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WELCOME TO St Helena
|There can be few places on Earth that afford travellers the opportunity to get off the beaten track in quite the way that St Helena does.
A far-flung vestige of empire, this mountainous tropical island in the South Atlantic may just surprise with it’s stunning landscape, mild climate, fantastic marine wildlife and intriguing history.
Of course, the most famous name in St Helena’s history is that of Napoleon Bonaparte who was exiled here by the British in 1815 after Waterloo and died on the island in 1821. It’s possible to visit both of the properties he stayed in – Briars Pavilion and Longwood House – as well as his original burial site, where he lay for a quarter of a century before his remains were transferred to Paris.
The island’s rugged, volcanic terrain makes for some excellent walking trails across the interior. The walks are graded from easy to hard and are known as the “Post Box Walks” as all 21 finish at a post box in which comments can be recorded. Highlights include the ascent of Diana’s Peak (2684ft) from which breathtaking views of St Helena’s landscape can be taken in, as well as Flagstaff which includes a trek through an old Boer prisoner of war camp.
The hiking trails also afford visitors an excellent opportunity to view some of St Helena’s unique wildlife. There are over 60 different bird species including the endemic wirebird – named for it’s thin, wire-like legs. The island also has well preserved coral ecosystems and a number of fish species , including the St Helena butterflyfish, are unique to its waters. By boat it is possible to sight a variety of different dolphin species and there have even been occasional sightings of humpbacked whales.
The island’s most famous non-human resident is Jonathon, a Seychelles tortoise brought to St Helena in 1882. Jonathon can be visited at Plantation House and is thought to be around 180 years old !
15.9650° S, 5.7089° W
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OUR St Helena FAVOURITES