The island of South Georgia is one of the remotest and wildest places of the United Kingdom’s overseas territories. Huge numbers of seabirds and marine mammals breed along South Georgia’s Tussock Grass fringed shores.
South Georgia is located 1400 kilometres (850 miles) to the east of the Falkland Islands. It does not have an airport, the only access is by ship and it takes two whole days to reach from the Falkland Islands. The island measures approximately 170 kilometres (106 miles) by 30 kilometres (18 miles) and is completely mountainous, its snow-capped mountains rising to 2934 metres (9626 feet). The island has more than 160 glaciers dropping down into the sea.
South Georgia is within the Antarctic Convergence, an oceanographic border that separates the cold Southern Ocean from the warmer northern Oceans. Therefore South Georgia experiences a cold Oceanic Climate. The weather can be very variable. Blue skies with sunshine can be succeeded by violent storms within half an hour. The average summer temperature at sea level is around 7.5°C (45°F). Rain and snow are possible in any season.
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The first recorded landing on South Georgia was made by the British explorer James Cook, who discovered the island on his second voyage around the world. Hoping to find the long sought Southern Continent he was very disappointed to find that South Georgia was just an island. Cook landed in Possession Bay and claimed the island for the United Kingdom. Cook wrote: “…A country doomed by nature never once to feel the warmth of the sun’s rays, but to lie for ever buried under everlasting snow and ice.”
South Georgia supports albatross, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. See a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like King and Macaroni Penguins, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Fur Seals, Elephant Seals and the introduced reindeer.
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