available in Falkland Islands
Reserves and Wildlife
A collection of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Falklands Islands comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and several hundred smaller islands. The archipelago consists of mainly rocky terrain, hill ranges and river valleys, as well as dense, low vegetation. One of the best places on earth for wildlife watching, the Falkland Islands are a haven for wildlife and birds, including albatross, five species of penguin, four species of seal, dolphins, porpoises and whales.
Bertha’s Beach is the best place to see penguins. An important area for birds, the beach is situated on Fitzroy Farm in East Falkland and named after the shipwrecked barque Bertha. On this pearly beach, expect to see a rich variety of birdlife including gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins, the endemic Falkland flightless steamer duck and ruddy-headed geese. As well as birdlife, spot dolphins, sea lions, leopard seals and with luck, killer whales. The area is also home to over 80 plant species, five of which are endemic to the area.
Carcass Island is another excellent spot for nature safaris and is ideal for for hiking, walking, bird watching and bathing. Named after the ship HMS Carcass, the island boasts abundant fauna and flora, as well as rocky ridges, sloping hills and soft sandy beaches. Although the island has been a sheep farm for over a century, the natural habitat has been carefully preserved and maintained and you can see penguins, a variety of song birds, elephant seals, sea lions and dolphins.
Located in the south-east of the Falklands, Sea Lion Island is perfect for anyone interested in seeing seals – and lots of them! The island is home to the largest colony of elephant seal in the world, which reaches over two thousand seals during breeding season. These creatures are fascinating to watch as they bask lazily in the sun, play in the sand and occasionally fight amongst themselves. Also look out for orcas as they search for easy prey on the sand, as well as the resident and namesake sea lions.
- Nov-Feb – High Season. The summer months are the best time to visit with warm weather, long days and the best wildlife viewing. However, the weather can be changeable so be prepared, winds can be stronger during the summer months. Daytime temperatures don’t usually exceed 18ºC (65ºF) and fall to about 4ºC (40ºF) at night. Book well in advance as it’s the busiest time.
- Sep, Oct, Mar, Apr – Shoulder Season. The weather is still warm enough for wildlife viewing and there are fewer visitors.
- May-Aug – Low Season. Daylight hours are short. Temperatures are approx 3–4ºC (25ºF) but can sometimes fall to -6ºC (20ºF) or lower.
- Capital city – Stanley
- Currency – Falklands Pound (FKP)
- Language – English
- Size – 12,200 km² (4,700 sq mi)
- Population – 3,400 (2016)
Health & Safety
- The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for the Falklands: hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
- Incredible landscapes
- Fascinating history and landmarks
- Endemic flora and fauna
- Specific willdife in abundance
- Great bird watching
- Sparse human population
- Good hiking
- Very remote and therefore expensive to get to
- You need to join organised tours to see the sights
- Seasonal, high tourist numbers in peak season
Arriving in the Falkland Islands
- There is a once weekly (Saturday) LATAM flight from Santiago, Chile that routes through Punta Arenas, Chile. This 2 hour flight lands at Mt Pleasant International Airport (MPN)
- The British Royal Airforce has 2 flights a week from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, England. There are only 28 seats avaible for tourists on this 20 hour flight so early booking is essential
- Most visitors arrive by cruise ship
- Falkland Islands Government Air Service operate an on demand air service out of Port Stanley Airport
- The road network is not great, car hire companies have a minimum 3 day hire and you can’t drive off road making access to some sights impossible
- Most visitors join organized tour groups or hire private guides
- An entry visa is required for a very small number of nationalities – please check with your booking agent
- You may need a Chilean transit visa
- Every visitor must have a valid passport and a return flight
- A departure tax of £25 is payable in cash on departure (payable in GBP, USD or Euro)
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