Now just as remote but more accessible
In the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean lies the island of St Helena – a British Overseas Territory, until now reached only by means of the RMS St Helena, a 5-night voyage from Cape Town. Now, after more than 12 years of planning and promise, St Helena is at last accessible by air. The newly opened airport has had its problems but SA Airlink are now flying 76 passengers on their Embraer E190 weekly flight out of Johannesburg.
So what do visitors find when they arrive? A remote island, the last “home” and first burial place of Napoleon (his body was later moved to Paris), St Helena has a fascinating history and much more besides. For centuries it was a principal port for ships sailing the fabled trade routes; she had a thriving community and a large military garrison. On approach the island is forbidding with steep, sometimes almost vertical cliffs but the interior is surprisingly lush and varied with fascinating endemic vegetation and its own endemic Plover – the Wirebird.
Offshore seabirds and a resident school of Pan-tropical Spotted Dolphins make a boat trip a special occasion whilst dozens of wrecks from the height of the marine age make St Helena a wonderful dive location. The annual appearance of the world's largest fish, the Whale Shark, give an added dimension in season. St Helena will never, thankfully, be a mass tourism destination and the discerning traveller will find something of a past age still resonant in day to day living on the island.
Island Holidays was probably the first ever international tour operator to introduce people to the delights of St Helena and remains THE expert for those wishing to experience the real St Helena. Our guided tours are our speciality but we can now also offer tailor-made independent holidays.
Flights are from Johannesburg and we can arrange expert and safe arrangements for you either side of your St Helena experience – consider the possibility of Cape Town and South Africa's winelands, a safari or perhaps a visit to Victoria Falls. Whatever your inclination, Island Holidays is here to help.
St Helena and Island Holidays are synonymous. Call us for a chat. We know and love the island and you can trust us to find the perfect St Helena experience for you.