Landscape of St Helena island.
Landscape of St Helena island.
Image: 123RF/Lisa Strachan

With spectacular natural landscape, an abundance of endemic wildlife and vegetation, and a rich history, St Helena is the perfect destination for travellers who are looking to step off the beaten track. This enchanting 122km² island paradise, lush with subtropical vegetation, will make you feel as if you’ve escaped to another world.

When the Portuguese first landed on St Helena in 1502, the island was uninhabited. It soon became an important stop for ships sailing between Europe and SA and Asia. St Helena became a British Crown Colony in 1834, after being an East India Company colony. Today it’s a British Overseas Territory.

Until now, tourists could get to St Helena only by travelling for five days aboard a mail ship. Airlink is the first-ever and only airline to fly to this mystical island, making it much more accessible.

WATCH | The beauty of St Helena:

Pass your days delighting in St Helena’s world-renowned birdlife. You may even spot the wirebird, which can be seen in the wild only on the island. St Helena is also home to a remarkable range of flora and fauna, and the island’s highland areas are home to more than 400 recognised endemic species.

The ever-changing Atlantic waters surrounding St Helena boast an astonishing diversity of marine life. Explore the ocean by snorkelling or scuba diving, or swim with whale sharks as you marvel at the underwater beauty. Admire the spectacular sea life from above, and watch humpback whales, bottlenose and rough- toothed dolphins, and hawksbill and green turtles, as well as devil rays from a yacht cruise.

REMOTE RICH HISTORY

As you explore the island, be sure to make time to meet Jonathan, the world’s oldest tortoise, who is believed to have hatched in 1832, just a decade after Napoleon Bonaparte died on St Helena after being exiled to the island by the British. If you’re fascinated by history, you can visit Longwood House, where Bonaparte and a small group of attendants spent the final days of his lengthy exile, or visit the military genius’ tomb in the Sane Valley.

Longwood House, which was the residence of Napoleon during his exile to St Helena
Longwood House, which was the residence of Napoleon during his exile to St Helena
Image: 123RF/Lisa Strachan

Bonaparte was not the only famous prisoner to have been sent to the island by the British government over the years. Our own Zulu king Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo was exiled here in 1890 for leading his army in rebellion against British rule in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition, more than 6,000 Boer soldiers were exiled to St Helena after the Second Boer War. Pay a visit to the prisoner of war camp at Deadwood Plain, the Boer cemetery at Knollcombes, Ladder Hill Fort, and Batter and High Knoll Fort to learn more about the incredible events that have played out on the island. 

St Helena’s secrets are waiting to be uncovered. Fly Airlink to St Helena for memories you won’t make anywhere else in the world.

Speak to your travel agent or go to flyairlink.com to book your tickets.

– This article was paid for by Airlink.

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