Travelling to a country, island or place that you have never been before, requires information on the place. Such information can be requested, some of that information results in back and forth of emails, messages or phone calls.
Take a look at our FAQs below and we hope that will put your mind at ease.
There are a number of accommodation options available on St Helena,
ranging from guest houses and hotels, bed & breakfast to
self-catering accommodation. The majority of accommodations are
equipped with television, telephone and internet facilities. Advanced
booking of accommodation is a requirement when visiting the Island
(see Immigration requirements). Please contact us if
you would like further information or to book your accommodation.
Our representative will be waiting for you when your flight arrives at St Helena Airport and will transport you and your luggage to your accommodation.
Banking services on St Helena are provided by the Bank of St Helena
(BoSH). The main office is located in The Market Square, Jamestown
(-15.926972, -5.717104). Kiosks are also available at St Helena
Airport and Jamestown Wharf.
Services available to visitors include cashing travellers’ cheques and currency exchange for Sterling, US Dollars, Euros and South African Rand banknotes.
Please note that the option of
using credit and debit cards on St Helena is limited. Most business
outlets accept cash payments only.
There is no ATM service on St
Helena. Visitors should take the opportunity to withdraw or
exchange currency upon arrival to the Island at the Bank of St Helena
Currency Exchange Kiosk, located on the ground floor of the St Helena
further information, please visit:
St Helena’s volcanic origin means that the majority of the Island is pretty steep, with the land meeting the sea by a vertical cliff. Some of the more inaccessible beaches or bays have pebble or boulder and are generally narrow.
St Helena’s volcanic origin means that the majority of the Island is steep, with the land meeting the sea by a vertical cliff.
Some of the more inaccessible beaches or bays have pebble or boulder and are generally narrow. There are two more accessible beaches called Rupert’s Beach and Sandy Bay Beach.
Rupert’s Beach is made up of black volcanic sand, but much fewer than that of Sandy Bay Beach. Swimming is possible at Rupert’s Beach as the bay is relatively sheltered and there are no undercurrents. Sandy Bay beach is made up of black volcanic sand and swimming is not permitted at Sandy Bay because of the fierce undercurrents.
The capital of St Helena is Jamestown. located on the northern side of the island, it is home to many residents and also the majority of outlets and businesses. It is also the main port for visiting vessels.
There is no traditional or official dress on St Helena. Casual and informal clothing, with semi-formal clothing for some evenings is appropriate. We would however advise to bring a rain jacket or coat and sensible walking shoes.
For more information, please read: ‘10 essentials to pack for St Helena’ – blog post.
Sure South Atlantic Ltd is the telecommunications provider for St
Helena. Sure Customer Services Centre is located at Bishops Rooms,
Jamestown. Click here to view the services provided by Sure.
Crime levels on St Helena are very low. However, visitors are advised
to keep their belongings safe and to secure any
The St Helena
Pound (SHP) is the local currency. However, the Great British Pound
(GBP), which has parity with SHP, is also widely accepted on-Island.
A St Helena Pound (£1) is equivalent to the British Pound Stirling
(£1). Coins used on-Island is: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and
£2. Notes used are: £5, £10 and £20. Sterling is accepted in
shops and restaurants on the island but change will often be given in
Saint Helena Pounds.
The cuisine of St Helena has evolved from our historical influences,
including the Portuguese, British, African, Chinese and Southeast
Asian. Popular dishes include fishcakes, black pudding, pumpkin stew,
Plo and the Sunday roast. Due to the Island being in close proximity
to the ocean, seafood is popular in St Helena’s cuisine. Popular
fish cooked and served in St Helena includes mackerel, wahoo and
tuna. Check out our Cooking with Saints package or view our
blog posts for popular St Helenian
Making Cash Withdrawal against your Debit or Credit Card is possible
at the any Bank of St Helena Branches and Kiosks. The following card
schemes are accepted: MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron and
Visa Debit. Please note: a 5% charge will apply, with a minimum
charge of £2.50 – customers must provide a form of signed picture
identification E.g. a valid passport or Driver’s Licence for the
Credit/Debit Card and cheque encashment services.
In order to drive on-Island, visitors must hold and bring with them a
valid driving licence with no endorsements for dangerous driving in
the last five years. If in possession of a current overseas licence,
you can drive on St Helena on this licence up to three months.
Thereafter, you will be required to apply for a St Helenian Licence.
However, if you are 70 years old + you will be required to produce a
Driving is on the left, as in
Britain, but most roads are single track. There’s hardly any flat
ground on St Helena so roads can be steep and very winding.
As per the Highway Code, there’s
an island-wide maximum speed of 30 mph, and in many places it’s only
20 or 15 mph and descending cars have to give way to ascending ones.
The drink drive laws are strictly
applied on St Helena, with a limit of 50µg of alcohol per 100ml of
(please see our blog on how
to drive to on St Helena).
Remember: Don’t forget to wave as
you go past motorist!
Driving on St Helena is on the left, as in Britain, although most
roads are single track. There’s hardly any flat ground on St Helena
so roads can be steep and very winding.
As per the Highway Code, there’s an Island-wide maximum speed of 30 mph, however in many places the speed limit is only 20 or 15 mph. Descending cars have to give way to ascending ones.
The drink drive laws are strictly
applied on St Helena, with a limit of 50µg of alcohol per 100ml of
Remember: Don’t forget to wave as
you go past motorist!
Please see our blog on
‘Driving on St Helena’ for more information.
If you intend to bring a drone or other aerial device onto the Island to take aerial photographs or film of the Island, you must adhere to the operating restrictions and requirements. More detail can be found here. If you wish to use drone footage for commercial purposes, you must gain permission from our regulator Air Safety Support International (ASSI) prior to your arrival on-Island. (http://sthelenaairport.com/pilots/drone/).
St Helena’s electricity is supplied by Connect Saint Helena Ltd,
who generates electricity by Wind, Solar and diesel powered
generators at the Power Station in Rupert’s Valley. The standard
electrical socket is the 13-amp, 3pin flat plug (as used in the UK).
In the event of an emergency, please dial the following numbers:
Ambulance: + 911
Police, Fire or Sea Rescue: + 999
General Hospital, Dental Clinic and Community Clinic: + 22500
St Helena Police Head Quarters
(general enquiries): + 22626
Fishing on St Helena has always been a part of St Helena’s culture,
whether it fishing of the rocks or deep-water fishing. Fish that can
be caught, depending on season, includes: ………..fish………..
Please view our Fishing experience package or contact us
for more information.
Petrol and diesel can be bought from the following fuel stations:
Solomon’s Fuel Station –
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
and Friday: 8am – 5pm
Wednesday: 8.30am – 1pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm and 6.30pm –
Solomon’s Fuel Station – Nr
Half Tree Hollow Supermarket, Half Tree Hollow
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday: 8.30am – 5pm
Wednesday: 8.30am – 1pm
Friday: 8.30am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 5.30pm
Sunday: 10am – 1pm
Longwood Supermarket, Longwood
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 1pm
We strongly recommended that you book a hire car in advance of your
visit as it can be difficult to book a car once on-Island due to the
great demand from visitors and locals alike.
Any minor damages caused to the
vehicle will have to be paid for by the client.
In order to drive on-Island,
visitors must hold and bring with them a valid driving licence with
no endorsements for dangerous driving in the last five years. If in
possession of a current overseas licence, you can drive on St Helena
on this licence up to three months. Thereafter, you will be required
to apply for a St Helenian Licence. However, if you are 70 years old
+ you will be required to produce a medical certificate.
Car hire can be arranged by
contacting us. Please tell us your preferred transmission type
i.e. Manual or Automatic.
mandatory that all visitors have the following documentation:
- a valid passport (that will remain valid for at least 6 months from the day of entry)
- a flight ticket for both arrival and departure
- pre-booked accommodation (contact us to arrange)
- Proof of medical insurance which covers at least £500,000 worth of medical expenses including emergency medical evacuation. Paper or downloaded electronic proof of insurance is accepted and must be provided to Immigration on arrival.
- A St Helena E-Visa if you are a national traveling from any of the countries listed here (http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/visa-requirements-for-visiting-st-helena/?highlight=visa%20) St Helena E-Visa holders are pre-checked to ensure they are cleared for travel to St Helena and applications should be made in advance using the following link: https://evisa.sainthelena.gov.sh/
short term entry permit costing £20, for persons over the age of 12
years, is required for to visit or work on St Helena for less than
six months and is payable on arrival. A Visitors Pass will also be
issued to all tourists that travel to St. Helena and this is valid
for a period of 90 days.
Saint Travel Ltd recommends that you visit your health professional
at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any
vaccinations or other preventive measures before visiting St Helena.
St Helena Island is not a duty-free port. The following items below are however permitted to be imported free of duty for each passenger, but must be delcared to customs upon arrival:
Spirits, strong liqueurs: 2 litres at 22% or below or 1 litre exceeding 22%
12 Bottles/Cans (340ml)
spirits and toilet water:
not exceeding in total 250ml
not exceeding 200
not exceeding in total 250grams
intended for personal use not exceeding in total £100 in value.
All alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco allowances are not available to
any person under the age of 18 years.
leaving your home, you should arrange have travel, personal accident,
medical and baggage insurance to cover your journey.
travel insurance should include coverage for both missed departure
and delayed departure to ensure financial coverage in the event that
the flight to or from St Helena is significantly delayed.
medical insurance should cover at least £500,000 worth of medical
expenses including emergency medical evacuation. You will be asked to
produce proof of medical insurance by the Immigration Officer if you
intend to stay longer than 48 hours.
the primary language spoken on St Helena. However, most St Helenians
speak their own dialect of the English language (saint dialect or
broken English) where locals tend to speak a lot faster and shorten
their words. Check out our ‘How
To Speak Saint’
blog post for more information.
Local crafts and souvenirs can be bought from various outlets around
the Island, including: the Art & Craft Shop, Abiwans, SHAPE (St
Helena’s Active Participation in Enterprise) and the Museum of Saint
Helena Gift Shop.
St Helena has a small, well equipped, General Hospital, Community
Clinic and Dental Clinic in Jamestown. There is also various health
Clinics located around the Islands districts, which are regularly
visited by Doctors and Community Nurses.
Currently, there is no National Health Service and local residents have to pay for all medical treatment. Rates for medical and dental treatment are divided into three categories: British passport holders, non-British passport holders and residents. Visitor and non-residents must provide proof of their passport when seeking on-Island medical care. Fees & charges for non-residents and visitors can be found via the Saint Helena Government Website.
In 2015, Sure South Atlantic Ltd introduced a mobile network to the Island. The network service includes voice calls, text messaging, mobile data as well as inbound and outbound roaming. Sure South Atlantic Ltd provides coin and card phone booths which are located in various locations around the Island. For more information, please click here.
It is strongly recommended that you visit the three French-owned
Napoleonic sites – the Briars Pavilion, the Tomb and the final
residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, Longwood House. Due to security
measures, open access to these properties is not permitted and
therefore visitors will be required to obtain a ticket and visit at
the opening times. Please view our Napoleonic Package or
contact us to obtain tickets and find out the opening times.
St Helena is a territory of the United Kingdom. Our official national anthem is therefore ‘God Save the Queen’. Our unofficial anthem has been named as My St Helena Island – a tune that was played on the RMS St Helena every time she would depart a port. It was also very popular with the visitors when departing the island, making them feel like a part of the island.
The national flag of St Helena was adopted on 4 October 1984. The flag appears a differentiated Blue Ensign. There is a blue field with the Union Jack in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the shield from the St Helena Coat of Arms centred on the outer half of the flag.
The shield features the St Helena Plover, known locally as the Wirebird, a rocky coastline and a three masted sailing ship.
At the end
of September 2018, the population of St Helena was estimated to be
4538. Of the 4538 total, 4281
people are St Helenian. St Helenians are mainly descendants of East
India Company employees, British settlers, Chinese indentured
labourers and slaves from Africa, the East Indies, Madagascar and the
subcontinent of Asia.
The main Post Office of St Helena is located within the Post &
Customer Services Centre, Main Street, Jamestown. All Island
districts have a sub-post office, which operates in general stores or
There is no door-to-door mail
delivery available. Therefore, all mail should be collected from the
main Post Office in Jamestown.
Overseas post operates via airmail
and surface mail. Airmail service operates to and from Ascension
Island and Surface mail operates via the MV Helena.
Postage stamps are available from
the Post & Customer Services Centre and sub-post offices.
The importation of the following goods into St Helena is prohibited or restricted and must be declared to HM Customs on arrival:
- Controlled Drugs and utensils used therewith
- Firearms and ammunition unless accompanied by a valid licence
- Obscene item or pornographic literature, films, DVDs, video tapes or any form of electronic media
- Honey, bees, unrefined beeswax, any other bee derived substance that may have been exposed to bee diseases, used bee keeping equipment
- Sunflower seeds from any supplier
- Psittacine birds (parrots, parakeets etc).
licence is needed to bring in the following:
produce such as fruit and vegetables
plant and animal material such as pets or livestock
further information, please contact
St Helena has nine public holidays per year.
They are: New Year’s Day (1 January 2019), Good Friday (19 April 2019), Easter Monday (22 April 2019), Whit Monday (10 June 2019), the islands national day St Helena’s Day (21 May 2019), HM the Queen Official Birthday (17 June 2019), August Bank Holiday (26 August 2018), Christmas Day (25 December 2019) and Boxing Day (26 December 2019).
There are no trains on St Helena. The public transport service on St
Helena is very limited, as it has been designed primarily for locals.
With some careful planning, visitors may use the service to reach
some of the Island’s attractions. The public transport schedule is
regularly revised so please contact us if you would like any
further help or for an updated schedule.
St Helena has two radio stations that transmit locally and internationally – they are Saint FM Community Radio and South Atlantic Media Services (SAMS) Radio 1.
Both Radio Stations broadcast local news and announcements, interviews and play a variety of music. SAMS also rebroadcast the BBC World Service.
The religion of St Helena varies
from Anglican, Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Baha’i
Faith, New Apostolic and Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are a number of
places of worship around the Island, Including St James’ Church –
said to be the oldest Anglican Church in the southern hemisphere.
There are a variety of restaurants and cafés dotted around the Island. Jamestown is home to a large number of restaurants, take-away establishments and coffee shops. Other eateries are located in the Half Tree Hollow and Longwood areas.
It should be noted that some of the restaurants and cafés requires advanced reservations. Where possible, many restaurants and cafés serves the popular traditional dishes like St Helena fishcakes and Plo.
St Helena’s clear, warm waters allows a thrilling aquatic experience – with abundance of marine life, including many endemic species and 18th century ship wrecks, including the SS Papanui. Snorkeling and Scuba diving can be enjoyed all year round.
Visitors wishing to scuba dive must provide proof of their PADI certification and must be accompanied by a local dive instructor.
Please note: there is currently no decompression chamber on-Island. Please view our Dive St Helena packages or contact us for more information.
St Helena stamps and first day covers can be found and purchased at
the Post & Customer Services Centre in Main Street, Jamestown.
Swimming in the ocean is possible, but can be done so at one’s own
risk. However, there are certain locations where swimming is
prohibited, such as Sandy Bay Beach. There is also an outdoor
swimming pool at the seafront in Jamestown. Please contact us
for more information.
There is a small taxi rank located opposite Atlantic Store in
Jamestown. Taxis do not have meters and rates should be checked
before beginning your journey. Taxis are not required to carry a taxi
sign and many are ordinary saloon cars. Please contact us if
you would like further details about taxis.
St Helena operates to the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year round.
There are a few ways of traveling to St Helena – by yacht, on a
cruise ship or by a chartered plane! But the primary mode of travel
is via the scheduled commercial air service.
The air service for St Helena
commenced on Saturday, 14 October 2017 and is provided by SA Airlink.
SA Airlink operates weekly flights on a Saturday from OR Tambo
International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a stopover
at Windhoek International Airport in Namibia. SA Airlink also
operates a once-a-month flight to Ascension Island. Two classes are
available: Business and Economy, with a total of 76 seats available.
Additional midweek flights to St
Helena and Ascension Island are taking place between December 2018
and April 2019 arriving to St Helena on Tuesday of each week.
Please note our tour/package rates do not include international flights. You may book your flights to St Helena via SA Airlink here.
United Kingdom nationals do not require a Visa to enter St Helena. However, a St Helena E-Visa is required if you are a national traveling from any of the countries listed the Saint Helena Government Website.
St Helena E-Visa holders are pre-checked to ensure they are cleared for travel to St Helena and applications should be made in advance using the following link: https://evisa.sainthelena.gov.sh/
Sure South Atlantic Ltd provides public WiFi hot spots, which are available in and around the island at the following venues:
Jamestown: Ann’s Place, The Consulate Hotel, The Inkwell Café, The Sandwich Bar Market Branch, Blue Lantern, Mantis Hotel, the Town House and St Helena Yacht Club.
Rupert’s’ Valley: Wicked
Longwood: V2 Paradise, Rose &
Crown Retail Shop (St Helena Airport) and Bertrand’s Cottage
Half Tree Hollow: Roses Bar &
Restaurant, Tasty Bites Bistro, Williams Estate
WiFi times are available as follows:
£3.30 = 30 minutes, £6.60 = 1 hour and £13.20 = 2 hours
St Helena’s national bird is the St Helena Plover. The Plover, known locally as the St Helena Wirebird, is the last survivor of the Islands nine endemic birds. To find out more about the Wirebird, please read our blog or contact us if you would like any further information.
The Wirebird can also be seen in their natural habitat by booking the Endemic Excursion.