Dive holiday experts Diverse Travel have added the destination of St Helena to their programme.
St Helena is one of the remotest inhabited islands and most-exciting dive destinations worldwide. A subtropical paradise nestled deep in the South Atlantic Ocean, this tiny island – just ten by five miles and with a population less than 4,500 – is quite literally a world away from anywhere else.
St Helena’s geographical isolation makes for an exceptional ecosystem. This is one of Earth’s finest natural playgrounds, packed with mountainous peaks and trails, hundreds of endemic wildlife species, and a globally significant ancient cloud forest.
Underwater, the island is equally blessed, and her crystal-clear warm waters boast an outstanding diversity of habitats and life. Shaped by ancient volcanic activity, the dramatic underwater landscape is characterised by rocky caves, arches, sea mounts and reef structures that host abundant marine life. Over 700 marine species have been spotted here, at least 50 of them are endemic to the island’s surrounding waters, including the so-called ‘Cunning Fish’, otherwise known as the St Helena butterflyfish. Sightings of dolphins, humpback whales, devil rays and turtles are also commonplace here.
Whaleshark heaven in St Helena
Between December and April, whalesharks migrate to the island in large aggregations. The island is the only destination worldwide where male and female whalesharks are seen in such large, equal numbers. If snorkelling with whalesharks is on your must-do list, then St Helena is simply one of the best spots in the world to experience this.
The island’s crystalline waters are also the perfect frame for eight exciting wreck dives, that tell stories of tragedy, loss and treasure across 400 years or more of history. From Jacques Cousteau favourite the Witte Leeuw, to the war grave of the Darkdale, there is plenty to explore.
Above water, St Helena is also a treasure trove. The island is well-known as the place of exile for Napoleon Bonaparte, and history buffs will enjoy exploring its fascinating past in a legacy of fortifications, historic buildings and remains. The island is pristine and untouched by mass tourism, making hiking and outdoor pursuits here simply spectacular.
Diverse Travel Product Manager Phillip Connor says: “St Helena is a really exciting destination for all lovers of the natural world. The island is positively brimming with opportunities for adventure above and below the water, and is full of untapped potential as a dive and holiday destination – we are incredibly excited to share it with our guests.”
Tailormade dive holiday packages to St Helena start from £2,845pp (March 2023) and include return flights London to St Helena via Johannesburg (one piece checked baggage), an overnight stay in Johannesburg, return Airlink flights to St Helena, hotel transfers, seven nights at the historic Mantis St Helena hotel, Jamestown in a double / twin room including breakfast, five days of two tank dives with boat trips, tanks and weights, a whaleshark experience snorkelling trip, plus ATOL and full financial protection as standard. Owing to connecting flights, St Helena is ideally twinned with South Africa.
Why not experience the spectacular diving, wildlife and culture in both countries on a trip of a lifetime?
Photo credit: Beth Taylor and Des Jacob Photography