Here’s why St Helena Island must be on your 2024 Wishlist 

Posted on 2 November 2023

Hiding quietly in the heart of the South Atlantic Ocean, St Helena, an island often overshadowed by its showier, tourist-heavy counterparts, beckons intrepid explorers with a breath of fresh air. With 2024 just around the corner, adventure seekers should set their sights on this captivating haven. After all, how often can you claim to have visited one of the most remote islands on earth? 

 Here’s why 2024 is the time to visit: 

  1. Embark on Diverse Hiking Expeditions

With its contrasting terrains, St Helena offers a mosaic of experiences for nature lovers. Dramatic volcanic cliffs provide panoramic South Atlantic Ocean views, while gentle rolling hills invite strolls amidst lush flora.  

For those seeking a comprehensive hiking experience, the Festival of Walking from November 2023 to March 2024 is a must-attend. This festival encompasses the celebrated 21 ‘Post Box Walks’ and offers guest-guided hikes, allowing participants to delve deeper into the island’s rich tapestry of terrains and tales. The Post Box Walks showcase the island’s diversity, each ending with a ‘post box’ containing a signature book and stamp to use as a souvenir. Walks vary in difficulty and range from 1.5km to 12km. 

  1. Swim Alongside Nature’s Gentle Titans

Whale sharks, the ocean’s gentle giants, converge in the pristine waters of St Helena from November to May. These behemoths, with their mesmerising grace, promise an exhilarating snorkelling experience.  

And, for those eager to immerse in the local culture while admiring these wonders, the annual Whale Shark Festival in February 2024 is a bucket list experience. The event accentuates the symbiotic relationship between nature and the island’s inhabitants through a blend of festivities and conservation efforts. 

  1. Revere the World’s Ageless Wonder

Meet St Helena Island’s most famous resident, Jonathan the tortoise, who has been a silent observer of the island’s evolving narratives since the 1880s. In December 2023, join the celebrations commemorating the life of this legendary tortoise as he celebrates his 191st birthday. Jonathan holds two Guinness World Records, including being the world’s oldest living land animal.  

  1. Revel in the Enchanting Festival of Lights

December on St Helena is a spectacle of festivities and harmony. The Festival of Lights in Jamestown is a testament to this. On 20 December 2023, witness the island’s capital shimmering under thousands of lights with jubilant parades, vibrant floats, and infectious island melodies. The festivities blend traditional charm with modern flair, embodying the essence of St Helena’s yuletide spirit. 

  1. Indulge in a Culinary and Artistic Fiesta

With its melting pot of British, Asian, and African influences, St Helena’s culinary canvas is as diverse as its landscapes. February 2024’s Food and Craft Festival provides a gourmet gateway to this eclectic blend. Relish local delicacies that tantalise the palate and meander through stalls that showcase the island’s rich artistic heritage. From intricate crafts to organic produce, this festival celebrates St Helena’s sustainable ethos and the artisans behind it. 

St Helena, with its blend of natural wonders, cultural extravaganzas, and an unbreakable bond with history, promises a truly unique voyage of discovery in 2024. Whether it’s the dance of whale sharks, the age-old tales of Jonathan, or the culinary and craft mastery, this destination promises to linger in your memories long after you’ve left its shores. Mark your calendar, for St Helena awaits! 

Need to know
Connectivity: While the island’s remote nature remains one of its most appealing aspects, visitors can now more easily ‘check in’ to the modern world thanks to revamped internet speeds and pricing, in effect from October 2023.  

Getting there: Airlink offers direct flights from South Africa to the island on Saturdays. An additional flight will operate on Tuesdays for the summer season, from 28 November 2023 to the end of February 2024.  




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