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South Georgia Island

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Why a Wonder: South Georgia Island is home to about 450,000 pairs of king penguins, one million pairs of yellow-crested macaroni penguins, as well as thousands of long-tailed gentoo, black-banded and chinstrap penguins.

Where: South Atlantic Ocean.

When: The local summer months of November through January.

Photography: With a wide-angle zoom lens, it’s possible to get a photograph with thousands of penguins in a single frame. With a telephoto zoom lens, you can get intimate photographs of the penguins and six-species of seals, including fur seals and elephant seals.

The rule/law is that you can’t get closer than 15 feet to any animal, but the animals don’t know the law. . . and they often come very close to photographers.

From your expedition ship, you’ll be making a wet-landing (wearing rubber boots) in a Zodiac (inflatable rubber boat) on South Georgia. Packing your camera gear in a waterproof backpack (or backpack with a rain cover) will protect it from splashes. Be sure to bring a lens cleaning cloth to wipe off salt spray.

For environmental reasons, you can’t put your camera bag down on the ground. So be prepared to change lenses while standing up or kneeling down. Photographing with a friend is a good idea.

Learn More: Check out this “Storytelling in South Georgia” video.

© Rick Sammon

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