Flying in a corporate jet from Cape Town, South Africa, you will arrive at the only luxury safari camp based in the interior of Antarctica. With only 12 clients at a time, you will be amongst the very few who have experienced the stunning interior of this truly wild continent.
In the 24hrs of continuous daylight and with genuine polar explorers as your personal guides, each day is a new adventure. Your days will include a hike across ice caves, a flight by DC3 to visit the largest Emperor Penguin colony, a mini-polar expedition hauling a sledge and sleeping overnight on the ice, mountain climbing, skiing, abseiling, and visits to the nearby Russian and Indian research stations. If you’re looking for more adventure, our guides can lead you up unclimbed mountains or teach you how to kite-ski across the infinite horizons of ice. All of this in our insulated canvas chalets with soft warm beds, a gourmet chef from South Africa serving three full meals per day, and drinks looking over the endless ice. This is a rare combination of extreme adventure in luxurious style.
Departures (from Cape Town): 22-30thNov, 30 Nov-7 Dec
Note: flights and itinerary are subject to weather conditions and may be shifted by a day or two.
This afternoon you will be collected from your hotel for a pre-departure briefing session before heading out on this adventure through Antarctica. During this informative session you'll be given the specific details regarding your expedition including flight details, what to pack, specifics regarding the items within safety kit and the logistical aspects of your journey. This is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you may have from how to wash yourself and keep clean in Antarctica to the day to day activities you'll take part in at your various camps. Upon completion of the briefing, you'll be invited to a cocktail party along with the other travellers you will be journeying with.
Upon arrival into South Africa you will be met at the door of the plane and escorted through Customs and Immigration avoiding any queues. You will also receive all of your necessary documents for your trip which contains a detailed personalized itinerary, maps, restaurant suggestions, top tips for exploring each city or region and a 24 hour concierge service (for restaurant reservations, spa treatments, child minders, day tours etc.)
A transfer between your hotel and the airport is provided for today accompanied by Antarctica team experts.
Sit back and relax during this 5 hour flight across the Southern Ocean towards Droning Maud Land, where your skilled ice-pilot will land upon a well maintained ice runway. The choice of aircraft is dependent on the weather conditions and logistics of the landing location. Your skilled and experienced ice-pilot with make appropriate choice between the aircrafts available in there fleet including the Illuyshin-IL76, Falcon 900, or a Gulfstream IV.
Your overnight flight concludes in the early afternoon hours as your skilled ice-pilot lands the aircraft on a well maintained ice runway at a Russian research station. You'll now experience the effects of full time daylight as you've arrived within Antarctica. You will meet your expert guides here at the airstrip before boarding a specialized 4x4 vehicle for a transfer to your camp.
Kensington Antarctica is the only luxury camp based in the interior of Antarctica. Old world luxury is mixed with modern technology to create 7 heated sleeping domes with two fluffy soft beds. The dining area, lounge, library and kitchen are spread across three huge dome tents that are 9 meters in diameter. With only 12 clients at a time, you will be amongst the very few to experience the interior of Antarctica. In the 24hrs of continuous daylight and with genuine polar explorers as your personal guides, each day is tailored to suit each person at camp. Trek down to the surreal ice waves, ride a specialized 4x4 across the endless ice, visit research stations, and camp out on the sea ice overnight like a polar explorer. If you’re looking for more adventure, our guides can lead you up unclimbed mountains or teach you kite-skiing across the infinite horizons of ice. The camp is run on extremely strict environmental protocols.
Set out this afternoon on a trekking adventure that explores the many natural ice waves and formations only an hour and a half away from camp. Marvel at these colossal ice structures that seamlessly stretch skyward creating an epic horizon of glistening towers. Your expert guide will help you to navigate past the many ice caves that sit below these monolithic ice structures, and through the networking maze of interlocking ice waves surrounded by crystal clear blue lakes. Admire the sheer beauty and rich blue hues that iridescently shine off these natural wonders, almost as if you arrived at "Superman's Fortress of Solitude." Your guide will take you to a high plateau point for a picturesque picnic overlooking the Antarctica coastal area. You'll trek back towards camp for relaxing evening where you'll have the opportunity to reflect on the natural beauty you've witness today.
It is an early start as we drive up to the ice runway and board a ski-equipped Bassler plane to fly 2 hours across Antarctica to an immense Emperor Penguin colony. The flight itself is spectacular, crossing a multitude of unexplored mountain peaks and catching views of the infinite high polar plateau, before circling down to land at the site of the penguins.
With over 6,000 breeding pairs and their chicks, the colony is vast. We are the only tourists to ever go there and you will have the entire day to watch these awesome animals in their natural habitat. Encircled by towering icebergs, the penguins are completely unafraid of humans and often come up very close to you, whilst their fluffy chicks are equally inquisitive. So few people ever visit such a vibrant colony at this stage of the penguin’s complicated breeding cycle and it is truly awe-inspiring to see it. They really are the real life stars of "March of the Penguins"!
Today is an easier day for those that want it and we drive with the 4x4s to the nearby Russian science station to meet their over-wintering team and learn more about their ground-breaking research. After lunch and a sauna at their base, we walk along the towering cliffs of the oasis, taking in the views and the fascinating coastline.
For those after more exercise, we run a kite-skiing workshop, where we teach one-on-one the basics of handling kites and skiing. It is quite a feeling to cross the ground so effortlessly and silently, as the wind just pulls you across Antarctica’s vast snowfields. Then, as you progress, we teach you how to become more proficient with the kite for greater speed, control and even jumping!
Using the 4x4s we drive to a largely unexplored mountain range about 3hrs from our camp. Amongst towering formations of rock and guided by our expert team of polar explorers, you ski out to the base of an unclimbed mountain. Then, with crampons, harnesses and helmets secured, our guides take you up ridge to the summit for unparalleled views of the polar plateau.
For those wanting to take it a little easier, we do a gentle ski tour around the base of the mountain, weaving around huge yawning crevasses, before stopping for a picnic and watching the others reach the summit.
We drive about 90km in the specialist 4x4s to the edge of the ice and the beginning of open water. Here at the 200ft ice 'barrier' (as it was named by the early explorers), you will see icebergs frozen in strange formations and see a totally different aspect of Antarctica. There is also a strong chance of meeting Adelie penguins. These are smaller than the emperors but are beautiful creatures that are equally tenacious, having to trek vast distances on their little legs in order to find land to be able to breed.
Enjoy a last breakfast and pack up your gear for a morning transfer back to the airstrip and the private jet. Take a last few photos before saying goodbye to the majesty of this seventh continent. Savor the return crossing above a multitude of icebergs and open ocean. You will always have a lasting memory of Antarctica that will remain with you for the rest of your days.
Five hour flight across the Southern Ocean to Cape Town. The choice of plane varies according to the weather and logistics. We use an Illuyshin-IL76, Falcon 900, or a Gulfstream IV.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! I seriously doubt that two other people could have made this trip as fantastic and special as they did! Within days, it was like 4 friends were traveling together through the country.
Ismail did the tour in English and Spanish for us to ensure that we fully understood everything we saw and experienced. His passion for his country and culture was incredible and we learned an astounding amount about Moroccan history, food, agriculture, business, religion, fashion, and people. Through his shared knowledge, we have a deep love and appreciation of Morocco that we have would not have had otherwise.
We were so happy with all of the amazing places Ismail took us which included the common tourist spots but also a ton of local places tourist never experience. We were exceedingly thrilled and it enriched our vacation beyond any expectations. Ismail even helped us get jobs in Morocco; I kissed snakes and Armando worked in a public bakery. ;-) (see the pics)
We are also aware that we would not have experienced 10% of what we did had we done this trip alone or been on a large bus tour. Clearly, you have given us a wonderful gift of special memories, which we will never forget. We both want to return to see the north and of course we want to have Ismail and Said with us.
Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - which is the best gift of all!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Avi J. Moskovitz & Armando Silva
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
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