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About St Helena

A sub-tropical island paradise unlike anywhere else in the world!

Where is St Helena

St Helena Island is located in the middle of South Atlantic Ocean.  1,200 miles from the South-West coast of Africa and 1,800 miles from South America.  Home to about 4,000 people it is a 47 square miles in size and one of the remotest settled islands in the world. A sub-tropical paradise, it is also one of the most spectacular places in terms of contrasting environments. It is uniquely rich diversity of heritage-based attractions, both built and natural.  St Helena offers many amazing things to see and do.  Be it visiting the Georgian town to the rugged coastline, from the rolling hills to the stark yet striking geology at Sandy Bay.

st Helena Island

Looking across from the Peaks to the Barn

St Helena Island James bay

Looking up Jamestown

Amazing things about St Helena

St Helena is home to the oldest-known living land animal in the world!  A Seychelles Giant Tortoise, named Jonathan. Estimated to be between 170 and 200 years old, Jonathan is St Helena’s oldest Saint, and the official Guinness World Record holder for the oldest animal on land in the world!

Learn more about Jonathan the Tortoise

Jonathan the tortoise

Jonathan the tortoise

St Helena Coffee is one of the best in the world.  Imported into Island during the 18th century, St Helena coffee is a green tipped Bourbon Arabica coffee bean, that remain pure and unchanged since it was first imported.  Now Arabica coffee is listed as a globally endangered species.  Making St Helena Coffee more unquie.

Learn more about St Helena Coffee

St Helena Coffee

St Helena Coffee

St Helena was home to the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte from 1815 until his death on the island in 1821.  You can visit the places where he lived, as well has where is was buried.

Learn more about Napoleon Bonaparte

Longwood house

Longwood house. Home to Napoleon on St Helena


St Helena is home a uniquely rich diversity with 60 known native species of plant, 45 found nowhere else in the world.  Of 1100 land invertebrates, 400 are unique to the Island. At least six unique land birds once occurred on St Helena, only one (the wirebird) survives today, and ten shore fish are found only around the Island.

Learn more about nature on St Helena

St Helena Diana Peak cloud forest

St Helena Diana’s Peak National Forest. Also known as the cloud forest.

History of St Helena

Discovered by the Portuguese Admiral Joao da Nova on the 21st May, 1502. He landed where Jamestown stands today and built a chapel there. For over eighty years the Portuguese kept their discovery a secret. It then became a Dutch colony, before becoming a British possession (initially under the East India Company then the Crown). It was a strategically important port of call during the British Empire, until the opening of the Suez Canal and the advent of steamships.

St Helena’s remote location meant it was used as a place of exile for key prisoners during British rule.  Prisoners includes some 6,000 Boers, King Dinuzulu, Bahraini princes and, of course, Napoleon, who died on St Helena. The island also played an important role during the abolition of slavery. St Helena’s capital – Jamestown, several buildings are listed because of its historic importance while Main Street has been described as ‘one of the best examples of unspoiled Georgian architecture anywhere in the world.

Today it is a British Overseas Territory, under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the UK.  Whereby St Helena has a UK appointed Governor as the head of government with a locally elected Legislative Council.

Learn more about the history of St Helena

high knoll fort st helena

High Knoll Fort


How to visit St Helena

Visiting St Helena is now a bit easier as an international airport opened in 2017, with weekly flights from Johannesburg. Some planning is still needed as there are some special requirements for visiting the Island.  The St Helena Tourism website has some more detailed information about what is required when visiting St Helena.

There are also some international tour operators offering tours to St Helena.

Can also visit St Helena by yacht or on a cruise ship.

For more detailed information about visiting St Helena and where to stay on island.  We recommend checking out the official St Helena Tourism website for the most up-to-date information.

One of the Top 10 Things to do on St Helena

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