St Helena Islands

A visit to St Helena Island

The perfect stopover from Cape Town to the Mediterranean

St Helena Island is one of the popular stopovers on the route from Cape Town to the Mediterranean. A small island with a population of less than 5000 people, it has warmth and charisma. The ruddy mountainous terrain is in stark contrast to the abundant sea life teaming beneath the waters. It is a true marine wonderland.

Every year, from December until May, whale sharks gather in numbers around the island of St Helena. Although the exact number of sharks that visit the island every year is not known, more than 30 individual animals have been sighted during a single week, although not at the same time in the same place.  While there are other whale shark aggregations in different locations around the world, the annual gathering around St Helena is possibly one of the most important. The island is unique in the fact that it is the only known location in the world’s oceans where adult male and female whale sharks gather in equal numbers.

Swimming with these ocean giants has been described by many as a life-changing experience. Those wishing to swim with them will need to be accompanied by an accredited tour operator.  More details for reputable companies can be found at St Helena Tourism.

St.Helena also offers exhilarating dive experiences with mild to moderate sea temperatures, and great visibility. The majority of the shipwrecks that St.Helena is known for are on the leeward side of the island. A local diving guide would be advised as there are several local laws aimed at preserving the wrecks and the rich maritime history they represent. Some of the creatures you are likely to meet on your dives could include green and hawksbill turtles, St.Helena Butterfly Fish and the majestic Devil Ray gliders.

Fishing is a strong drawcard for the island too, with many avid sport fishing groups descending on the island annually. They have an abundance of large Yellowfin Tuna, Skipjacks, big Wahoo, Blackjack Trevally and Grouper. It also has a large variety of Billfish, all relatively close to shore.

If you are a serious game fisherman or a marlin hunter, St.Helena will not disappoint.

St.Helena Island has a yachting booklet with all essential information for visitors. Download all the necessary information here.

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