This Nature Calls Adventure is a world first introduced by the Mantis Collection, their assoociates, White Desert Safaris and Guide -Patrick Woodhead, who is an explorer-de-pioneer and journalist. A wilderness utterly beautiful and yet so rarely visited – the white world of Antartica in the South Pole. It is not for the fainthearted. You need to be courageous, adventurous and fit, but it not just for the supreme athlete, even families and the ‘more mature’ in age venture out, but just make sure you are pretty darn healthy.
The jounrey begins at the Antartica Logistics Office at Cape Town International Airport where you are briefed about etiquette and behavior in the possibly hazardous ‘summer’ conditions of this vast iceland. After a six hour flight about a rather spartan, Russian-run, Ilyushin 76TD, we arrive at Novo iceway near Novalazarevskaya. If you can spell that name and you are fully dressed in your polar gear you are allowed off the plane and find yourself hurtled across in the ice in some kind of modified 4 x 4 snow mobile.
Our base camp is on the edge of the Schirmaker Oasis and after another spelling test, only joking, you get to unpack in quite an impressive ecologically designed luxury tented camp powered by solar energy and gas that staves off the cold. Our first 2 1/2 hour hike is to the Ice Waves. We hear nothing but silence. Other day trips explore the Ice Tunnels near Whichaway Camp and participation in a longer excursion offers the reward of time spent with the legendary Emperor Penguines.
Each night a nourishing cuisine is accompanied with fireside tales and times to reflect and transform.