Saint Helena is a remote volcanic island located in the South Atlantic Ocean.
The island is predominantly of volcanic terrain, with the last volcanic eruptions occurring approximately 7 million years ago. Sparse vegetation covers coastal volcanic rock due to the warmer and drier conditions compared to the island’s interior.
Discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, Saint Helena’s current population is approximately 4,439.
The island offers breathtaking views, a unique ecosystem, and historical sites.
The Geography, Location, And Climate In Saint Helena
With a land area of just 47 square miles, Saint Helena is part of the British Overseas Territory known as Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.
It is approximately 1,200 miles west of the African coast and 2,500 miles east of Rio de Janeiro, earning the reputation of being one of the most remote islands in the world.
Jamestown, its capital, plays a pivotal role as the main settlement and functions as the administrative center of the island.
The landscape of Saint Helena features steep cliffs, lush valleys, and volcanic peaks, with Diana’s Peak standing as the highest point at 2,680 feet.
Meanwhile, the island’s climate is subtropical, with mild temperatures ranging from 5–6 °C in the cooler months to 21–28 °C in the warmer months.
A Unique Ecosystem For Endemic Wildlife
The island’s inland regions likely once harbored dense tropical forests, while the coastal areas may have appeared verdant.
Presently, the landscape has transformed significantly, featuring extensive exposed rock in the lower elevations, although the interior remains lush, primarily due to introduced vegetation.
Meanwhile, the island is home to several unique and endemic species of flora and fauna, including the Saint Helena Ebony and the Saint Helena Plover, a critically endangered bird species.
It is a good place for whale watching, marine life sightings, and serve as a crucial breeding ground for various seabird species.
Saint Helena’s Historical Timeline
The island is most famous for being the place of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile from 1815 until his death in 1821.
Longwood House, where Napoleon lived during his exile, is now a museum open to the public, offering a glimpse into this captivating chapter of history.
Saint Helena boasts more historical sites, such as Jacob’s Ladder, Jonathan the Tortoise, St. Helena National Park, and opportunities for diving and water sports.
Moreover, the island played a pivotal role in global trade during the age of exploration, serving as a stopover point for ships traveling between Europe and Asia.
In addition, Saint Helena was used as a base for liberating slaves from British, American, and Portuguese vessels in the 19th century.