The Falkland Islands (also knows as the Malvinas) are a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. They are located some 584 miles north of Antarctica and consist of two main islands (East Falkland and West Falkland) and about 700 smaller ones. Tourists come here mainly to observe the precious wildlife; this destination is famous for the large colonies of rare birds that come here every year. There are also thousands of penguins, while watching whales and dolphins is yet another fun experience many visitors look forward to.
The islands are often referred to as the “Penguin Islands”. Colonies of King, Gentoo, Rockhopper, Magellanic and Macaroni Penguin are spread all around the place and make the landscape literally come alive. They may be found basically anywhere on the islands, yet the best and most reliable way of observing them is when they leap out of the sea to make their way to find freshwater – here they may be seen when ‘taking a shower’ to rid themselves of the salt in their coats.
Another endangered species which gathers at the Falkland Islands is that majestic bird, the Albatross. Nearly 80% of the world’s Albatross population returns here year after year.
Other species sought out here by bird lovers are Striated Caracara, Southern Giant Petrels, Red-backed Buzzards, Turkey Vultures, Rock Cormorants, Black-crowned Night Herons, and many others.
While on a bird watching tour, tourists may either stay at the capital of Stanley or find accommodation in local ‘camps’.