For wildlife-oriented visitors on a budget, Bleaker Island is an exceptional alternative to more distant and/or costly destinations like Sea Lion  and Carcass Islands , which require longer flights and have more expensive accommodations and food. Bleaker can’t quite match the diversity of those islands, but it has a scenic rocky shoreline with Magellanic, rockhopper, and gentoo penguins, as well as the occasional king, plus king cormorants and night herons, and a breeding colony of giant petrels.
Because Bleaker has no cats, it also has thriving populations of small birds, and owners Mike and Phyl Rendell are removing rats from offshore islands to further encourage the diminutive species like tussock birds. While there are no breeding sea lions or elephant seals, Bleaker gets occasional visitors.
Bleaker’s Cobb’s Cottage (tel. 32491 or 21084, mrendell [at] horizon [dot] co [dot] fk, £30 pp) is a comfortable and attractive self-catering kit house with three bedrooms, sleeping a maximum of five persons; if it’s full, the Rendells can accommodate extra people in the main house. A new lodge called Cassard House (£45 pp self-catering) opened in 2011. Named after a French ship that was wrecked at the south end of the island in 1906, the lodge consists of four rooms with private baths. Full board is available at Cobb’s Cottage or Cassard House for £25 per person, pre-prepared meal packs for £20 per person; there’s a small store for supplementary needs.
At its closest, Bleaker is barely half a mile from East Falkland ; FIC managers used to ride 20 miles southeast from North Arm and row across to Bleaker, but today’s visitors prefer FIGAS air taxis. Most wildlife is within easy walking distance of the settlement, but there’s a Land Rover available for rent (on Bleaker’s “hard camp,” unlike much of East Falkland, getting bogged is not a serious hazard).