Small Group Safari or Tailor-Made

St Helena Whale Shark Safari

A pioneering safari to the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena, diving with whale sharks and other marine wildlife and discovering the unique volcanic landscapes and history of the island.

Duration 8 days
Price From $2,534
When Feb 2020
Destination St Helena

Safari Overview

The small British Overseas Territory of St Helena is one of the most remote islands in the world, which has given it a rich and unique ecosystem characterised by its endemic flora and fauna. This safari provides you with the opportunity to become one of the first travellers to arrive by air to discover St Helena’s breathtaking landscapes, from verdant green hillsides to rugged volcanic cliffs, and discover the cultural and natural highlights of the island. In the warmer months of January and February, whale sharks can be seen gliding through the clear ocean waters, allowing you to swim alongside them as you explore the rocky coral reefs and shipwrecks off the coast.  

What makes this trip extraordinary? 

  • One of the best places in the world to swim and snorkel alongside whale sharks. 
  • Explore the cultural and historical sites of St Helena, including the final residence of Napoleon Bonaparte. 
  • Search for endemic birdlife as you hike through the idyllic countryside. 
  • Sail and snorkel in the clear blue waters in search of marine life, including turtles, devil rays and dolphins.

Previously accessible only by boat, the new airport is set to open this unique and beautiful island up to visitors from across the world.

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Day by day

Day 1

Arrive St Helena

After checking in at Johannesburg International Airport for your flight to St Helena, you'll be met upon arriving in the island by our local representative and transferred to your accommodation. This afternoon will be spent at leisure giving you the opportunity to explore Jamestown or simply relax at your hotel.

Overnight: Mantis St Helena

Day 2

Half Day Swimming with Whale Sharks

After an early breakfast at the hotel, you'll embark on a boat cruise upon the clear waters of St Helena. Here you will have your first opportunity to snorkel with the incredible whale sharks, who appear in remarkable numbers off the coast of St Helena in the warmer months of January and February. Despite their enormous size, whale sharks are gentle giants, and you will be able to swim alongside them as you observe them gliding slowly through the waters. Several species of dolphins and seabirds may also be viewed from the boat. Return to the shore in time for lunch at Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant, and spend the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight: Mantis St Helena B, L

Day 3

Exploring St Helena

This morning you will have the opportunity to head out on a guided 4x4 excursion exploring the unique landscapes of St Helena alongside a specialist guide. You'll explore the fascinating volcanic formations dotted across the island and the rolling green hills. En-route, stop to enjoy a picnic lunch and take in the scenery, and the wonderful birdlife that St Helena is renowned for, including many endemic species. Alternatively the other morning option is to hike or walk to Lot's Wife's Ponds. This is an enjoyable walk along the southern coastline with the chance to view the nesting sites of boobies. At the Ponds you can have a swim or snorkel to view the marine life before returning to Jamestown. This afternoon enjoy a historical town walk in lower Jamestown before dinner.

Overnight: Mantis St Helena B

Day 4

Full Day Swimming with Whale Sharks

Today you will have another opportunity to free dive with whale sharks as you head out on your second boat excursion. Look out for other marine wildlife that can be found in the rocky coral reefs around the island, including devil rays and both green and hawksbill turtles. You may choose to assist with the identification process of the whale sharks, spotting their unique features and confirming their sex and size. After returning to Jamestown for lunch, in the afternoon its back into the water for a further opportunity to encounter and snorkel with these magnificent marine megafauna.

Overnight: Mantis St Helena B

Day 5

Diana’s Peak & Coffee Plantation Tour

This morning you will join the St Helena National Trust for a guided walk through Diana's Peak National Park. At 823m, the summit of Diana's Peak is the highest point on the island, providing spectacular views over the surrounding landscapes. En-route you will also observe St Helena's endemic flora & fauna, and learn about the conservation efforts surrounding them. After lunch, enjoy a tour of the coffee plantation at Rosemary Gate Coffee Estate, followed by refreshments and local coffee.

Overnight: Mantis St Helena B

Day 6

Dolphin & Marine Coastal Tour

Today you will set out on your third and final excursion to swim with whale sharks. First enjoy a marine coastal tour and dolphin encounter with a pod of 400-500 pantropical dolphins as they entertain you in their natural environment. You will then take a gentle cruise along the leeward side of the island to view the nesting sites of the marine bird colonies, with the island's unique historical point of interest being highlighted along the way. This afternoon, enjoy a tour of a local distillery.

Overnight: Mantis St Helena B

Day 7

Napoleonic Sites & St Helena Coastlines

Your Napoleonic tour will begin by visiting the Briars Pavilion, Napoleon’s first place of stay on St Helena, then onto the famed French military leader's tomb, and finally his house. Continue within the Longwood area and visit the camping site of the Boer War prisoners, where you will also encounter the island's endemic wirebird. Then across the countryside to the Boer War Cemetery, which is located near the oldest cathedral in the Southern Hemisphere, from which you will visit High Knoll Fort, the largest, most prominent and complete of all the forts and military installations on the island. Finally returning to Jamestown via Ladder Hill, where you will have a great opportunity to walk down the 699 steps of Jacobs’s Ladder.

Overnight: Mantis St Helena B

Day 8

Depart St Helena

Today you will bid farewell to St Helena and be transferred to the airport in time for your international flight home. We are also able to organise safari extensions within South Africa or the rest of mainland Africa.

Trip Details


This safari is available on a set departure date but can also be run on a tailor-made basis. Please contact us for more details.

2020 Departures

Date  Price
 Feb 21 - Mar 1  TBC 

The price of this trip is £1,980 per person sharing. Please note that there is a £425 single room supplement for solo travellers.

Please also note that this is a small group safari departing on a single set date, with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 guests.

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Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our ST HELENA safaris.
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