New Frontiers is proud to launch an FIT programme to St Helena – one of the most remote islands in the world!
We were privileged to be selected as one of only two tour operators to join SA Airlink on their final test flight to St Helena island. After a year of testing, the green light has finally been given for commercial flights to fly into the new airport built on the island – the first ever link by air. For the 500-odd years that the island has been inhabited, the only way to reach it has been by ship – a 6 day journey.
SA Airlink will be operating the only commercial flight from 14 October. The flight will initially be once a week in an Embraer E90 (98 seater), from Johannesburg, with a stop in Windhoek, to allow Cape Town passengers on the CPT-WDH flight to connect. The flying time is approximately 5 hours, although the return flight is shorter owing to the prevailing winds.
St Helena is a volcanic island, and isn’t a beach destination, but it has a rich and varied history, engaging people and excellent guides: we are delighted to have a dedicated New Frontiers guide on the island who guides to the same level as our New Frontiers Escapes guides in Cape Town.
St Helena Highlights:
- Whale sharks (it is not uncommon to see 20 whale sharks in an outing during the season, which is January, February and March)
- Dolphin spotting, including Pantropical dolphins, Bottle-nosed Dolphins and Rough-Toothed Dolphins. The Pantropical Dolphins are seen 95% of the year, often in schools of 100-400 dolphins, swimming close to the boat
- Jamestown – charming buildings and quaint island-life, as well as an excellent Museum that charts 500 years of the island’s history
- Jacob’s Ladder, a taxing 699 steps above Jamestown, which affords incredible views over the town
- The grouping of Plantation House, home to the Governor and Jonathan the Tortoise, the world’s oldest animal at 180 years old, St James’ Church and the Boer Cemetery, set in wood-shaded avenues and rolling hills
- Meeting St Helenians, known as Saints, who are expressive, entertaining and have an opinion on all of island life, including each other! A home dinner with a family is a perfect way to get to know them better
- Napoleon’s House, where he died in exile and which is beautifully maintained. Some prior reading of Napoleon is useful to put the importance of the house in perspective.
- Sandy Bay – far from Sandy, but dramatic volcanic rock scenery
We have put together a week-long itinerary, guided throughout, which encapsulates the best of the island, headed up by our New Frontiers guide, and using additional specialist guides. While there is an option for a fully tailor made programme – which we are very happy to create – the necessity of a week-long stay means that some structure in advance is recommended. Details of the itinerary, with three different hotel options can be found here: Discover St Helena. Remember that this isn’t a group tour: it is a weekly privately guided FIT option, although owing to the limited guide and vehicle resources on the island, other New Frontiers clients may join the tours and excursions.
There is something special about being one of a handful of people to visit a place and the remoteness of the island really comes to life when you stand on the fort at the top of the knoll, and you realise that nearest landfall in any direction is 1900 kms away…