About St Helena
This sub-tropical paradise may be tiny but it is surprisingly diverse, featuring a wealth of endemic wildlife found nowhere else on earth – including the rare wire bird, 10 species of fish, 45 plant species and a staggering 400 unique invertebrates. Well preserved coral ecosystems attract a variety of marine life, dolphins can be found in abundance (pan-tropical spotted, bottlenose and rough-toothed) and humpback whales can also occasionally be sighted in the waters around St Helena.
First discovered in 1502 by the Portuguese, St Helena has had a colourful history, passing through Dutch hands before becoming a British territory. Over the centuries the island has been home to planters, prisoners, soldiers and slaves, predominantly from Europe and Asia, resulting in a multicultural society today of under 4000 residents. Perhaps the island's most famous resident was Napoleon, who was exiled here in 1815, dying on St Helena 6 years later.
An extinct volcano, St Helena's dramatic landscapes are sculpted with peaks and valleys, huge rock formations and ancient lava flows. The highest point on the island is Diana's Peak, 823 metres above sea level and a rewarding climb, offering spectacular views in all directions. The island's higher central regions are covered in lush vegetation, whilst the coastal areas feature barren rocks and colourful sand dunes.