a Sao Tome power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Can't be used with any high powered appliances - for example hair straighteners, vacuum cleaners, kettles, hair dryers or curling irons.
  • The pins, shutters and internal moving parts might be fragile on some models which might make them likely to possibily break.
  • Only provide power to a single appliance.
  • Not completely universal, some adapters might not cover some countries with less popular power outlet types.
  • They don't have a voltage converter meaning they're not suitable for non-220 volt appliances in Sao Tome. [8]
Power Plug Adapters

A small and lightweight type F plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Affordable, with prices under $10.
  • Straightforward design makes this plug adapter simple to use.
  • Using a Type F plug adapter will work in Sao Tome.
  • Small and light.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • One plug adapter per device - for every appliance you will also need to bring a separate power adapter.
  • Adapter only changes the shape of the plug to fit in a Type F Sao Tome power outlet and doesn't change the voltage, so if your appliance doesn't support 220 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need to pack a voltage converter.
  • If you intend on travelling to more than just Sao Tome then you might need to pack multiple plug adapter types for other countries.
  • You'll also need to pack a separate USB charger if you wish to power a USB device.
  • Some hotel rooms in Sao Tome might only have one power outlet available, so you will only be able to power a single appliance at a time. [3]
Plug Adapter Sets

A plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices roughly between $15 to $20 a power adapter set works out cheaper than purchasing multiple power plug adapter types costing almost $10 each.
  • Covers all eventualities and not just a Sao Tome power outlet.
  • If you are travelling to different locations a plug adapter set is the most flexible option.
  • Includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so will work in Sao Tome.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Will involve planning - you will need to choose which plug adapters to pack in advance, or alternatively pack every power adapter in the set.
  • Means lots of individual plug adapters to bring.
  • Having only one working power adapter the remaining plug adapters will be redundant.
  • Not every power adapter types are typically included in the set (and especially less common ones) - so ensure that your plug adapter set has one which is compatible in Sao Tome.
  • Each adapter only changes the shape of the plug to fit in a Sao Tome power outlet but not the actual voltage. [9]
Voltage Converters

A voltage converter with surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • A voltage converter only converts the 220 volts in Sao Tome and won't change the actual shape of the plug to fit into a Sao Tome power outlet, therefore you'll still need to use a suitable power adapter for Sao Tome.
  • The normal weight of most models of voltage converters makes them way too bulky for packing in carry-on luggage.
  • Redundant after your visit to Sao Tome.
  • Usually much cheaper to purchase a dual voltage travel appliance than to buy a much more expensive voltage converter simply to bring your existing single voltage domestic appliance in an incompatible location.
  • Expensive, between $25 to $30.
  • If you are travelling from America and visiting Sao Tome you will require one as the voltage is 220 volts.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Sao Tome

Type F Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Sao Tome Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included F A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 70+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type F Sao Tome power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type F plug adapter required to fit in a Sao Tome power outlet Yes
Useful when you return to America Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 220 volt AC appliance in Sao Tome Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Estimated price under $10 between $10 to $15 between $15 to $20 between $35 to $40 between $15 to $20 almost $100
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Sao Tome power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Sao Tome?

Type C and F power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Sao Tome?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Sao Tome, types F and C with the primary power supply being type F:

  • Plug Type C - This unearthed power socket can be recognised by two holes next to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise this wall socket by the two circular adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral pins and a pair of two grounding clips at the top and bottom. [3]

Do US plugs work in Sao Tome?

No - a US plug won't work in Sao Tome because it doesn't fit into a Sao Tome power outlet without using a plug adapter. Also, the voltage is 220 volts so please use a power converter for Sao Tome if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance will work with a 50hz power outlet.

Sao Tome

Is the voltage in Sao Tome the same as in the US?

The voltage in Sao Tome is 220 volts, whereas 120 volts is used in the US. If your American appliance or charger can't handle dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for Sao Tome which allows a 120 volt American appliance to work with a 220-240 volt outlet.

Sao Tome

Are outlets in Sao Tome the same as US?

US plugs won't fit in a Sao Tome power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for Sao Tome. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage please use a power converter for Sao Tome and check that it works with a 50hz supply.

Sao Tome

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Sao Tome?

Use a step down power converter if you wish to use either a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in Sao Tome.

Sao Tome

What frequency is used in Sao Tome?

The frequency found in a Sao Tome power outlet is 50 Hz. [11]

Sao Tome
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country

What proportion of Sao Tome has access to electrical power?

More than a quarter of the population has access to electrical power in Sao Tome.

Sao Tome

How reliable is the power grid in Sao Tome?

Whilst stable electrical power can't be guaranteed, the power grid in Sao Tome is classed as reliable with no pattern of recurrent power blackouts.

Sao Tome
Should I use a power bank in Sao Tome?

A USB power bank for charging mobile phones

Should I use a power bank in Sao Tome?

Because not everyone in Sao Tome has access to power visitors should check ahead that their accomodation can guarantee a dependable power supply, or bring a second charging solution if they want to recharge devices such as cellphones.

  • During a trip to Sao Tome increased use of smart phones for taking pictures, storing calendars, social networks, GPS and streaming videos can syphon off power more excessively than normal. A flat cell phone battery could possibly leave you in an unknown location without enough power to make emergency calls or being able to use a GPS app to return to your accommodation.
  • Using a portable charger in Sao Tome alleviates those concerns as it allows you to keep your cell phone powered on the move, especially when travelling to a country with limited access to power in some areas.
  • A typical 10,000mAh power bank will supply enough energy to cover over three full charges whilst a 20,000mAh power bank should keep a typical smart phone charged for almost 7 days depending on the model of phone and usage.
  • If you need to charge your laptop in Sao Tome and it it supports USB-C charging then look for a portable charger for a laptop marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies 20 Wh or more.
  • Before travelling be aware that some airlines prohibit batteries on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must not be left in checked-in luggage.
  • Normal consumer power banks won't work with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer or gas hair straighteners can be used for travelling to areas with limited access to electricity like Sao Tome.    [4] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
How well do solar powered chargers work in Sao Tome?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot countries

How well do solar powered chargers work in Sao Tome?

The sunshine in Sao Tome should be suitable enough to recharge solar power bank reliability, but will need to be exposed to strong sunshine to provide adequate power for a single charge cycle. It could prove inconvenient to continually unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges in sunny spells.

  • The bigger durable panels used on a solar backpack give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a faster period of time, making them ideal for the weather in Sao Tome.
  • A phone that has been directly plugged into a USB port of a solar backpack can trickle charge the power during sunny spells in Sao Tome, but this might be inconvenient to have a phone continuously connected in the bag during the day if it is to be used constantly. Unlike a small solar power bank which needs to be unpacked and facing the sunlight, a solar bag is usually exposed to sunlight therefore will be topping up a regular power bank during the day.
  • Even though the sunlight in Sao Tome is strong, a bag should ideally have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, be able to generate at least 6 watts of power and be used with a compatible power bank of 10,000mAH or greater.
  • The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags are designed to endure bending and scratches, unlike normal firm solar cells. Solar bags come in backpack, laptop messenger and rucksack styles which makes them perfect for work, travel and domestic use.  [4] [17] [18]

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Sao Tome chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Sao Tome?

If you are travelling to more than one country then the best international travel charger for Sao Tome to buy is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger. There are two types of power outlets in Sao Tome (types F and C) and bringing this ensures that you are covered for type C. As these types of chargers are supplied with interchangeable pins and can handle from 100 - 240 volts will mean that you can travel to multiple countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa simply by switching the included heads. If your type of device can support Fast Charge then you will benefit from much faster charging times with one of these types of USB power chargers, and support for more power hungry devices.

Unlike other travel chargers this means you can recharge multiple devices at once without needing to buy multiple power chargers. By only packing a single international travel charger will help keep the overall size and weight down, making it perfect to fold up and store in hand luggage and convenient for charging your devices at the airport or on a flight. Because of their flexibility these types of power chargers can be used when back at home as well as abroad so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple phones and tablets using just a single plug socket.

We recommend searching for a multipurpose power adapter of this nature online. The travel adapter illustrated is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous different countries around the world. [6]

What USB charger do I need for Sao Tome?

Why use a travel USB charger for Sao Tome?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Rather than bring 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 separate devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Travel USB chargers should include swappable plug heads for various countries thereby making them suitable if visiting other countries across Africa which are likely to use different outlets to Sao Tome.
  • A good power charger is rugged, lightweight and compact - ideal for the rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair in Sao Tome.
  • USB travel chargers can accept the 220 volt power outlets in Sao Tome along with other voltage standards across the world.
  • It's possible that hotels in Sao Tome might only have a single power outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single wall outlet with all your devices rather than having to wait to recharge one device at a time.
  • Because of their flexible nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets in airports can be in short supply and the demand for charging multiple cell phones before a flight can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perfect.
  • The power grid in some countries can be unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes to prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded smartphone or tablet in Sao Tome could prove problematic and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers should also include power outlet strips to use multiple low powered devices such as laptops, but please note these are unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our guide on using travel appliances with a Sao Tome power outlet for advice and guidelines on the most suitable power adapter for a Sao Tome power outlet for high wattage appliances.
  • Certain tablets and cellphones could require more than the standard 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Premium USB chargers will support fast charging should any of your devices require additional power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be used by charging multiple cell phones on an overnight basis using one power outlet. [6]

What is the best USB charger for Sao Tome?

A 4 port USB travel charger is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices, however for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be useful for travellers to counties with unreliable or unstable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices from voltage spikes. These travel converters come supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Sao Tome and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from America visiting Sao Tome.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs and offers almost the same functionality as the BESTEK with 1 less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting Sao Tome. [6]

Power converters for Sao Tome

What does a power converter for a Sao Tome power outlet do?

Power converters for Sao Tome allow you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electric device with a 220 volt Sao Tome power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform a 220 volt Sao Tome power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device, but a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Sao Tome. [19]

Do I need a power converter for Sao Tome?

If you are travelling to Sao Tome from a different country please ensure your device can be used with a 220 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter is needed if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance is incompatible with 220 volts. Read our world power outlets page to see which voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already use either a single voltage appliance that works with 220 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices which are designed to work with a lower voltage (such as 110 volts) and used with 220 volts run a risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse unless you use a step down power converter.
  • You won't need a converter if you are attempting to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or mobile phone as these are typically designed for international use and dual voltage, however you should always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • If powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example curling irons and hair dryers) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter.
  • It will be more cost effective to purchase a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than paying for a heavier high wattage power converter simply to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read our comprehensive guides on travelling with curling irons, clothes irons, hairdryers and hair straighteners in Sao Tome which includes guides on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [10] [20]

Do I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Sao Tome from America?

The 220 volts found in a plug outlet in Sao Tome is different to an American supply, therefore bring a step down power converter if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage. [10]

What converter do I need for Sao Tome?

In order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in Sao Tome you will need a step down power converter[10]

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 220 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 220 volt Sao Tome power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Sao Tome before plugging that into a Sao Tome power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 220 volt Sao Tome power outlet. [10]

What voltage is used in Sao Tome?

Sao Tome uses 220 volts in their normal power outlets. [2]

Sao Tome
https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/
How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

Dual voltage hair dryer

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

The best way to tell if a appliance is either dual or single voltage is to look for numbers printed on the supplied power adapter or on the appliance itself, normally on the rear or near to where the power cord sits. The location might depend on the make or model of your unit, it should also state on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could say a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices could also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will normally say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

See the power adapter substantions section for more information on how we compared travel adapters (October 2018).

What type of adapter do you need for Sao Tome?

Which type of adapter do I need to bring to Sao Tome?

The plug adapter which is best to use in Sao Tome depends on your requirements, prior to deciding the right adapter to use we recommend using the following checklist:

How many electrical devices are you taking to Sao Tome?

Family may need to recharge devices too

How many electrical devices are you taking to Sao Tome?

  • List all the items you want to bring to Sao Tome (such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, hair dryers and curling irons).
    • Allow for more electrical items at a later date. Do you intend on purchasing a new tablet computer next year?
    • There is an increasing number of smaller rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers that utilise USB charging for a power source. Therefore if you have to replace a device it might need a USB power adapter so check that your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these too.
  • Will you also be travelling with a partner who will need to recharge their phones as well?
Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

Will you only bring USB devices

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

What different types of electrical devices do you want to use?

Make a list of items to bring

What different types of electrical devices do you want to use?

  • There are 3 types of electrical devices:
    • Low wattage electrical items that can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example a laptop.
    • High wattage appliances that can be plugged into a power outlet - for example hair dryers and curling irons.
    • USB devices which can be plugged into a USB port - for example phones and tablets.
  • When you only need to bring along just USB powered devices to Sao Tome you'll find that a simple travel USB charger is ideal because you will only need to bring one lightweight charger along with appropriate existing charging cables and leave your domestic chargers at home.
  • Travel power strips are made for powering and voltage conversion for several low wattage devices (such as laptops), however won't work with high wattage appliances which need voltage conversion.

Do your devices and appliances work with 220 volt power outlets?

Is Sao Tome the only place you'll be visiting?

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Sao Tome?

Are multiple wall outlets available

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Sao Tome?

  • Your hotel may have only one power outlet on the wall, this will be an issue when recharging more than one device overnight because you can only recharge a single device at a time then need to swap every few hours.
  • To charge more than one device at the same time we suggest packing either a USB wall charger or a travel power strip which are capable of charging multiple USB ports or power outlets. [7]

How much can you afford to pay?

  • Cheap power adapters start from under $10 which charges only one device from a Sao Tome power outlet (providing that it is dual voltage or works with 220 volts), but investing in roughly between $10 to $15 allows you to power multiple devices at once and bring them to various countries.

Are you planning to visit anywhere else abroad in the future?

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Are you only using hand luggage

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Would you like to use your charger when returning to America?

Will it take you a long time to get to Sao Tome?

How long will it take to travel

Will it take you a long time to get to Sao Tome?

  • For much longer journeys it's worth considering packing an appropriate airport-suitable power charger that can be used with different outlet types, one which can be packed in carry-on luggage and can be used to quickly charge tablets and phones just prior to a lengthy trip.
  • Because not all airlines have power outlets available we recommend bringing a travel portable charger for recharging on the go. After landing in Sao Tome you could need to rely on a phone for making telephone calls, receiving text messages, using sat nav to find accomodation or reading an itinerary; make sure that your phone will have ample charge remaining. [4]

What can I connect to a Sao Tome power outlet

Travel appliances which can connect to a Sao Tome power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Sao Tome power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Sao Tome power outlet

Mobile phones that can connect to the Sao Tome power outlet

Apple iPhones that can be connected to the Sao Tome power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Sao Tome power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which can connect to a Sao Tome power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Sao Tome power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travellers visiting Sao Tome, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets[21]

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org entry about Sao Tome.
  2. iec.ch - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, estimated price between $5 to $10.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go, between $45 to $50.
  5. Wikipedia - power adaptor
  6. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, costing between $15 to $20.
  7. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries, costing under $40.
  8. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices, priced under $15.
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, around $15.
  10. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet, between $25 to $30.
  11. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  12. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered cordless blow dryer suitable for travelling, between $90 to $100.
  13. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, between $20 to $25.
  14. 10,000mAh portable charger - Lightweight 10000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for mobile phone charging, costing under $35.
  15. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, priced under $50.
  16. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, costs between $120 to $130.
  17. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, costing between $90 to $100.
  18. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, priced between $20 to $25.
  19. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, under $100.
  20. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, under $150.
  21. Wikipedia - AC power plugs and sockets -