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We are Birders - We are Leica

We are Birders - We are Leica

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The Falkland Islands, Photo Safari & Wildlife Adventure © Far South Expeditions

Exceptional nature photography and wildlife tour, featuring visits to huge penguin colonies and other seabirds including cormorants and albatrosses; elephant seal and sea lions rookeries; dolphin and possibly orca sightings; land-rover tours to remote wildlife spots in the outlying islands of the archipelago, scenic flights within the archipelago and the remarkable hospitality of the Kelpers, our hosts throughout the trip. If you are a nature photographer, a birder, a botanist, or simply a nature enthusiast or hiker, this journey of discovery is for you! 

Next Departure: January 19-26, 2019 6 guests + Tour Leader Enrique Couve.

8-day trip from Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile. Custom departures: Available weekly (every Saturday) from September through April. Check out updates rates for 2017/2018. 


King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), Volunteer Point, Falkland Islands © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), Volunteer Point, Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas © Enrique Couve, Far South Exp


Book this trip, reserve space now!

On this journey we will discover the wildlife and natural history of a remarkable and remote group of islands, located in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Falklands. The archipelago comprises more than 700 small islands (most of them uninhabited) and is located about 350 miles northwest of Cape Horn, in mainland South America. The Falklands are simply the most accessible place in the world to observe breeding colonies of sub-Antarctic wildlife such as tame Black-browed Albatrosses, Rockhopper and King Penguins and marine mammals such as Southern Elephant Seals and Orcas. 



Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis), Carcass Island, Falkland Islands © Enrique Couve, Far South ExpeditionsOverview


Itinerary in Brief (8 days, 7 nights)

Day 1 • Flight to the Falklands - Transfer to Port Stanley

Day 2 • Volunteer Point

Day 3 • Flight to Carcass Island

Day 4 • Carcass Island - Optional boat trip to West Point Island

Day 5 • Carcass Island - Flight to Sea Lion Island

Day 6 • Sea Lion Island

Day 7 • Sea Lion Island - Flight to Darwin

Day 8 • Flight to Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile

Trip Highlights

• Visit the impressive King Penguin colony of Volunteer Point.

• Up to six penguins species including Rockhopper, Gentoo and Magellanic.

• Great light conditions, ideal and highly recommended to serious nature photographers.

• Visit to marine mammal colonies of Elephant Seal and Sea Lions.

• Great wildlife lodges located in remote islands.

• Scenic flights within the archipelago. 



Detailed Itinerary and Activities


Day 1 • Saturday • Flight to Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands – Meet and transfer to Port Stanley 

This morning you will take a morning flight from Santiago de Chile (SCL) to Mount Pleasant airport in the Falkland Islands. On arrival, you will be met by your local host and transferred to Port Stanley, the only town in the archipelago, with a population of approximately 2,000 people. You will have part of the afternoon to visit the very interesting local museum and some free time to make your own independent explorations.

Overnight at Hotel Malvina House or similar, Port Stanley. (In-flight meal, Dinner)(Guide).


Visiting the impressive King Penguin breeding colony of Volunteer Point, Falkland Islands © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

King Penguins at Volunteer Point, Falklands/Malvinas © Enrique Couve, Far South Exp


Day 2 • Sunday • Full day trip to Volunteer Point – King Penguin rookery 

We will travel to Volunteer Point by 4x4 vehicles with a driver/guide in a journey of approximately 2.5 hours from Stanley. Named after the ship ‘Volunteer’ which called into the islands in 1815, the point is part of the Johnsons Harbour farm, one of the largest privately owned settlements. Volunteer Beach is approximately 2 miles of stunning white sand bordered by high grassy banks leading to large greens. These wonderful areas provide the perfect habitats for three breeding species of penguin: Gentoo, Magellanic and the regal King penguin, of which there are over 1,000 adults which successfully rear over 200 chicks each year. This is the largest breeding group of Kings within the islands within easy access. King penguin breeding cycle takes longer than one year meaning that any pair rears two chicks in a three year period. The egg is incubated on the feet and should the egg roll off the parent can lose interest and the egg is lost. This is a critical stage in the parenting and visitors need to be vigilant and must not disturb the colony.

Overnight at Hotel Malvina House, Port Stanley. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide). 


Tour leader and company founder Enrique Couve closely photographing King Penguin chicks at the colony of Volunteer Point © courtesy of guest Alex Macipe

King Penguin chicks!!! © Alex Macipe, Far South Exp


Day 3 • Monday • Flight to Carcass Island (c. 45 minutes) – Explore Carcass Island

Today we will fly to Carcass Island and enjoy the hospitality of one of the most comfortable lodges in the whole archipelago. This will the perfect base for the following two nights to explore the island on foot or by land rover, looking for the famous ‘Johnny Rook’ or Striated Caracara among several other avian specialties of the Falklands. Over 100 years of habitation, Carcass named after the HMS Carcass, has had three environmentally conscious owners who have avoided the introduction of rats and cats. This care and freedom from predation has made a difference that is immediately evident and needs to be experienced rather than described. Magellanic penguins nest around the settlement and a Gentoo colony is only a short walk away. There is also a large number of Striated Caracara (Johnny Rook), most of them residing right outside the windows of the accommodation. Elephant seal, Sea Lion, King cormorants and Night heron are also to be found on the island in addition to the wonderful endemic Cobb’s Wren and other small bird species on this cat and rat free island.  Your hosts are outstanding and offer a home away from home in the refurbished house.

Overnight at Carcass Lodge, Carcass Island. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide). 


Southern Fur Seal (Arctocephalus australis), Falkland Islands © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

Southern Fur Seal (Arctocephalus australis) © Enrique Couve, Far South Exp


Day 4 • Tuesday • Carcass Island – Optional boat trip to West Point Island – Black-browed Albatross colony 

The surroundings of Carcass Island are just phenomenal for wildlife encounters. We will be transferred by land rover to the wildlife sites, crossing moorlands and tussock grasslands with superb views of the coast and surrounding islands. We’ll use the morning to photograph the Elephant Seals visiting the beaches and maybe even see Orcas off the headlands. A variety of coastal birds including Magellanic and Blackish Oystercatchers, Crested Ducks, Kelp Goose and delicate Dolphin Gulls will be great subject for our wildlife photography. The lodge offers fantastic home-made cooking and simple and great facilities to relax after our photo and wildlife excursions. If you are interested in photographing Albatross at their colonies we suggest you to consider the optional boat trip to West Point Island (weather permitting). The 2-hour crossing can be productive for the birders and photographers as we have great chances to see Thin-billed Prion, Grey-backed Storm-Petrel and up to two dolphin species, including Commerson's and Peale's. The main goal of the trip is to approach a nesting colony of Black-browed Albatrosses, where we will learn the fascinating details of their ecology and breeding cycles.

Overnight at Carcass Lodge, Carcass Island. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).

Photographing albatrosses at West Point Island © courtesy of guest Alex Macipe

The Black-browed Albatross colony of Saunders Island © Alex Maxipe, Far South Exp

Day 5 • Wednesday • Carcass Island – Flight to Sea Lion Island (c. 45 minutes) – Sea Lion Island

‘Sea Lion’ is a ‘must’ in any Falkland Islands tour as this fantastic island is truly is a paradise for wildlife. Here we will see three penguin species, huge cormorant colonies and a large Elephant Seal rookery. This place is simply fantastic for nature photography, with birds, marine mammals and plants, great views and comfortable accommodations. Sea Lion Lodge will be our base for two nights. 

Overnight at Sea Lion Lodge, Sea Lion Island. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide). 

Our guest Gert Huijzers, keen nature photographer and birder at Sea Lion Island, the Falklands, during one of our photo safaris to this remarkable archipelago of the South Atlantic © Courtesy Stieneke Huijzers

King cormorants breeding at Sea Lion Island © Gert Huijzers


Day 6 • Thursday • Full day exploring Sea Lion Island – Visit to penguin and elephant seal colonies 

Sea Lion Island, the most southerly inhabited island of the Falklands group, is five miles long and just over a mile wide at its widest point, just the right size for exploring. Beautiful stands of spectacular tussock grass cover one fifth of the island and provide a perfect habitat and protection for much of the islands' varied fauna and wildlife, including Elephant seal (the largest population on the Islands, with up to 1,800 seals) and Southern Sea Lion. Besides the tussock, there are dazzling white sand beaches, dramatic cliffs and fresh water ponds. The different bird species, which can be seen on the island, include four species of penguin and birds of prey such as Striated Caracara, one of the rarest raptors in the world. At certain times of the year, pods of killer whale circle the island in pursuit of Elephant Seal pups which can be found in the crystal clear nursery pools only a few minutes walk from the lodge’s front door! Sea Lion, a remarkable wildlife reserve where nature can really be experienced, to later share experiences and memories in the cosiness of your lodge.

Overnight at Sea Lion Lodge, Sea Lion Island. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide). 


Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua), Sea Lion Island © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

Gentoo Penguins at Sea Lion Island © Enrique Couve, Far South Exp


Day 7 • Friday • Sea Lion Island – Flight to Darwin (c. 40 minutes) 

By noontime we will fly to the Darwin settlement. Darwin, Goose Green and San Carlos are probably best known today for the parts they played during the 1982 conflict between the British and Argentines.  All locations have memorials to those fallen and Darwin is the site of the Argentine cemetery and San Carlos that of the British cemetery and small museum and Bomb Alley.Darwin was once the largest settlement after Stanley, with almost 200 workers on the farm payroll. The settlement, named after Charles Darwin, who spent some time here during his travels, was established in 1859 as a centre first for cattle ranching, and later for sheep farming.  Today, the number of residents is much fewer but remains a large working settlement which offers superb full board accommodation in the form of Darwin House.

Overnight at Darwin House, Darwin. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).


A great small group adventure in the wilderness of the Falklands Islands © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions

About to take off from Sea Lion Island © Enrique Couve, Far South Exp


Day 8 • Saturday • Darwin settlement – Transfer to Mount Pleasant Airport – Flight to Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile

You will have a leisure morning. After breakfast, you will have some time to explore the surroundings of the settlement and watch the common wildlife. We will be transferred to the airport in the afternoon to take our flight to Santiago where our trip will conclude. 




Trip Map





Dates and Rates


Scheduled Departures:

Group trip (up to 6 guests), fully guided by a Tour Leader from our company.


Falkland Islands, A Wildlife Photo Adventure
Trip Code  ISL02a
Trip Length  8 days, 7 nights
Dates 2019 January 19-26
Price per person  USD4,998
Single Supplement USD395
Maximum group size: 6 participants


Custom Departures:

 Private trip (1-2 guests), partly led by local guides, some guided excursions. 


The Falkland Islands, A Wildlife Photo Adventure
Trip Code ISL02b
Trip Length 8 days, 7 nights
Dates 2017/2018 Leaves every Saturday • From Sep through April
Price per person USD4,398
Single Supplement USD795
Minimum party: 1-2 participants.


• The above rates are per person in USD, based on double occupancy. Single supplement charge is indicated.

• Departure tax from the Falklands (£22 - payable locally, not included)


Do you want us to arrange your flights from Santiago or Punta Arenas to the Falklands?

We can provide a competitive quote for your flight tickets (Santiago de Chile / Punta Arenas - Mount Pleasant, Falklands - Punta Arenas / Santiago de Chile). Duration of the flight: From Santiago de Chile (c. 6-7 hours); from Punta Arenas (c. 2 hours).


What the trip includes/excludes

The trip price includes: All accommodations and meals as stated in the itinerary, meet and greet, all transfers, all internal flights using FIGAS, and full day tour to Volunteer Point with drive/guides.

The trip price excludes: Flights from Santiago or Punta Arenas, departure tax from the Falklands (£22 - payable locally), tipping, travel insurance, excess baggage charges (20kg personal allowance, excess charged at £1 per kilo per flight thereafter), hotels in Santiago or Punta Arenas, à la carte dishes, snacks, drinks, laundry, telephone calls and anything else of a purely personal nature.



Tour Leader

Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions Tour Leaders and GuidesEnrique Couve

Enrique is an Industrial Engineer by profession, although a field naturalist by true passion. One of the two founders and original driving forces behind the Far South Expeditions concept and company, he has been birding and studying the natural history of Chile for more than 45 years.

He is co-author of more than 20 publications on the natural heritage of Chile and Patagonia, and among his published works is the praised 'Birds of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Antarctic Peninsula'. Enrique is a very gifted field spotter, and he uses this skill on his nature photography work, as he has one of the most complete and extensive files on the flora and fauna of the country.

Enrique has extensively travelled throughout Chile and South America, its oceanic islands and Antarctica. He is the main author of an upcoming and long-awaited Field Guide to the Birds of Chile, now in its final completing stages. He is a skilled puma tracker and a pioneer of puma trips in Patagonia.

He is founding partner and manager of Far South Expeditions and lives in Punta Arenas with his wife Cecilia.

Contact Enrique:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Photo Gallery


Check our our photo gallery with images of recent photo safaris and wildlife trips to the Falkland Islands.


 Black-browed Albatrosses displaying at the rookery of West Point Island, Falkland Islands © Enrique Couve, Far South Expeditions


Field Checklist 


Possible species of birds and mammals to be seen during this trip. 




Penguins | Spheniscidae

King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus

Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua papua

Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome

Macaroni Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus

Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus

Grebes | Podicipedidae

 White-tufted Grebe Rollandia rolland

Silvery Grebe Podiceps occipitalis

Albatrosses | Diomedeidae

Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans

Southern Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora epomophora

Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris

Grey-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma

Shearwaters & Petrels | Procellariidae

Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus

Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli

Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides

Cape / Pintado Petrel Daption capense

Blue Petrel Halobaena caerulea

Thin-billed Prion Pachyptila belcheri

White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis

Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis

Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus

Storm-Petrels | Hydrobatidae

Wilson's Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel Garrodia nereis

Diving-Petrels | Pelecanoididae

Common Diving-Petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix

Magellanic Diving-Petrel Pelecanoides magellani

Cormorants | Phalacrocoracidae

Rock Shag Phalacrocorax magellanicus

Imperial / King Shag Phalacrocorax atriceps albiventer

Herons, Egrets & Bitterns | Ardeidae

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

Ducks, Geese & Swans | Anatidae

Black-necked Swan Cygnus melanocorypha

Coscoroba Swan Coscoroba coscoroba

Feral Domestic Goose Anser anser

Upland Goose Chloephaga picta

Kelp Goose Chloephaga hybrida

Ashy-headed Goose Chloephaga poliocephala

Ruddy-headed Goose Chloephaga rubidiceps

Flying Steamer Duck Tachyeres patachonicus

Falkland Steamer Duck Tachyeres brachypterus

Chiloe Wigeon Anas sibilatrix

Speckled Teal Anas flavirostris

Crested Duck Anas specularioides

Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica

Silver Teal Anas versicolor

Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera

Red Shoveler Anas platalea

New World Vultures | Cathartidae

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura jota


Hawks, Eagles & Kites | Accipitridae

Variable Hawk Buteo polyosoma

Falcons & Caracaras | Falconidae

Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus australis

Southern Crested Caracara Caracara plancus

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

Rails, Gallinules & Coots | Rallidae

White-winged Coot Fulica leucoptera

Oystercatchers Haematopodidae

 Magellanic Oystercatcher Haematopus leucopodus

Blackish Oystercatcher Haematopus ater

Plovers & Lapwings Charadriidae

Two-banded Plover Charadrius falklandicus

Rufous-chested Dotterel Charadrius modestus

Sandpipers & Allies | Scolopacidae

South American Snipe Gallinago paraguaiae

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus

Sanderling Calidris alba

White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis

Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii

Sheathbills | Chionidae

Snowy Sheathbill Chionis alba

Skuas & Jaegers | Stercoraridae

 Chilean Skua Catharacta chilensis

Falkland Skua Catharacta antarctica

Gulls | Laridae

Dolphin Gull Larus scoresbii

Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus

Brown-hooded Gull Larus maculipennis

South American Tern Sterna hirundinacea

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea

Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata

Barn Owls | Tytonidae

Barn Owl Tyto alba

Typical Owls | Strigidae

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus

Ovenbirds | Furnariidae

Blackish Cinclodes / Tussacbird Cinclodes antarcticus antarcticus

Tyrant Flycatchers | Tyrannidae

Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola macloviana

Swallows | Hirundinidae

Chilean Swallow Tachycineta meyeni

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Wagtails & Pipits | Motacillidae

Correndera / Falkland Pipit Anthus correndera grayi

Wrens | Troglodytidae

Falkland Grass Wren Cistothorus platensis falklandicus

Cobb's Wren Troglodytes cobbi

Thrushes & Allies | Turdidae

Austral Thrush Turdus falcklandii falcklandii

Old World Sparrows | Passeridae

House Sparrow ( I ) Passer domesticus


Buntings, Sparrows & Allies | Emberizidae

Black-throated / Canary-winged Finch Melanodera melanodera melandera

Troupials & Allies | Icteridae

Long-tailed Meadowlark Sturnella loyca


Siskins | Fringillidae

Black-chinned Siskin Carduelis barbata


Dolphins | Delphinidae

Killer Whale / Orca Orcinus orca

Peale's Dolphin Lagenorhynchus australis

Commerson's Dolphin Cephalorhynchus commersonii


Eared Seals | Otariidae

Southern Sea Lion Otaria flavescens

South American Fur Seal Arctocephalus australis


True Seals | Phocidae

Southern Elephant Seal Mirounga leonina



Optional Extensions


The Falkland Islands can be combined with the following optional extensions in mainland Chile & Patagonia:

• Patagonia Explorer: 9-day wildlife and photo adventure to Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego, the 'End of the World';

• Cruise to the Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego (5 and 4 days); journey to the fjords, glaciers and history of the southern tip of South America. Leaving from Punta Arenas, Chile or Ushuaia, Argentina.

• Torres del Paine Explorer (3, 4 and 5-day options); photo safari and natural history trip to Patagonia's premier mountain and wildlife destination.



How to Book


Tour Registration

To register for this tour, complete the registration form and return it (by fax or email) with a deposit of US$ 750 per person. Full payment of the tour fee is due 90 days prior to tour departure.


Cancellation Policy

Notice of cancellation can only be accepted IN WRITING from the person who signed the booking form and takes effect on the day such noticed is received by us.


Refunds are made according to the following schedule:

If cancellation is made 120 days or more before departure date, the deposit less US$ 200 is refundable.

If cancellation is made between 120 and 60 days before departure, the deposit is not refundable, but any payments covering the balance of the fee will be refunded.

If cancellation is made fewer than 60 days before departure date, no refund is available.

This policy and fee schedule also applies to pre-trip and post trip extensions, as well as any transfers from one tour to another. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself.