Some trips really are journeys of a lifetime worth planning ahead for. These epic new African-Antarctic itineraries are two of them.
These dream trips from tour operators Wilderness Safaris and White Desert combine fire, ice, and a chance to spot Africa’s Big Five with truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like hanging out with Antarctic Emperor penguins or making a quick trip to the South Pole.
A 14-day journey combines an Okavango Delta safari in Botswana with Antarctic adventures and a quick city break in Cape Town, where wineries, beaches, lush landscapes, and the Cape of Good Hope await. In Botswana, travelers settle into picture perfect safari camps in between game drives and trips along the delta in a traditional Mokoro canoe. The trip is scheduled to depart Nov. 22 and return Dec. 6, 2021.
Travelers on this journey will have the opportunity to witness rare Emperor penguin chicks give birth in one of the most remote places in the world — Atka Bay in wild Antarctica. In Atka Bay, travelers also will get to explore ice waves alongside a guide and experience 24 hours of continuous sunshine in the Antarctic Circle.
In Botswana, they’ll explore one of the continent’s most wildlife-dense regions, a place that’s home to elephants, leopards, lions, Cape buffalo, and more.
A longer 19-day itinerary over the New Year holiday adds an overnight trip to the South Pole, a destination that sees fewer than 1,000 visitors a year. Also included: a visit to the dramatic Namib Desert, whose picturesque Sossusvlei Dunes you’ll surely recognize from Instagram. That trip is scheduled to depart from Dec. 27 and conclude Jan. 15, 2022.
Each trip is open to a maximum of 12 guests who will travel by private jet. Pricing and booking is available via email.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.