February 2022…// Wilderness Safaris and White Desert have come together once again, to design two adventure-packed joint itineraries featuring the best of Africa and Antarctica. Through this partnership, the companies’ shared guests will enjoy the most awe-inspiring experiences, handcrafted to highlight the best of Wilderness and White Desert’s offering. The journeys are set to take place in January 2023.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with White Desert and celebrate the launch of its brand-new camp, Echo. Wilderness Safaris is the first luxury safari outfitter to design these unique continent-to-continent itineraries to include Echo, and we will be extending our collaboration with White Desert to further engage adventure-seeking guests with dynamic combination conservation experiences”, said Amanda Wilson, Wilderness Safaris Vice President of Partnerships.
Wilderness is a pioneer in conservation tourism and has built a collective of remote destinations in Africa, each unique and untamed, affording a truly immersive and exclusive adventure for those seeking to discover the wilderness. And in a corner of the world that is characterised by pristine vistas, dramatic mountain ranges and exceptional wildlife encounters, White Desert has taken the hardship out of exploration and transformed the isolated beauty of Antarctica into an exclusive backdrop for adventure, offering luxury accommodation and a host of experiences, including ice climbing, abseiling, rock climbing, and rope walking, as well as the rare highlight of visiting the South Pole.
Protecting Antarctica’s future is fundamental to White Desert’s mission; in addition to supporting scientists performing ground-breaking research on the Antarctic ice shelf, White Desert’s operations leave no waste on the continent, and their camps are built with the lightest environmental footprint, similar to those of Wilderness Safaris, where all elements of their camps can be disassembled, leaving no trace.
The first itinerary, Ice & Fire: Antarctica and Rwanda is a 20-day journey that will take place from 8 January to 28 January 2023, discovering the highlights of Cape Town, Antarctica, and Rwanda. After two nights at the exclusive One&Only Cape Town, a maximum of 12 guests will depart on a private jet to White Desert’s brand-new camp, Echo, boasting luxurious Sky Pods with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and dramatic views over the vast Antarctic playground guests will get to explore.
During their eight-night stay, travellers will take a 2.5-hour flight to Atka Bay, where they will experience one of nature’s marvels – exclusive access to observe over 14 000 breeding pairs of penguins and their weeks-old chicks. Additionally, guests will embark on an overnight excursion by plane to the South Pole, which is visited by fewer than 800 people each year. Other activities include trekking through ice waves, exploring crystal caves, fat biking and cross-country skiing, accompanied by highly qualified and knowledgeable White Desert guides.
Guests will then return to Cape Town for three nights to regroup and relax while being looked after by a Wilderness Private Journeys guide. The Rwanda leg of their journey will kick off in Kigali where they will experience the bustling cultural and culinary scene of this vibrant city, before taking a short flight to Wilderness Magashi Camp for a classic East African safari. Located in Akagera National Park, Magashi boasts prolific wildlife including elephant, lion, leopard, and black rhino and more. Next, guests will take a scenic helicopter flip to the award-winning Bisate Lodge.
Nestled on the slopes of an eroded crater, each of Bisate’s six suites overlooks two enormous extinct volcanoes, Bisoke and Karisimbi. During their stay, guests will trek through the rainforests of Volcanoes National Park, for an hour-long encounter with a family of awe-inspiring and endangered mountain gorillas. Other activities include trekking to observe the highly entertaining golden monkey population in the park, planting trees for reforestation and connecting with the local community. Guests will be guided through Rwanda by a private Wilderness specialist photographic guide.
The 18-day second journey, Wild Desert Adventure: Antarctica and Namibia offers two of the most remarkably remote luxury travel experiences in the world, taking guests from the ancient and remote Namib Desert to the southernmost point on Earth. Set to take place from 7-24 January, travellers begin with an overnight stay at Johannesburg’s iconic Saxon Hotel before flying to Namibia to experience the highlights of the Namib Desert.
Here they explore the dramatic landscapes of the world-renowned Sossusvlei dune field, with a stay at Wilderness’s lovely desert retreat, Little Kulala. Guests then fly to Namibia’s remote north-west to experience a transformative stay at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp to photograph the unique desert-adapted wildlife of the Hoanib Valley, ending at the surreally beautiful Serra Cafema to visit the unique and culturally rich Himba people. Guests will be guided through Namibia by a private Wilderness specialist photographic guide.
After a flight to Cape Town to spend two nights at the One&Only Hotel, guests can rest before departing on a private jet flight for the South Pole to experience a six-night stay at White Desert’s Echo camp. In addition to standing on the bottom of the world, guests will enjoy the same penguin experience and activities as per the above itinerary.
Like Africa, Antarctica has a profound effect on those who visit; we can’t help but leave deeply changed.
“It’s fabulous to be partnering again with Wilderness Safaris to show off our diverse landscapes and bring back the joy of mindful travel to our guests”, said Mindy Roberts, White Desert Chief Marketing Officer.
“We are thrilled to be partnering again with White Desert, affording global travellers the unique opportunity to explore some of the Earth’s most breath-taking and remote destinations; to offer them arguably the most unique and intimate nature and wildlife experiences luxury tourism has to offer. In turn, we hope our guests become stewards of conservation tourism in Africa and Antarctica”, Amanda concluded.