Thursday, April 26, 2007

SAINT HELENA: AN AFRICAN ISLAND IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC OCEAN

Jacobs Ladder Saint Helena

Saint Helena is one of the most remote islands in the world, and is where the famous Napoleon was exiled (for the second time). The island is so small that it can be seen, in its entirety, in one day. Saint Helena was discovered by Portuguese navigator, Joao dã Nova, who landed at the site of what is now Jamestown on 21 May 1502. The island soon became a haven for merchant ships plying their trade because of its plentiful supply of fresh water, fruit and goats.
Named after St. Helena of Constantinople, the island is of volcanic origin, and is a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. The territory consists of the island of Saint Helena, as well as the dependencies of Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.

Blue Hill Grazing land

Saint Helena has a small population of several thousand inhabitants (CIA Fact book reports the population to be at an estimated 7,543 as of July 2007), descended mainly from peoples of the British Isles, Scandinavia and Western and Southern Africa. In recent decades, many have migrated to the Falkland Islands and the United Kingdom. The life expectancy for men is 75 years and for women an astounding 81 years.

St Helena’s economy is very weak, and the island is almost entirely sustained by aid from London. The territory has few natural resources. Agriculture, the sale of fishing licenses and tourism are the main economic activities. A fish freezing facility has been set up on St Helena. About 1700 St Helenians work offshore, mainly in Ascension, the Falklands and the UK. The St Helena Pound is on par with the British sterling pound.


Napoleon's Tomb

Saint Helena's tourist industry is based heavily on the promotion of Napoleon’s imprisonment. A golf course also exists and the possibility for sport fishing tourism is great. The island produces what is said to be the most expensive coffee in the world; it also produces and exports Tungi Spirit, made from the fruit of the prickly or cactus pears, Opuntia vulgaris. Tungi is the local St Helenian name for the prickly, or cactus, pear.


POLITICS

St Helena Governor's Residence

Executive authority in Saint Helena is invested in Queen Elizabeth II, and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor of Saint Helena. The Governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British Government. Defense and Foreign Affairs remain the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

FAMOUS VISITORS TO THE ISLAND

An interesting depiction of history by an artist upon the arrival of a vanquished and exiled Napoleon to St Helena -"The Natives of Saint Helena Island Flee Before Their New Sovereign/Napoleons Triumphal Arrival in his New Kingdom" More click here

Over the years the island has had many famous visitors such as Edmund Halley (1677), William Dampier, the navigator and explorer who visited the island in 1691, Captain Cook (1775), and Charles Darwin, who stopped on his homeward bound journey in 1836. Other famous residents on the island include Napoleon Bonaparte - exiled to the island in 1815 - and South African Zulu Chief Dinizulu, son of Cetewayo, who was exiled to St Helena in 1890, and who remained there for several years.

Longwood House, Napoleon's Home while in exile on the island. It was on St Helena that Napoleon Bonaparte died.


HOW DO YOU GET TO SAINT HELENA?


St Helena has no airport; the only way to travel to and from the island is by ship.

There is no airport in St Helena, and there is only one ship. The Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St Helena, which is owned by St Helena Line, is managed on its behalf by Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd. The islanders voted in January and February 2002 to pursue air access to the island. Earlier this year, UK Department for International Development DFID announced that, subject to satisfactory contract bids and a rigorous environmental impact assessment, air access will be established for St Helena by the time RMS St Helena is withdrawn from scheduled service in or around 2010.







Royal Mail Ship St Helena, a cargo and passenger vessel with a passenger capacity of 128 people, offers a scheduled service between St Helena, Ascension, Walvis Bay and Cape Town.

The Plantation House, one of the famous tourist sites in St Helena

There are currently only three hotels on St Helena, two of which are situated in Jamestown; the other is in a country location. They are: The Consulate Hotel, Wellington House Hotel, and Farm Lodge Country House Hotel. However, several bed and breakfast facilities are available across the island.


The only transport on St Helena is by road; about 110 km of surfaced road exist on the island. Steep gradients and hairpin bends are common. There is now a public transport system, and taxi services are available. St Helena has 2388 vehicles registered, of which 150 are public service vehicles, 97 commercial , 221 Government , and 1920 privately owned . A limited number of hire-drive cars are available, and a small number of boats powered by inboard or outboard motor are also available for hire or for fishing trips.

Mountain View

To the world, Saint Helena extends a warm welcome to a unique destination filled with history, steeped in tradition, and full of natural wonders. Set in the tropical South Atlantic, the island of St Helena offers a rare and un-spoilt tourist attraction for those intrepid travelers - something hard to find in today’s rushed and fast-changing world.


MORE INFORMATION
Saint Helena The Official Government Website Click here
Saint Helena Tourist Office Website
Click here
South Atlantic Remote Territories Media Association SARTMA.COM Click Here

3 comments:

Jeff said...

Wow!If my memory is correct,this is only the second time that I have heard of this tiny island.You covered it all very well.Thanks

clickonclingham said...

Great link this is
I have just started a blogg and have a web site with a photo gallery for St Helenea and Ascension Island. http://www.clickonclingham.com

Julie Brutnell said...

My Great Grandfather John Winn , his wife Mary and my grandmother Barbara Winn all lived in St Helena for 6 years. They moved there in 1920 and my Grandmother can remember sliding up and down the hallway in the Govenors House and being told off because of the marble statues that she might have bumped in to.
Great site .. very informative

 
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