Where you will stay: the camps
For a short window between November and January it is possible to reach a region known as Queen Maud’s Land by plane from Cape Town. Touching down on the ice runaway at Wolf’s Fang gives you access to three distinct camps. Wolf’s Fang itself, reminiscent of the golden age of polar exploration, consists of just six, well heated, ensuite and spacious tents. The nearby ice bar and dining room are the perfect spots to relive your daily adventures with fellow ice lovers.
Not far away, on the shores of the freshwater Schirmacher Oasis, is Wichaway Camp, made up of six state-of-the-art heated sleeping pods designed for two people. Cosy but spacious, they even contain a writing desk for journaling your adventures. The rest of the camp comprises three centralised pods that make up the reception, lounge and dining room. While the exterior is made from innovative materials, the interior has a bygone feel – if it were not for the endless sheets of ice and snow, you could be staying at an African safari camp.
The newest addition is the futuristic Echo Camp, which may well lead a few conspiracy theorists to believe that aliens have populated Antarctica! The stunning Sky Pods sit like pebbles on the snow in a mountainous landscape that was described by a retired astronaut as “the most beautiful I have seen across Earth, Venus and Mars.”
Another great option is a camp just one kilometre from the geographic South Pole marker and Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Follow the flagged route marks along the path between the camp and the Pole, and in just a few steps, you can walk around the world (as the Pole is where all 360 lines of longitude meet). The tents themselves are designed for mountaineering and, while unheated, they come with state-of-the-art polar-rated bedding, so guests will keep perfectly warm. That said, weather at the bottom of the world can vary dramatically, so an adventurous spirit and a willingness to forgo creature comforts is essential.