Combining restored historic buildings with a new contemporary building, Mantis St Helena is ideally located a short walk from the seafront and amenities in Jamestown, perfect for exploring.
The impressive property, constructed in the late 18th century adjacent to St James’ church, originally served as the officer’s barracks for the East India Company. In addition, it has housed the military, been a residential home and provided the government with some office space. Of significant historical value, there are remnants of artefacts and features on the site that have been restored and form part of the property today.
The buildings have been carefully and accurately restored to resemble their original Georgian design, albeit with a few later Victorian features. Six of the eight heritage suites are located in the original building over looking Main Street, and the 22 contemporary rooms are located in a new building linked by a terrace. All rooms feature air-conditioning and private bathroom (some with bath only) with amenities, a TV, work top/vanity dresser, tea and coffee making facilities, a safe and phone. Some rooms are inter-connecting and two of the contemporary rooms are wheelchair friendly.
Facilities include a restaurant serving local and international cuisine as well as a cocktail bar leading onto a terrace were meals and sundowners are served al fresco. A limited package of complimentary WiFi internet access is available for guests (additional data can be purchased locally).
St Helena is an island of unspoilt beauty with a unique character and friendly locals known as ‘Saints’. With its contrasting and spectacular scenery, centuries old military fortifications and so much to discover underwater, it’s the perfect place for active exploration.
Jamestown is a 30 minute road transfer from the airport.
Established in 2010, Sub-Tropic Adventures are an experienced, friendly local team passionate about diving around St Helena. They operate daily boat dives, PADI courses from beginner to Divemaster and other marine excursions such as dolphin and whale watching in season (Jun-Dec).
The volcanic coastline is haven for marine life, including 50 endemic species such as the flameback angel fish and St Helenian butterfly fish, seen in their hundreds. There’s something for everyone whether exploring the reefs and caves, enjoying pelagic encounters around the seamounts or discovering a few of the eight fascinating wrecks; the Witte Leeuw cargo ship is the deepest, resting at 35 metres.
Expect to see Chilean devil rays in large numbers, hawksbill and green turtles, moray eels, octopus, nudibranch, yellow fin tuna, wahoo and dorado. In addition, there are three species of resident dolphin; bottlenose, rough toothed and the Atlantic pan-tropical spotted. Seen in pods of a thousand individuals, they are highly active and acrobatic, often seen riding bow waves and performing long low leaps at high speeds.
The beginning of the year is the warmest, a time of plankton blooms and fish spawning. This attracts larger pelagic species, most notably the whale shark. Their presence has been monitored and numbers have been increasing. What’s special about this aggregation is that both male and female individuals have been seen. It’s possible to snorkel with the whale sharks, an activity which is highly regulated.
It’s possible to dive most of the year, but the peak season runs from December to July when average water temperature is 24C and visibility, 25 metres.
is featured in the following itineraries:
Join cameraman and marine conservationist Danny Copeland on this remote Atlantic outpost in prime whale shark season, to uncover the mysteries of St Helena with experts and like-minded individuals.
When to go: Feb
Duration inc. flights: 12 days
Price inc. flights: From £4,195 pp
Trip type: Group
One of the most exciting dive areas to open up in recent years, this remote Atlantic outcrop is now accessible to divers, promising endemic species, seldom dived shipwrecks and aggregations of whale sharks in season.
When to go: Dec-Jul
Duration inc. flights: 12 days
Price inc. flights: From £3,095 pp
Tailor-made trip idea
This accommodation is located in:
This small, rugged sub-tropical island in the south Atlantic is blessed with fascinating history, a wealth of wildlife found nowhere else on earth, and fabulous marine life encounters. Diving is offered year round, with whale sharks making an appearance December to March.
Ideal for viewing: whale shark, mobula ray, green turtle, humpback whale, bottlenose dolphin
Excellent for: Group diving, Whale shark, Snorkelling