The Falkland Islands
Fully guided tour flying direct from RAF Brize Norton (refuelling at Cape Verde)
Brize Norton • Stanley • Port Howard • Darwin • Sea Lion Island • Carcass Island • Stanley • Volunteer Point • Brize Norton;
The Falkland Islands lie in the South Atlantic Ocean and are home to millions of birds and good populations of sea mammals. The wildlife is very approachable, the scenery starkly beautiful and the southern summer is basically dry and sunny with a frequent breeze.
We travel to the islands with the RAF out of Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, stopping at Cape Verde to refuel. The flight time is approximately 8 hours for each leg, with 1½ hours on the ground at Cape Verde, before continuing the journey to the Falklands.
Once in the islands, travel between different centres is by 9-seater 'Islander' aircraft which is capable of landing on sandy beaches or grass airstrips near the settlements. Land travel is by Land Rover. Accommodation is in small hotels or lodges, all comfortable and warm, with bath or shower facilities (most en suite). Single rooms are available in Stanley but, because the lodges and hotels in "camp" are so small, clients must be prepared to share twin bedded rooms where necessary.
During our stay we'll see many different aspects of island life as well as enjoying the birds and flowers of this unique archipelago which, in spite of having become more popular and sophisticated over the years, has not lost that magic which visitors find so enchanting.
- Wildlife & Island Exploration
- Fully guided group tour
- 2018 departure: 07 January 2018
- Nights: 13
- Fully inclusive cost: £6,935
- Single room supplement: £240
- Deposit: £850
- Meal Basis: Full Board
- Activity level: Easy
- Tour leader: David Spivack
- Maximum Group Size: 8
- Travel: RAF
- Departs: Brize Norton (Oxfordshire)
- Included in cost: International air fares and taxes, inter-island flights, transfers, Land Rover excursions, UK and local guides.
- Not included in cost: Travel insurance, tips, drinks and items of a personal nature.
- Falkland Islands 2018 detailed itinerary
Your Tour Leader
Born in London in 1965, David Spivack has had a lifelong passion for birds and conservation. His career started in business through the 80's during which time he was an active volunteer for the RSPB before moving to West Yorkshire to start work with the RSPB first as Youth officer and latterly as the region’s fundraising manager. Staying within the conservation sector, David then became the UK Head of Corporate Relations for the Wildlife Trusts in 2000 before returning to the RSPB in 2005. In 2015 his career took on an international dimension when he became the UK director for Falklands Conservation, the birdlife international partner based in the Falkland islands, a post which he still holds.
Our flight leaves RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in the late evening.
Day 2: Stanley
Having listened to the military briefing (not actually relevant to tourists but you have to listen!) you will be met by our representative from Falkland Islands Holidays and transferred to the Malvina House Hotel for dinner and overnight. There will be time either before or after dinner for a stroll along the waterfront to see a few of the bird species which will probably be new to you, as well as the evidence of all the wrecks which are witness to the islands' role as a bolt hole for trading vessels in previous centuries.
Days 3 & 4: Port Howard
Our first flight on the wonderful Islander aircraft run by the Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) takes us to Port Howard on West Falkland. This is the largest sheep farm on the island and also home to a small museum based on the Falklands “Conflict” as the islanders refer to it. We'll take two Land Rover tours during our stay, one of which will probably be to Fox Bay settlement and the other to Whiterock wildlife location with the chance to see the views of the Sound and East Falkland from the mountain tops. These excursions are moveable feasts but wherever you go you can expect a terrific experience in the company of your local guide.
Days 5 & 6: Darwin
Another FIGAS flight takes us to Darwin, close to Goose Green which became infamous during the Conflict. During our 2-night stay we'll have a full day excursion which will include Goose Green (one of the largest settlements on the islands) and San Carlos where the British landed and where there is a most moving cemetery with the war graves. As well as learning more about what happened in 1982 we'll also begin to hear what life is like on the islands and, of course, we'll be looking at birds and flowers all the while.
Days 7 & 8: Sea Lion Island
Sea Lion Island, with its amazing array of spectacular wildlife, is the most southerly of the Falkland Islands. As nature is so close at hand here we will spend our time on foot exploring pools and coasts of the island. The majority of all Falklands breeding birds can be found here, including three different species of penguin, and it is also home to one of the rarest birds of prey in the world, the Striated Caracara. One of the great spectacles of the holiday is to be found at Elephant Beach where the bull Elephant Seals are hauled up on the sandy beach as they moult. The lodge has views right across the island to the sea and the occasional pod of Killer Whales can be seen. After exploring by Land Rover every day up until now, it is a delight to spend our time walking over easy terrain on this small and very special island.
Days 9 & 10: Carcass Island
Another inter-island flight takes us to Carcass Island, one of the gems of the Falkland Islands which lies to the northwest of the Falklands archipelago. An absence of cats and rats makes the luxuriant, well established hedges and trees an attractive home to many small birds such as the Cobb's Wren, Black-chinned Siskin and Falklands Thrush. The sandy beaches, rolling hills and low cliffs are superb platforms from which to view the multitude of sea and shore birds that either breed or feed on and around this island. These include Gentoo and Magellanic Penguin, Yellow-billed Pintail and Flightless Steamer Duck.
Day 11: Stanley
Our final inter-island flight of the holiday takes us back to the islands' capital, Stanley where we will again be staying in the excellent Malvina House Hotel. This afternoon there'll be free time to explore the city and perhaps indulge in a little retail therapy before re-convening for dinner.
Day 12: Stanley (Volunteer Point)
To many people a visit to the King Penguins at Volunteer Point is the highlight of their Falkland holiday – and that's saying something! We travel off-road by Land Rover and really experience the Falklands landscape and atmosphere. We'll have plenty of time with the penguins which are both fascinating – and fascinated by us. We stick by the rules and keep our distance but nobody told the penguins and they are highly likely to come right up to inspect you. It's magical. We have to tear ourselves away to return to Stanley for our last evening together.
Day 13: Falklands – Brize Norton
We have a relatively early start for our transfer from Stanley to Mount Pleasant Airport for our flight to the UK via Cape Verde.
We arrive back at Brize Norton at 0730 hours filled with memories.
Please note that the itinerary can be changed without notice at the sole discretion of Island Holidays or your tour leader.