Traveling Luck for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica

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Travel advice for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is located in Southern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of the tip of South America.

Land in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is most of the islands, rising steeply from the sea, are rugged and mountainous; South Georgia is largely barren and has steep, glacier-covered mountains; the South Sandwich Islands are of volcanic origin with some active volcanoes.

land covers an area of 3903 square kilometers which is slightly larger than Rhode Island

As for the climate; variable, with mostly westerly winds throughout the year interspersed with periods of calm; nearly all precipitation falls as snow.

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National Map

 Map

Regions of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

The islands lie approximately 1,000 km east of the Falkland Islands and have been under British administration since 1908, except for a brief period in 1982 when Argentina occupied them. Grytviken, on South Georgia, was a 19th and early 20th century whaling station. Famed explorer Ernest SHACKLETON stopped there in 1914 en route to his ill-fated attempt to cross Antarctica on foot. He returned some 20 months later with a few companions in a small boat and arranged a successful rescue for the rest of his crew, stranded off the Antarctic Peninsula. He died in 1922 on a subsequent expedition and is buried in Grytviken. Today, the station houses scientists from the British Antarctic Survey. The islands have large bird and seal populations, and, recognizing the importance of preserving the marine stocks in adjacent waters, the UK, in 1993, extended the exclusive fishing zone from 12 nm to 200 nm around each island.

Some fishing takes place in adjacent waters. There is a potential source of income from harvesting finfish and krill. The islands receive income from postage stamps produced in the UK, sale of fishing licenses, and harbor and landing fees from tourist vessels. Tourism from specialized cruise ships is increasing rapidly.

natural resources include fish

the north coast of South Georgia has several large bays, which provide good anchorage; reindeer, introduced early in the 20th century, live on South Georgia

religion is null.

Natural hazards in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands include the South Sandwich Islands have prevailing weather conditions that generally make them difficult to approach by ship; they are also subject to active volcanism.

Travel Advice on South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Entry Requirements (landing fee) and Contact details sections.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British Overseas Territory.  There is no formal British diplomatic or consular representation in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the local authorities based in Stanley, Falkland Islands deal with all requests for consular assistance.  The General section of this travel advice gives you more information about this.

  • You must apply in advance of your visit for permission to land on the Islands.  You should check with your tour operator/visit organiser who will normally do this on your behalf (applications available online at http://www.sgisland.org ).

  • You should be aware of the risks posed by the harsh climatic conditions in this isolated sub-Antarctic Territory.

  • The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • There are no medical (or search and rescue) facilities and you are strongly recommended to obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Money
You can purchase stamps from the Post Office and stamps and gifts from the Museum shop on South Georgia.  Both accept Pounds Sterling and US dollars cash and travellers’ cheques.  The Museum shop accepts VISA and Mastercard credit cards but not American Express.


OTHER

Sth Georgia & Sth Sandwich Is Country Profile