wild south photography
Day 1: You will arrive to Trelew airport in the evening where you will meet our local guide Pablo Cersósimo, our guide at the airport. We'll drive to our lodge in Peninsula Valdés for a great dinner.
Day 2: Peninsula Valdés is the only continental area that has Southern Elephants Seals colonies, during the mating season.
We will photograph all of their behavior during two full days. Calving females, males and females mating but our main goal will be photographing the huge bulls fighting for the control of the females, territory.
All of it surrounded by majestic beaches. While we wait for the action we may have the visit of Orcas, patrolling the coast as well as Southern Right Whales getting close to the shore, sometime chased by Orcas.
Day 4 : After breakfast we will visit the Magellanic Penguin colony during mating and nesting season. we’ll be surrounded by more than two hundred thousand penguins. The action during this time is permanent, different kind of birds and predators like Grey Foxes, Hairy Armadillos and Geoffrey's Cats will try to feed on penguins eggs and chicks.
This penguins colony is inside our private lodge so we'll have a wildlife private show only for us.
On our way back to the lodge we will photograph the Magellanic Great Horned Owl and the Burrowing Owl.
Day 5: Early in the morning and after breakfast we will go to a fantastic spot for Peregrine Falcons during the nesting season. We had been working with these falcons during the last years, being the female an Austral Peregrine Falcon, it’s a very rare kind of Peregrine Falcon that can only be seen at Tierra del Fuego Island and our guide and professional photographer discover it 5 years ago, being the first bird of this sub species on the area. The nest is located over a balcony on a hundred meters cliff, so we'll be above the nest with a clear view of the activity. Watching these fantastic birds hunting and delivering food to their chicks is one of the most beautiful experiences.
At midday we will return to Pirámides Port for lunch and after a short rest we will aboard a private zodiac. We will navigate the Nuevo Gulf's calm waters that are the home of thousands of Southern Right Whales, that arrive from Antartica to give birth and mate during the months of May until mid December. These are curious giants and will get close to us maybe even just a couple of meters from the boat. Photographing whale tails and breaching during the sunset will be the perfect end for a fantastic day.
Day 6 to 9: We will go down to the Caleta beach before the high tide with a Park Ranger supervisor for a very close look at the elephant seals, with the possibility of finding the orca, hunting for the pups.
Entering the Caleta, a narrow inlet of the ocean into the peninsula, preferred area for elephant seals. The orca will approach the weaned pups, when they start entering the water, several days after their mothers have abandoned them. Orcas hunting elephant seals is one of the most challenging images to photograph, we'll be on time at the right place, the rest depends on mother nature.
Day 10: After lunch transfer to Trelew airport to take the flight back to Buenos Aires.
What to Bring
Our accommodation is a fantastic lodge in a private ranch with international cuisine and an excellent service. We will be coming out of winter and into Spring here so the weather has the potential to be quite variable so good waterproof and warm clothing will be required and some good walking boots and possibly gaiters too. Lighter showerproof outer clothing will be sensible as well.
In terms of camera gear then the longest lens you have will be needed (300mm with converter as a minimum really and 500mm + ideal) along with tripod. You will definitely want some shorter lenses for the array of landscape and milky way shot opportunities (70-200mm and 24-70mm say) and a set of polarizing and grad filters will be good too if you have them and are used to working with them. You will need storage devices for the array of images you’ll build up and a laptop for viewing these on the evenings can be both sociable and also good for critiquing purposes.