The Falkland Islands

with Jackie and Elston Hill

January 2012
This is an account, mostly pictures, of our trip to the Falkland Islands. We spent three weeks in the Falklands visiting six
islands.

Below are links to the different species of wildlife we saw. Click on each link, or click on the first link, and at the bottom of each
page is a link to the next page in the series. More information and suggestions about travel in the Falkland Islands continues
at the bottom of this page.
Travelling in the Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located over 250 nautical miles east of the coast of
South America. The archipelago comprises East Falkland, West Falkland, and 776 lesser islands. Stanley, the capital and only
major city, is on East Falkland. The islands are a self-governing British Overseas Territory, with the United Kingdom
responsible for its defense and foreign affairs.

The population, estimated at 3,140, primarily consists of Falkland Islanders, the majority of British descent. The predominant
and official language is English. Under the British Nationality Act of 1983, Falkland Islanders are British citizens.

Traditionally, sheep farming has been a major enterprise in the Falkland Islands. However, wool is not as valuable and with
global warming there has been less grass for the sheep in recent years. Hence, tourism has become increasingly important to
the local economy.
We traveled to various islands in eight seat airplanes which includes the seat for the pilot. The local pilots are awesome
navigating the stiff winds which prevail in the Falkland Islands.
Below, Jackie assists the pilot in loading our luggage on to the airplane. To the left are Susan and David, our hosts on
Saunders Island where they operate their farm. Susan is holding eggs for the pilot to take for us to drop off at Carcass Island.
Below, Stanley where 2/3 of the population of the Falkland Islands live.
Locations we stayed at in the Falkland Islands
Bleaker Island. We stayed here our first three nights after an over night in Stanley. There is excellent wildlife on Bleaker. A
very large shag colony is located five minutes from the settlement. Within walking distance there are a Rockhopper rookery,
Gentoo Penguins, and Magellanic Penguins. This was a "full-board settlement which meant we fixed our own breakfast and
washed our own dishes after dinner.

From Bleaker Island we returned to Stanley where we were taken for an over night at
Volunteer Point at the Warden's house.
At this location is the largest King Penguin colony as well as Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins. Most people come for day trips.
Fortunately, Arlette booked us for over night. Since there are only two bedrooms at the Warden's House, we only had to share
this magnificent spot with three other people. I highly rate Volunteer Point as an over night trip. Indeed, I would recommend two
nights here.

Once again we did a day trip to see the fur seals, this time to
Cape Dolphin. My suggestion is to avoid day trips. These
usually involve many hours in the Land Rover. The middle of the day is not the best time to see wildlife. Another issue with the
fur seals is that they are not people friendly, so we had to stay half way up the cliff to watch them.

Once again we went to
Sea Lion Island. Last trip to the Falkland Islands, I had low expectations for this place since it
advertises itself as the most southerly special built place for entertaining visitors. To my surprise, Jenny is a terrific host. The
Chilean staff prepares awesome meals and service is great. Most important, there is lots of wildlife in close walking
distance--Gentoo Penguins, Magellanic Penguins, Elephant Seals, gulls with chicks, and so much more. On the other side of
the island are Rockhoppers and Shags. I highly recommend this island where we spent four nights. There are no rats on this
island.

Carcass Island is amazing. This is an operating farm, but Rob and Lorraine find time to be the ultimate hosts. The food is
amazing. Good Gentoo and Magellanic Penguin colonies as well as a great variety of birds. This was our second time staying
with them, and I highly recommend this location.

Westpoint Island. As we did last time, we did a day trip to this island. Wonderful Rockhopper and Albatross here. However,
since we arrived in late morning on a sunny day, the bright sunlight was a challenge for photography. If we had not gone to the
Rookery at Saunders, this trip would have been worth our time. However, both the Albatross and Rockhopper on Saunders
topped our experience at Westpoint, and at Saunders we had the luxury of enjoying the wildlife in the morning and evening
when they are more active.

Saunders Island. The living quarters here are basic and food is self-catering. But, Saunders is the ultimate wildlife location in
the Falkland Islands. We spent two nights at the Rockhopper Rookery.In addition to this amazing rookery, the albatross are
located continously for five miles along the cliffs. After the Rookery, we spent four nights at the
Neck. What an amazing place.
There are King Penguins, Gentoo, Rockhopers, and Magellanic Penguins as well as albatross all within a five minute walk of
the cabin. There are two bedrooms at the self-catering cabin (that sleep up to four persons each) so you will not share this
location with many other people. This is the ultimate wildlife destination.

For self-catering, there are three options. There is a store at Saunders. Last time we ordered pre-cooked meals from Stanley
and they were awesome. This time we bought freeze dried meals from REI and instant oatmeal. That way we had minimal
preperation and cleanup.

We stayed three nights in Stanley at the
Malvina House. Great hotel with very good restaurant. Our last night we stayed at
Darwin--terrific B&B with wonderful hosts and awesome food..

As we did on our previous trip, we booked this trip to the Falkland Islands through Arlette Bloomfield with the Falkland Islands
Holidays. Both of our trips were incredibly smooth. Transportation to and from each location is prearranged. Arlette shipped
our freeze dried food to Saunders so we could avoid having to carry it with us. We left our excess baggage at Stanley and
Arlette Bloomfield had it delivered to Darwin where it waited for us in our room. During the course of our trip we met a number
of other people who had used Arlette, and to a person they all raved at her service.

Finally, we thought that the trip was reasonably priced for such a high quality experience.

The email address for Arlette is info@falklandislandsholidays.com.




To view our previous trip to the Falkland Islands, please click the next link: