Penguins are one of the vital in style animals on the planet, and have been ever since motion pictures like March of the Penguins and Comfortable Toes got here out in 2005-2006.
However how a lot have you learnt about these beloved flightless birds? Have you learnt the place penguins dwell, what they eat, how briskly they’ll swim, or that they date again greater than 60 million years?!
The 17 totally different species of penguins might be discovered on each continent within the Southern Hemisphere– Africa, Antarctica, Australia and South America.
Whereas most individuals affiliate these humorous flightless waterfowl with the chilly local weather of Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands, they’re additionally seen as far north because the coasts of Namibia, Brazil, and the Galapagos Islands.
Learn on for a have a look at the broad number of locations all over the world the place penguins dwell, in addition to the most effective instances of yr to see them there…
READ MORE: 30 Cool & Bizarre Ocean Animals Across the World
The place Do Penguins Stay Information
- Antarctica & The Antarctic Islands
- Australia/New Zealand
- Galapagos Islands
- South Africa
READ MORE: 70 Cool & Bizarre Animals Across the World (An Epic Information)
1. ANTARCTICA & THE ANTARCTIC ISLANDS
If you happen to’ve ever seen March of the Penguins, you in all probability think about the penguins of Antarctica all huddled collectively is huge colonies to protect their eggs from a blinding blizzard.
Whereas that’s actually a actuality of life for some penguin species, it’s a lot simpler for vacationers to go to them through the Antarctic summer season, when daytime temperatures typically get into the 40s.
Antarctica is residence to 4 totally different species of Penguin, every of which has their very own most popular habitat.
Emperor Penguins sometimes breed on pack ice and shelf ice (normally between the 66° and 77° south latitudes). However a number of breeding colonies have been discovered on land lately, together with one at Amundsen Bay and one other at Taylor Glacier in Victoria Land.
Chinstrap Penguins, Gentoo Penguins, and Adelie Penguins are all intently associated and generally seen.
Search for them nesting on rocks comparatively near shore on each the mainland and quite a few Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands, together with the Hazard Islands, the Falklands, and South Georgia Islands.
The King Penguin is second solely to the Emperor Penguin among the many world’s largest penguins. They’re additionally one of the vital plentiful penguin species, with an estimated 2.3 million breeding pairs.
Although you received’t see them on the mainland, they are often discovered on sub-Antarctic islands equivalent to South Georgia, the Kerguelen Islands, Crozet Island, Prince Edward Islands, and extra.
READ MORE: PHOTO GALLERY: Penguins of Antarctica
WHEN TO SEE PENGUINS IN ANTARCTICA
Due to their location within the excessive southern a part of the planet, the local weather of Antarctica and the Antarctic Islands are comparatively inhospitable to people for the overwhelming majority of the yr.
However summer season within the Southern Hemisphere, which lasts from December by means of March, finds each day excessive temperatures hovering into the 40s (and infrequently even the 50s).
The area will get virtually 24 steady hours of daylight throughout this time, permitting loads of time to discover the highlights of Antarctica.
The melting away of coastal ice makes shore landings significantly simpler. It’s additionally a good time to see child penguin chicks at their fuzziest, snuggling in opposition to their mother to sleep or feasting on regurgitated tidbits from her gullet.
Cruising Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands lets you see Gentoo, Magellanic, and Rockhopper Penguins within the Falklands; King and Macaroni Penguins in South Georgia; a large Chinstrap Penguin colony on Elephant Island; and Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo Penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula.
In fact, there can even be loads of different Antarctic wildlife alongside the way in which, from Humpback Whales and Orcas and quite a few species of seals to seabirds equivalent to albatross, kelp gulls, big petrels, skuas, and extra.
READ MORE: 30 Antarctic Animals You Can See on an Antarctica Cruise
2. AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND
When you get away from Antarctica, a lot of the locations the place penguins dwell are rocky islands and dry, desert-like environments the place their lack of ability to fly doesn’t make them weak to land-based predators.
Although most individuals consider Australia as dry and dusty, it’s additionally residence to the Little Penguin, which is affectionately recognized domestically because the Fairy Penguin as a result of its diminutive measurement.
These lovable beauties might be discovered throughout the continent’s southern coast, together with Sydney’s North Harbour, Tasmania, Victoria, and numerous close by islands (together with, naturally, Penguin Island).
In New Zealand, they’re known as Little Blue Penguins (or kororā among the many Māori individuals).
New Zealand can also be residence to the Yellow-Eyed Penguin (mainland, Auckland, Campbell, and Stewart Islands); Fiordland Penguin (Open Bay, South, and Stewart Islands); and Snares Penguin (a crested species discovered solely within the Snares Islands).
Royal Penguins– which have the colourful crest of a Macaroni Penguin, however a white face and chin– inhabit the waters throughout Antarctica.
However they often solely breed on New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, the place you’ll discover a number of hundred thousand mating pairs.
READ MORE: 20 Bizarre & Cute Australian Animals
WHEN TO SEE PENGUINS IN NEW ZEALAND
The southern coast of New Zealand’s South Island might not be as chilly as Antarctica, however temperatures can get as little as 14º Fahrenheit in winter (July is the coldest month).
So it’s greatest if you happen to can plan your go to in January or February, the warmest months within the southern hemisphere. The typical temperature then is round 48º, with highs typically reaching into the 60s.
While you’re packing, bear in mind New Zealand can have 4 seasons in someday. Although temperature variations through the day aren’t sometimes excessive, the climate can change shortly with chilly fronts or excessive winds blowing in.
Expeditions to the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand typically discover South Island highlights equivalent to Fiordland Nationwide Park in addition to the Aucklands, Campbell, Macquarie, the Snares, Stewart, and extra.
Vacationers can hope to see colonies of Gengtoo, King, Rockhopper, and Royal Penguins, in addition to endemic species equivalent to Snares and Yellow-eyed Penguins.
READ MORE: 10 Superior Australian Highway Journeys (For Your World Journey Bucket Checklist)
The southernmost international locations in South America– a.ok.a. Patagonia– are residence to 4 totally different penguin species.
Humboldt Penguins (a.ok.a. Peruvian Penguins) are discovered on the continent’s west facet, from Chile all the way in which as much as the coast of Peru. They’re named after the chilly water present by which they swim (which was named for explorer Alexander von Humboldt).
You may establish them by the white border that runs from behind their eyes and round their ear-coverts, becoming a member of on the throat. They’re intently associated to Magellanic Penguins, with whom they share some vary.
Named after the well-known Portuguese explorer, Magellanic Penguins have a large vary that extends from southern Chile and Argentina to the Falkland Islands and as far north as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
You could spot them swimming in giant flocks, diving as much as 50 meters to feed on cuttlefish, squid, krill, and different crustaceans. You’ll additionally like see huge breeding colonies, with nests about 5 meters aside beneath bushes or in burrows.
The Southern Rockhopper Penguin, certainly one of two Rockhopper subspecies, is the smallest of the crested penguins. They’re sometimes discovered on the islands off the coasts of Argentina and Chile in addition to the Falklands.
(Their Japanese Rockhopper cousins are discovered on the subantarctic islands, together with the Aucklands, Campbells, Crozets, Prince Edward, and Macquarie.)
The King Penguin is mostly related to the sub-Antarctic islands. However there’s additionally a formidable colony in Tierra del Fuego, the place they’ve their very own protected sanctuary (Pingüino Rey Park).
READ MORE: The 20 Finest Issues to Do in Patagonia (South America)
WHEN TO SEE PENGUINS IN PATAGONIA
As with Antarctica and Australia, summer season (December by means of March) is arguably the most effective time to go to Argentina and Chile.
It may nonetheless get right down to freezing temperatures at night time, however days are principally sunny with occasional gusts of sturdy wind. The additional north you go into Patagonia, the hotter it normally is within the spring and autumn months.
Some eco-tour corporations provide Patagonia expeditions that go to Torres del Paine Nationwide Park, Tierra del Fuego, and cross the Strait of Magellan. You’ll probably see a King Penguin colony, a Magellanic Penguin colony, and numerous different fowl species alongside the way in which.
Immersive Patagonia overlanding experiences might also embody visits to the accessible King Penguin colony at Parque Pinguino Rey, in addition to a ship experience to the well-known Magellanic Penguin rookery on Magdalena Island.
READ MORE: The 20 Finest Locations to Go to in South America
4. GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Positioned some 850 miles from mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands is without doubt one of the solely locations on the earth the place vacationers have a reasonably respectable probability to swim with penguins.
Although they’re probably the most uncommon and endangered penguin species on the planet, you’re nearly assured to see Galapagos Penguins on the western islands of Fernandina and Isabela (particularly round Tagus Cove).
However you may additionally see small populations on Floreana, northern Santa Cruz, and Santiago Island. You’ll normally see them sunning themselves on the shore, or capturing like rockets underwater searching for a snack.
My favourite encounter got here throughout a cruise off the coast of Bartolome, which is residence to Pinnacle Rock. A pair of curious penguins hopped into the water beside our group of snorkelers, and swam with us for 20+ minutes!
If you happen to do get a chance to go swimming with Galapagos Penguins throughout your go to to the islands, you’re VERY fortunate: Our native information mentioned it had solely occurred to her as soon as in 17 years of working within the archipelago!
READ MORE: 30 Wonderful Galapagos Islands Animals
WHEN TO SEE PENGUINS IN THE GALAPAGOS
Of all of the locations on the earth the place vacationers can hope to see penguins within the wild, the Galapagos Islands is the one the place climate concerns are usually not a significant component.
Resulting from its location on the Equator, the archipelago is pretty heat all yr spherical, with excessive temperatures within the 70s to 80s and lows hardly ever dipping beneath 65º.
However if you wish to swim with Galapagos Penguins, contemplate the water temperatures. They’re at their lowest– averaging 70-71º– from July by means of September, with a median of 76 to 77º from January by means of April.
However even when the water is cool, most snorkeling excursions include insulated wetsuits to make sure your consolation.
Many excursions of the archipelago Darwin made well-known embody each day snorkeling alternatives. And with stops at Isabela, Fernandina, and Bartolome, you’re nearly assured to see the world’s rarest penguins!
READ MORE: Galapagos Birds: 25 Spectacular Species You Can See on a Galapagos Cruise
5. SOUTH AFRICA
When most individuals consider South Africa, they have a tendency to think about Nelson Mandela, Massive 5 wildlife safaris, and the scenic wine nation round Cape City.
However the nation’s coastlines are additionally residence to the African Penguin, which has turn into more and more in style with vacationers lately.
Their habitat spreads all the way in which across the southern coast from Algoa Bay, close to Port Elizabeth, as much as northern Namibia, with colonies on each the mainland and 24 totally different islands (together with the Penguin Islands).
Boulders Seaside, close to Simon City, is without doubt one of the greatest locations to see them. And since the colony is habituated to human presence, additionally it is doable to swim with penguins there.
Sadly, like its Galapagos cousin, the African Penguin is at the moment endangered as a result of exploitation, oil spills, and depletion of their favourite prey, anchovy and sardines.
Their complete inhabitants is down from 1.5 million within the early twentieth century to only over 50,000 immediately. So, if you happen to do see these penguins within the wild, please be respectful and hold your distance from their nests.
READ MORE: The 20 Most secure International locations in Africa to Go to
WHEN TO SEE PENGUINS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Very like the Galapagos, South Africa’s climate is usually good it doesn’t matter what time of yr you select to go to.
Temperatures in Kruger Nationwide Park through the dry season (April to September) vary from the excessive 40s at night time to the mid-80s through the day. However June is the coldest month in Cape City, with common temperatures of 55º.
In order for you an opportunity of swimming with African Penguins on the nation’s southwest coast, go to in February (the most popular month, with a median temperature of 73°) or late August/September, when highs are within the low 70s.
Some South African eco-tours take guests all throughout the continent’s southernmost nation, from Cape City east to Tswalu Kalahari Sport Reserve and the standard safari expertise of Timbavati Sport Reserve.
Search for one that features a go to to the African Penguin colony at Stoney Level, in addition to the “oceanic Massive 5” at Walker Bay in Gansbaai. –Bret Love