Can I use my credit card in St Helena?

Please note that the option of using credit and debit cards on St Helena is limited.  Cash is the best form of making payments locally.

There are currently no ATM cash machines on St Helena. A limited number of shops and businesses accept visa/ mastercard for payment (a commission is usually charged).

Can I rent a Car?

It is HIGHLY recommended that you book in advance as it can be difficult to book a car once on the island because of the great demand, not only from visitors but returning St Helenians as well.

Car hire costs from GBP12.00 – GBP20.00 per day.  (Delivery & collection fees may be charged).  This rate includes insurance however, any minor damages e.g. broken headlight, wing-mirror, etc, will have to be paid for by the client.  Before driving – show your licence at the police station in Jamestown where they record details of your driver’s licence.

What clothing should I take with me?

 Casual informal clothing is appropriate, however it is advisable to bring a jersey, light-weight rain jacket and good walking shoes if you are contemplating doing any of our interesting walks. Semi-formal clothing is also suggested for some evenings.

What form of communication is there?

Sure (SA) is the telecommunications provider for St Helena, offering services such as international direct dialling, internet & email facilities, information service, facsimile, television, flexible access, national and international telephone.

What currency is used?

The St Helena Pound is used on the island which is fixed at parity with the British Pound Sterling, which is accepted on the island.

 Is St Helena Duty Free?

St Helena is not a duty-free port.

Duty Free Allowance

Visitors arriving in St Helena may bring with them the following:

1.Spirits, strong liqueurs over 22% volume, 1 litre and wine x 2 litres, or 12 x 340ml bottles/cans of beer/lager

2.Perfumed spirits & toilet water not exceeding 250 ml

3.Cigarettes not exceeding 200, or

4.Other tobacco goods not exceeding in all 250 grams

Persons under the age of 18 years cann ot claim the duty free allowance of alcoholic liquors and persons under the age of 16 years cannot claim the duty free allowance of cigarettes and other tobacco goods.

On which side of the road must I drive?

Most roads are single lane. Etiquette requires the driver coming down to make way for up-coming traffic. Drive on the left-hand side of the road. The drink drive laws are strictly applied with a limit of 50µg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The safest course is not to drink and drive.

Speed Limits: Unless otherwise stated, normal speed limits are 30mph. Road signs are shown in miles per hour and not kilometres per hour. In Jamestown the speed limit is 20mph.

Can I eat Out?

There is a variety of  St Helena local dishes for the visitors to enjoy such as fishcakes, black puddings, pilau, coconut fingers, pumpkin pudding and pumpkin fritters. For more information visit the Tourist Office. Visitors are advised to make eating reservations in advance for evening meals.

What is the Electricity Supply like?

The electricity supply on St Helena is 240V, 50Hz. The standard electrical socket is the 13-amp flat pin as used in the United Kingdom.

Who do I call in an emergency?

In case of emergency, dial 911 for Ambulance and 999 for Police, Fire or Sea Rescue.

What are the entry requirements?

All visitors must have valid passports. Return tickets and pre-booked accommodation.

A fee of £12.00 is payable for all visitors over twelve years disembarking at St Helena. Remember to have proof of your medical insurance with you.

Do I need insurance?

Before leaving home you should arrange travel, personal accident, additional medical insurance and baggage insurance to cover the journey. You will be asked to produce proof of medical insurance by the immigration officer if you intend to stay longer than 48 hours.  Please remember to have it with your passport.

What language is spoken?

English is the only language spoken on St Helena, although most St Helenians speak their own dialect of the English language.

 Where Is St Helena?

 St Helena is situated in the South Atlantic Ocean, 5° 43′ west and 15° 56′ south, 1,200 miles (1,950km) from the south-west coast of Africa, and 1,800 miles (2,900km) from the coast of South America. The nearest land is Ascension Island, which lies 703 miles (1,125km) to the north-west. The island is 47 square miles (122 square km), ten and a half miles (17km) long and six and a half miles (10km) wide.

Is there medical care?

  There is a small (54 bed) well-equipped general hospital, a dental surgery and a community clinic in Jamestown. There are also rural health clinics around the island, regularly visited by the doctors, dentist and community nurses.

There is no National Health Service and local residents pay for all medical treatment.

You MUST have proof of your passport when seeking medical care.

What is the population?

The population of St Helena is circa 3 800, mainly descendants of British settlers, East India Company employees and slaves from the South Asian sub-continent and Africa, the East Indies and Madagascar as well as Chinese indentured labourers. The capital and only town is Jamestown, with a population of circa 880. The other main districts of population are Longwood and Half Tree Hollow.

Is there a Postal Service?

The main post office is in Main Street, Jamestown. All districts have a sub-post office operating in a general store or grocery shop. Postage stamps are available from the main post office, sub-post offices and Warren’s, Main Street, Jamestown . Overseas post is operated via the RMS St Helena. There is no door-to-door delivery available so mail should be collected from your area’s assigned outlet (check with the main post office in Jamestown about this).  The post office will receive mail for you providing it is addressed poste restante where it can then be collected from the main post office.   Postal information line telephone 26099.

 Is there a Public Library

The St Helena public library is the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere. Visitors may borrow up to four (4) books at a time on deposit of £10 which will be refunded on the return of all books borrowed.

Do pubs open on a Sunday?

Opening times for pubs and clubs vary.  Most pubs open Mondays to Saturdays from 11:00am – 11:00pm or after.  Some pubs/clubs are also open on a Sunday, (times will vary depending on pub/club), normal hours are from noon until 2:00pm or from 5:00pm until 1:30am. Alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed on the streets of Jamestown.

What religion is there?

Christianity has deep roots in St Helena and has played a symbolic part in the island’s community, the majority of people belonging to the Church of England, being members of the Diocese of St Helena, which includes Ascension Island, and which has its own bishop residing on St Helena.

Other denominations of Christianity represented on the island for many years are: Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, Baptist and in more recent times, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness and New Apostolic.

The Baha’i Faith has also been represented on the island in more recent times.

These all have one or more buildings set apart for worship.  The members of the ‘Two by Two’ Christian Group meets for worship in private homes.  Visitors are welcomed by all of these religious groups.

Where can I get souvenirs? 

 Local crafts and souvenirs on St Helena can be bought from the Art & Craft Shop in Jamestown, Abiwans, SHAPE at Sandy Bay, Serena’s Gift Shop, the Museum Gift Shop, Warren’s and other shops in Jamestown. Special items of craft can also be purchased from the individual producer. Souvenirs, such as T-shirts, caps, key-rings, etc are on sale in a number of shops in Jamestown. St Helena stamps and first day covers make excellent souvenirs of St Helena, and can be found at the post office in Main Street.

What are the shop opening hours?

 Most shops in Jamestown usually open:

9:00am – 5:00pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays

9:00am – 1:00pm Wednesdays,

9:00am – 1:00pm & 6:30pm – 8:30pm Saturdays

Some shops also open late on Friday evenings and on Wednesday afternoons. All shops are closed on Sundays (apart from Thorpes which open between 10am and 1pm) except when there is a cruise ship in port.

Where can I get the sought after St Helena Coffee? 

 The rare and delectable St. Helena coffee can be bought on St Helena from either of the following retailers:

•Wellington shop

•The Star


•The St. Helena Coffee shop at the seafront

•Farm Lodge Country House Hotel

Is there a Taxi Service? 

 Details of taxis can be found in the telephone directory, at the Tourist Office or at your accommodation. Taxis do not have meters and rates should be checked before the journey. There is also a taxi rank in Jamestown.

In what time zone is St Helena? 

Greenwich Mean Time all year round.

Is it customary to tip?

Tipping is very much the individual’s choice according to service. A tip of around 10% is standard.