Saturday, September 17, 2005

March To The Penguins

(P1 Photo Courtesy Dreamworks Animation
Skg/penguin Photo Courtesy Edinburgh Zoo)


How far are you willing to go for a glimpse of a private glimpse of a Penguin now that "March of the Penguins" has left you wanting so much more? The Washington Post has a guide to "Where The Wild Things Waddle."

This Land Is Their Land
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

Las Vegas: Where Flamingos and Penguins live together in peace. 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

Far Flung Places
Antarctica, South and Central America and Australia are chief among the distant destinations where various penguin species call home.

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

You can practically live among African penguins at Boulders Beach Lodge (011-27-21-786-1758) in Simon's Town, South Africa. Penguins roam freely around the lodge and restaurant. Nightly room rates from about $58 double.

From Here To There
On Feb. 9, the National 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.

The Baltimore 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; Classic Escapes, 800-627-1244.

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