Where Do Penguins Live? [All You Need to Know]

Most penguin species live in and around Antarctica. They exclusively inhabit the Southern Hemisphere, with the highest number being located on Antarctic coasts and sub-Antarctic islands. Out of the 18 known species of penguins, 5 reside in Antarctica and 4 on sub-Antarctic islands. Penguins tend to live in colder regions. 

But wait, don’t pack your bags for Antarctica just yet. You can also spot penguins in other cool places. These destinations are not only beautiful. But also WWF conservation areas where you can observe penguins in their natural habitat. So, if you want to know where else you can find these beautiful birds, keep reading!

Where Do Penguins Live Besides Antarctica?


Besides Antarctica, penguins live in a few other regions, including:

  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Galapagos Island
  • Falkland Islands
  • Tristan da Cunha
  • Bounty and Antipodes Islands
  • South Georgia, and the South Sandwich Islands

Penguins are found primarily in colder regions where they can access cold ocean water and feed on fish, krill and other small marine creatures.

Where Do Penguins Live in Africa?

Penguins live along the southwestern coast of Africa. The African penguin, also known as the jackass penguin, breeds on 24 islands off the shores of Namibia and South Africa.

The largest breeding colonies are on St. Croix Island and Bird Island in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Other important breeding colonies are located on Dyer Island and Robben Island. At Boulders Beach, you can watch them as close as you want.

Do You Know? Experts predict that African Penguins will vanish from their natural habitat and be considered extinct in the wild as soon as 2026 ~(Source).

Where Do Penguins Live in Australia?

In Australia, you can find penguins on Phillip Island in Victoria, Kangaroo Island in South Australia, Montague Island in New South Wales, Penguin Island in Western Australia, and Bruny Island in Tasmania.

Australia is home to several species of penguins, including the little penguin, also known as the fairy penguin.

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The little penguin is the smallest species of penguin in the world. These adorable birds can be found along the southern coast of Australia, from Fremantle in Western Australia all the way to Sydney in New South Wales.

Where Do Penguins Live in South America?


In South America, penguins live mainly along Argentina, Chile, Peru, and the Falkland Islands coasts. The Magellanic penguin is the most common penguin species in South America.

The Humboldt penguin is found along the coast of Peru and northern Chile. The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin species that live on the equator.

Do You Know? The WWF has listed the “Magellanic Penguin” as an Endangered species. Notably, this is the only penguin species found north of the equator and in the Galapagos Islands.

Do Penguins Live in Alaska?

No, penguins do not live in Alaska. Alaska is located in the Northern Hemisphere. Alaska’s environmental conditions and climate are unsuitable for penguins to live in. So, there are no penguins in Alaska. They live in the Southern Hemisphere.

Where Do Penguins Live at the North Pole?

Penguins do notlive at the North Pole. Penguins are native to the Southern Hemisphere. They particularly live in Antarctica, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and South America.

The North Pole is located in the Arctic region, which is home to different animals, such as polar bears, walruses, and arctic foxes. So, there are no penguins at the North pole.

Habitat of Different Species of Penguins

Let’s explore the habitat of different Penguin species:

  • King penguins’ habitat:

The King penguins live in Subarctic islands, South Georgia Islan, and Tierra del Fuego.

  • Macaroni penguins’ habitat:

The Macaroni penguins live in the Subantarctic and the Antarctic Peninsula.

  • Emperor penguins’ habitat:

The Emperor penguins live in Antarctica.

  • Rockhopper penguins’ habitat:

The Northern Rockhopper penguins live in subantarctic waters of the western Pacific and Indian Oceans and the southern coasts of South America. The Southern Rockhopper penguins live on the McDonald Islands, Macquarie Island and Heard Island.

  • Galapagos penguins’ habitat:
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The Galapagos penguins live in South Shetland, Falkland, Kerguelen, Heard, and Macquarie Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

  • Gentoo penguins’ habitat:

The Gentoo penguins live in the Falkland Islands (South Georgia) and on the Antarctic Peninsula.

How Do Penguins Survive in Antarctica and the Arctic?

king penguin

Penguins have developed many adaptations that help them survive in Antarctica. And they do not live or survive in the Arctic.

Some species of penguins, such as the Emperor penguin, have a thick layer of blubber beneath their skin, which helps insulate them from the cold.

Emperor penguins also have special nasal chambers that recover heat lost during breathing. They also have closely aligned veins and arteries, which helps them recycle their own body heat.

Penguins have a gland near their eyes that helps them excrete excess salt from their bodies.

They often huddle together in large groups to conserve body heat and protect themselves from the wind. Further, they have a thick layer of feathers that help keep them warm.

How Do Penguins Survive in Africa?

African penguins are found at the southern tip of Africa. They spend most of their time in the ocean searching for food. This helps them stay cool, even though their habitat on land can get quite warm.

To help regulate their body temperature, African penguins have bare skin on their legs and around their eyes, which helps them release heat from their bodies. This adaptation helps them stay cool in their warm environment.

How Long Do Penguins Live?

The lifespan of penguins can vary depending on the species. On average, most penguin species have a lifespan of around 15 to 20 years. However, some penguin species can live much longer.

The Magellanic penguins can live up to 30 years. On the other hand, little blue penguins can live up to six years. The Emperor penguin can live up to 20 years in the wild and over 40 years in captivity.

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Do You Know? World’s oldest African Penguin “ET” turns 43 this year. ET is not just the oldest living African penguin. But also holds the record for being the oldest African penguin ever documented.


Do penguins live in Antarctica year-round?

Yes, some species of penguins live in Antarctica year-round. Antarctica is home to several species of penguins. The Emperor, Adélie penguin, Gentoo penguin, Chinstrap penguin, and Macaroni penguin live in Antarctica.

This penguin species breed and raise their chicks in Antarctica during the spring and summer months, and some species remain in Antarctica throughout the winter.

What penguins live in Australia?

The Little penguins live in Australia. Further, the King penguin, Gentoo penguin, Macaroni penguin, Emperor penguin, Southern Rockhopper penguin, Royal penguin, Fiordland penguin, and Adelie penguin are also live in Australia.

Do all penguins live in the Arctic?

No, not all penguins live in the Arctic. In fact, no penguin species live in the Arctic. Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. The Arctic is the Northern Hemisphere. So, no penguins live there.

How many penguins live in South America?

7 penguin species live in South America. These are the Magellanic penguins, the Gentoo penguins, the Southern Rockhopper penguins, the Humboldt penguins, the Macaroni penguins, the King penguins and the Galapagos penguins.


Penguins are fascinating creatures that have adapted to live in some of earth’s harshest and coldest environments. While most species of penguins live in and around Antarctica. They can also be found in other regions such as South Africa, Australia, and South America.

The African penguin, Magellanic penguin, and Galapagos penguin are some of the species that are facing threats to their survival due to various reasons such as climate change and human activities. Despite the challenges, conservation organizations are making efforts to protect and preserve these magnificent birds and their habitats.

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