Join renowned wildlife photographer, Vicki Santello on this one of a kind Falkland Islands photographic experience. Vicki will be taking a small group (only four) into the habitat of Penguins and sharing her photography expertise and extensive knowledge of the Falkland Islands and the species that live there.
As a group you will travel to three locations starting with Volunteer Point where you will find over a thousand breeding pairs of King Penguins, the largest colony in the Falklands. Also on the species list are hundreds of Magellanics and Gentoo. Over forty bird species have been recorded at Volunteer Point, including, Falkland Steamer Ducks, Upland and Ruddy Headed Geese, Dolphin and Kelp Gulls, Blackish Oystercatchers, South American Pipit, Long-Tailed Meadowlark, Austral Thrush, Correndera Pipit.
Marine life is also abundant and Volunteer Point is one of the few places you will see Sea Lions predate on Penguins on both land and sea. Keeping gear light is suggested in order to stay nimble enough to capture these moments. Ideal focal length is 400-500 mm.
Your accommodations at Volunteer Point will be Volunteer House, a quaint cottage with two shared bedrooms.
Next the group will move on to Bleaker Island for a few days. Penguins on Bleaker include Magellanic, Southern Rockhopper and Gentoo with occasional King and Macaroni. Forty seven species of birds have been recorded on Bleaker, including Southern and Striated Caracaras, Brown Skuas, Southern Giant Petrels, Tussac Bird, Showy Sheathbills, Falkland Steamer Ducks, Kelp Geese, Magellanic and Blackish Oystercatchers, and Two Banded Plovers. Bleaker is also home to a large Rock Shag Colony, the largest colony of breeding Imperial Cormorants, and eight hundred pairs of breeding Southern Rockhoppers.
Your accommodations at Bleaker Island will be at Cassard House, each participant will have their own room with private shower room.
Sea Lion will be the next stop for three days. Penguins you can expect to see and photograph here; Gentoos, Southern Rockhopper, and Magellanic. A large colony of Southern Elephant Seals, the largest in the Falkland Islands also lives here. October and November is pupping season, this means there will be some adorable photo opportunities! Killer Whale pods are regularly observed close to the eastern beaches with the possibility of seeing Elephant Seal pup predation. Tussac grass on Sea Lion attracts endemic tussac birds and Cobb’s Wren.
Gentoo’s egg laying season begins mid October so there is also the possibility of seeing chicks hatch!
Your accommodations at Sea Lion will be at Sea Lion Lodge, participants will share double rooms. The lodge has spectacular views of the South Atlantic and a nearby Gentoo Penguin colony.
Between destinations your group will be staying in Stanley for one or two days at time. Possible day trips while in Stanley…
- (Penguins) Kings, Southern Rockhopper, Gentoo and Magellanic
- Falkland Steamer Ducks, Crested Ducks, Upland Geese, Brown-Hooded Gulls, Blackish Oystercatchers
- (Penguins) Magellanic and Gentoo
- Falkland Steamer Ducks, Crested Ducks, Upland Geese, Dolphin and Kelp Gulls, Blackish Oystercatchers, Rock Shags
- (Marine Mammals) Commerson’s Dolphins, Sea Lion
- Sight of interest: Naval Gun from WWII
- (Penguins) Gentoo
- South American Terns, Hudsonian Godwits, Sanderlings, Ruddy-Headed Geese, Silver Teal, Chiloe Wigeon, Black Necked Swans,
- (Marine Mammals) Commerson’s Dolphins, Peale’s Dolphin
$8,495 based on double and single occupancy
About your leader….
Vicki Santello is a US based photographer who retired from a career in finance to devote herself full time to photography. Vicki enjoyed the excitement of living in New York City and working on Wall Street for 10 years in the early part of her career. Living in a big city, however, deprived her of being in Nature and enjoying outdoor sports. She moved to North Central Florida, a mecca for birds and a unique area for rivers and first magnitude springs. Here she was able to balance her love of the outdoors and her corporate career for 30 years. Vicki has kayaked, hiked, and biked extensively in Florida in her desire to experience its unique natural beauty. Her passion for photography is now her lifestyle. Vicki now travels worldwide to diversify her photography portfolio. She typically stays one to two months in each location to fully immerse herself in the environment and maximize photography opportunities of animal behavior. Most recently she has spent the past few months intermittently in Antarctica and the Falklands. Vicki started traveling to Africa in 1981 and has visited 19 different times to various countries in Southern Africa including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Kenya. In the USA, her favorite locations for photography are the wild places and national parks in Alaska, Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana, up and down the East Coast including her home state of Florida. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and won several international awards including Nature’s Best Africa 2018 – Category Winner, Wild Cats Behavioral, WildArt Photography of the Year 2022 – Category Winner, Wet and numerous Top 100 and Top 250 and semi-finalist recognitions. You can see more of her work on her website vsantellophotography.com or Vicki Santello Photography on FB or vsantello on IG.
- Accommodations day 1 – day 15
- All ground transportation from arrival in Mount Pleasant on day 1 – end of tour day 15
- Flights to Bleaker Island, back to Stanley and to Sea Lion, back to Stanley
- Meals except breakfast day 1 and lunch day 1, 2, 8, 12, 13
- Expert guide and photography support