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Go Glamping in Antarctica

Antarctica may be on your travel bucket list, but what if even the prospect of being one of the few people ever to set foot on the surreal, winter wilderness of the South Pole isn't enough to convince you to rough it?Well, you don't have to. We've discovered a tour operator that takes only a dozen visitors at a time to what they call the 'real' Antarctica, inland from cruise shore excursions, all the way to the actual Geographic South Pole.

And they do it in style. Inspired by luxury safaris of yesteryear complete with china, chefs, hampers and fine linens, White Desert creates an encampment of luxury pods that furnishes almost as unique an environment inside as outside.

Taking off from South Africa, it's a half-day's flight to the camp. While nothing to look at from the outside (and why would you want to when you're surrounded by scenic glaciers and ice waves?), the interior design would be at home in any luxury lodge. It's 'glamping' – that's 'glamour' meets 'camping'.

All photos: White Desert

The camp has six sleeping pods for two, equipped with a bed, desk, and wash/toilet area.

There are separate structures for showers, a kitchen, and lounge and dining areas, and your meals are catered by an award-winning chef. With your comfort assured, it's time to explore.

Guests can choose from two, eight-day trips, and even an extraordinary, 'best day ever' single day to Antarctica and back. Expert polar guides help you discover the wonders of the immense 'white desert' continent through different excursions out from base camp. You may trek to a magnificent colony of 6,000 majestic Emperor Penguins, explore exhilarating ice formations and tunnels, go technical rock climbing, abseiling, kite-skiing, even take a trip to the actual Geographic South Pole and the science station nearby. Imagine standing at the single place on earth where all points lead… only north!

Your actual footprints will be swept away by the snow, and the company ensures no ecological footprint will be left behind in this pristine environment either. The company's zero impact policy is complete: the camp is temporary, and re-created each season; all waste – including human – is removed; solar and wind power the camp; and even your flight emissions are offset through dedicated carbon projects around the world.

It's an Antarctic luxury 'safari' where you can have the world's rarest scenery, rushes of adrenaline, and stylish comfort, too.

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5 opportunities for unique adventures in Antarctica

I was a bit skeptical of this icy continent's ability to host serious adventure opportunities...I mean, what else can you do on an icy landscape other than skating? Well, after some simple research, I have come up with the top 5 adventure opportunities in the icy continent that are amazing.

 

1. Antarctic Peninsula - This is the northern most part of the continental Antarctica and it lies between Cape Adams and a point on the mainland south of Eklund Islands. It is popular for its numerous research stations. You will see penguin species such as Chinstrap Penguin, Emperor Penguin, Gentoo penguin and the Adelie penguin. You can also spot the rare whale in the region.

2. Antarctic Polar Circle - The idea of being in the most southerly point in the world is almost unreal, yet, you can get there. Make sure you meet new people who are excited as you to get this far south. The icy landscape is worth capturing on your camera - remember this is an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

3. Weddell Sea - Weddel Sea is the bay formed between the coastlines of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula. It is popular with thrill seekers due to the abundance of the whales’ sightings as well as the Diving Weddell Seals.

4. Cape Norvegia - If you love sea faring, then this is the easternmost point of the Antarctica. If you can afford it, you can be one of the few people that have made it this far

5. Elephant Island - This is an ice-covered mountainous island located in the outer reaches of the South Shetland Islands. The country is well placed for scientific studies, fishing and whaling activities. You can also watch the wildlife with animals such as Gentoo penguins and Elephant Seals.