ABOUT The Falkland Islands derive their name from Falkland Sound, the name given to the waterway between the two main islands by Captain John Strong, who, in his ship Welfare, spent several days in the Islands in 1690. Falkland Sound was itself named after Viscount Falkland, one of the owners of Welfare. The Falkland Islands are an archipelago consisting of two main Islands (East and West Falkland) and 778 smaller islands, with a total land area of approximately 4,700 sq. m. just over half the size of Wales in the UK. There is a fascinating and abundant range of wildlife and plant life in the Falkland Islands, found in the many areas of unspoiled, natural landscape. Geologically the Falklands were once a part of East Africa, and as such have some interesting and unusual landscape features such as stone runs, ‘rivers’ of angular quartzite boulders that ‘flow’ from the hilltops. The main soil type is peat and natural vegetation is grassland, with some species of heath and dwarf shrubs. There are no indigenous trees, although cultivated trees do grow. Although not a regular tourist location there are three scheduled flights to the Falkland Islands every week. Departing RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire every Sunday and Wednesday night, the 18hr journey via Ascension Island is currently operated under contract by HiFly. To book please contact James Marsh at the Falkland Islands Government Office in London on +44 (0)20 7222 2542. For passenger information, please see the RAF Brize Norton website here. Whilst one of the smallest Capitals in the world, Stanley provides a variety of supermarkets and gift shops, excellent restaurants and hotels, and a leisure facilities such as a swimming pool, gym and golf course. The Falkland Islanders are a peaceful, hard-working and resilient people.
CLIMATE The Falkland Islands has a cold climate characterized by strong winds, particularly in the spring. Approximately half of the year, around 180 days experiences rainfall and the average annual precipitation is 25 inches, although it is fairly evenly distributed. Average annual temperature ranges are from 19 degrees Celsius in January to 2 degrees Celsius in July.
BEWARE There is little crime or disorder on the Falkland Islands and incidents affecting visitors are almost unheard of. You should be aware that unexploded ordinance from the 1982 conflict remains on the Falkland Islands and occasionally can be found on any of the major battle fields. All mine fields have been identified, are well mapped and fenced-off. The fences are hung with red warning triangles stating ‘mines’.