St Helena was discovered by the Portuguese in the early 1500s. It was later captured by the British and then became a British Colony. St Helena is located in the South Atlantic Ocean, 702 miles South East of Ascension Island 1,800 miles from Brazil 1,500 miles North-West of Cape Town, and well within the tropic of Capricorn. The Island has no airport, but St Helena Government has just recently announced that a contract has been awarded to Basil Read- a South African company to build and manage an airport for the Island. Geographically, the Island is a mere 47 square miles in area, and because of its’ location, the weather is warm all year round, varying in between rains usually fall from late March, with April being the height of the rainy season, and again in July to September, with August being the height of the rainy season. The Island is one of the most unique Islands in the South Atlantic It has some great hidden treasures, but due to its’ size and the transport access, it is not possible to visit, and return within a week – unlike most holiday destinations.
Here is a short video showing a few views of Island
The proposed site for the airport is at Prosperous Bay Plain, even though there have been various studies on the environmental impact, and the financial investment needed for its’ construction and operation.
The airport was originally scheduled to be opened by 2010, but because of an economic down turn, a PAUSE was made for this construction by the British government. The Island has a small population of about 3,800 People- comparing to five years ago, when the population was 5,500 people. It has a very small export market of coffee and fish.
The RMS St Helena- the last British registered Royal mail ship continues to deliver a regular service for the Island- carrying cargo and passengers to and from, on a regular basis. Within a year, St Helena has a few Cruise ship visits. However, there are no facilities to accommodate large Cruise ships, but there are a few hotels offering package deals, self catering and Bed and Breakfast facilities available for the visitor.
One of the highlights for any visitor to the Island, is a visit to Napoleon’s House, where he lived his last days in exile. Then there is also the tomb where he was buried before he was taken back to France.
Plantation House – A Georgian style, Country Residence for the Governor of St. Helena, and its’ two dependencies -Tristan Da Cunha and Ascension Island. The house was erected in 1792. Both house and grounds has its own unique attraction, and are much admired by visitors. The house consists of thirty five rooms, and each has its own exceptionally, appealing charm.
The grounds are the home of beautiful flower gardens, and a well manicured lawn at the front of the house. This is also the home for the oldest inhabitant on St. Helena
Jonathan the giant tortoise and his four other giant tortoise mates. Jonathan’s age is estimated around 170 years old!
Growing on the higher central ground of the Island are bush and semi tropical vegetation – in abundance!- thus changing to grassland and pastures, before the terrain becomes drier and almost barren, below 500 m to the sea. The only inland waters are small mountain streams.
The climate of St Helena is controlled by the South Atlantic high pressure cell, and the equatorial trough, despite the island’s locality within the tropics, its climate is kept mild and equable by the South East trade wind. The trade winds blow from high to low, almost continuously- making our weather so changeable. A dull rainy morning can often lead onto a bright sunny afternoon.
St Helena is a fisherman’s paradise, either a quiet day on the rocky coastline of the Island or the thrill of deepwater sport fishing. Different fishing grounds surround the Island and many varieties of fish can be caught. In the high season between April and August, marlin, Wahoo and sailfish are there for the sport fisherman.
Swimming is possible from the main landing steps and a few other coastal areas. In addition, there is an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Jamestown, which is open daily. St Helena’s clear waters invite the scuba diver to explore some of the wrecks and discover the unique marine life. Snorkelling can also be enjoyed by visitors.
There is also a 9-hole golf course which is played around twice- situated at Long wood with a thriving club and weekly competitions. St. Helena Island is blessed with its diverse and intriguing array of attractions. A visit will provide guaranteed fulfilment and an extraordinary experience. – A Jewel in the South Atlantic!
Please click on the video to see what other visitors have to say about St Helena
Characteristics Alternatives- tourism, entertainment, cultural events, traditional products, natural beauty, vivid landscape, peace and tranquillity, great walks, clean seas but no proper Sandy beaches
Architecture -Traditional Architecture – The capital Jamestown has some Victorian type buildings, residential homes vary from modern bungalows to double story European style mansions.
Capital Jamestown- built in a valley, and this is the only way one can access the island.
The Port or landing steps as it is locally known can cater for tourist arriving by ship, but that depends on the sea conditions on the day. The port is a natural bay with man made landing facilities.
Entertainment – Local bands, local radio, satellite TV, bars, clubs, cafes, restaurant and, nightlife for the young crowd.
Views – Blue sea, spectacular sunsets, beautiful scenery and great diving.
Accommodation – various Hotels, self catering flats, and Bed and Breakfast,
What to try – local meats, farm products and a wide selection of fish. For the Sweet Tooth Locally made cakes, puddings, sweets or imported products of all choices.
Landmarks – Napoleon’s house, Plantation house (Governor’s residence) High knoll – an Ancient fort, Halley’s mount, and many more.