FEBRUARY/MARCH 2023: FALKLAND LOST ARCIPELAGO PART I
25 February – 04 March 2023
2 SPACES AVAILABLE
Exclusive departure for our group, 10 persons max. During this adventure we will have the rare opportunity of observing 4 different penguin species (if we are lucky even 6, sometimes Macaroni breed among Rockhopper and Chinstrap are rare visitors in Sounders) and among them the King Penguin, as well as Sea Lions and Elephant Seals, Cormorants and Albatrosses. We will fly over the archipelago 4 times on board small airplanes, the relatively low altitude flying provides passengers with exceptional views of the Falklands coastlines and inland scenery.
All this in the comfort of the local Lodges. This expedition will be guided by Piero Bosco.
25 – 26 February
Meet at Punta Arenas airport and flight Punta Arenas – Mount Pleasant.
Arrive Mount Pleasant Airport early afternoon, transfer by Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) 8-seater Britten Norman Islander aircraft to Port Howard, West Falkland Island.
Port Howard is a picturesque traditional settlement on the west side of the Falkland Sound. It is the oldest and biggest sheep farm in West Falkland: 200.000 hectares and about 40.000 ships producing every year 650 balls of wool. Mount Maria, the third highest mount of the Falkland, dominates the settlement.
Although wildlife isn’t the main attraction of Port Howard, a colony of Papua Penguins and a large number of waterfowl can be encountered on the excursion to Gladstone Bay, only an hour’s drive from the settlement. The colonies of Imperial Cormorants and Magellanic Cormorants are located along the low cliffs and also Herons, Oystercatchers and different species of Ducks nest in the same places. During the journey to Gladstone Bay we will enjoy a magnificent view of Port Howard and Falkland Sound in the south and Purvis Harbor on Pebble Island in the north-west.
For those with an interest in military history, there is a small museum that provides information on the 1982 conflict when Argentine troops occupied the settlement.
In the afternoon of the second day, transfer on board a small FIGAS aircraft to Sounders Island. During the panoramic flight we will again have the opportunity to admire the breathtaking views of the Falklands.
Overnight at Port Howard Lodge.
26 – 28 February
Transfer by FIGAS to to Saunders Island. This 30,000 acres island, situated about three miles off the north west coast of West Falkland, is still an active sheep farm and is important historically for being the site of the first British settlement in 1765. It is one of the Falklands supreme wildlife sites, with Gentoo, Rockhopper, Magellanic and rare sighting of Macaroni and Chinstrap penguins. Since 1980 a small breeding colony of King penguins has become established. Four species of raptors, King and Rock cormorants, Black-necked swans and many other shorebirds are easily accessible from the settlement or at the many and varied wildlife ‘hotspots’ around the island. However the attraction to the wildlife enthusiast is undoubtedly the Black-Browed Albatross colony which stretches along the north coast from The Neck, so named because it is a narrow 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 all of the penguin and bird species listed above. The wildlife colonies continue along the north coast to Rookery Mountain. The “shower” formed by fresh water running down over the cliff and used by the Rockhopper penguinsto preen their feathers makes for great photographs. On rare occasions Fin and Sei Whales have been seen off the island. In all cases amazing photo opportunities abound, and Saunders Island is the perfect place to escape from the pressures of urban life.
In the afternoon of the second day, transfer on board a small FIGAS aircraft to Sea Lion Island.
Overnight at Saunders Island settlement Lodge.
28 February – 02 March
Your accommodation here is at Sea Lion Lodge, the only purpose built lodge in the Falkland Islands, and just minutes walk from a rich variety of wildlife. Sea Lion Island is one of the smallest in the Falklands archipelago, and the most southerly inhabited island, but is still the prime destination with the sheer abundance of wildlife in such a small area making it a must on any Falklands itinerary. An introductory and orientation tour by vehicle upon arrival will point out the principle areas of interest, however everything is in easy walking distance of the lodge – a map and guidelines for safe wildlife viewing are given out on arrival. The internationally endangered Striated Caracara, Antarctic Skuas, Southern Giant Petrels, and a host of passerines can all be seen on this island, together with Rockhopper, Gentoo and Magellanic Penguin. Rock and King Cormorants also nest on this island. Not to be missed are the Southern Sea Lions at East Loafers, and the Elephant Seals which bask on the white sandy beach at the appropriately named Elephant Corner. The latter are close enough to be seen from the lodge bar! Keep an eye open and there is the Killer Whale to be spotted off shore as well.
Overnight at the Sea Lion Lodge.
In the morning departure for a guided excursion in 4×4 vehicles to Kelp Point. A real wildlife paradise, Kelp Point, located on the southern coast of Eastern Falkland island. This uncontaminated and wild coast offers the opportunity to observe one of the most numerous colonies of Elephant Seals of the Falklands, in this period of the year they are on land for the moulting. A long adjacent sandy beach hosts Papua and Magellanic Penguins.
Overnight at the Malvina House Hotel.
Transfer to Mount Pleasant Airport by private vehicle. Keep your eyes open for Red-Backed Hawks en route!
Flight Mount Pleasant – Punta Arenas.
PRICE PER PERSON
TOUR RATE Falkland Part I + Falkland Part II – Euro 7900,00
*Exchange Rate 1 GBP = 1,10 Euro