Falkland Islands Photographic Tour
Wildlife photography with tutor Craig Jones
Brize Norton • Darwin • Carcass Island • Port Howard • Saunders Island • Sea Lion Island • Stanley (& Volunteer Point) • Brize Norton;
There are few places to compare with the Falkland Islands when it comes to photographic opportunities. Island Holidays has joined forces with Craig Jones Wildlife Photography with a tour designed specially for photographers - amateur and professional. Photography's a bit like bird watching: it can be enjoyed at any level and you never stop learning.
Our 14-night holiday includes stays at Darwin, Carcass Island (with a day trip to West Point), Saunders Island, Sea Lion Island and Stanley, as well as a trip to Volunteer Point, home to the largest colony of King Penguins on the islands. We travel from the UK with the Royal Air Force out of RAF Brize Norton and, on the islands, by 8-seater Islander aircraft and LandRover. Accommodation is in comfortable hotels or lodges except on Saunders Island where it is more basic – but worth it just for the location!
All the photos shown on this page were taken during our tour in February 2013. Read Craig's blog post about the tour and see many more photos…
- Falkland Islands Photographic Tour: Wildlife Photography & Island Exploration
- Fully guided group tour
- 2017 departure: 29 November
- Nights: 14
- Fully inclusive cost: £6,885
- Single room supplement: £450*
- Deposit: £850
- Meal Basis: Full Board
- Activity level: Easy
- Tour leader: Craig Jones
- Maximum Group Size: 8
- Travel: Royal Air Force
- Departs: Brize Norton, Oxfordshire
- Included in cost: International air fares and taxes, inter-island flights, transfers, UK and local guides.
- Not included in cost: Travel insurance, tips, drinks and items of a personal nature.
- *Single rooms cannot be guaranteed in all the lodges and you may need to share on occasion. We will do our best to ensure this does not happen.
- Falklands Photography 2017 detailed itinerary
Your Tour Leader
Craig Jones is a professional photographer and naturalist whose love of the wild goes back to childhood. His passion for his subject is matched by his talent not only to take photographs but to work with other people to help them to develop their art and share their experience.
For more about Craig visit: www.craigjoneswildlifephotography.co.uk
Day 1: The group assembles at RAF Brize Norton in the evening for the flight over the South Atlantic Ocean via Ascension Island. The one and a half hour stop on Ascension next morning gives us a chance to stretch our legs and try to find the Myna birds that frequent the airport and to see if those dots over the ocean beyond are Frigatebirds or Boobies.
Day 2: The drive from Mount Pleasant Airport to Darwin gives us our first introduction to the rolling landscape of that part of the islands. Long-tailed Meadowlarks are often feeding beside the road and Turkey Vultures can be seen gliding low over the White Grass hills. Once settled in at the comfortable lodge overlooking the end of Choisel Sound we should have time for a walk around the shore where Upland, Ruddy-headed and Kelp Geese amongst other waterfowl are found in abundance and are very photogenic. The signs of Falklands maritime past are easy to see in the shape of the wrecks that are not far from the lodge. Mount Osborne, the highest point on the Falklands, provides a scenic backdrop for dinner in the evening sunshine.
Days 3 – 5: Leaving Darwin, we take our first Islander flight. These 8-seater planes are a real experience and a wonderful way to get an overview of the islands. Our destination is Carcass Island where we'll have a three-night stay. The accommodation here is in en suite rooms in the main house with meals taken in the dining room that looks out through the trees to the sea. We'll have plenty of time to explore this lovely island with its Gentoo Penguin colony, its wonderful scenery and abundance of the smaller birds of the Falkland Islands such as the Falkland Pipit, the Rufous-chested Dotterel and so many more star turns. In addition, we are hoping to be able to take a boat trip to nearby West Point with its mixed Black-browed Albatross and Rockhopper Penguin colony and its delightful “English Garden” settlement where they serve superb teas! This trip is obviously weather dependent.
Day 6: Port Howard on West Falkland is the largest farm on the islands and during our brief stay we'll be visiting White Rock where there's a delightful colony of Rockhopper Penguins. One of the great joys of photographing wildlife on the islands is the total disregard of the subjects as they simply continue to go about their business. What better way to spend a day before returning to the comfortable lodge at Port Howard. After dinner you may like to go down to the small pier from which it is common to see Commerson's Dolphins.
Days 7 & 8: Our destination is Saunders Island which will be our base for the next three nights. Saunders boasts a wonderful colony of Black-browed Albatross and you can spend hours just watching and photographing these magnificent birds. As with nearly all wildlife in the Falklands, it's possible to approach really close without causing any disturbance. The bond between pairs is beautiful – they really are gentle giants.
Please note that accommodation on Saunders is very basic but the island and it's wonderful wildlife more than make up and your hosts are real characters.
Days 9 – 11: 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 on this island, including three different species of penguin, and it's also home to one of the rarest birds of prey in the world, the Striated Caracara. Be careful of these birds – they're liable to nick your lens cap! One of the great sights of the holiday is the Elephant Seals 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.
Day 12: Our final inter-island flight of the holiday takes us back to Stanley where we will be staying in the Malvina House Hotel. Depending on flights (and we never know the schedule until the night before) there will be a free afternoon for exploration or more photography.
Day 13: Today we take a LandRover excursion to Volunteer Point, home to the islands' principal King Penguin colony, a visit to which has to be one of the highlights of your Falklands holiday. The three-hour LandRover trip takes us through typical Falkland landscape and we will spend lots of time with the delightful King Penguins as well as other species. It's a long day, but a very special one.
Day 14: We have a relatively early start for our transfer from Stanley to Mount Pleasant Airport for our flight to the UK via Ascension Island.
Day 15: Arrive UK (0730 hours).
Please note that the itinerary can be changed without notice at the sole discretion of Island Holidays or your tour leader.