Correction to This Article
A story in the Sept. 18 Travel section on where penguins can be seen contained two errors. African (Jackass) penguins can be viewed in South Africa and Namibia, not Botswana. Punta Arenas is in Chile, not Argentina.
PENGUINS 101

Where the Wild Things Waddle

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

You've seen "March of the Penguins" and laughed at those scene-stealers in "Madagascar." Now, though vicariously exhausted, you want more. Here's a sampling of spots near and far that you can waddle off to for penguin peeping.

Worldwide

Antarctica, South and Central America and Australia are chief among the far-flung locales various penguin species call home. Expeditions, cruises and package deals abound; for an informal listing by a pair of penguin fans, check the Web site of Barbara and Peter Barham, self-described "amateur penguinologists" who've made a major hobby of penguin-spotting ( http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/peter_and_barbara_barham/wild.htm ).

· If you want to see the penguins march, or at least wallow in the sun, consider Antarctica. Toronto-based Fathom Expeditions (800-621-0176, http://www.fathomexpeditions.com/ ) sails out twice a year during the Antarctic summer (our dead-of-winter); though there are no guarantees, chances are good that you'll see Emperor penguins, the tall ones featured in the documentary "March of the Penguins." If not, you're at least likely to catch some of the other native penguin species -- sometimes a million or more at a time. A professional photographer travels along and teaches tricks of the ice-shooting trade. The 14-day January cruise is sold out, but a few spots remain on the Feb. 7-20 trip; plans are underway for 2007 excursions. Prices -- not including airfare to Ushuaia, Argentina -- start at $4,595, based on double occupancy.

· If you're tired of those big ol' Emperors and you happen to be in Australia , take in the tiniest penguin species on Earth at Phillip Island Nature Park near Melbourne, Victoria (011-61-3-5951-2800, http://www.penguins.org.au/ ). The Fairy, or Little, Penguins parade every evening around sunset. You need advance tickets ($13), available on the Web site. For travel info, check Tourism Victoria, www.visitvictoria.com .

· The first king penguin chick ever to be hatched and reared in captivity was at Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo (011-44-131-334-9171, http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/ ; about $16) in 1919. Nowadays the zoo sports king, gentoo and rockhopper penguins. Best of all, the little cuties have a daily penguin parade, leaving their enclosures to scoot along behind the keepers as they make their rounds.

· Magdalena Island, a penguin sanctuary and rookery in Patagonia, Chile, is swarming with Magellanic penguins -- some 60,000 pairs -- who come here to do their nesting. A handful of tour operators include a stop at the Strait of Magellan island on their cruise itineraries. You can also take a day trip from Punta Arenas, Argentina; Gotolatin.com, for example, offers a daily sojourn to Magdalena and Marta islands, both part of Los Pinguinos National Monument. Cost is $62; best to go December to February. Info: 866-464-1519, http://www.gotolatin.com/ .

· Mere peeping not enough? You can practically live among African penguins at Boulders Beach Lodge (011-27-21-786-1758, http://www.bouldersbeach.co.za/ ) in Simon's Town, South Africa. Penguins roam freely around the lodge and restaurant. Nightly room rates from about $58 double.

· Neither the National Zoo in D.C. nor the National Aquarium in Baltimore has penguins on view, but both sponsor trips to places where penguins hang out.

On Feb. 9, the zoo offers "Galapagos: Ecuador's Enchanted Islands," home to indigenous Galapagos penguins. The 12-day trip is $4,565 per person double, plus $845 for airfare out of Dulles. Details: 800-423-4236, http://nationalzoo.si.edu/ActivitiesAndEvents/Travel/Galapagos/default.cfm . The aquarium offers a Nov. 1-11 trip to Botswana, where you're likely to see Jackass penguins. The price is $5,595 per person double and includes air from BWI. Details: aquarium, 410-576-3800, http://www.aqua.org/ ; Classic Escapes, 800-627-1244, http://www.classicescapes.com/ .

Domestic

· The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore (Druid Hill Park; $15) has about 50 African penguins living on the zoo's Rock Island. Details: 410-366-LION, http://www.marylandzoo.org/ .

· You can get a good gander at hundreds of penguins -- and a variety of species -- at the various SeaWorld locations nationwide ( San Diego, Orlando, San Antonio ). Big exhibition areas make it easy to see the tuxedo'd critters close up. Details: http://www.seaworld.com/ .

· On the Las Vegas Strip, the Flamingo hotel has a free Wildlife Habitat replete with all kinds of exotic animals, including African penguins. Don't miss the daily penguin feedings at 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Details: 800-732-2111, http://www.flamingolasvegas.com/ .

· Happily, the 19 penguins at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans survived Hurricane Katrina, but they've been sent off for safekeeping to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. But, sadly, they won't be on public view.

-- Jennifer Huget


© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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