Volunteer Point is an impressive peninsula to the north of East Falkland. It is a privately owned nature reserve and is reached by a 3 hour journey from Stanley. Access is by road to Johnson’s Harbour and then by off-road track; 4WD is required to reach the point. Visitors are strongly recommended to hire a guide unless travelling in convoy with experienced off-road drivers. We have taken day tours with Estancia Excursions and were highly impressed by the skill of our drivers on the off-road (to put it mildly) segment.
The Volunteer Point colony is the largest breeding group of King penguins within the Falkland Islands, where they are at the northerly limit of their range. Besides King, Gentoo and Magellanic penguins also breed at Volunteer Point and we saw all three species during our visit. The site, while visited by over 3,000 visitors each year, is well managed by Falklands Conservation. It is also possible to stay overnight with the warden in his cottage.
We had seen a few individual King penguins at other locations but the sheer magic of seeing them in such large numbers and watching their behaviour from close quarters in an unforgettable experience.