St Helena with the Locals

Jonathan the Tortoise at Plantation House
from £1438 7 nights | Year round Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Year round


This immersive exploration of the island of St Helena features all the key highlights such as the island’s historic sites, fantastic marine life and rugged landscapes. But perhaps the star attraction of St Helena is the Saints themselves...


  • Swap stories with a local family over a home-cooked dinner
  • Take a guided hike to the island's highest point, Diana's Peak
  • Tour St Helena's historic sites including Knoll Fort, Plantation House and Longwood
  • Explore remote bays and rugged coastlines
  • Cruise in search of dolphins and other marine wildlife

On this guided adventure you will have the chance to explore Jamestown with Basil George, enjoy afternoon tea with the owners of Farm Lodge and spend an entertaining evening with a local family, who will be only too happy to share their tales of island life.

Throughout the week you will be accompanied by local guide Aaron Legg, who will provide a detailed interpretation of the island as you hike its trails, search for wildlife and uncover its long and varied history. By the time you depart you will feel like a local yourself!


Contact our St Helena experts now

Extend your stay

This holiday can also be easily combined with Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls to allow you to see all the highlights of Southern Africa in one trip. Please contact us for more information.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1 Arrival on St Helena
On arrival you will be met by your guide, Aaron and transferred to your hotel, passing through some of the small villages en route. The volcanic nature of the island is immediately apparent in the rugged coastline scenery. Once you have settled into your hotel the rest of the day is yours to explore Jamestown independently.
Day 2 St Helena 4WD Adventure
After breakfast meet with Aaron at 9.30 for an orientation of the island by 4WD. Stop at Deadwood Plain which was the camp site of Boer prisoners of war during the Anglo Boer War of 1900-1902. Take a short walk to Flagg Staff which gives you wonderful panoramic views across the island. Visit Fisher’s Valley where Napoleon rode his horse during his exile on the island and Levelwood, home to the Bell Stone – a rock which when struck rings like a bell. Wind your way to the south west point of the island for incredible views over the Atlantic Ocean, which stretches unbroken for 2700 kilometres in every direction. Drink in hand as the sun sets, it’s the perfect end to the day. (BL)
Day 3 Wildlife Cruise & Introduction to Jamestown
This morning, after breakfast, a highlight of the island awaits as you join your skipper for a boat cruise off the island. Home to huge schools of pan-tropical dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and rough-toothed dolphins, as well as turtles, devil rays and whale sharks (in season January-March), the deep blue waters are teeming with life. The tour gives you a scenic view of St Helena’s coastline and allows you to view a few of the old fortifications and outposts that still stand. Later today you will join a Jamestown walk with Basil George, a descendant of one of the Boer prisoners of war who decided to remain on the island after the declaration of peace. Basil is a hugely experienced guide and a local poet with a wicked twinkle in his eye who will keep you entertained with his vast knowledge of the island and its inhabitants. Visit the Castle with its tropical garden, St James Church (the oldest Anglican Church in the Southern Hemisphere), the famous Jacob’s ladder which ascends 699 steps above the town, and the Court House. (B)
Day 4 Historic Sites & Sandy Bay Tour
Set off this morning with Aaron for the south of the island, stopping at the St Helena Coffee Plantation en route. A highlight of the day is Sandy Bay, which isn’t sandy, but is dramatic in its beauty and jagged cliffs, and where you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. As you head back to Jamestown, a private tour of the Governor’s residence, Plantation House awaits. Built in 1792, it has always been home to the island’s governors, although the current governor, Lisa Phillips, is the first female. Perhaps an even more famous inhabitant though is Jonathan the tortoise, a 184 year old giant tortoise who lives on the grounds and is the world’s oldest living animal. Visit St Paul’s Cathedral and Knoll Fort on your way back to Jamestown. (BL)
Day 5 Day at Leisure
Today is at leisure to explore at your own pace. Highly recommended is the very well curated Museum of St Helena, which not only traces the varied history of the island, but also has artefacts from the number of wrecks that dot the coastline over the last 500 years. You may also like to book another optional boat cruise, or swim in the Atlantic – or in the public Olympic-sized swimming pool that sits near the harbour and is a great place to meet local islanders. This evening, dinner has been arranged with a local family to experience some local cuisine and learn about local island life – which often involves not-so-confidential stories about neighbours and family members! (BD)
Day 6 Hike Diana’s Peak
This morning set off for Diana’s Peak, the island’s only National Park. Experience the micro and macro life in a cloud forest, from the many endemic plants and invertebrate species, to the breath-taking views of the island. It is a four hour tour to the high central ridge. You will be driven to Cabbage Tree Road to start your walk up the path to the highest point on the island, Diana’s peak at 823 m (Walkers need to have a reasonable level of fitness as there is an ascent of 175m). Enjoy a picnic lunch on the peaks. Later you will visit Farm Lodge for afternoon tea. Built in approximately 1670 as an East India Company planters house, Farm lodge is set in its own grounds of 10 acres with lawns and lush tropical gardens - and rather entertaining hosts. (BL)
Day 7 Longwood House & the St Helena Distillery
Napolean Bonaparte was exiled to St Helena in 1815 and died on the island 6 years later. This morning visit Longwood House, owned by the French government, where he lived and died. It is one of the best Napoleonic museums in the world, with original furniture and over 900 artefacts. Enjoy a picnic lunch on Longwood Green and then take a fifteen minute stroll to see Napoleon’s tomb and the beautiful heart shaped waterfall, before stopping at the St Helena Distillery on your way back to town. (BL)
Day 8 Depart St Helena
After breakfast you will have time for a last look around Jamestown before your transfer back to the airport and onward flight to South Africa. (B)

Accommodation Options

Mantis St Helena, Jamestown

  • Grade: Standard BB
  • Type: Hotel

The brand new Mantis St Helena opened in 2017 with 30 gu…



A number of excursions are included in this itinerary, including the following.

Plantation House Tour, Jamestown

Plantation House, one of St Helena’s landmark historical …

St Helena Adventure Tour

Explore the wild side of St Helena on a guided 4WD tour.

St Helena Wildlife Cruise

Search for dolphins, whales, devil rays or whale sharks.

Prices & Dates

Due to the variety of airlines and routes available to Johannesburg, the prices shown below are for the St Helena arrangements only. Our Travel Specialists will be pleased to provide a bespoke quotation for your preferred arrangements to and within South Africa, based on your chosen travel dates.

Package prices below for St Helena only are per person, based on 2 people sharing a contemporary twin/double room at the Mantis Hotel - details of single occupancy and superior heritage room options are available on request.

 01 Jan - 31 Mar 2018 £1,337
 01 Apr - 31 Dec 2018 £1,438

Price includes
7 nights accommodation on St Helena ● 7 breakfasts & 4 lunches ● 1 dinner with a local family ● Airport transfers ● Walking tour of Jamestown ● Full-day St Helena Adventure 4WD excursion ● Half-day wildlife cruise ● Historic sites tour including Plantation House, St Paul's Cathedral & Knoll Fort ● Diana's Peak guided hike ● Tour of Longwood House and the St Helena Distillery

Price excludes
International flights ● Additional meals and excursions not specified above ● Tips, gratuities and personal expenses ● Travel insurance ● St Helena Entry Fee – currently GB£17 per person, payable on arrival on the island

Please note this tour operates on a minimum of 2 passengers.

Useful Information

Flying to St Helena from South Africa

St Helena's long-awaited airport welcomed its first scheduled flights in 2017. SA Airlink are now running a weekly schedule to the island from Johannesburg, flying via Windhoek.

Economy airfares start from around £730 per person including taxes.

Luggage allowance
The general free allowance for hold luggage on Airlink flights is 20Kg in Economy Class and 30Kg in Business Class per adult passenger.
In addition to the checked or hold baggage, passengers may carry the following cabin or hand baggage. Each piece should not exceed 8kg.

Economy Class: 1 Piece plus 1 slimline laptop bag
Business Class: 2 Pieces plus 1 slimline laptop bag

Flying to South Africa 

Our team of specialists will be pleased to advise you on the best available airfares and route options to Johannesburg, and can tailor any additional arrangements in South Africa before and after your visit to St Helena. Take a look here for inspiration and holiday ideas in South Africa.


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So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

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Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668

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