Paradise Found: St Helena Island

As the crow flies directly from Angola to the east coast of Brazil, somewhere in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean is where you find the remote island of St Helena. 

st helena island

St Helena is famous for being the residence of the deposed French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, after the Battle of Waterloo until his death in 1821. 

Up until 2017, St Helena was only accessible by ship. The opening of St Helena’s airport and the advent of commercial flights by South African carrier, Airlink, has reduced journey times to the  Island from days to mere hours. 

st helena island fort

An expedition in every sense, the days you will spend on St Helena will reveal a whole new, old world. St Helena Island is like no other. A varied landscape with volcanic rock formations, lush green hills covered with unique flora and fauna, estuary-like valleys and surprisingly warm waters brushing up against distinctive shorelines. Everywhere you gaze, you are met by interesting sights that will spark your inner-adventurer.

St Helena island ocean caves
Divers at a ship wreck in St Helena

The History

St Helena’s history is rich and fascinating, spanning over 500 years. Discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, the island was possessed by the Dutch and then became British, initially under the East India Company, then The Crown.

Boer cemetry on St Helena island

Until the opening of the Suez Canal, the island was of immense strategic importance for the British. Due to its location, the island played a vital role in the abolition of slavery, and because of its remoteness has been a place of exile for many, including 6,000 Boers, Chief Dinizulu, Bahraini Princes, and of course the island’s most famous exile, Napoleon.

St Helena Museum

The Hotel

The world-renowned hospitality group, Mantis Hotels and Eco Escapes, opened the first luxury hotel in St Helena in September 2017. Mantis St Helena is a 30-bedroomed boutique hotel located in the heart of Jamestown, the island’s capital, and made up partially by the old East India Company’s Officers’ Barracks building which was constructed around 1774, and carefully restored to house the hotel’s  Heritage  Suites. With a  restaurant, boardroom, bar, and guest lounge.

Mantis St Helena Hotel

Mantis St Helena offers an international standard of service with the warm hospitality of the Saints, the colourful people that call this island home.

St Helena Hotel rooftop dining

Today, you, the adventurer, can follow in the steps of early pioneers and experience the tangible history and culture of this bucket-list destination,
never compromising on comfort.

Mantis St Helena room study

Getting There

Airlink – a privately owned airline business and a franchise to SAA – is the Regional Feeder Airline, offering a wide network of regional and domestic flights within southern Africa. Airlink is a member of South African Airways Loyalty programme – Voyager. 

Watch this video clip about how Airlink overcame the winds of the Atlantic to avail this undiscovered destination to the world.

Through their alliance with SAA travellers connect conveniently with SAA, their Partner airlines and other carriers throughout southern Africa
and the world

Contact your travel agent or SAA Central Reservations on +27 11 978 1111 or book online at

Hotel Bookings

Street view of Mantis St Helena Hotel

Contact Mantis St Helena Hotel directly to book your stay and itinerary on +29 02 5505 or email [email protected] or contact Mantis Central Reservations on +27 41 404 9300 or visit

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