Saunders Island

Travel Guide South America Falkland Islands Saunders Island

edit

Introduction

Saunders Island is located in the northern part of the Falkland Islands. It is a working sheep farm, but also one of the premier wildlife destinations in the Falklands. The only settlement is located on the eastern portion of the island, with the highest concentration of wildlife found to the west at "The Neck". The island has a population of 4 in the winter, which rises to 5 in summer. Tourists are welcomed between 15 September and 30 April. Saunders Island is the site of the first British settlement of the Falkland Islands in 1765 at Port Egmont.

Top

edit

History

Port Egmont on the island was the site of the first British settlement, established in 1765.

Unaware of the French presence at Port Louis, in January 1765, British captain John Byron explored and claimed Saunders Island, at the western end of the Falkland Islands, where he named the harbour of Port Egmont, and sailed near other islands, which he also claimed for King George III. A British settlement was built at Port Egmont in 1766. Also in 1766, Spain acquired the French colony, and after assuming effective control in 1767, placed the islands under a governor subordinate to Buenos Aires.

During the Falkland Crisis of 1770, five Spanish frigates entered the port and the small British force had to surrender. This edged Britain and Spain closer to war. In 1771, Spain agreed to abandon Port Egmont to the British. In 1776, for economic reasons, the British abandoned Port Egmont. At that time, they placed a plaque at the site proclaiming their sovereignty over the Falklands. The island's present settlement, Saunders Island Settlement, lies on the east coast and has an airstrip.

There is one listed building here, known as the Stone House. There are permanent structures outside the Settlement with heat, electricity and running water for the island's tourist industry. There is a building that holds eight guests at the Neck and an additional building that holds four guests called the Rookery Inn. The island is currently owned by the Poole-Evans family that maintains the farm at the Settlement.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

The wildlife on Saunders is exceptional, especially at the Neck. Saunders boasts a huge colony of black-browed albatrosses, numerous rockhopper and gentoo penguins, magellanic penguins, occasional king penguins, and imperial cormorants. Elephant seals, black-necked swans, and other rare animals may also be seen.

Top

edit

Getting There

Most visitors arrive using the government air service. The landing strip is a short drive from the settlement and is well-maintained. Cruise ships have been increasingly adding Saunders to their itineraries, with many of them spending at least a half day at the neck.

Top

edit

Eat

Everything on Saunders is self-catering. Basic food supplies such as eggs and bread can be purchased at the settlement. All of the lodging on the island provides basic cooking facilities.

Top

edit

Sleep

There are four lodging options on the island, each of which should be reserved well in advance by contacting David & Suzan Pole-Evans.

  • The Settlement, ✉ saunders@horizon.co.fk. Two buildings - a bunkhouse sleeping 10 and the storehouse sleeping 6 - each with kitchen 24 hour electricity, satellite TV and WiFi. £0 per person per night.
  • The Neck. There is a porta-cabin sleeping 8 at the Neck that offers running water, flush toilet, basic kitchen facilities, 24 hour power, and a gas heater. The wildlife is literally right outside the door. The one hour Landrover journey to the Neck is an additional cost. The Rookery sleeping 4 is also available. £70 per person on a shared basis, £20 for camping.

Top

Saunders Island Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Saunders Island

This is version 2. Last edited at 11:02 on Aug 9, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License