The Wildlife Enthusiasts Guide to the Polar Regions

For anyone that loves to see animals in their natural habitat, the breathtaking polar regions are the perfect destination to visit. Beautiful natural backdrops of icebergs and deep fjords make wildlife viewing in the coldest continent an unforgettable experience. Make sure to bring extra film for your camera because an Antarctic expedition will have plenty of amazing moments to capture for the best souvenirs a trip can offer. 

Now grab your warmest clothes and get ready to take the ultimate wildlife adventure! 

Picture Perfect Penguins

No trip to the Antarctic is complete without seeing adorable waddles of penguins roaming the frozen tundra they call home. With a variety of penguin species inhabiting this icy landscape, there is no shortage of must visit locations, such as: 

  • Snow Hill Island – this Antarctic island is home to a famous penguin rookery and thousands of Emperor penguins, the largest of the 17 penguin species. 
  • Volunteer Beach on East Falkland Island – this 2-mile stretch of sand is home to Island’s largest colony of King penguins. 
  • South Georgia – called the “Galapagos of the Poles” with a massive King penguin colony. 

Penguin lovers make sure to plan your trip for the perfect time to optimize your experience. Certain times of the year will bring extra special experiences, such as: 

  • Visit during the months of October to December when the penguins are busy laying their eggs. 
  • A visit during December through to late-February is when you can see the penguin eggs hatch

Make sure to leave time to visit the Chilean Patagonia where various penguin species can be found, including magellanic, gentoo, rockhopper and macaroni penguins. One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of penguins in the Antarctic! 

“The Wildlife Capital of the Arctic”

Travel to Spitsbergen, “the land of the midnight sun”, for an Arctic wildlife experience where the sun never sets. Enjoy constant sunshine during the month of June for optimal viewing opportunities of amazing wildlife that call this archipelago home, such as:

  • Polar bears
  • Walruses
  • Arctic foxes
  • Svalbard reindeer
  • Seals
  • Beluga whales, and
  • Seabirds 

Spitsbergen has a particularly abundant population of seabirds with about 30 different species known to breed there! 

Antarctic Animal Hot Spots 

Penguins are not the only wildlife inhabitants to call this breathtaking polar region home. The rich diversity of wildlife provides visitors with many other memorable viewing opportunities, such as: 

  • Marta Island – circumnavigate the island to see more than a thousand Patagonian sea lions, males can weigh over 700 pounds!
  • Greenland – where 40% of the world’s muskoxen live, as well as polar bears, ringed seals, rare Arctic birds, and various species of whales. 

Whimsical Whale Watching 

The Antarctic Peninsula is the perfect destination for a whale watching experience like no other. Visitors can look to the icy waters for the chance to see various magnificent whale species, such as: 

  • Minke whales
  • Humpback whales
  • Right whales
  • Blue whales
  • Sperm whales, and
  • Killer whales 

Whale watchers will want to plan an Antarctic voyage during mid-February to March, which is the ideal time to spot whales as they return to the region to feed. 

Now all that’s left to do is decide where to start your polar wildlife adventure!