Since the 1982 Falklands Islands Conflict there are land mines left all over the island. I believe that there are still somewhere in the region of 120 mined areas left on the island. As we drove through the island I noted many signs warning taht we were driving along by a mined area - I have attached a photograph of a typical sign.
Some of the mines have been destoryed but it got to the stage that, because of the nature of the land and landscape here, it was too expensive and impractical to employ the equipment required to clear the remaining mines.
Interestingly, although these areas are absolutely out of bounds for humans, they provide a great safe place for many species of wildlife such as penguins and geese. These animals and birds are too light to set off the mines and so they can hop away over the mined lands merrily and without fear of danger.
There are still some 25000 unexploded mines on the Falkland Islands - hence take caution if you wander off into the bushes. Most areas are sign posted - so if you see red triangles warning of mines in the area - take caution!!
Look at this sign, it made me laugh, I bet you didn't know they had Lions in the Falkland Islands did you! Well here they have a habit of shortening words, so a Landrover becomes a Rover, an Elephant Seal becomes and Elephant and a Sealion becomes a Lion .. get it? This photo was taken at Sea Lion Island and it's a warning not to get too close to them. The Southern Sealion is not the cute looking Californian Sealion you see in Sea World centres performing tricks and so on .. the Sealions we get down here are 320kg+ of bad tempered-ness. You would be a fool to get too close to an angry bull Sealion because over a short distance it can match a man's running speed and it has the strength in it's jaws should it wish, to bite your arm off .. you have been warned .. keep away from the lions! The photo of tyhe Gentoo penguin was taken at Bertha's Beach where I witnessed an attack on a Gentoo by a Sealion, it was bloody and didn't take long, there was little left of the poor Penguin by the end of it. This Penguin was "lucky" as it survived an attack by the same Sealion, although with such horrific injuries it's doubtful he survived for very long (half his neck was missing exposing the bone beneath)
The Falklands conflict left behind a deadly legacy that remains to this day, during their brief period of occupation the Argentine forces laid 25,000 landmines. As yet no agreement between Britain and Argentina has been reached regarding the removal of these mines.
If you do decide to go out exploring just be careful where you are walking. There are still one hundred and seventeen uncleared minefields but they are clearly marked (see photo). However if you do find any unexploded ordnance DO NOT TOUCH IT! Mark it's position on the map and inform the police or military immediately (EOD Team, Hillside, Stanley 22228).
The Falklands are dangerous! Very dangerous indeed, as it's one of the few places on Earth which really takes on you the moment you step out of the plane. Not like the Indian chaos or the lazy Tongan peace, but a quite, gentle feeling telling you that it's not going to be easy to leave.
The Falklands are a fantastic place and I could easily imagine a few tourist falling so desperately in love with the islands, the people and the penguins, so that they just don't want to leave.
It has happened.......
There are a number of minefields still around, all of which are clearly marked. Be careful and obey warning signs.
Another thing to be wary of is traying into firing range area's. There may still be unexploded ordenance lying around. Don't mess with what you don't reckognise.
Certain areas of the islands are used for life shootings and military exercises - if you see red flags and warning signs do not walk into the area since their is military training taking place.
Beware of the land mines -- be sure to pick up a map from the military office in Stanley if you plan on going hiking alone.
Minefields,the Argentine left lots of them on various beaches,although they're all cordoned off,so theres no way you get on those beaches.
Beware of Mines!!!! Not too much to worry about if you are on the bus tour they will not let you out near a mine field.
Comfortable well apointed rooms, all en suite with shower/baths (which is a rare in the islands)....more
Back Wynd, Falkland, KY15 7BX, United Kingdom