ESSENTIAL SERVICES OF SAINT HELENA


Banking

Banking services on St. Helena and Ascension Island are provided by the Bank of St. Helena, which is located in the Market Square, Jamestown.

Services available to visitors include the encashment of travellers cheques at a 2% charge and the exchange of banknotes in Sterling, US Dollars, Euro and South African Rand. Customers can also obtain cash advances on major credit cards, and UK clearing bank customers can encash UK bank cheques, up to the limit of the applicable cheque guarantee card.

Charges applicable to these services are advertised in the bank.

Click here for more details about the Bank of St. Helena and current rates and fees.

Business Hours

Businesses opening hours, unless otherwise stated, are usually from 8:30am - 4.00pm Mondays to Fridays.

Car Rentals

It is HIGHLY recommended that you book in advance as it can be difficult to book a car once on the Island because of the great demand not only from visitors but Saints (St Helenians) as well.

Car hire can be arranged via St Helena Tourism Enquiries desk or through Reservations at Andrew Weir Shipping. Visitors must hold and bring with them a valid driving licence with no endorsements for dangerous driving or drunken driving in the last 5 years and must be 21 years and over (restrictions may be imposed by some companies in respect of the upper age limit).

Car Hire costs from GBP10.00 - GBP15.00 per day. This rate includes insurance however, any minor damages e.g. broken headlight, wing-mirror, etc, will have to be paid for by the client. Before driving, the hirer must register at the Police Station in Jamestown where they record details of your Driver's Licence.

To book a car, please contact:

St Helena Tourism Enquiries Desk:

St Helena Tourism

Main Street

Jamestown

St Helena Island

SAO

STHL 1ZZ

Tel: + (290) 2158

Fax: + (290) 2159

E: enquiries@tourism.gov.sh


Reservations, Andrew Weir Shipping:

Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd

Dexter House,

2 Royal Mint Court

London, EC3N 4XX

Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7575 6480

Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7575 8200

E: reservation@aws.co.uk
Clothing

Casual informal clothing is appropriate; however it is advisable to bring a jersey and light-weight rain jacket, and good walking shoes if you are contemplating doing any of our interesting walks. Semi-formal clothing is also suggested for some evenings.
Communications

Cable & Wireless is the telecommunications provider for St Helena, offering services such as International Direct Dialing, Internet & Email Facilities, Information Service, Facsimile, Television, Flexible Access and National and Internatioal telephone. Phone cards can be obtained from the Cable & Wireless Office Customer Care Centre or Warren's shop, Wellington House Hotel, Anne's Place and the Consulate Hotelr in Jamestown and various country outlets. Phone booths are located in Jamestown and the country districts. Collect calls are possible to United Kingdom and Ascension Island.

A public internet bureau with WiFi facilities is available at Ann's Place, Castle Gardens, Jamestown.

Currency

St Helena Pounds is used on the island and the St Helena pound is fixed at parity with British Pound Sterling, which is accepted on the island.

NB: Scottish banknotes are accepted however, Scottish coins/change are not accepted.

Customs

St Helena is not a duty-free port.

Duty Free Allowance

Visitors arriving in St Helena may bring with them the following:
(a) Spirits, strong liqueurs over 22% volume, 1 litre and Wine x 2 litres, or Beer/Lager 340 bottle/cans 12 bottles/cans
(b) Perfumed spirits & toilet water not exceeding 250 ml
(c) Cigarettes not exceeding 200, or
(d) Other tobacco goods not exceeding in all 250 grams

Persons under the age of 18 years cannot claim the duty free allowance of alcoholic liquors and persons under the age of 16 years cannot claim the duty free allowance of cigarettes and other tobacco goods.

Prohibited Goods

(a) Firearms and ammunition unless accompanied by a valid license.
(b) Obscene items or pornographic literature, films or video tapes.
(c) Fruit, vegetables and plant material unless accompanied by an import permit issued by the Chief Agricultural & Natural Resources Officer, St Helena and phytosanitary and export inspection certificates from the country of origin.
(d) Animals unless accompanied by a permit issued by the Chief Agricultural & Natural Resources Officer, St Helena.

Further information can be obtained from Customs on tel +290 2287; fax +290 2949; or email: snr.customsofficer@cwimail.sh

Animals, Fruit & VegetablesIt is important to make arrangements well in advance of your departure date if you wish to bring animals, fruit or vegetables to the island. The law prohibits the importation of animals, plants, fruit and vegetables without prior approval and documentation from the Chief Agricultural & Natural Resources Officer, tel + 290 4724; fax + 290 4603; or email: CANRO@anrd.gov.sh

Driving

Most roads are single lane. Etiquette requires the driver coming down to make way for up-coming traffic. Drive on the left-hand side of the road. The drink drive laws are strictly applied with a limit of 50µg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The safest course is not to Drink and Drive.

Speed Limits: Unless otherwise stated, normal speed limits are 30mph. Road signs are shown in miles per hour and not kilometres per hour. In Jamestown the speed limit is 20mph.

Petrol and diesel can also be bought from Solomon's Fuel Station, Jamestown; Half Tree Hollow Spar and Longwood Supermarket.

Eating out

There is a variety of St Helena local dishes for the visitors to enjoy such as fishcakes, black puddings, pilau, coconut fingers, pumpkin pudding and pumpkin fritters. For more information visit the tourist office and pick up a ‘Let's Eat' leaflet. Visitors are advised to book in advance at one of the local eating places for evening meals.
Electricity

The electricity supply on St Helena is 240V, 50Hz. The standard electrical socket is the 13-amp flat pin as used in the United Kingdom.
Emergencies

In case of emergency, dial 911 for Ambulance and 999 for Police, Fire or Sea Rescue.

Entry Requirements

All visitors must have valid passports. Return tickets and pre-booked accommodation.

Visitor's Pass

A fee of £12.00 is payable for all visitors over twelve years disembarking at St Helena. A Visitors Pass will normally be issued for a period of one month, although this may be renewed for stays up to three months. Remember to have proof of your medical insurance with you if you intend staying longer than 48 hours.

Entry Permit

Visitors envisaging a stay of over three months are advised to consider applying for an Entry Permit, which can be issued for a period of up to five years, especially where the applicant has a spouse or common law partner with St Helenian status. Applications for an Entry Permit should be submitted to the Secretary of the Immigration Control Board, tel. + 290 2470; fax. + 290 2598; or email: cofcouncils@sainthelena.gov.sh If the Entry Permit is granted, visitors will be required to pay a fee of £20.00 per annum.

Immigration

The St Helena Government welcomes visitors and, subject to certain conditions, those who intend to make their future lives on the Island, particularly those married to or in a stable long-term relationship with a resident with 'St Helenian status'. For further information, please contact the Immigration Officer, tel. + 290 2626; fax + 290 2096; or email: Immigration1@police.gov.sh

Insurance

Before leaving home you should arrange travel, personal accident, additional medical insurance and baggage insurance to cover the journey. You will be asked to produce proof of medical insurance by the Immigration Officer if you intend to stay longer than 48 hours, please remember to have it with your passport.

Language

English is the only language spoken on St Helena, although most St Helenians speak their own dialect of the English language.

Location

St Helena is situated in the South Atlantic Ocean, 5° 43' west and 15° 56' south, 1,200 miles (1,950km) from the south-west coast of Africa, and 1,800 miles (2,900km) from the coast of South America. The nearest land is Ascension Island, which lies 703 miles (1,125km) to the north-west. The Island is 47 square miles (122 square km), ten and a half miles (17km) long and six and a half miles (10km) wide.

Marriage

Those wishing to marry on St Helena should contact our Legal & Land Planning Department, tel. + 290 2270; fax. + 290 2454; or email: clerk@legalandlands.gov.sh

Medical Care

There is a small (54 beds) modern, well-equipped General Hospital, a Dental Surgery and a Community Clinic in Jamestown. There are also six rural health clinics around the island, regularly visited by the doctors, dentist and community nurses.

There is no National Health Service and local residents pay for all medical treatment. Rates for medical and dental attention are divided into three rates for: Non United Kingdom residents, United Kingdom residents and residents rates. Please contact Tourist Office for further information on medical and dental fees and charges.

Population

The population of St Helena is 5,000, mainly descendants of British settlers, East India Company employees and slaves from the South Asian sub-Continent, the East Indies and Madagascar as well as Chinese indentured labourers. The capital and only town is Jamestown, with a population of 884. The other main districts of population are Longwood and Half Tree Hollow.

Postal Service

The main Post Office is in Main Street, Jamestown. All districts have a sub-Post Office operating in a general store or grocery shop. Postage stamps are available from the main Post Office, sub-Post Offices and Warren's, Main Street, Jamestown. Overseas post is operated via the RMS St Helena. There is no door-to-door delivery available so mail should be collected from your area's assigned outlet (check with the main Post Office in Jamestown about this). The Post Office will receive mail for you providing it is addressed Poste Restante where it can then be collected from the main Post Office. Postal information line telephone 6099.

Public Library

The St Helena public library is the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere. Visitors may borrow up to four (4) books at a time on deposit of £10 which will be refunded on the return of all books borrowed. Check with St Helena Tourism Enquiries Desk for opening times.

Pubs

Opening times for pubs and clubs vary. Most pubs open Mondays to Saturdays: from 11:00am - 11:00pm or after. Some pubs/clubs are also open on a Sunday, (times will vary depending on pub/club), normal hours are from noon until 2:00pm or from 5:00pm until 1:30pm. Alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed on the streets of Jamestown.

Check the weekly newspapers for published times and events. The Herald or The Independent

Radio broadcasting

Saint FM provides a local radio service for the island which is also available on Internet Radio and relayed in Ascension Island and the Falkland Islands.

Radio Saint Helena provides a local radio service that has a range of about 100 km from the island, and also broadcasts internationally on Amateur Radio Wavelengths on one day a year.

Religion

Christianity has deep roots in St Helena and has played a symbolic part in the island's community, the majority of people belonging to the Church of England, being members of the Diocese of St Helena, which includes Ascension Island, and which has its own Bishop residing on St Helena.

Other denominations of Christianity represented on the island for many years are: Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, Baptist, and in more recent times; Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witness and New Apostolic.

The Baha'i Faith has also been represented on the island in more recent times.

These all have one or more buildings set apart for worship. The members of the ‘Two by Two' Christian Group meets for worship in private homes. Visitors are welcomed by all of these Religious Groups.

Details of church services are published in the weekly St Helena Herald

Seaport

Jamestown is the only port on St Helena. The harbour consists of an open roadstead with three anchorages. Vessels of any size can use the anchorage. Passengers can be ferried by ships' tenders or local boats.

Shopping

Local crafts and souvernirs on St Helena can be bought from the Art & Craft Shop in Jamestown, Abiwans, SHAPE at Sandy Bay, Serena's Gift Shop, the Museum gift shop, Warren's and other shops in Jamestown. Special items of craft can also be purchased from the individual producer. Souvenirs, such as T-Shirts, Caps, Key-rings, etc are on sale in a number of shops in Jamestown. St Helena stamps or First Day Covers make excellent souvenirs of St Helena, and can be found at the Post Offcie in Main Street.

Shop Hours

Most shops in Jamestown usually open:

9:00am - 5:00pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays

9:00am - 1:00pm Wednesdays,

9:00am - 1:00pm & 6:30pm - 8:30pm Saturdays.

Some shops also open late on Friday evenings and on Wednesday afternoons. All shops are closed on Sundays, except when there is a cruise ship in port.

St Helena Coffee

The rare and tasteful St. Helena Coffee can be bought on St. Helena from either of the following retailers: Wellington shop, The Star, Warrens, the St. Helena Coffee shop at the Seafront or Farm Lodge Country House Hotel.

Taxis

Details of taxis can be found in the telephone directory, at the Tourist Office or at your accommodation. Taxis do not have meters and rates should be checked before the journey. There is also a taxi rank in Jamestown.

Time

Greenwich Mean Time all year round.

Tipping

Tipping is very much the individual's choice according to service. A tip of around 10% is standard.

Travellers HELP

Assistance or advice is available Mon - Fri 8:30am - 4pm, and 10am - 1pm on Saturdays from our Tourist Office located at:

The Canister, Main Street, Jamestown. Tel: + (290) 2158, Fax: + (290) 2159, or email enquiries@tourism.gov.sh

Transport

The public transport system on St Helena is fairly new and has a very limited service. However, visitors have the option of booking tours through the Tourist Office, car rental or taxis. See Getting Around for more information.

Travel

St Helena has no airport as yet therefore the only mode of travel is by ship. The RMS St Helena provides a regular service from the United Kingdom (via Tenerife and Ascension Island) and from Cape Town, South Africa. Visit the RMS St Helena website to find out more. Travel booking information can be obtained from:

Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd.

17th floor,

No. 1 Thibault Square,

Cape Town, South Africa.

Tel.: +27-21-4251165

Fax: +27-21-4217485

Email: sthelenaline@mweb.co.za


Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd

Dexter House,

2 Royal Mint Court

London, EC3N 4xx

Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7575 6480

Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7575 8200

Email: reservations@aws.co.uk


Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd.

PO Box 3233

Walvis Bay

Namibia

Tel: +264 64 220495

Fax: +264 64 220496

Email: sthelena@iway.na