Fly Fishing on the Falkland Islands
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Falkland Islands Fly.Fishing

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To name it a "blank spot on the map“ would be going too far, but it is a fact that you can’t go on the internet, not even a bookshop let alone a travel agency to book your Falkland „all-in-one“-package.

Looking it optimistically: Until now, the Falkland Islands have been spared mass tourism.

Which means, your own initiative is required.
When planning your trip, you must always be aware that the Falkland Islands are only a small microcosm in the middle of the South Atlantic where life runs at a much slower pace as all types of communication take place via satellite .
Thus you need to have patience concerning the exchange and you may have to wait a long time for answers or requests, some might not be answered at all.
This can be demotivating at times or at least come across as very unusual.
But as soon as you know the location, you will understand how life works there.

The Falkland Islands Tourist Board works very effectively and with a lot of professional competence to inform interested travelers and to clarify essential questions.
It has published many brochures and runs a very good website that is a helpful basis for your planning.

But keep in mind that the tourist office is NOT a travel agency.
For a travel package that includes flights, accommodation, mobility and sightseeing tours, you should contact one of the two travel agencies.
These are: International Tours & Travel or Falkland Islands Holidays

With a little meticulousness and the necessary assertiveness, you can of course also design your own vacation package.
For this purpose you might use the following guidelines:

How to get there and the entry

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As an individual traveler, your only means of entering the Falkland Islands is by plane, and there are merely two options for this flight:

Either you book with the Chilean airline LATAM from the South American continent to Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands.
Or you choose the so-called "airbridge“. This is a regular, direct flight run by the Royal Air Force with an Airbus A330 leaving from the Brize Norton military base in England (with only a short stopover to refuel and crew change).

We chose the airbridge with the Royal Air Force and we would recommend everybody to do so as well. The prices are somewhat higher, but taking into account the many stops during a flight with LATAM, which come with high costs not only at the expense of energy and hotel accommodation, the additional charge quickly pays off. Furthermore, an above-average number of these flights are canceled due to various reasons or are delayed.

The trip with the Royal Air Force, however, was very pleasant. It is possible to rent a chauffeur service (British Airport Transfers) for a good price from Heathrow and stay in one of the picturesque small towns in the area. We chose a lovely little medieval town called Burford, close to the military base, offering the Highway Inn, a small hotel with pub & restaurant from the Elizabethan century. First leg on an adventurous journey…

The boarding procedure is familiar yet somehow different. Before departure, all passengers gather in a small hall in front of the military base and, after checking the papers, are brought to the departure building with a shuttle bus. And although the check-in staff welcome you with camouflage military clothing instead of in neat corporate uniforms of a civil airline, the young soldiers at the check-in are no less charming and helpful.

The airbridge flights always have two thirds of their capacity reserved for relatives and soldiers of the British Army. However, a certain quota has been made available for the residents of the Falkland Islands and tourists.
The cockpit crew consists of military pilots and the cabin crew is comprised of stewards and stewardesses from various charter airlines. The service on board is excellent and since the seats in the aircraft are usually only half full, it hardly matters that the comfort and entertainment on board are a bit outdated.
The only - but understandable shortcoming – is the strict alcohol ban on the whole route. So no cocktail service or Bloody Mary high up in the clouds…

The contact person for a booking on these flights is the Falkland Islands Government Office.

On entering the Falkland Islands, it could be that the landlord/-lady of your holiday home welcomes you in uniform – in his/her profession as an immigration officer or security checker. It is a small society. And after answering the mandatory questions (how long will you be staying, where will you live, why you are here) and have confirmed all the instructions regarding the protection of the biosphere, you have arrived.
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As an angler, it certainly makes the most sense to rent a holiday home.
There are beautifully located houses scattered all over the Falkland Islands, offering a magnificent view and the comfort is more than satisfactory.
A list of all rentable holiday homes is available on the Falkland Islands Tourist Board website.

At this point a little etiquette:
When you enter a house on the Falkland Islands, it is an unwritten rule to leave your outdoor shoes where they belong: outdoors.
In case you forget to take them off, the house owner may tell you directly.

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On East Falkland it is quite easy to get a rental car to go fishing. However, before setting off you should clarify with the company whether you may take off road trips as a non-local.
But don’t worry: There are many fishing spots that can be reached directly by car or are only a short walk away.

We were very pleased with the service of Neil McKay LTD, company contact via this email address.
You can also find more contacts for rental car companies on the Falkland Island Tourist Board website.

During our stay on the Falkland Islands, we were informed that there is no rental car company that allows you to take your vehicle to West Falkland.
If you have had a different experience or if you are from West Falkland and offer a car rental service, we would be grateful to hear from you.
We will be happy to publish it here.
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Internet and general communication

Up until a few years ago, calls could only be made with long-distance lines, which would be hand connected by the "Switchboard Girl" and even today many of these telephone poles can be seen scattered around the camp. When farmers were out at the CAMP they would build a very efficient and important system using shortwave radio equipment.

In the digital age, the residents of the Falkland Islands have of course been provided with basic internet and mobile communications.

We spoiled metropolitan people of the big industrialized nations, however, feel a bit lost and irritated when faced with the limited possibilities on the Falkland Islands.

To explain this you need to know that no undersea cables have been laid to the Falkland Islands and every transmission, be it television or the internet, is received via satellite.
Anyone who has ever had to rely on this digital satellite reception, like perhaps on a cruise ship, knows how tiresomely slow the transmission, how limited the volume is, and how correspondingly expensive the amounts of data are.

As a tourist who does not have an ongoing contract with the only provider (Sure) of the islands, your only possibility to use internet or WiFi connections is via prepaid cards.
This also applies to your stay as a guest in a hotel or in a holiday home.
There are no flat rates available.

For communicating within the Falkland Islands as a tourist it makes sense to buy a temporary telephone number with a prepaid card.
In addition to this telephone number, you should buy prepaid cards for a certain amount of data for internet use. These can be easily acquired e.g. at the cash register at one of the supermarkets and will allow you the mandatory WhatsApp or Skype call home – BUT: Since there is no nationwide network coverage you can only use the internet in connection with a router or Wifi in your immediate vicinity.

On the road you can only make telephone calls, and only with a transmission mast in sight. Regrettably this is not the case everywhere.
One quick word regarding the military history of the country…

During our planning phase we often came across blog entries or concerns from anglers as to what extent the landmines from the Falklands War, which can still be found in the ground today, might affect a fishing holiday.
Over the past few years, almost all mines have been defused by African clearance specialists. All areas in which they were placed are known and fenced.
Nobody has been harmed since the Falklands War (except a cow and the fleeing murderer at the end of the apocalyptic thriller "After us the penguin“).

Falkland Islands Tourist Board

Information material from the Falkland Island Tourist Board for your travel planning.
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With the kind support of:

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