Island Images 49 Emirates Way St Helena. STHL 1ZZ

Climate – Culture – History

St Helena

The Island of St Helena, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom,  located in the South Atlantic Ocean, is of volcanic origin and has an area of 47 square miles. It is almost 5,000 miles from the UK, 700 miles south-east of Ascension Island, and 1,900 miles NNW from South Africa (Cape Town). The island’s total population is around 4,000, of whom about 900 live in the capital, Jamestown.

Its map coordinates are 5°45’00”W, 15°58’49”S

St. Helena is only 16 by 8 kilometres, or 121 square km, which makes it one of the world’s smallest inhabited islands.

Our Climate

Island Climate

Despite the island’s locality within the tropics, its climate is kept mild and equable by the south east trade winds. That said, the almost continuous winds makes our weather so changeable, where a dull rainy morning very often leads onto a bright sunny afternoon.

The coldest months are between June and September, with the hottest being between January and March, but that said the four seasons are hardly recognisable on St Helena, as there are no drastic weather patterns. For much of the year, temperatures remain between 20-27°C but nights and early mornings does get colder in the months of June, July and August. The rainy period is normally July to September, with August being the height of the rainy season.

Jamestown is the warmer part of the Island where temperatures range from range between 20° C – 32º C in the summer and 15° C – 26° C in the winter. The temperatures in the central areas are, on average, 5 – 6 degrees lower.. Jamestown on most days is sunny and slightly humid whilst areas like Longwood experience chilly mists and a higher rainfall.

Culture

Island Culture

The small local population (SAINTS) has mainly descended from people from Europe, ex-soldiers serving in the local St Helena Regiment, Chinese, who were itinerate workers on the island, and slaves from Madagascar and Asia.

The estimated population of St Helena at the end of October 2011 is 4,030.

The “Saints”, are known for their friendliness; everyone waves and greets each other, even to passing cars. , they are renowned for their hospitable nature, and getting involved in our local social life will give you an insight into how vibrant, fun and welcoming we are.

English is St. Helena’s first language, however, due to our descent from a concoction of nations, our tongue has evolved into a unique way of speaking. English speaking visitors may find it hard to understand parts of our dialect.

Most of the visitors to the island will always remember St Helena for its great Hospitatily and its friendly Atomophere.

History

Island History

The Island was discovered in 1502 and since has developed a fascinating background playing a part in world history as a whole. The location of the island was strategically important until the opening of the Suez Canal and the advent of steamships and because of this, has changed hands a number of times. After the Portuguese, the Island was taken by the Dutch and eventually the British.
Pronounced Saint He-LEE-na the island is of volcanic origin and is now a British Overseas Territory. This territory consists of the island of Saint Helena, and two dependencies of Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha. The island was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Juan da Nova Castella , on his voyage home from India. He named it “Saint Helena”, as the 21st May was the birthday of Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine the Great.  St Helena is Britain’s second oldest colony, and one of the most isolated islands in the world. In the 19th Century it played a huge and largely unrecognised role as a refuge for Liberated African slaves. Since 1815, the British have also used the island as a place of exile, most notably for Napoleon Bonaparte, Dinizulu and over 6,000 Boer prisoners.

Getting Here

How to get to the Island

Many visitors to the Island have confirmed that a part of the attraction is getting here, it is undoubtedly an adventure and the only way is aboard the last remaining Royal Mail Ship, the RMS St. Helena.

The RMS is St. Helena’s dedicated mode of international access, although the construction of the St Helena airport is underway and is almost completed, and its anticipated that the opening date for the Airport has been set for May 2016.

A contract has also been aggreed with commair who will deliver a weekly air service from Jo – burg every Saturaday to St Helena and also later extending to Ascension Island.

What to do

Things to on Island

St Helena is ideal for everyone, there is lots to do and activities can be as strenuous as you want.

It is a walkers paradise, with walks ranging from a gentle historic excursion around the capital Jamestown to hikes up and down the steep hills. Its unspoiled character makes it ideal to sit back and relax and enjoy the views. The island is steeped in history and the Museum, located in Jamestown would be an ideal start for the history buff and if just visiting for a short while there are numerous driven tours available.

St Helena also offers a great fishing experience, along with dolphin watching and recently whale sharks has been a great attraction.