Penguins are among the most beautiful and charming animals in the world. They’re friendly, they mate for life, they enjoy the attention, and they have rich, complicated social lives. Because they walk upright on two feet, you could almost say they’re like people. It’s no wonder that so many people all over the world love them and would love to get up close and personal with them if the right opportunity presented itself.
Fortunately for penguin lovers, the right opportunities exist everywhere. You might not normally consider going somewhere cold for your annual vacation, but if you love penguins, it’s worth putting up with the cold weather and taking a trip to see them in their natural environment! There are several places you can get that experience, and we’ve broken them all down for you below. If you’d like to spend a few days penguin spotting, we hope you find this article useful.
A trip to see penguins doesn’t have to be purely about penguins. The environments they can be found in allow for once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing and adventures, so you might as well fit a little of that in while you’re there, too! The idea of penguin vacations is increasingly catching on in the tourist industry – so much so that there’s even a game called ‘Penguin Vacation’ doing a roaring trade at UK slots website! We can think of few better ways to engage in the hobby if online slots are your thing, but the idea of a penguin vacation doesn’t have to be confined to gaming. You might be able to win a few dollars playing the “Penguin Vacation” online slots game, but you’ll feel far richer for visiting one of the locations we’re about to show you.
The Galapagos Islands
As any penguin lover will know already, penguins aren’t just one uniform species. There are many different types of penguins living on Earth, and the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador have their own species of native penguin! They’re used to encountering human visitors, and they might even approach you to say hello if you go snorkeling close to Bartolome Island. The penguins you’ll find here are comparatively small – the second smallest species in the world, in fact – but they’re also incredibly quick. Don’t waste your time trying to get the perfect photo when you see one; they can swim at more than twenty miles an hour when they’re at full acceleration, so they might not hang around long enough to pose for you! This is the only place you’ll find penguins living in their natural habitat north of the equator, so that’s something to weigh up when you’re making travel plans.
Boulders Beach, South Africa
Never let it be said that you can’t combine penguin spotting with a beach holiday. You can do precisely that at Boulders Beach in South Africa. These cars are so tame that they sometimes even wander into the car park in the hope that someone might feed them, and have even been known to shelter underneath cars. The best way to see the whole colony that lives here, though, is from the dedicated boardwalk that runs directly above their dedicated refuge. Do please respect their territory while you’re there, though – the beach belongs to the penguin colony. You’re there as a guest, and if you get too close to their children, they’ll let you know about it in no uncertain terms. Even the smaller penguins can bite if they feel threatened!
The Falkland Islands
Very few people live on the Falkland Islands, also known as Las Malvinas, which made it all the stranger when the United Kingdom and Argentina fought a brief war over them during the early 1980s. After the war ended, there were brief fears that leftover landmines might be a threat to the penguin population, but those fears proved to be unfounded – they’re not heavy enough to set the devices off, and most of them have subsequently been safely cleared away. This is a great place to go and see larger breeds of penguins, including the king penguin. There are more penguins living here than there are people, and they’ve made several of the islands their own. If you’re planning on staying here for a few days, we can recommend the hotel at Sealion Island, which is right next to one of the most densely populated penguin colonies.
Punta Tombo, Argentina
If you don’t see any penguins while you’re staying at Argentina’s Punta Tombo National Reserve, you’re doing something wrong. There are more than five hundred thousand Magellanic penguins living here, earning the area the nickname of “penguin paradise.” They’re not permanent residents; they migrate here toward the end of September and stick around long enough to raise their chicks before departing for colder climates at the beginning of April. While they’re in Punta Tombo, they’ll hunt, guard their chicks, build nests, and generally make themselves at home. They’re left to their own devices without any human interference, but you’re welcome to watch them going about their penguin business from a boardwalk.
Phillip Island, Australia
Some people believe that the smaller something is, the cuter it becomes. If you subscribe to that theory, you’ll want to do your penguin spotting at Australia’s Phillip Island, which is home to the smallest penguins on the planet. Known as Fairy Penguins, they can be found all over the island and also in a few places in neighboring New Zealand. The penguins have been living here for such a long time that they’ve settled into a routine. As the sun begins to set, a few thousand of them come in from the sea and head for their homes on the beach before settling in for the night. This daily occurrence has become known as ‘the penguin parade,’ and is extremely popular with tourists. There’s even a small stadium that’s been built so people can watch the parade! If the penguins were ever bemused by the spectacle of so many people watching them go about their daily commute, they’ve long since got over it, and some of them might even wave at you as they pass.
Hopefully, this article has proved that you don’t need to go to a zoo to see penguins, and nor do you have to get especially cold if you don’t want to! Penguins are everywhere, and they’re as adorable a sight as you’ll ever see in nature. Go out and find them!
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