Commonwealth Digital Economy Forum 2020



Getting to St Helena is ’travelling‘ in the true sense of the word. Some planning is required, and we have given some helpful information below about some of the key information of which you should be aware of.
You can find a Travel Checklist and Useful Information document by visiting the link on our St Helena Tourism website:

Airlink now operates a direct weekly service between St Helena and OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa (via a refuelling stopover at Walvis Bay International Airport in Namibia during the inbound flight).

Return fares from/to St Helena to Johannesburg are subject to change and availability.
St Helena to Johannesburg (return)
Class Lower Upper
Business £1544.00
Economy £804.00 £1244.00

Tickets are available via

Insurance and Health Requirements
Before leaving home you should arrange the following to cover your journey: Travel, personal accident and medical insurance (for at least £175,000) as well as, baggage insurance. You may 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.


Participants are responsible for making their travel arrangements. All travel information, including flight number, arrival and departure dates and times should be forwarded to the organizing committee whose contact is provided on the registration form provided on the event website.


Visa requirement

You may need a visa to come to the UK to visit, study or work. Please click here to find if you need a UK visa, what kind of visa you need and what arrangements must be done. You may apply online for a UK visa here or you may go to the nearest British mission or consulate in your country of residence to present your application.

Visas may take long to be processed; you are advised to submit your application as soon as possible to avoid any issues that may jeopardize your travel.

All visa arrangements and costs are to be borne by the attendees and/or their administration. CTO will be happy to assist with an Invitation Letter on request.


Country Profile

St Helena Island is situated in the South Atlantic Ocean, at 15° 56′ south and 5° 45′ west. The nearest land is Ascension Island, which is 703 miles (1,125km) to the North West. It is 1,200 miles (1,950km) from the South-West coast of Africa and 1 800 miles (2,900km) from the coast of South America.
A 47 square mile island, it is one of the remotest settled islands in the world. A sub-tropical paradise, it is also one of the most spectacular as far as contrast goes.
St Helena has a small population, mainly descended from Europe (consisting of planters, government employees and ex-soldiers serving in the local St Helena Regiment), Chinese (itinerant workers from about 1810) and slaves (mostly from Madagascar and Asia, with only a few coming from Africa from 1840 onward).
At the end of June 2018 the number of St Helenians on-Island was estimated to be 4,300.

The climate of St Helena is controlled by the South Atlantic High-Pressure Cell and the Equatorial Trough. Despite the Island’s locality within the tropics, its climate is kept mild and equable by the South East Trade Winds. The trade winds blow from high to low almost continuously making the weather changeable.

The four seasons are not recognised on St Helena, as there are no drastic weather patterns. The hottest months are between January and March and the coldest are between June and September, however, the climate is suitable for a getaway all year round..

Public Transport
There are a range of taxis and self-drive options available. If your preference is self-drive then please organise in advance via your accommodation provider or DMC, otherwise, taxis can be prearranged daily via your accommodation.
Transport will also be provided to various social events organised by the host for delegates.

The public transportation system consists of buses and mini-buses that operate along designated routes. Additionally, taxis and car hire services are available at hotels. A public transport timetable can be found on the St Helena Government website here:

Bus Service

Recommended hotels
St Helena offers a range of accommodation options from Hotels, Guest Houses, and Bed & Breakfast to Self-Catering.
Please visit or download the Inside St Helena app at to view options available.

A preferred Destination Management Company (DMC) will be appointed in due course to make bookings as not all accommodation providers have an online presence.
When your accommodation is confirmed, keep a copy of the confirmation with your immigration documents upon arrival.

It is customary to organise visa on arrival for delegates who do not have a UK High Commission in their countries. For this purpose St Helena is requested to liaise with the immigration authorities and provide details well in advance to the delegates.

Short Term Entry Permit

All visitors should ensure prior to arrival at St Helena that they can meet ALL of the following entry requirements:
1. Produce a valid passport which remains valid for at least six months from the expiry date of their entry permit
2. Possession of a return ticket or proof of other means of departure from the Island within the six month period.
3. Whilst standards of health care on St Helena are high, there are certain treatments that are not available on-Island which would in an emergency require a person tobe medevaced. Visitors must possess medical insurance to the value of £175,000.00.
4. As a further entry requirement, visitors will be asked to declare that they have sufficient funds to cover the costs of their stay on-Island.
5. If a visa national, possession of a valid visa granting permission to travel is required
6. For further information please contact

Immigration Landing Fee
A fee of £20.00* is payable for all visitors disembarking at St Helena: persons under the age of 12 are exempted from this fee. CASH ONLY – in British Sterling, St Helenian Pounds, US Dollars ($28.00), Euros (€25.00) and South African Rand (R400) – will be accepted for short term entry permit.

*£20.00 equivalents are subject to change as per the rate of exchange on the day of arrival.

Further information can be found here:

If you are travelling with children then please familiarise yourself with SA’s new requirements for travelling with children here:

English is the official language of the country.
It is advisable to use bottled water for drinking purposes.
The electrical supply is 240 volts and three-pin plugs (British Standard) are used. It is advisable to bring with you Global adaptors..
SURE South Atlantic Ltd is the only company who provide broadband, mobile phone, national & international telephone, public internet and television re-broadcast services to the Island. The country code is +290 and dialling out of St Helena is prefixed with 00.
Opening hours
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 09:00 – 15:00
Wednesday 09:00 – 13:00
Saturday 09:00 – 12:00
Public telephone booths can be found at the Airport and around the Island. Facsimile services are available in almost all hotels, and internet facilities are available in some of the accommodation options or at Cybercafés..
Banking services on St Helena Island are provided by the Bank of St Helena, which has main offices in The Market Square, Jamestown. Kiosks are also available at the Airport and Jamestown Wharf. Services available to visitors include cashing travellers’ cheques and currency exchange for Sterling, US Dollars, Euros and South African Rand banknotes.
Customers can also obtain cash advances on major debit and credit cards, and UK clearing bank customers can cash UK cheques, up to the limit of the applicable cheque guarantee card.
Charges for these services are advertised in the bank. For more details about Bank of St Helena services please refer to its website at: tel: +290 22390 or click on the Visitor Information leaflet.
Main Jamestown Branch opening hours are:
Monday – Friday 08:45 -15:00
Saturday 09:00 -12:00
Airport Kiosk opening hours are:
Saturday 10:30 – 13:30
Business hours
9:00am to 5:00pm. There is a one hour lunch break between 1:00pm – 2:00pm.
Useful Contacts
Mr Jeremy Roberts
SHG Corporate IT
The Castle
St Helena
South Atlantic Ocean
Tel: +290 22819
Mr Robert Hayman
Manager, Events
Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
64 – 66, Glenthorne Road
London, W6 0LR
Tel: (Direct) +44 (0)20 8600 3805
Tel: (General) +44 (0)20 8600 3800
Fax: +44 (0) 208 600 3819

Further Information:

For further information, please contact: Robert Hayman, Events Manager. 44 (0) 208 600 3800 44 (0) 208 600 3819