King penguin

South Georgia

The spectacular scenery of South Georgia includes mountains as high as 7,000 feet, glaciers, and fjords. For the history buffs, you may have the opportunity to visit early whaling stations. The gravesite of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, lies in this region as well.

Wildlife

South Georgia houses more wildlife than any other place on the planet. Thousands of King Penguins, plus Wandering Albatrosses and southern elephant seals. Thousands of fur seals also breed in this area. Reindeer introduced to the island around 1900 have continued to inhabit the island. Many whales live in the coastal waters surrounding the island as well.

History

The island’s first discovery came in 1775, through an expedition led by Britain’s Captain James Cook. The island would continue to be held under British rule. It served as a base for whaling crews and other exploration expeditions that passed through the area up until the 1800s. It was not until 1908 that South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands were annexed by Great Britain. In 1916 Sir Ernest Shackleton, the renowned British explorer, crossed South Georgia. He tried to find help for his troubled Antarctic expedition. He failed to find aid and he perished. Afterwards, they buried the explorer at Grytviken. Currently, his gravesite brings in many tourists and is visitable during the austral summer. The Whaling Church cemetery has around 40 graves in total.

Weather

Typical summer weather in South Georgia is chilly. Temperatures stay around 46 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees C). Typically the island remains extremely windy and overcast throughout the year. The winters temperatures generally stay extremely chilly. Most precipitation will occur between March and June.