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South Georgia

Penguins • Elephant seals • Antarctic fur seals

of AGE ™ Travel Magazine
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King Penguin Island!

The approx. 3700 km2 A large sub-Antarctic island, South Georgia is characterized by mountains, glaciers, tundra plants and vast animal colonies. It is not for nothing that South Georgia is also known as the Serengeti of Antarctica or the Galapagos of the Southern Ocean. In summer, the wildlife crowds close together. Hundreds of thousands of penguin breeding pairs cavort in the bays of South Georgia. The population is estimated at around one million king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), two million golden-crested penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) as well as thousands of gentoo penguins and chinstrap penguins. Other birds such as the grey-headed albatross, white-chinned petrel and South Georgia pipit also nest here. The massive southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina), the world's largest seals, mate on the beaches and numerous Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) raise their young.

Stunned, I open my eyes a little more just to be absolutely sure that I'm really seeing all of this. Already on the beach we were welcomed by countless king penguins, already on the way here the black and white character birds are numerous and waddled past me in close proximity, but the sight of their breeding colony surpasses everything. A surging sea of ​​bodies. Penguins as far as the eye can see. The wind is filled with their clamor, the air vibrates with their spicy scent, and my mind is intoxicated by the incomprehensible numbers and their impressive presence. I open my heart wide to let this moment in and keep it. One thing is for sure - I will never forget the sight of these penguins.


Experience South Georgia

The west coast of South Georgia has many cliffs and harsh weather. Landings therefore take place on the flat beaches and bays of the east coast. Remains of old whaling stations are evidence of the earlier work of mankind. That aside, South Georgia is an unspoilt natural paradise of the first order. The sheer mass of animals alone leaves every visitor speechless. Elephant seals loom, fur seals swirl in the water and colonies of penguins reach for the horizon.

Numerous animal species use the largely ice-free coast of South Georgia year after year for reproduction. The island is located in the region of the Antarctic Convergence, where nutrient-rich cold surface waters descend into the depths. Ideal conditions for fish and krill. This richly laid feeding table gives penguin chicks and newborn marine mammals the perfect start to their young lives.

AntarcticaAntarctic tripAntarctic Peninsula • South Georgia • grytvikenGold HarborSalisbury PlainCooper Bay • Fortuna Bay • Jason HarbourBest travel time South GeorgiaSea Spirit Antarctic cruise 

Experiences on South Georgia

Background information knowledge tourist attractions vacationWhat can I do in South Georgia?
South Georgia is an exceptional spot for wildlife viewing. The highlight of any South Georgia trip is visiting one Breeding colony of hundreds of thousands of king penguins. Hikes lead, for example, to Shackleton's waterfall or through tussock grass fields. Remains of former whaling stations can be visited and also a visit to the former main town grytviken is possible.

Wildlife observation wildlife animal species fauna What animal sightings are likely?
In South Georgia you have the best chance (when the weather is good) to experience one of the huge king penguin breeding colonies live and up close. A shore leave is recommended Gold Harbor, Fortuna Bay, Salisbury Plain or St Andrews. Although golden crested penguins also breed in large numbers on South Georgia, their nesting is difficult to access. In Cooper Bay you have a good chance of spotting these oddballs from a dinghy. Gentoo penguins can often be found in the vicinity of other colonies.
Huge elephant seals can be seen along the coast. Mating season is in early summer, and the animals molt in late summer. Numerous Antarctic fur seals also live on the island and raise their young. With a little perseverance you can discover other bird species. For example the Yellow billed Pintail, the South Georgia Pipit, Giant Petrels, Skuas or the Grey-Headed Albatross. You can find more information at: Best travel time for wildlife viewing in South Georgia.

Background information knowledge tourist attractions vacationWhat's in grytviken to see?
In Grytviken you can see the remains of a former whaling station, the restored church of the time, the grave of the famous polar explorer Ernest Shackleton and a small museum. Often there are also some animals to discover on the beach and a souvenir shop with a mailbox invites you to send postcards from nowhere.

Ship cruise tour boat ferryHow can I reach South Georgia?
South Georgia is only accessible by boat. Cruise ships sail the island from Falkland or as part of an Antarctic voyage from the Antarctic Peninsula or from the South Shetland Islands off on. The boat trip takes about two to three days at sea. South Georgia does not have a jetty. Landings are carried out by rubber dinghy.

Ticket ship cruise ferry excursion boat How to book a tour to South Georgia?
Cruises that include South Georgia depart from either South America or Falklands. When choosing a provider, pay attention to the length of stay in South Georgia. We recommend small ships with a lot of excursion programs and at least 3, better 4 days in South Georgia. Providers can easily be compared online. AGE™ has South Georgia on one Antarctic voyage with the expedition ship Sea Spirit besucht.

Sights & profile

5 reasons to travel to South Georgia

Sightseeing vacation recommendation travel experiences Hundreds of thousands (!) king penguins
Sightseeing vacation recommendation travel experiences large colony of elephant seals and fur seals
Sightseeing vacation recommendation travel experiences Funny golden crested penguins
Sightseeing vacation recommendation travel experiences In the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton
Sightseeing vacation recommendation travel experiences One of the last paradises of our time

South Georgia fact sheet

Names for the Antarctic Peninsula Namur English: South Georgia
Spanish: Isla San Pedro or Georgia del Sur
Profile size area length width Size 3700 km2 (2-40 km wide, 170 km long)
Geography Question - Are there mountains on the Antarctic Peninsula? Height highest peak: approx. 2900 meters (Mount Paget)
Wanted geography location continent location South Atlantic, Sub-Antarctic Island
belongs geographically to Antarctica
Policy Affiliation Question Territorial Claims - Who Owns the Antarctic Peninsula? Politics English Overseas Territory
Claims: Argentina
Characteristics Habitat Vegetation Flora Flora Lichens, mosses, grasses, tundra plants
Characteristics Animals Biodiversity Animal species Fauna Fauna
Mammals: Southern elephant seal, Antarctic fur seal

e.g. king penguins, golden-crested penguins, gentoo penguins, skuas, giant petrels, South Georgia pipit, yellow billed pintail, South Georgia cormorant, grey-headed albatross …

Population and Population Question - What is the population of the Antarctic Peninsula?population no longer permanent residents
seasonally 2-20 residents in Grytviken
approx. 50 at King Edward Point (mainly researchers)
Profile animal protection nature conservation protected areas Protection status IAATO guidelines for sustainable tourism
Biosecurity protocols, restricted landfalls
Background information knowledge tourist attractions vacationWho was Ernest Shackleton?
Ernest Shackleton was a British polar explorer of Irish descent. In 1909 he pushed further towards the South Pole than anyone had ever done before. In 1911, however, polar explorer Roald Amudsen was the first to reach the South Pole. In 1914, Shackleton launched a new expedition. He failed, but the fantastic rescue of his expedition members is famous. He died in 1921 in grytviken.
AntarcticaAntarctic tripAntarctic Peninsula • South Georgia • grytvikenGold HarborSalisbury PlainCooper Bay • Fortuna Bay • Jason HarbourBest travel time South GeorgiaSea Spirit Antarctic cruise 

Localization information

Maps route planner directions sightseeing vacationWhere is South Georgia located?
The main island of South Georgia belongs to an island region of the same name in the South Atlantic. Geographically, the sub-Antarctic island lies in a triangle between the Falklands and the Antarctic Peninsula. It is around 1450 km away from Stanley, the capital of the Falklands. South Georgia is south of the Antarctic Convergence, so it is often associated with Antarctica.
Politically, the island is part of the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Shetland Islands. Geologically, South Georgia lies in the Scotia Arc, an arc-shaped group of islands lying between the Antarctic Peninsula and today's South American Plate.

For your travel planning

Fact sheet Weather Climate table Temperature Best travel time What's the weather like in South Georgia?
The temperature in South Georgia varies only slightly with the seasons. Temperatures usually range between +3°C and -3°C. The warmest month in South Georgia is February. The coldest month is August. Values ​​above +7°C or below -7°C are very rare.
In summer the coasts are snow-free, but glaciers and mountains keep around 75% of the island snow-covered. Precipitation in the form of light rain or snow is common. Most rain falls in the months of January and February. The sky is often cloudy and the average wind speed is around 30km/h.

Tourists can also discover South Georgia on an expedition ship, for example on the Sea Spirit.
Nice Examples of Landings & Excursions in South Georgia:
Gold Harbor • Salisbury Plain • Cooper Bay • Fortuna Bay • Jason Harbour
Learn all about the best travel time for animal watching on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.

AntarcticaAntarctic tripAntarctic Peninsula • South Georgia • grytvikenGold HarborSalisbury PlainCooper Bay • Fortuna Bay • Jason HarbourBest travel time South GeorgiaSea Spirit Antarctic cruise 

Enjoy the AGE™ Photo Gallery: South Georgia Animal Paradise – Marvel among Penguins

(For a relaxed slide show in full format, simply click on one of the photos)

AntarcticaAntarctic trip • South Georgia • Best travel time South Georgia

Copyrights and Copyright
Texts and photos are protected by copyright. The copyright of this article in words and images is entirely owned by AGE ™. All rights are reserved. Content for print / online media can be licensed on request.
If the content of this article does not match your personal experience, we assume no liability. The contents of the article have been carefully researched and are based on personal experience. However, if information is misleading or incorrect, we assume no liability. Furthermore, circumstances can change. AGE™ does not guarantee topicality or completeness.
Source reference for text research
Information & lectures on site by the expedition team from Poseidon Expeditions or on the Cruise ship Sea Spirit, in particular by geologist Sanna Kallio, as well as personal experiences visiting South Georgia (4,5 days) in March 2022.

Cedar Lake Ventures (oD) Climate and average weather all year round in Grytviken. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. [online] Retrieved on 16.05.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX, from URL: (01.06.2003/18.05.2022/XNUMX) Icy paradise. [online] Retrieved on XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX, from URL:

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