Most tourists get to South Georgia, mainly on cruise ships and tourist yachts. However, some tourists purposefully seek to come to this island, which can be considered the personification of the unbridled nature of Antarctica. For the modern adventure-seeking traveler, a visit to South Georgia is an unforgettable experience. There are mountain peaks, glaciers, beautiful fjords, albatross and king penguin colonies, as well as various historical sites showing how polar explorers and whale hunters used to live.
Geography of South Georgia
South Georgia is a UK overseas island territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean. South Georgia Island is 167.4 kilometers long and 1.4 to 37 kilometers wide. The total area, including the adjacent islands, is 3,756 sq. km.
The island of South Georgia is of volcanic origin, it is covered with rocks, mountains, tundra and oceanic meadows. The highest local peak is Mount Paget, whose height reaches 2,934 meters. In general, on this island, the height of 11 peaks exceeds 2,000 meters.
Near South Georgia there are many smaller islands – Annenkov Island, Bird Island, Velkom Island, Grass Island, Cooper Island, Pickersgil Island, Trinity Island and Willis Island. All these islands together make up the South Georgia archipelago.
Even in mid-summer (January), 75% of South Georgia Island is covered in snow and glaciers.
The only official language is English.
Climate and weather
The climate is subantarctic, cold, windy, and very changeable. The average daily maximum air temperature at sea level is about 0C in winter (August) and +8C in summer (January). In winter, the average air temperature is -5C, and rarely drops below -10C. The warmest month is February, when the average air temperature reaches +6C. The average annual rainfall is 1500 mm.
The best time to visit South Georgia is from October to February.
Culture of South Georgia
The permanent population of South Georgia is over 20 people. Most of them are British citizens. Therefore, it is clear that it is simply impossible to talk about some kind of original culture of the inhabitants of this island, although there are several interesting historical and cultural monuments there.
The staple food of the few residents of South Georgia is fish. In the surrounding waters, icefish (common white-blooded pike), Patagonian toothfish, cod, and Antarctic krill (crustaceans) are caught. Fishing takes place only a few months a year, yet it generates millions of dollars in profits for the companies involved in this activity.
There are practically no sights in the usual sense of the word on the island of South Georgia. However, the government of South Georgia is taking a number of measures to attract tourists. So, the whaling base in Grytviken was recently restored (the grave of the famous polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is located on its territory), the port pier was also repaired and several old whaling ships were raised from the bottom of the sea.
In Grytviken, by the way, there is also the South Georgia Museum, opened in 1992. Its exposition tells about the history of Antarctic exploration, about whaling, and also about the Falklands War of 1982 between Great Britain and Argentina.
A certain interest in Grytviken can be caused by the Norwegian Church built in 1913.
But the main attractions that attract tourists to South Georgia are fjords, glaciers, mountains, bird colonies (albatrosses), king penguins, seals, elephant seals, as well as a large number of reindeer brought there at the beginning of the 20th century.
Cities and resorts
About 30 people live permanently in South Georgia. In summer, the population of the island increases. In addition, there are seasonal and year-round weather stations. All permanent residents of this island live only in the village of Grytviken.
Tourists come to South Georgia mainly on cruise ships and tourist yachts. Sometimes lovers of extreme entertainment come there, who want to see the real Antarctic.
The Atlantic Ocean, which washes South Georgia, remains cold all year round. Coastal waters do not freeze in winter, although thin ice can form in sheltered bays. Icebergs can often be seen in coastal waters.
The pound sterling (GBP) is the official currency in South Georgia.
To visit South Georgia, Ukrainians need to obtain a visa (it is issued by the British embassy or consulates).
Behind Kyiv for 5 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in Grytviken – 08:00.
As souvenirs, stamps, postcards with local landscapes, warm clothes, sweaters, hats, etc. are brought from South Georgia.