Saint Helena Safari Tours & Holidays

St. Helena Island, part of the British Overseas Territory also encompassing Ascension and Tristan da Cunha islands, is a remote volcanic outpost in the South Atlantic Ocean. It’s famous as the place of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile and death, as commemorated by a now-empty tomb. Climbing destinations include the 699 steps of Jacob’s ladder and Diana’s Peak, sheltering endemic plant and animal life.

A volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean, St Helena is one of the most remote islands in the world and the second-oldest British Overseas Territory after Bermuda. Uninhabited until the Portuguese landed there in 1502, it was an important stopover for centuries for ships sailing from South Africa and Asia to Europe, while its most famous resident was Napoleon Bonaparte who was exiled there by the British in 1815.

Today, this solitary speck of land attracts intrepid travelers to experience its historical connections, natural beauty, welcoming locals, fantastic walking trails, and memorable wildlife encounters. After 14 million years of isolation, St Helena, often nicknamed the Galapagos of the South Atlantic, is home to 500 endemic species and an ocean frequented by dolphins (three species), whale sharks, humpback whales, and other marine life.

St Helena is a hotspot for snorkeling and scuba diving with its clear, warm waters, fascinating marine life, and wrecks. There are dive sites within easy reach of the wharf at Jamestown, ranging from rocky reefs with caves to cobbles and sand, all teeming with marine life.

Packed full of endemic flora and fauna, there are at least 45 species of plants unknown anywhere else in the world and a high proportion of endemic birds – the highland areas contain most of the 400 endemic bird species, which includes the national bird, the Saint Helena plover or Wirebird, due to its wire-like legs. Diana’s Peak National Park is home to much of the island’s flora and fauna, a testament to its pristine natural environment, and the highest point on the island at 823 m.

The island’s varied landscapes are remarkable; soaring crags, alpine meadows, steep-sided ravines, wooded valleys, green mountains, coffee plantations, and beautiful waterfalls. Walk up the 699 steps of Jacob’s ladder for panoramic ocean views; choose one of the 20 ‘Post Box’ walks through stunning scenery; visit Plantation House, a Georgian mansion built in 1791, to meet the island’s oldest inhabitant – Jonathan, a Seychelles tortoise more than 180 years old!

How to get to Saint Helena

Travelers have to fly to South Africa and connect with Airlink now operates flights from Cape Town South Africa before that the island’s only regular link to the outside world was RMS St. Helena, the mail ship that, every three weeks, covered the five-and-a-half day journey from Cape Town, South Africa.

Passport, Visa, and Entry requirements for Saint Helena

Anybody wishing to travel to St Helena must have a valid passport (that must remain valid for at least 6 months from the day of entry).

Visitors are advised that they must have the necessary visa or permits to cover all destinations they intend to travel to, including return trips through the UK, Ascension Island, and/or South Africa. There are no foreign embassies or consulates on St Helena that issue visas, so all necessary visas must be obtained in advance.

The health sector of Saint Helena

Under the guidance of its Director, supported by a staff complement of around 250, made up of both local and specialist personnel, the Health Directorate has overall responsibility for the Island’s health care services.

There is a good modern hospital on the island that can cope with most emergencies; however, treatment isn’t covered by the NHS so medical insurance is required, and which covers repatriation of you needs to be flown out.

No specific inoculations are required, though you should be up to date with tetanus jabs.

Malaria and Yellow fever vaccination for Saint Helena

For travelers aged 1 year or over arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission.

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria however travelers can travel with Anti-malarial drugs and insect repellent.

 The currency of Saint Helena

While the official currency is the St Helena pound, sterling banknotes are accepted in all shops and bars and the US base will accept US dollars, sterling, or St Helena currency.

Official Language of Saint Helena

The official language of Saint Helena is English with a distinctive local flavor to certain words and phrases. English evolved from the Anglia tribes from Germany who migrated to England and has become the de facto language for many British Territories such as the island of Saint Helena. Citizens of Saint Helena are also citizens of the United Kingdom and the English language has historically provided a common method of communication between the two countries.

Best time to travel to Saint Helena

The main tourist season on St Helena is from November to March when it is summer in the southern hemisphere and the days are predominantly sunny and hot.

You can expect some rainfall, especially out of Jamestown in March, but rarely does it last long at this time of year. Between April and October, there are fewer tourists, but it is noticeably cooler than in the summer months and generally wetter too.

What to wear in Saint Helena

If you have decided to travel to this little-known and exotic destination is best to wear light summer clothes no matter what time of year you travel.

However, if you want to climb mountains is better to wear a coat and jeans, especially if you plan to travel during the southern winter.

What to bring while traveling to Saint Helena

Some of the items to pack for Saint Helena Island located in the Atlantic Ocean

  • Malagasy phrasebook
  • Rain jacket
  • Warm clothes
  • Loose change
  • Digital camera or binoculars
  • Mosquito repellent
  • A quick-drying towel
  • Solar charger
  • Water bottle

Car hire and driving in Saint Helena

St Helena drives on the left and, according to the St Helena Government website; you can use your own license to drive here providing you have no endorsements for dangerous or drunken driving in the previous 5 years. Speed limits are 30MPH on most roads with some 20MPH limits in Jamestown and Half Tree Hollow.

Accommodation in Saint Helena

St Helena offers a range of accommodation option types, from Hotels and Guesthouses to bed & breakfast and self-catering accommodation. Booking of accommodation is required in advance before making your journey to St Helena.

Local food of Saint Helena

Popular dishes on the island include traditional British Sunday roast, curry and rice, black pudding, pumpkin stew, spicy fishcakes, and Plo. Fish is one of the staple foods, along with rice, and spices which are added to make a wide variety of dishes similar to those found in the Caribbean.

Tipping while Travelling in Saint Helena

Please take this into account when making your travel plans. Tipping is very much the individual’s choice according to service. A tip of around 10% is standard.

Further information for Saint Helena

It is one of the most isolated islands in the world and was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. It was an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and Southern Africa for centuries. Saint Helena is the United Kingdom’s second-oldest overseas territory after Bermuda.

Safety of Saint Helena

St Helena is generally considered to be pretty safe. Anything more than petty theft, public drunkenness, and traffic violations is rare, and the only nuisance that you’re likely to encounter is a noisy stereo or the boom of music from the bars in Jamestown on a Friday and Saturday night.

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