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Falkland Islands & South Georgia

West Falkland

Across the Falkland Sound, West Falkland is even more wild and remote.

Carcass Island

Carcass Island is one of the most picturesque outer-lying islands, with luxuriant, well-established hedges and trees attracting many small birds such as the Cobb's wren, Black-chinned siskins and Falklands thrush to nest around the settlement buildings. You can combine this with a visit to West Point Island.

West Point Island lies to the northwest of West Falkland and is accessible as a day excursion from Carcass Island. The rich wildlife, beautiful coastline and scenic settlement and harbour make this a quintessential Falklands experience.

The transfer time between Carcass Island and West Point on MV Condor (carrying max 10 passengers) is about an hour during which dolphins and birds swooping down to feed in the rich seas will keep you entertained.

Once on West Point island you are free to explore the picturesque settlement and gardens and then make your way to Devil's Nose: a jagged bluff teeming with over 2000 pars of Black-browed albatross, 500 pairs of Rockhopper penguins and a variety of sea birds including Rock cormorant. On the return journey MV Condor circumnavigates West Point Island to reveal spectacular photographic opportunities.

New Island

New Island is one of the finest wildlife areas in the Falklands. This is largely because of the variety and density of bird life which lives there. 39 species of bird regularly breed on New Island. More than two million seabirds inhabit its shores and surrounding smaller islands, with large numbers of breeding Rockhopper, Gentoo and Magellanic penguins, and more than 13,000 pairs of breeding Black-browed Albatross.

The importance of New Island as a breeding ground, along with a number of other islands in this part of the archipelago can be attributed to the Falkland Current. A main stream of this current flows to the west side of New Island, creating one of the richest marine resources and feeding grounds for wildlife to be found around the Falkland Islands.

However, due to demanding wind conditions for take-off, it is not a good idea to visit this island if your time is short or if you are planning to catch an international flight within a few days. People have been known to wait 3 days, sometimes even more, for the wind to be right for their flight on or off the island.

Saunders Island

The 30,000 acre island, situated off the north-west coast of West Falkland, routinely draws wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. The main attraction is the large Black-browed albatross colony but Saunders can also boast four species of breeding penguin: Gentoo, Rockhopper, Magellanic and King. Rare sightings of Macaroni and Chinstrap have also been recorded.

Saunders Island is run as an active sheep farm by its owners. It remains of significant historical importance as the site of the first British settlement in 1765. The ruins of the settlement can still be seen at Port Egmont today - approximately 2 kms walk from the existing settlement.

Unrivalled photo opportunities abound at The Neck, so named due to its sandy isthmus between two high parts of the island. The northern beach is covered in stunning white sand pounded by majestic surf and is home to the birds mentioned above. Further along the coast is Rookery Mountain. Here, fresh water runs down the cliff sides creating a shower where you can watch Rockhopper penguins jostle for a spot to preen their feathers and enjoy the cooling waters.

Four species of raptor, King and Rock cormorant, Black-necked swan and other shorebirds are easily accessible from the settlement or at the many and varied wildlife hotspots around the island. On occasion Fin and Sei whale have been seen offshore.

Weddell Island

Named after a British explorer, Weddell Island is located towards the southwest of the archipelago. It is the largest offshore island and has widely varying terrain from open plains to rocky hills, white sand beaches to sheltered coves. The highest peak is Weddell Mountain at 383m (1,256 feet). The island wildlife includes Gentoo and Magellanic penguins, southern and striated caracaras, variable hawks and many shorebirds. Southern sealions inhabit the northern coast. The Patagonian Grey Fox was introduced to the island and can still be seen here. Weddell will appeal to walkers.

Steeple Jason Island

The Jason Island group is a chain of remote islands off West Falkland and a wilderness paradise. Rugged and remote, these rarely visited, uninhabited nature reserves are now available as a travel destination in the Falkand Islands. Both Steeple Jason and Grand Jason Islands boast breathtaking scenery and are of significant importance to conservationists.

Steeple Jason, which rises sharply from the sea, is undoubtedly one of the most dramatic islands in the archipelago. Home to the world's largest black-browed albatross colony, large numbers of Striated caracara, Falkland skuas and Southern Giant Petrels also breed here. The entire group of islands are either privately owned nature reserves or government owned National Nature reserves and there is no smoking permitted anywhere on the islands. Unpredictable weather and strong tidal currents make landings difficult.

Pebble Island

Named for the attractive, unusual pebbles found on some of the beaches, Pebble Island is situated in the northwest of the archipelago. The terrain is varied with a chain of rocky peaks, a lakeland area and white sand beaches including the stunning 6.4km (4 miles) long Elephant Beach, the longest in the Falklands. The highest peak is First Mountain at 277m (909 feet). The island is a carefully managed sheep farm. It is an Important Bird Area with Gentoo, Magellanic and Rockhopper penguins; the latter occasionally interspersed with Macaroni penguins. The ponds and lakes in the east are home to waterfowl including the largest concentration of black-necked swans.

 

Start planning your trip to Falkland Islands & South Georgia

Let us know what kind of trip to the Falkland Islands you are most interested in, and when you are thinking of travelling. We'll get back to you with some initial ideas and advice.

Call us on 020 7281 7788 ( Mon-Fri 9:15-5:45). Or we'd be happy to call you back.

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