For the first time breathtaking whale shark diving
St Helena adventure travel will have you dive some of the most remote waters on the planet including swimming with whale sharks, exploring overhangs, and swimming throughs wrecks and reefs. See the nocturnals as they bring these mysterious waters to life.
It was a million years ago in the middle of a stark south Atlantic ocean, that two volcanoes erupted out of the water spitting fire and creating St Helena Island. The phenomenon pushed two mountains high into the sky. And from there the island of St Helena has grown over a millennia. Although, however remote it is, life has had plenty of time to find, and colonise it! So much that once it was a pawn in maritime supremacy.
St Helena travel gives visitors beauty, and there’s nothing to distract you from it! In fact, it’s such a tiny dot on the map that if you look, you wouldn’t find it. There’s few undiscovered destinations in the world, and until recently, the British Territory of St Helena with its rocky rampant 2000 km’s of coast was one of them.
But to understand St Helena, you have to visit to pause:
- Diving / snorkeling with whale sharks
- Endemic flora, fauna & coastal fortifications
- Why culture is their attraction
- Mantis Accommodation
Surrounded by clear warm waters brimming with diverse wildlife, St Helena allows visitors to escape modern life, combining adventure travel with some of the planet’s most endangered wildlife.
Diving / snorkeling with whale sharks
Just in case you’re worried? These polka dot striped & patterned (each whale shark’s spot pattern is unique as a fingerprint) sharks may be the size of a whale, but they aren’t whales. They are the worlds largest fish! But, as the largest shark (fish), they are filter feeders, and don’t tear their prey apart. They survive exclusively on sifting plankton and small fish. They swim with their mouth wide open. One can note that the throat of these fish are tiny throat and designed only for swallowing tiny particles.
The Island is a safe-haven for whale sharks (and many other mega fauna species) and St Helena continues to take a precautionary approach when interacting with them to ensure the environment in which interaction is undertaken is as natural as possible. St Helena is visited by both male and female adult whale sharks in reliable numbers, which is unusual when compared with other places.
You may choose to assist with the whale sharks’ identification process, spotting the unique features and confirming the sex and size of these magnificent marine megafauna.
Endemic flora, fauna & coastal fortifications
Other endemic flora, fauna and coastal fortifications The natural environment runs from the clear Atlantic waters past sheer cliffs and breath-taking rock formations, through arid red desert dotted with cacti, rolling green fields and flax-covered hillsides to a pinnacle of prehistoric cloud forest.
Look out for other marine wildlife that can be found among the rocky coral reefs, including:
- Devil rays;
- Both green and hawksbill turtles;
- Pantropical dolphins (some of the most social dolphins).
Visitors can also meet Jonathan the tortoise, the oldest terrestrial animal in the world at 186 years! Enjoy a light lunch at Rosemary Plain before taking a coffee plantation tour in the afternoon. The Green-Tipped Bourbon Arabica varietal coffee was introduced to St Helena in 1733 by the island’s then owner, the East India Company; it is now rated one of the best-tasting coffees worldwide.
Whilst hiking the unique landscapes above sea, spot endemic birdlife. Explore the cultural and historic highlights of the island, including the final residence of Napolean Bonaparte and the oldest church in the southern hemisphere at the island’s capital, Jamestown.
Why culture is their attraction?
Meet the local saints. One of St Helena’s greatest attractions is its unique culture. The friendliness of the people, the feeling that one has stepped back in time, a sense of community and pride in traditions and customs.
They aren’t the city that doesn’t sleep, they are a city and island that sleeps! They don’t know stress, and hurry here is not a word!
While influenced by several different St Helena dwellers, some of the popular dishes include:
- Spicy fish cakes,
- Plo (a mix of curry & Spanish paella), and
- British traditions of sunday roast, and black pudding.
One thing for sure is based on the island’s isolation, dishes are versatile to available ingredients. Making them easily adaptable to personal tastes.
Of note is the St Helena Cookbook by Pamela Lawrence reflecting St Helena every day dishes and specialities.
Mantis is an African borne collection of Boutique Hotels, Eco-Escapes and Waterways which provides guests with rare and exceptional experiences. Created by Adrian Gardiner, Mantis grew from a humble vision to create travel experiences where man and nature co-exist sustainably.
Mantis St Helena is located in Jamestown, the island’s capital. The 30 – bedroom boutique hotel is set in the original East India Company’s officers’ barracks built in 1774 and homes a large restaurant, cocktail bar, guest lounge and two spacious outdoor terraces. Luxurious Heritage Suites and newly built Contemporary Rooms have set a new accommodation standard on the island. The heritage part of the hotel is allocated to public spaces and furnished according to heritage and history. The modern section is allocated to 30 bedrooms and furnished in a quirky style – bright, colorful and bold patterns to incorporate the island feel.
Furnishings are focused on heritage and history Luxury, coupled with the breathtaking scenery of St Helena, creates a true bucket-list experience for all.
Be one of the first to dive with whale sharks in one of the most remote places in the world on a pioneering safari to this South Atlantic island with Natural World Safaris. A jewel in the Atlantic that sits in paradise.
Natural World Safaris is a leading specialist operator and have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. They know their wildlife and do what they can to preserve its natural habitat. For more information, visit here!