In October 2017 the first commercial flights to St Helena commenced, reducing travel time to St Helena from days to mere hours. SA Airlink operates a weekly service between St Helena and Johannesburg and St Helena and Cape Town (via the stopover at Windhoek International Airport in Namibia). Click here for more information about flying to St. Helena. To book with Airlink, click the banner below.
Until the island’s airport opened, the only regular access to St Helena was via the Royal Mail Ship St Helena. The RMS calls at St Helena approximately every two weeks and travels between the island, Cape Town and Ascension Island. Travel to Cape Town takes six days. The RMS schedule is available until February 2018, and can be found by clicking the banner below.
We recommend those wishing to drive themselves during their stay enquire about car hire when booking to reserve a car in advance. Visitors must bring a valid driving license with no endorsements for dangerous or drunken driving in the last five years. Visitors may drive on their own national driving license for up to 3 months. Rental cars are only available to those 25 years and older. Visitors 70+ must have a medical certificate to prove they are fit to drive. This test can be done on the island and costs £80+. Car hire charges from £15 per day. Delivery and collection fees may be charged. Rental rates include insurance. On St Helena we drive on the left. Taxis are available and the hotel’s Concierge can make all transport arrangements for the duration of your stay.
For much of the year temperatures across the island are between 20-27°C. In Jamestown temperatures sit between 20 -32°C in the summer and 15-26°C in winter (June to mid October). Inland temperatures are about 5 degrees colder, and in the central, higher areas of the island there are noticeable contrasts in climate between Jamestown and country areas, where chilly mists and higher rainfall are common. The four seasons are not recognised on St Helena as there is no drastically different weather. Rain usually falls from late March to early May, and again from July to September, with August being the wettest month.
Guests can settle their accounts by credit card at Mantis St Helena. The Saint Helena Pound and the British Pound are accepted on St Helena. One St Helena Pound is equivalent to one British Pound Sterling. St Helena notes and coins are the same denominations as their British equivalents. The US Dollar, Euro and Rand are the most widely accepted foreign currencies. Credit cards are only accepted at a very limited number of establishments on St Helena. There are no ATMs on St Helena, but visitors can cash traveller cheques or use credit cards at the Bank of St Helena to obtain cash advances. There is a 5% charge on the amount withdrawn, with a minimum charge of £2.50. Cards used for this service must have a verification number. Signed picture ID in the form of driver’s license or passport, must be presented. To transfer funds between other countries and St Helena go to www.sainthelenabank.com
Mantis St Helena is situated next door to St James’ Church, the oldest Anglican church in the Southern Hemisphere, and stands close to the site of the island’s first chapel, which dates from the 16th century. Christianity has deep roots in St Helena, and the majority of St Helenians belong to the Church of England. Other denominations represented on the island include: Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness and New Apostolic. All religious groups welcome visitors.
It is advisable to bring a pullover or jumper and a light rain jacket, particularly when exploring the interior of the island. In cooler months (June to mid October) pack a variety of clothing as would be suitable for Spring or Autumn in the UK. Clothing stores are limited on the island. It is advisable to bring proper walking boots if intending to undertake the Post Box Walks. We request that diners kindly adhere to a ‘smart casual’ dress code in the hotel’s restaurant, from 6pm.
Mantis St Helena accepts all major credit cards. Very few businesses on St Helena accept credit cards and there are no ATMs or Cash Points. Credit cards are accepted at the Bank of St Helena for cash withdrawals, with a minimum charge of £2.50. Cards used for this service must have a verification number. Signed picture ID (passport or driver’s licence) must be provided.
St Helena’s economy is primarily cash-based. Very few stores will accept credit cards and will charge for doing so. Prices in shops will generally be higher when compared with prices in South Africa and the UK due to the addition of import tax and freight charges. Shops generally open from 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday, and at varying times on Saturdays. Limited shops open on Sunday. Most shops close on Wednesday afternoons and this includes the petrol stations.
Also see Car Hire. We drive on the left on St Helena, as in the UK and South Africa. Most roads are single lane. Etiquette requires the driver coming down the hill to make way for the up-coming traffic. Road signs are shown in miles per hour. The maximum speed limit is 30mph (40kmph). Strict drink drive laws apply.
Mantis St Helena does not have a gym. There is a 24-hour gym on the island, located at Half Tree Hollow Community Centre. Fitness classes take place regularly at Prince Andrew School and at New Horizons Youth Centre. The hotel’s concierge can book classes and advise on times. A 33m open air, fresh water, public swimming pool is situated at the sea front, 2 minutes’ walk from the hotel.
The island’s 42-bed General Hospital is situated in Jamestown. The hospital can cover all areas of acute medical and surgical care. The Government Pharmacy is located at the hospital. Visitors are advised to bring sufficient medication with them for the duration of their stay.
There is a public bus service on the island, but service is limited and varies considerably from area to area. The hotel’s Reception can offer assistance to guests. As the public bus service is geared more toward transporting locals across the island for work or into Jamestown to shop, it is the norm for visitors to hire cars or use taxis or tour guides. The hotel’s Concierge will happily assist.
There is a 33m public swimming pool open daily at the sea front, a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. The pool is open to all visitors. It is possible to swim in the sea at a variety of locations around the island. The hotel’s Concierge will happily advise on the locations of safe swimming areas.
There is a small selection of restaurants, bars and pubs scattered across the island, but the majority are found in Jamestown. The hotel’s concierge service will happily offer suggestions and make bookings for guests.
The current on St Helena is 240 volts, 50 Hz, the same as the UK and South Africa. The hotel has UK 3-pin square plugs, but each room has an international plug array, including South African round 3-pin plug and USB charger.
Appropriate medical and travel insurance is mandatory for all visitors to St Helena and should be taken out prior to their departure for St Helena. All visitors will be asked to show proof of medical insurance by an immigration officer if the duration of their stay is longer than 48 hours.
St Helena has a number of museums and galleries, notably the St Helena Museum in Jamestown (located just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel), Napoleon’s House at Longwood, and Prince’s Lodge, that houses the most complete collection of St Helena maps, images and prints.
Taxis are available 24-hours a day from the hotel in Jamestown. Taxis on St Helena do not have meters and the rates should be checked before the journey commences.
The island’s water is treated and can be drunk from the tap. Bottled water is widely available in all shops, bars and restaurants across the island.
There is no requirement for vaccination. There have been no reported illnesses, such as yellow fever or cholera, on the island. Visitors coming from a yellow fever endemic area must have proof of vaccination.
St Helena operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year round. There is no adjustment for daylight saving.