Fancy ticking Antarctica off y

Trips to Antarctica begin next month
Image : Cassie Matias (Unsplash)

Fancy ticking Antarctica off your bucket list? Flights from SA set to begin

If you have always wanted to visit Antarctica – the world’s uninhabited southernmost continent – here’s your chance.

Fancy ticking Antarctica off y

Trips to Antarctica begin next month
Image : Cassie Matias (Unsplash)

Antarctica is usually home only to scientists and researchers who spend extended periods of time on this pristine continent which is snow-covered for much of the year. Earlier this year Icelandair made an epic flight to Antarctica to pick up a team of Norwegian researchers who had been based there for several months.

Now you can visit this fascinating uninhabited continent as a tourist.  From next month, it will be possible to travel directly from South Africa to Antarctica.

Boutique tour operator White Desert will begin offering trips directly from Cape Town to Antarctica, where tourists will be able to get up close to icebergs and emperor penguins.                                                                                                                                             


These once-in-a-lifetime trips, offered by White Desert, are only a five-hour flight from Cape Town and will take place throughout December 2021 and January 2022.          

The company said that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the introduction of its bespoke bucket list trips and that Cape Town has become a suitable destination for flights to the earth’s southernmost continent, Times Live reported.                                                                 

“We travel in uncompromised comfort across the mighty Southern Ocean in a Gulfstream private jet. During the 5-hour flight, the African night turns to day as we soar over thousands of icebergs and pass into 24 hours of continuous sunshine,” White Desert’s website says. 

The company’s spokesperson Mindy Roberts says that most of their clients fly from all over the world for their trips from Cape Town to Antarctica. According to Roberts,  White Desert will use an Airbus A 340 and a Gulfstream to take their guests to Antarctica.


The company accommodates guests in igloo-style heated polar pods or state-of-the-art tents at its two sites in Antarctica:  Wolf’s Fang and Whichaway.

Visitor activities include ice-climbing, walking through neon-blue natural ice tunnels and abseiling.

All garbage, including human waste, is flown or shipped off the continent to minimise the impact on the environment. Ice is melted for water, and food is stored in “ice larders”.  Included in the price is a two-and-a-half hour flight in a ski-plane to visit an emperor penguin colony numbering 28 000 birds.


These trips are able to host small groups of travellers as only 12 guests can be accommodated at each camp at any one time.

Prospective travellers will have to pay a handsome price to tick this fascinating destination off their bucket list.  It will cost around $52 000 (R795 000) for this exclusive travel package. 

Travellers who do not have R800 000 at their disposal may want to consider other options offered by the company. 

White Desert has a “greatest day” package which includes 24 hours of continuous summer daylight, a champagne picnic lunch and the chance to climb a nunatak, which is a mountain peak sticking out of an ice field. All for just $14 500 (R225 000) per person, flights included.