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Bucket list this! Luxury glamping on the seventh continent

Two spectacular camps by White Desert in Antarctica will make you want to fly south for the summer.

You’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. But as a keen world traveller is there a continent that you’ve forgotten to consider? Antarctica, the southern-most continent on the planet, is twice as large as Australia. Largely a polar desert, with 98 per cent of its surface covered by ice, it’s literally, one of the coolest places you can imagine visiting!

Antarctica, South Pole, glamping, White Desert
Get set to be wowed by wonderful views like these. Image: Marko Prezelj.

Luckily, unlike the early explorers or current-day researchers, you neither have to mount an expedition nor rough it out to enjoy this remote spot. White Desert is Antarctica’s first and only luxury camp, connected to Cape Town, South Africa, by a Gulfstream 550 private jet service.

The five-hour flight from Cape Town brings you into the heart of Antarctica. From iridescent ice tunnels to vertical spires of rock, from endless uninhabited horizons to oceans scattered with icebergs, this is a place unlike any you’ve seen before. Established 15 years ago by polar explorers, White Desert offers you an environmentally-conscious choice for luxury and adventure, sensitive to the incredible environment and indigenous birds and animals.

Antarctica, South Pole, glamping, White Desert
An Emperor Penguin colony in Antarctica. Image: Kelvin Trautman.

While there are no ‘Antarcticans’, dozens of research stations, some year-round and others seasonal operate in many parts of the continent under the guidance of around 30 individual countries. There are no cities or major infrastructure here and hence tourism has been sparse.

Antarctica, South Pole, glamping, White Desert
The journey is as exciting as the destination. Arrivals in Antarctica are carefully planned. Image: Courtesy White Desert.

Once you touch down on White Desert’s specially prepared three km-long ice runway, their specialist ski-equipped DC3 Basler aircraft whisks you away on a 20-minute flight with spectacular views to the Whichaway Oasis. From here, you ride modified 4x4s down the final stretch to your camp.

Antarctica, South Pole, glamping, White Desert
The eco-friendly pods at Whichaway Oasis. Image: Kelvin Trautman.

You can choose to stay at the flagship luxury camp called Whichaway or at the newer Wolf’s Fang. The luxe Whichaway Camp boasts high-tech and eco-friendly pods that accommodate up to 12 people. Offering warm hospitality, top-notch cuisine, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, this eco-friendly camp will appeal to adventurous travellers seeking an exclusive escape in one of the last great wildernesses on earth.

Antarctica, South Pole, glamping, White Desert
Well-appointed dining area at White Desert’s Whichaway Oasis. Image: Marko Prezelj.

You can experience this once-in-a-lifetime vacation in many different ways, from day trips starting at USD 14,500 to an eight-day-long journey priced at USD 96,000, which will bring you to huge Emperor penguin colonies and even the actual South Pole. It’s an intensive, immersive adventure that isn’t for the faint-hearted. But how many can say they’ve been to the seventh continent?

Antarctica, South Pole, glamping, White Desert
A group of exultant explorers at the geographical South Pole. Image: Kelvin Trautman.
You can choose to stay at the flagship luxury camp called Whichaway or at the newer Wolf’s Fang. The luxe Whichaway Camp boasts high-tech and eco-friendly pods that accommodate up to 12 people. Offering warm hospitality, top-notch cuisine, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, this eco-friendly camp will appeal to adventurous travellers seeking an exclusive escape in one of the last great wildernesses on earth.
One of the many adorable Emperor Penguin families you can see in Antarctica. Image: Courtesy White Desert.

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