The capital city of Saint Helena is Jamestown, located in the northern part of the island and surrounded by the Longwood and Ruperts districts. Jamestown's location provided early settlers with a port city that remains the only one in the country to this day. The English East India Trading Company settled on the island in 1659 and was also occupied by the Dutch East India Trading Company briefly in 1673. Interestingly, Jamestown hosted Napoleon in 1815 during his forced exile as well as becoming a base in the British Navy's efforts to suppress the slave trade.


The population of Jamestown is just 630 (as estimated in 2016) and the city is no longer the largest on the island. Besides the citizens of European descent who make up 25% of the population, approximately 50% identify as African and 25% as Chinese. Due to the fact that Saint Helena is a British Territory, the island's educational system mirrors that of the United Kingdom with lessons in English. Approximately 97% of the population of Saint Helena is literate in English.


Jamestown is an untouched paradise with remarkable scenery that can be experienced through walks and hikes as well as boating excursions that can reach otherwise impassable parts of the island. In 2017, the island became accessible by air from Cape Town and Johannesburg which has seen tourist numbers increase. Many of the buildings constructed during the time of the East India Trading Company survive to this day and give Jamestown a distinctive aesthetic.


The climate of Jamestown is considered a hot desert environment with very consistent temperatures throughout the year. Although classed as a desert climate, the cool ocean current moderates the weather so that the temperatures do not get overly hot in the city. Throughout the year, the average low temperature is 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit) and the average high is 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit). The warmest months of the year are January-April. Jamestown city receives less than 130 millimetres (5 inches) of rain per year although the highlands above Jamestown are significantly wetter.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018