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Destinations Africa St Helena

St Helena

The volcanic island of St Helena lies in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, and at 1,900 kilometres from the coast of Africa and 4,000 kilometres from the coast of South America, it is one of the most remote islands on the world. First discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, the island was eventually colonised by the British in 1658, under the administration of the East India company serving as a vital stopping point on the Cape shipping route. Evidence of colonial influence is everywhere on the island, from the language and currency, to the churches, quaint towns and traditional customs.
St Helena has received many important people over the course of history both as visitors and guests, but most famous of all was the exile of Napoleon Bonaparte, from 1815 until his death in 1821. With its strategic location and it’s important visitors the island now has a rich history, whilst the landscape varies greatly in spite of its small size. Rugged coastlines give way to mountain peaks in the centre of the island, whilst much of the interior is covered in thick forest home to a variety of endemic flora and fauna.
Previously only accessible by a six day voyage aboard the RMS St Helena from Cape Town, the island can now reached via a three hour flight from Johannesburg after its airport was completed in October 2017. It is hoped that this will bring more tourists to the island, providing the vital boost to the economy that St Helena needs.


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