South Georgia is described as one of the remotest and inhospitable British Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic Ocean. There is no native population on the Island apart from a few British Government Officers, Scientist and support staff for the British Antarctic Survey team who has a base on the Island.
The climate is classified as polar, and the weather is highly variable and harsh. South Georgia is mountainous and largely barren. Eleven mountains rise to over 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) high, their slopes makes deep gorges filled with glaciers. The highest peak is Mount Paget at 2,934 meters (9,626 ft). The seas surrounding South Georgia are always cold due to the proximity of the Antarctic current.
Our first full day there on Sunday 12th January was absolutely glorious. With clear blue sunny skies. It was hard to believe the difference from the day before. We were docked in the main harbour of Grytviken on a old rickety dock that was occupied with birds nesting, King Penguins, Fur Seals and Elephant Seals. It was pretty amazing to just walk of the boat and have so much wild life surrounding you. Grytviken is one of the seven old whaling stations on the Island. Much of the remains are still there with a few buildings like the church and museum preserved.
Having such wonderful weather gave us the ideal opportunity to hike from Grytviken across a pass to Maiviken. A great walk with the most breath taking views of snow capped mountains and beautiful bays.
In Maiviken there was hundreds of seals and penguins. We found that if we just sat on the beach they would come fairly close. That was our first encounter with the fur seals that can be quite aggressive if you get to close. The fur seal pups are adorable and at that time super plentiful. There was a colony of King Penguins basting in the river bed where the pups played. Absolutely fantastic to watch.
Grytviken is the resting place of the polar explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton.
On our way out of South Georgia on the 16th January we got close to Salisbury Plain, which is a broad coastal plain best know as the breeding site of 500,000 King Penguins. Even from offshore the sight of so many Penguins was amazing.
The wildlife on South Georgia is just awesome. There is so much to see and experience. The land scape is so beautiful and wild. The island has loads of possible hikes we could imagine staying there for weeks and still not seeing it all.
Those few days in South Georgia was an absolute amazing experience. The spectacular Island at the bottom of the world. No words can describe what this Island is like and we barely touched it, but it has imprinted the most wonderful memories possible that makes us both crave to return.