Michael Heffernan

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

The Falkland Islands are a popular addition to many Antarctic voyages, but they’re well worth seeing on their own for their spectacular penguin, seal and albatross populations. Surrounded by the South Atlantic, the islands lie 490km east of Patagonia. Two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, and more than 700 smaller ones cover 12,173 sq km. Alternately settled and claimed by France, Spain, Britain and Argentina, the Falklands (known as the Islas Malvinas in Argentina) have been an overseas territory of the UK since 1833, a status the Argentines have fought and still contest.

About 60% of Falklanders are native born, some tracing their ancestry back six or more generations. Today more than 80% of the 2900 Falklanders (sometimes called ‘Kelpers’) live in Stanley, and about 1200 British military live at Mt Pleasant base. The rest of the islanders live in ‘Camp,’ the name given to all of the Falklands outside Stanley.

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