Wildlife in Antarctica – What The Experience Is Really Like

Penguins Antarctica

A trip to Antarctica is great for the adventure it provides and of course the amazing experience of trekking on the bottom of the world. The 7th continent is also a popular destination for those of us who love wildlife; observing in the wild species we may not see anywhere else in the world. The wildlife aspect of a trip to Antarctica is I believe the most important and the animals one sees along the way will often times define the trip. During my week on the Ocean Nova, cruising through the icy waters of Antarctica I was lucky enough to see a wide variety of animal life, including these impressive denizens of the cold and dark continent.

My trip, which was sponsored by Adventure Life, an adventure tour company that specializes in taking people to some of the most amazing places on the planet, including on Antarctica cruises, took place in February. During other months of the Austral summer you may see different animals and in varying numbers. I always take all of the photos on my site, so I hope this proves just how amazing the wildlife experiences in Antarctica really are.



If there is one clear resident of Antarctica, it is the penguin. Five species of penguin call Antarctica home and they number in the millions, a fact that won’t surprise you after your first landing on the Last Continent.

 Adelie Penguin


 Gentoo Penguin

 Chinstrap Penguin

Molting Penguins – In order to replace old feathers with new ones, penguins undergo what is called a ‘catastrophic molt,’ because they replace all of their feathers at once. Standing on the beach, not moving a muscle these formally cute birds look like they’re about to explode, but it is an important part of their life cycle.


With no natural land predators in Antarctica, seals are one of the dominant animals in and around the continent. There are 6 species of seal in Antarctica and if you’re lucky you’ll see most of them during your stay.

Antarctic Fur Seals

Crabeater Seals


Weddell Seals

Leopard Seals



By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

5 thoughts on “Wildlife in Antarctica – What The Experience Is Really Like”

  1. Awesome photos, Matt!
    The closest to Antarctica I got was going to the “Region Antarctica” in the southern most tip of Chile.
    These photos sure make me want to go and see “the real deal”.

  2. Beautiful images- it sure makes me want to go hang out with penguins and seals. What kind of whale is in your second photo? I recognize the humpbacks in the first, but I don’t recognize that ragged tail in the second one. Any idea?

  3. I love your photo of the molting penguin! (I had no idea that penguins went through a “catastrophic molt”, so thank you for educating me!) I’m glad you got to see so many different types of wildlife on your trip; it looks like you had a great time!

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