Non-Diver: From R25,500.00
This destination offers exciting diving and the history of this remote volcanic outpost is fascinating. It touches many aspects of world history & due to its remote location was a place of exile for key prisoners… Boer prisoners of war, King Dinuzulu & Napoleon’s resting place!
St Helena can be enjoyed year round, but the best time to visit is between November and March.
Group Trip: 10 February – 17 February 2024
Alternative Dates Available
- Includes & Excludes
- Mantis - St Helena
- Diving Highlights
- Land Based Highlights
- Destination Information
- 7 Nights’ accommodation in the luxury Mantis St Helena
- Scheduled Transfers
- 6 Dives
- Tanks & Weights
- 1 Whale Shark Safari
- Full Day Island land-based tour, including lunch and Napoleons resting place
- Flights & Airport Taxes (Approx. R17,000.00 JNB – St Helena Return)
- Personal travel, baggage and diving insurance
- Any meals or drinks not specified
- Equipment Rental
- Additional Sightseeing not specified
- £20 entry fee to the island, payable in GBP at immigration upon arrival
- Heritage room: R 1100 pp sharing
- Heritage Suite: R 2100 pp sharing
- Additional Dives: R 1000 per dive Inc. Tanks & Weights
- Additional Whale Shark Safari: R 1200
- From R21,500.00 pp sharing
Mantis St Helena has a high and a low season, please contact us to get a quote based on your travel dates
Please note the following:
- Prices are subject to change in the event of price increases, airfares, exchange rate fluctuations and availability.
- The exact price can only be confirmed at the time of final invoicing and final payment due date. If you would like to secure your price to avoid any fluctuations we will provide you with a final invoice (calculated at the exchange rate at time) and payment will need to me made in FULL within 24 hours of receipt of the invoice.
- The tour package has been quoted on a sharing basis and an additional single supplement fee will be charged for singles
All accommodation offers the following:
- Flat screen TV, tea/coffee making facilities, and in-room safe
- Air conditioning
- Work top / vanity dresser with international plug array, USB charger and mirror
- In-Room telephone
- Generous luggage and storage space
- In-Room Dining service available
- Guest laundry service
- Mini bar available on request
Situated in a newly constructed building linked to the original buildings by a terrace
Oversized shower in 18 rooms, 4 with baths
Four sets of interleading rooms for family convenience or a chaperone
Two sets of rooms have en-suite bathrooms
Rooms are situated in the historic original buildings (1-3 Main Street)
3 Suites in the historic original buildings (1-3 Main Street)
2 Suites in the outside ‘Cottage’ (the original servants’ quarters and kitchen)
Diving Highlights and Bucket List Dive Sites
St Helena’s volcanic past has created a stunning coastline for divers to enjoy with many caves, archways, sea mounts and reefs. You will be amazed by the sheer abundance of marine life including over 50 species found no where else in the world.
In addition to the plethora of life seen on our reefs St Helena is home to many pelagic species such as Wahoo, Tuna, Dorado, Chilean Devil Rays, Green Turtles and of course Whale sharks. The Chilean Devil Rays (Mobula tarapacana) are always a favourite with divers as they are very curious creatures who often spend time with us playing in our bubbles.
There are eight easily accessible wrecks on the leeward side of the island ranging from the Witte Leeuw sunk in 1613 to The Portzic sunk in 2008. The wrecks are not just fascinating historically, they provide unique marine habitats for an abundance of life. With depths ranging from 10 meters to 35 meters, these wrecks offer experiences for all levels of divers.
One of the remotest places on Earth, St Helena is also one of the most extraordinary places to visit. Its unique character and unspoilt beauty lboasts a rich cultural heritage and an environment extremely rich in biodiversity. These are just a few of the reasons why this remote jewel is a perfect location for active exploration and discovery, especially now that it can be reached by plane for the first time.
Jamestown is the capital of the remote island of St Helena. This Georgian seaport nestles in a deep valley and retains a 500- year history waiting to be discovered. The town’s streets echo with impressions recalling the past – Napoleon walked this way as did the Duke of Wellington, Captain Bligh, Edmund Halley, Charles Darwin and Captain James Cook. Jamestown’s overwhelming texture tells of colonial conquest, slavery, imperialist ideals, the age of sailing ships, war and exile.
Napoleon was exiled to St Helena in 1815 and died here in 1821. The three main sites that the Emperor occupied during his time on the island are Longwood House, his tomb in the Sane Valley and The Briars Pavilion.
Built in 1792 by the East India Company as a country residence for the island’s Governors, it is also home to St Helena’s oldest inhabitant (and the world’s oldest reptile) Jonathan the Tortoise. Today the residence retains its historic charm and is well worth a visit.
Ladder Hill Fort and Battery was the main fort for the island and commands spectacular views of the ocean and Jamestown.
High Knoll Fort was built in 1798 and is an excellent example of military defensive structures of its time. In 1811 troops from High Knoll Fort put down a mutiny over alcohol rations and six of the ringleaders were hung here.
The Boer cemetery and camp Knollcombes is the location of the graveyard of the Boer POW who were imprisoned on the island between 1900 and 1902, during the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa. The Boer POW camp was situated at Deadwood Plain.
Walking and Hiking
Abounding with a varied range of walks and trails, the island’s diverse landscapes offer everything from gentle ambles to challenging hikes. Walkers have the chance to view some of the more remote parts of St Helena and encounter its endemic plants, unique wildlife and rich heritage. The more energetic can head up the 699 steps to conquer iconic Jacob’s Ladder, embedded into a steep cliff face in Jamestown.
Not to be missed are the Post Box Walks, devised by the St Helena Nature Conservation Group (SNCG). With quirky names such as Lot’s Wife’s Ponds, Sharks Valley and Flagstaff, these walks cover some of the most scenic and untouched parts of the island. The 21 walks are rated on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10 with a post box containing an ink stamp and a visitors’ book at the end of each walk.
Birding and Wildlife
On land and by sea, the sights and sounds of the birdlife of St Helena are certain to delight. Take time to explore the island to observe the rare and reclusive native Moorhen, or the variety of naturalized songbirds and be prepared to be ‘visited’ by inquisitive Fairy (White) Terns. Observe the colonies of Noddies, Boobies, Petrels and Terns.
St Helena has an incredible range of unique wildlife. A staggering 455 species of invertebrates are found on St Helena and include the Blushing Snail, the Spiky Woodlouse, the Vulturine and Golden Leafhopper and Janich’s Fungus Weevil.
St Helena Distillery
This is the most remote distillery in the world, located at Alarm Forest. The distillery uses German-made Holstein distilling equipment and the product range includes Tungi, a spirit made from indigenous prickly pears, White Lion Rum, Jamestown Gin made from Bermuda Juniper which grows only on Bermuda and St Helena, White Lion Rum and Midnight Mist coffee liqueur, made exclusively from local St Helena coffee. Wines are also produced here from South African grape juice.
St Helena Coffee
The rare ‘Green Tipped Bourbon Arabica’ coffee cultivar grown on St Helena was introduced to the Island from Yemen in 1732. It is considered the finest coffee in the world. It’s also the rarest and one of the most expensive. Due to several factors including its remote location, limited harvestable land and long growing season, St Helena only produces a few thousand pounds of coffee a year. The island’s isolation ensured that the coffee has remained pure. Cherries are hand-picked and dried in the sun to give a distinct flavour.
English is St Helena’s first language, however, due to descent from a concoction of nations, their tongue has evolved into a unique way of speaking.
The warm season lasts from January 31 to April 30, with an average land high temperature of 25°C and low of 22°C. The sea temperature is on average 25 °C
There are no compulsory vaccinations necessary for Saint Helena Island. Visitors coming from a yellow fever endemic area must have proof of vaccination. Medical Insurance is essential
No visa required for SA passport holders for a stay up to 90 days.
The recommended currency is British Pound. Sterling and St Helena Pounds are interchangeable, and gladly accepted.
Credit cards are accepted at all major establishments, but please note that an extra charge (5%) will be levied with each transaction.
Guests can settle their accounts with credit at the hotel.
There are currently no ATM’s on the Island. Cash can be converted at the local bank with traveller cheques or credit card, passport must be presented.
Car hire / public transport
Car hire can be arranged once on the island but it is not guaranteed that one will be available.
Public Transport: There is a public bus service on the island, but service is limited and varies considerably from area to area. The hotel’s Reception can offer assistance to guests. As the public bus service is geared more toward transporting locals across the island for work or into Jamestown to shop, it is the norm for visitors to hire cars or use taxis or tour guides. The hotel’s Concierge will happily assist
Staying in contact
SURE’s mobile service enables local and international calls and SMS’s. SIM cards and Pay As You Go/Monthly vouchers can be purchased from vendors all over the island.
International phone cards can be bought in Jamestown from SURE, Chad’s Shop, Wellington House Shop, Rose and Crown, and Warrens Store and in Longwood from Longwood Supermarket, Rose and Crown DIY and Pub Paradise. These cards can be used in pay phone booths around the island.
Free Wi-Fi is available at the hotel.
Scattered around the town you can find various bistros, sandwich bars, cafes and restaurants. Although not an immense amount of options there is something for everyone.
It is advisable to bring a jersey and a light rain jacket, particularly when exploring the interior of the island. It is advisable to bring proper walking boots if intending to undertake the Post Box Walks.
The hotel request that diners kindly adhere to a ‘smart casual’ dress code in the hotel’s restaurant, from 6pm.
The hotel has UK 3-pin square plugs, but each room has an international plug array, including South African round 3-pin plug and USB charger.
Delicious ‘Saint’ and classically-inspired dishes, reflecting the island’s cultural influences, are prepared daily by the hotel’s Executive Chef, Roy Richards, who served as the Executive Chef on the RMS of over 15 years. Wherever possible local ingredients are used. The restaurant can seat 60 in the dining rooms and 40 on the terraced areas. Vegetarians and those with special requirements will be catered for.
- Check-in: 14:00 | Check-out: 11:00
- All major credit cards accepted
- All guestrooms are non-smoking
A typical diving morning looks like this:
Meet at Dive Shop @ 08:30am (10 min boat ride to Dive site)
Embark on 1st Dive @ 09:00am,
45-60 min Surface interval en-route to 2nd Dive site.
Conduct 2nd Dive, return to James Bay @ 12:30/1:00pm.
- Certification must be presented as well as a log book and dive insurance
- Safety: There is no recompression chamber on St Helena – stay well within your decompression limits and don’t ascend to altitude straight away after your dive. You must have dive insurance if you plan on diving. We recommend DAN or PADI insurance, which covers emergency evacuation. We also strongly recommend health and travel insurance.
- Alcohol Consumption: If alcohol is consumed in between dives by an individual then they will be required to refrain from diving for the remainder of the day
- Flying After Diving: A minimum surface interval of 18 hours must be allowed prior to flying or going to altitude
- Protection of Wrecks Ordinance: There are eight shipwrecks around St Helena that you can dive on, plus numerous articles of marine archaeological interest.
To protect these for the future:
No wreck penetration is allowed
It is prohibited to take or tamper with marine archaeological items
You must dive the wrecks with a local guide