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Every year, we offer special charters on dive liveaboards around the world in the finest dive destinations  ...  at the best time to be there ...  on our favorite liveaboards.  Here's what's on offer in the upcoming months & years .....

St. Helena Whale Shark Diving & Snorkeling Safari

Philippines Anilao pink fan fish shutterstock 261263369 optSt Helena's Whale Shark Party
9 nights of diving & snorkeling with whale sharks
February 28 - March 8 ... land-based diving

The volcanic island of St Helena, located in the Atlantic Ocean far, far away from the shore of Africa, is home to a seasonal courtship of whale sharks from January to March. Join us to observe the rituals of the courting whale sharks & enjoy the diverse south Atlantic diving. 

So, where exactly are we going ?

Located in "the middle of nowhere" in the Atlantic Ocean, St Helena is 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres (1,210 miles) west of the mouth of the Cunene River, which marks the border between Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa.. You may know of it as the place Napoleon Bonaparte lived in exile until his death. 

The whale sharks of the area apparently know it as "Lover's Lane" during the early months of the year.

Current regulations prohibit deliberate scuba diving with the whale sharks during this season but snorkeling is permitted.  Also, should you encounter the whale sharks during the regularly scheduled dives on this expedition, you will be allowed to hang out to observe them. The trip includes two planned whale shark snorkels and may include encounters during planned dives.  Should the whale sharks happen to appear at a site where there is a planned dive, you will snorkel with them and dive the site later.

And, what about the diving ?

The diving on St Helena is diverse and very interesting.  ​You'll find beautiful caverns housed in limestone rock and good-sized schools of fish, many of which are endemic.  Photo ops are excellent. Chilean devil rays seems to love the fingers of lava which extend into the ocean and pinnacle sites are home to schools of Rainbow runner and jacks. There are a handful of excellent wrecks too.

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Itinerary overview

Below is the tentative itinerary, which, as always, is subject to change based on weather and sea conditions

Take your international flights to Johannesburg, South Africa.  Your first night, in Johannesburg, is included in the package.  You'll fly with the group from there to St. Helena... click to continue reading for more details


Day 1: After clearing immigration in Johannesburg, transfer to 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.

Day 2: 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.

Day 3: Today we will do two dives, ton sea mounts or ledges. Afternoon visit of Jamestown.

Day 4: Full day island 4x4 tour to visit the key historic sites and viewpoints of the island.

Day 5: Two reef or wreck dives in the morning, whale shark snorkeling in the afternoon.

Day 6: Two dives, on sea mounts or ledges

Day 7: Two dives, on sea mounts or ledges

Day 8: Two reef or wreck dives in the morning, whale shark snorkeling in the afternoon.

Day 9: Morning free, transfer to the airport at midday for the 1430 flight to Johannesburg. Transfer to Johannesburg accommodation. Dinner at your cost.

Day 10: Transfer to the airport.

Accommodation ... budget or deluxe

Budget accommodation
Your budget choice would be two and three-bedroom cottages in Half-Tree Hollow, located above Jamestown, with a great 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. 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 flooring. This 30-room boutique hotel has a large restaurant, the best on the island, bar and guest lounge and two outdoor terraces.

Rates, What's Included, What's extra, Miscellaneous Details

This trip will be led by photographer Christopher Bartlett who has been involved in whale shark conservation since 2009. 

February 28 - March 8, 2020

Two sharing a double room £1695
Single occupancy. £2095

Johannesburg – St Helena – Johannesburg from £760 ($990)

Included in the rate:

  • 1 night in Johannesburg
  • 7 nights on St Helena
  • the final night in Johannesburg
  • 10 dives over 5 days
  • 2 whale shark snorkeling trips
  • a full day 4x4 land tour
  • 6 days shared vehicle hire
  • transfers

For those in deluxe accommodation, it also includes 7 breakfasts on St Helena and 4 dinners.

Extras :

  • airfare
  • insurance


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