Wildlife Photography Expedition
The Falkland Islands located in the South Atlantic Ocean off South America are the perfect destination to experience the wonders of nature and wildlife; an unpolluted environment with fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces and stunning white sand beaches. Wildlife is free to roam and many species have chosen the Islands as their home including gentoo and magellanic penguins, southern sea lions, Commerson’s and Peale’s dolphins and over 200 species of birds.
Join me on this exclusive trip for a maximum of 5 guests for the most wildlife encounters you will have in one amazing place. See penguins, sea lions, elephant seals, a multitude of bird life and so much more as we explore 5-6 Islands over a 2 week period. The highlights of this trip will be a visit to these islands:
Volunteer Point (King penguins, gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins)
Sea Lion Island (Elephant seals, gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins, rock hoppers, sea lions, birds of prey, cormorants)
Bleaker island (Magellanic penguins, rock hoppers, cormorants)
Saunders Island (Rock hoppers, nesting albatross, birds of prey)
Carcass Island (Elephant seals, gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins, rock hoppers, sea lions, birds of prey)
West Point Island (black-browed albatross, rockhopper penguins, macaroni penguins, turkey vultures,magellanic penguins)
Day 1 - 3: Volunteer Point
Volunteer Point is one of the most popular and important tourist destinations in the Falklands. There is an abundance of bird activity in the area and is home to the largest king penguin colony in the Islands, as well as gentoo and magellanic penguins, waterfowl and other birds. Volunteer Beach itself is a beautiful white sandy beach, approximately 2km long, and is where many of the penguins can be seen entering and leaving the ocean.
Day 4 - 6: Sea Lion Island
Sea Lion Island is home to elephant seals, gentoo penguins, magellenic penguins, rock hoppers, sea lions, birds of prey and cormorants. Beautiful tussac plantations cover one fifth of the island and provide a perfect habitat and protection for much of the island’s varied fauna. Opportunities for photography and wildlife watching are limitless and start literally steps away from the purpose-built Lodge. Besides the tussac, there are sand beaches, cliffs, freshwater ponds and heathland, all with their own wildlife. Pods of killer whales may be seen between November and January circling the island in pursuit of the elephant seals and sea lions that breed there. Leopard seals and larger whales are also seen from time to time. A memorial to the HMS Sheffield, sunk in nearby waters, is also situated on the island.
Your visit here includes a guided introductory tour of the island.
Day 7 - 8: Bleaker Island
Bleaker Island is home to 3 species of penguin, a large imperial cormorant colony, southern giant petrels, many smaller birds, a variety of waterfowl on the ponds and is one of the few places where the rare flying steamer duck can be observed. Marine mammals such as southern sea lions and dolphins are often seen in the area. The settlement is situated in the middle of the island and still operates as a cattle and sheep farm.
You will also enjoy a guided orientation tour of the island.
Day 9 - 10: Saunders Island
Saunders Islands was the site of the first British settlement in the Falkland archipelago. The island is now one large farm of about 30,000 acres and is well known for its sizeable colony of Black browed albatross in addition to being home to elephant seals, king penguin and rock hoppers. The North of the Island is made up of two large peaks and it is the thin strip of land between these peaks known as ‘the Neck’ which is home to large colonies of Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. There are at least 50 bird species recorded here, resulting in Saunders being designated by Birdlife International as an ‘Important Bird Area’.
You trip will involve trips to both the Neck, and to Rookery Mountain – with incredible wind-carved boulders and stunning views.
Day 11 - 13: Carcass Island
Carcass Island is a haven for small bird species including Cobb’s wren, striated caracaras (known locally as “Johnny Rooks”), white bridled finches and short-eared owls. Elephant seals bask on the northern beaches, magellanic penguins reside close to the settlement, gentoo penguins and other marine mammals inhabit the southern end of the island. The scenery is varied with beautiful white sandy beaches, tussac paddocks, rocky hills and cliff tops.
Your visit also includes a full day excursion by boat to West Point Island, home to spectacular scenery and incredible wildlife. Originally named ‘Albatross Island’ for the thousands of nesting black-browed albatross, there are also rockhopper penguins and occasional macaroni penguins among the tussac grass and rocky ledges. The sheltered harbour is home to nesting magellanic penguins and friendly dolphins. There are also whales, fur seals and sea lions visible in the surrounding waters.
Day 14: Stanley
Stanley is the tiny capital of the Falklands, village-sized but with a lot to explore along the sheltered harbour. Our visit includes a tour of the city and visit to the museum to discover more about the social and maritime history of the islands, along with natural history.
Day 15: Stanley and outbound flight
There will be a private transfer from Stanley to Mount Pleasant Airport where you will catch your international flight