• 10 Days from
    $1,334 p/p in USD
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    Departures
    Jan
TRAVEL PARTNER

Indigo Safaris

  • Botswana
  • Ethiopia
  • Galapagos
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mexico
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • St Helena
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Destinations

Destinations

South Africa, St Helena,

Tour Type

Tour Type

Guided, Small Group

Safari Standard

Safari Standard

Budget, Luxury

Tour Overview

Join our tour to St Helena in January 2022 to see whale sharks, escorted by pro-UW photographer Christopher Bartlett, owner of Indigo Safaris. From January to March each year, St Helena is home to the only known seasonal aggregation of adult male and female whale sharks in the world, with several dozen visible at once at certain dive sites. Start with a night in Johannesburg before flying to St Helena for the 7-night whale shark safari, which includes a host of activities including dives, snorkelling and a 4×4 land tour. There’s a budget or deluxe version of this tour depending on your preference.

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General Information

  • Safari types:
    Dive Safari, Whale Safari
  • You will visit:
    Johannesburg, Jamestown, Jacob's Ladder
  • Wildlife:
    Birds, Shark, Dolphin, Whale Shark, Chilean Devil Ray, Rainbow Runner, Jack
  • Activities:
    Hiking, Zodiac, Diving, Snorkelling, Sightseeing Tour, Swimming
  • Getting around:
    4x4 Vehicle
  • Start/end:
    Start/end in Johannesburg, South Africa

Itinerary in Brief

  • 1 night in Johannesburg
  • 7 nights on St Helena
  • Final night in Johannesburg
  • 10 dives or snorkels over 5 days
  • 2 whale shark snorkelling trips
  • Full day 4×4 land tour
  • 6 days vehicle hire
  • Transfers
  • Deluxe version includes 7 breakfasts on St Helena and 4 dinners

Budget Accommodation

We will be staying in two and three-bedroom cottages in Half-Tree Hollow, built in 2014, located above Jamestown with a magnificent view of the coast and the ocean. Each cottage has a small lounge, kitchen and a bathroom. Single occupancy guests will share a three-bedroom cottage. There is a small supermarket in Half-tree Hollow and other food shops in Jamestown. Fresh fish can be purchased in Jamestown, a five minute drive away.

Deluxe Accommodation

The 4-star Mantis Hotel is a combination of restored historic buildings dating from 1774 and a new contemporary building situated in the heart of Jamestown, a few minutes’ walk from the sea front, swimming pool, museum, Jacob’s Ladder, public library, archives, shops, and bars. The buildings originally served as an officer’s barracks for the East India Company, who administered the island at the time. They served as military accommodation up until the last garrison left the island in the 1900’s. The original buildings were constructed from stone, bonded together with mud and mortar, pointed and rendered with lime which also formed the whitewash, with teak and iroko joinery and flooring. This 30-room boutique hotel has a large restaurant, the best on the island, bar and guest lounge and two outdoor terraces.

Created by pro-UW photographer Christopher Bartlett, owner of Indigo Safaris. Christopher has visited St Helena in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and has been involved in whale shark conservation since 2009. He has led trips to the Galapagos and the Maldives with Dr Simon Pierce, founder of the Marine Megafauna Foundation, adviser to the IUCN on whale shark conservation status, and regarded by his peers as the leading whale shark researcher in the world. Christopher brings a decade of fascination with these gentle giants to the show. Bigspottyfish (and their friends the Bigflappyfish) are very close to our hearts, and the MMF is one of the key conservation organisations that we sponsor each year.

Whale shark interaction
St Helena is home to the only known seasonal aggregation of adult male and female whale sharks, from January to March. In March 2019, the first courtship between two whale sharks was documented, and some of the females are clearly pregnant. They tend to frequent certain dive sites that are sea mounts or ledges. Current regulations prohibit deliberate SCUBA diving with whale sharks, but permits snorkelling and chance encounters on SCUBA.

On this trip, we have two planned whale shark snorkels, and if they appear on a dive site whilst we are diving, we are free to stay and enjoy. If the whale sharks happen to be on the dive site when we arrive, we will snorkel with them, and dive after.

Diving
The diving on St Helena is diverse and very interesting. ​The limestone cliffs on the leeward side of the island host some beautiful caverns,  also packed with fish, many of which are endemic, and make for superb photo opportunities. Lava fingers running into the sea attract Chilean devil rays and pinnacle sites are home to schools of Rainbow runner and jacks. There are a handful of excellent wrecks too.

Snorkelling
The divers get two afternoon whale shark snorkel trips. Non-divers get two afternoon snorkels and two that we will schedule on site, either AM or PM, depending on conditions and what else you want to do.

Price Per Person – GBP

Budget week
January 21st to 30th 2022

Two sharing a double room £1090
Single occupancy £1255

Deluxe week
January 28th to February 6th 28th 2022
Two sharing a double room £1795
Single occupancy £2355

Flights through us
Johannesburg – St Helena – Johannesburg from £650

Payment

25% deposit due to book. Refundable if Covid restrictions interfere. 100% of flights due 60 days before travel if we book them for you.
Balance due 90 days before the start of the trip.

Payment methods

  • Via bank transfer to our GBP account
  • Via Credit Card, subject to a processing fee (1.4% for GB domiciled cards, 2.9% for other cards) using a secure third-party online portal
  • For Euro account holders and USD account holders we can convert at the rate current at the time, and take payment by bank transfer into our EUR or USD accounts
  • Card payment also possible with a EUR card, subject to a processing fee of 1.4%. using a secure third-party online portal

Cancellation policy

More than 90 days before the start of the trip: deposit forfeited.
89 days or less before schedule date of arrival: no refund.

What's Included

For divers

  • 1 night in Johannesburg
  • 7 nights on St Helena
  • Final night in Johannesburg
  • 10 dives over 5 days
  • 2 whale shark snorkelling trips
  • Full day 4×4 land tour
  • 6 days shared vehicle hire
  • Transfers
  • Deluxe version includes 7 breakfasts on St Helena and 4 dinners


For non-divers

  • 1 night in Johannesburg
  • 7 nights on St Helena
  • Final night in Johannesburg
  • 4 whale shark snorkelling trips
  • 2 full day 4×4 land tours
  • 6 days shared vehicle hire
  • Transfers.
  • Deluxe version includes 7 breakfasts on St Helena and 4 dinners

What's Excluded

  • International flights
  • Dinners in Johannesburg
  • Meals on St Helena on the budget week
  • Lunches and 3 dinners on St Helena on the deluxe week

 

Disclaimer

  • This itinerary is owned and delivered by ‘Indigo Safaris
  • All prices are ‘From’ and may vary at the time of booking
  • Display price is usually based on two people sharing
  • Indigo Safaris‘ reserves the right to change the content and price of the itinerary
  • All itineraries are subject to availability

Day by Day Overview

After clearing immigration in Johannesburg, transfer to your accommodation. The budget tour uses MoAfrika guesthouse, conveniently 10 minutes from the airport. The deluxe version uses the Premier Hotel, also 10 minutes from the airport. Dinner at your cost.

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Return to the airport for the 0900 flight to St Helena, arriving 1330 local time. After clearing immigration, you will be transferred to your accommodation. On the deluxe version, dinner is included. After-dinner drinks at the Standard pub recommended for a bit of local colour and music.

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Today we will do two dives or snorkels, at sites popular with whale sharks. Afternoon visit of Jamestown.

Full day island 4×4 tour to visit the key historic sites and viewpoints of the island.

Two reef or wreck dives in the morning, whale shark snorkelling in the afternoon.

Two dives or snorkelling.

Two dives or snorkelling or land tour.

Snorkelling or two reef or wreck dives in the morning, whale shark snorkelling in the afternoon.

Morning free, transfer to the airport at midday for the 1430 flight to Johannesburg. Transfer to Johannesburg accommodation. Dinner at your cost.

Transfer to Johannesburg airport for your onward flight.

 

St Helena with Indigo Safaris 2019
St Helena Tourist Board video
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