Falkland Islands Wildlife Photography Trip – December 2022 (14 days)
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.
- Stanley (Kidney Island) (Sooty sheerwaters at sunset, rockhopper penguins)
- Saunders Island – The Neck & Rookery (Rockhopper penguins, nesting albatross, birds of prey, gentoo penguins)
Carcass Island (Elephant seals, gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins, rockhopper penguins, sea lions, birds of prey)
West Point Island (Black-browed albatross, rockhopper penguins, macaroni penguins, turkey vultures, magellanic penguins)
- Sea Lion Island (Elephant seals, gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins, rockhopper penguins, sea lions, birds of prey, cormorants)
Volunteer Point (King penguins, gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins)
- Boutique tour group – Maximum 5 people plus 1 host.
- Unique up close and personal wildlife viewing including visits to penguin and seal colonies, bird watching opportunities and experiencing the natural beauty of the Falkland Islands.
- Expert photographic advice from wildlife & nature photographer Scott Portelli.
Dates: 3rd – 17th December 2022
Duration: 14 days
Start/Finish: Mount Pleasant (Falklands). Travellers can reach the Falklands from Santiago or Punta Arenas in Chile with LAN. Flights depart from Santiago and touch down in Punta Arenas before travelling on to Mount Pleasant Airport.
Included: Internal flights (within the Falklands), accommodation – shared (14 days), all meals, expert wildlife and nature photographer Scott Portelli as your guide/host.
Excluded: International flights to Mount Pleasant (Falklands), overnight accommodation in Santiago prior to tour, excess baggage costs on local flights
Scott Portelli is a Sydney based photographer who has traveled the world extensively photographing in some of the most remote destinations, including The Arctic, Antarctica, Falklands, Galapagos, Azores, Africa and the South Pacific.
Scott is an award winning wildlife, nature, aerial and underwater photographer. A member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) he is regarded as a leading professional in his field.
He was awarded at the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the year in London in 2016 and announced National winner of the Sony World Photography awards 2016 and winner at Travel Photographer of the Year 2015 & 2018. His conservation documentary also took out 2 awards at the prestigious French Underwater Film Festival in Marseille in 2015. More recently he was awarded winner in the Animal Behaviour Category at the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year ANZANG 2017 and 2019 and Winner in the Underwater Category of the Asferico International Nature Photography awards 2018.
With his extensive experience in the Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions, he brings a wealth of knowledge to every expedition and ensures that each trip optimizes photographers chances to capture the best that the wildlife in the region has to offer.
Day 1 – 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. we will camp here for 3 nights and be guests of the warden during our stay.
Day 2 – Volunteer Point
Day 3 – Volunteer Point
Day 4 – Stanley
Stanley is the tiny capital of the Falklands, village-sized but with a lot to explore along the sheltered harbour. You can do 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. We head for Kidney Island to see the Sooty Sheerwaters as they fly back to the colonies at sunset.
Day 5 – 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’.
Your trip will involve trips to both the Neck, and to Rookery Mountain – with incredible wind-carved boulders and stunning views.
Day 6– Saunders Island
Day 7 – Sea Lion Island
Sea Lion Island is home to elephant seals, Gentoo penguins, Magellanic penguins, rock hoppers, sea lions, birds of prey and cormorants. Beautiful tussock 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 tussock, 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.
You visit here includes a guided introductory tour of the island.
Day 8 – Sea Lion Island
Day 9 – Bleaker Island
A visit to Bleaker island needs to be on the list for any serious birder, the island is fairly flat but contains a number of fresh water ponds with eclectic bird species, including sheathbills, Tussac birds, dolphin gulls, grass wrens, steamer ducks and upland geese. Small colonies of Gentoo and Magellanic are found along Sandy Beach and at the northern tip of the Island nesting giant petrels line the rocky shore.
Day 10 – Bleaker Island
Day 11 – 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, tussock 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 tussock 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 12 – Carcass Island
Day 13 – Stanley
Day 14 – Stanley