St Helena is located in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean at 5° 43′ west and 15° 56′ south. It is 1,200 miles (1,950km) from the south-west coast of Africa, and 1,800 miles (2,900km) from the coast of South America. The nearest land is Ascension Island, which lies 703 miles (1,125km) to the north-west.
St Helena is 47 square miles (122 square km), ten and a half miles (17km) long and six and a half miles (10km) wide.
St Helena can now be reached with a weekly flight from Johannesburg, South Africa departing on Saturdays operated by Airlink.
Between 3 December 2019 and 31 March 2020 the airline is operating an additional flight mid-week. Between 3 December 2019 and 11 February 2020 this departs from Cape Town on Tuesdays. From 18 February to April 2020 this will depart from Johannesburg.
Airlink is licensed to fly an Embraer – E190 with 70 seats in economy and six in business class.
Travellers should note that flying conditions for landing at St Helena can be difficult with sheer winds and poor visibility. In the first 13 months of operations a number of flights were delayed, although usually only by a night or two.
There is further information about the flight operations on the Airlink website.
There are also some fantastic cruises which call in at St Helena and some of the other remote islands in the South Atlantic.
We will book flights and any ground arrangements you need in Southern Africa including excursions in Capetown, Kruger National Park, Stellenbosch and the vineyards, Robben Island and Johannesburg together with extensions to Namibia, Zambia and the Victoria Falls.
Please call us to discuss cabin options for cruise ships and expeditions which call in at St Helena as part of a longer itinerary, for which we will also book your flights and any additional arrangements at the start or end of your journey.
Travellers to St Helena must have travel insurance in place and are advised to ensure it includes cover for disruption in case your flights between Johannesburg and the island are delayed.
There is further information about the flight operations on the Airlink website.
You will usually be asked to produce proof of medical insurance when you are at check-in in Johannesburg and by the immigration officer on arrival at St Helena. Please remember to have it with your passport.
St Helena has a sub-tropical climate.
The hottest months are between January and March and the coolest months between June and September. For much of the year the temperature remains between 20-27 °C.
The wet season is usually from late March to early May and then again from July to September.
Please note: This information is correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change at any time.
An Entry Permit currently costs £20 and allows a stay of up to 183 days. You will need to provide evidence of a return ticket, or funds for a return ticket, medical insurance, adequate accommodation and sufficient funds for your stay.
If you wish to stay for longer than 183 days you should apply to the St Helena Immigration Control Board.
If you need a South African visa you should get one before your visit and make sure it is valid for the date of your planned return journey.
You should also ensure you have at least two blank pages on your passport for immigration stamps for South Africa.
You must hold a valid passport to enter St Helena. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into from St Helena.
The Immigration Service in St. Helena only issues and renews British Overseas Territory Citizen passports and British Emergency travel documents.
There are no facilities to issue international visas on the island.
Evidence of Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for travellers who are going to or have recently been to countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission. Please see the following website:
Travelling with children
Special rules may apply, particularly if children are unaccompanied or only travelling with one parent or guardian.
For up-to-date advice on any vaccination requirements and any health risks associated with visiting St Helena, please contact your local GP.
The following NHS website provides health information and advice for travellers to St Helena:
Please click onto the links below for up-to-date advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office:
Help for British nationals in St Helena:
The local currency is the Saint Helena Pound (SHP) which is linked at parity to the British Pound (Sterling; GBP). The £ symbol is used.
There are currently no ATM cash machines on St Helena. A limited number of shops and businesses may accept Visa/ Mastercard for payment but a fee is usually charged.
Banking services on St Helena and Ascension Island are provided by the Bank of St Helena, which has offices in The Market Square, Jamestown, St Helena. Services available to visitors include cashing travellers’ cheques and currency exchange for Sterling, US Dollars, Euros and South African Rand banknotes. Customers can obtain cash advances on major debit and credit cards, and UK clearing bank customers can cash UK cheques, up to the limit of the applicable cheque guarantee card. Charges for these services are advertised in the bank.
An internet office with WiFi facilities is available at Anne’s Place, Castle Gardens in Jamestown.
Sure is the telecommunications provider for St Helena, offering services such as international direct dialling, internet & email facilities, information service, facsimile, television, flexible access, national and international telephone.
Phone cards can be obtained from the Sure Customer Care Centre or Warren’s shop, Wellington House Hotel, Anne’s Place, at the Consulate Hotel in Jamestown and in various country outlets.
Phone booths are located in Jamestown and the country districts. Reverse charge phone calls are possible to the United Kingdom.
The electricity supply on St Helena is 240V, 50Hz. The standard electrical socket is the 13-amp flat pin as used in the United Kingdom.
There is a small well-equipped general hospital with 54 beds, a dental surgery and a community clinic in Jamestown. There are also six rural health clinics around the island, regularly visited by the doctors, dentist and community nurses.
There is no National Health Service and all medical treatment needs to be paid for according to your status.
Rates for medical and dental attention are divided into three rates:
Travellers are advised that they MUST have proof of passport when seeking medical care.
It is always best to book tables in advance.
Jamestown has a range of restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and take-away establishments. Other eateries and pubs can be found in Half Tree Hollow, Longwood, Bottom Woods and Sandy Bay. There are also a number of mobile catering units in operation.
As an isolated island surrounded by ocean fish has been a main component of the St Helena diet throughout history, particularly tuna.
Please contact us if you would like to arrange a cooking class to learn to make St Helenian fishcakes.
Opening times for pubs and clubs vary.
Most pubs open Mondays to Saturdays 11:00am – 11:00pm.
Some pubs/clubs are also open on a Sunday(times vary but normal hours are from noon until 2:00pm or from 5:00pm until 11:30pm).
Alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed on the streets of Jamestown.
There is a very limited public bus service. It is fairly new and is designed primarily for locals. Please enquire with the Tourist Office for assistance.
Taxis cannot be flagged down on the street. There is a taxi rank in Jamestown (behind the Tourist Office in Market Street), otherwise you need to telephone: details can be found in the telephone directory, at the Tourist Office or at your hotel. Taxis are not required to carry a taxi sign; many are ordinary saloon cars.
Taxis do not have meters and rates should be checked before the journey.
It is strongly recommended that you book car hire in advance as it can be difficult to arrange locally.
It may be possible to arrange car hire via the Tourist Office or through Andrew Weir Shipping. Drivers bring a valid driving licence with no endorsements for dangerous or drunken driving in the last 5 years. Drivers must be 21 years and over (restrictions may be imposed by some companies in respect of the upper age limit).
Car hire costs from GBP12.00 – GBP20.00 per day. Delivery & collection fees may be charged. This rate includes insurance however any minor damages e.g. broken headlight, wing-mirror, etc, will have to be paid for by the client.
Before driving you must present your licence at the police station in Jamestown where they will record details .
St Helena operates on GMT throughout the year.
Note: St Helena operates on Greenwich Mean Time all year round.