Achieve an Explorers’ Holy Grail in Unparalleled Style
PREPARING FOR YOUR JOURNEY
EMPERORS & SOUTH POLE
AN INSPIRING EXPEDITION BY GEOFFREY KENT
REVIEW YOUR PASSPORT
Your passport needs to be valid beyond June 23, 2023. For this journey you need at least (4)
completely blank visa pages available in your passport (not including those reserved for
amendments and endorsements) for entry and exit stamps.
If you frequently travel internationally, you may wish to consider obtaining a second passport.
This allows you the flexibility to travel on one passport, while the second may be submitted to
obtain any required visas for your next journey abroad.
Holders of U.S. and Canadian passports are not required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into
South Africa for stays of up to 90 days.
If you are not a citizen of the United States or Canada, please consult the nearest diplomatic or
consular office of the countries you will be visiting for information on necessary documentation
you need to enter their country.
There are no visa requirements for passport holders of nation to enter Antarctica.
UPDATE VACCINES & MEDICATIONS
Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov/travel) or the World Health
Organization (who.int/en) for the latest on required and recommended vaccines for your
A yellow fever vaccination is only required to enter South Africa if you are arriving from, or have
transited through, a yellow fever-endemic area in South America or Africa. The CDC and WHO
each provide a current list of all affected countries. If vaccination for yellow fever is necessary,
you must carry an International Certificate of Vaccination provided by your physician; you may be
denied entry without it. If your physician advises against receiving the vaccination because of
your personal medical history, he or she can provide you with the necessary documentation for
the country/countries you are visiting.
There are no required vaccinations to enter Antarctica.
You’ll want to visit your doctor or local travel clinic a couple of months before departure to allow
time for any vaccinations to take effect or to fill any prescriptions.
This journey travels to remote destinations far removed from medical facilities and major medical
care is not available. Camp staff have received medical training ranging from basic to advanced,
including a qualified medical doctor who will accompany guests on South Pole flights and other
excursions. First-aid kits are carried on excursions and overnight trips.
The South Pole is situated at an altitude of 13,123 feet (4,000 meters). Since air is significantly
thinner at high altitudes, you may feel the effects of altitude sickness. If you feel a tingling or
numbness in any of your extremities or are experiencing symptoms of high altitude sickness
(nausea, headache or dizziness and difficulty breathing normally) inform the doctor immediately –
even in the middle of the night.
Furthermore, the flight to the South Pole from Whichaway Camp will be in an unpressurized plane
at an altitude of approximately 9,842 – 13,123 feet (3,000 – 4,000 meters). A down jacket, Baffin
boots and down pants will be provided for your use to stay warm in this extreme environment.
TRAVEL ADVICE & ADVISORIES
Visit the U.S. Department of State at travel.state.gov or the Government of Canada at
travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories for current information on travel advisories, entry restrictions and
special considerations for travel in various countries. Information changes rapidly and we
recommend routinely reviewing the specifics pertaining to your journey prior to your departure;
our partner VisaCentral maintains an up-to-date list of all current travel restrictions, available at
We also recommend that you register with your nearest embassy or consulate for the
destinations included in your journey. U.S. citizens can register through STEP, the Smart
Traveller Enrollment Program (step.state.gov/step). Canadian citizens can enroll in Registration
of Canadians Abroad at travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration.
We recommend travelling with some cash and at least two different major credit cards, such as
Visa and Mastercard, so you have backup if your card is not accepted or lost. Contact your bank
and credit card companies to let them know where and when you’ll be travelling, as well as
confirm any foreign transaction fees. When carrying cash, try to travel only with recently issued
currency in smaller denominations; many merchants overseas won’t accept wrinkled or torn bills.
Only exchange currency at authorized outlets such as currency exchanges, ATMs or hotels and
save receipts as they may be required for exit.
In South Africa cash transactions should be made in South African rand. Major credit cards are
widely accepted in Cape Town and access to ATMs is widespread.
Only cash is accepted at Whichaway Camp and the small souvenir shop at Amundsen-Scott
South Pole Station. The recommended currency is the U.S. dollar.
While most smartphones work overseas, you might need to turn on international roaming service
before you travel. Contact your carrier for information on coverage and voice and data plan
options while travelling abroad.
In Antarctica, communication will be limited, and mobile phones will not work. Remote southern
latitudes can significantly affect internet satellite reception and there may be internet blackouts for
several days at a time in certain locations and at certain latitudes.
At Whichaway Camp you may purchase phone credit to use a satellite phone in camp. The fee is
USD $60 for 45 minutes. Please notify staff in advance if you would like to make calls on the
satellite phones when out of camp (at the South Pole, for example). If you choose to bring or rent
your own satellite phone, the camp uses the Iridium satellite network so make sure you have an
Iridium phone. If you choose to bring a satellite phone, please advise A&K at least one month
prior to your arrival into Cape Town. (Customs and duty fees may apply depending on the value
of the satellite phone.)
The Silo Hotel and many public places in Cape Town have Wi-Fi and you’ll usually be able to stay
connected throughout your time in South Africa.
Whichaway Camp has an Iridium dome satellite system to stay in communication by email with
Cape Town and the Wolf’s Fang runway. Guests may send and receive text-only emails via an
iPad at camp. Availability of this service is limited.
CHARGING YOUR GADGETS
Be sure to bring a global travel adapter set with you to recharge your electronics at your hotel or
in camp. You can purchase one through A&K’s Travel Store at usa.thetraveloutfitter.com.
At Whichaway Camp, electricity comes from solar power and backup generators. Limited solar
power/charging facilities are available.
STAY HEALTHY ON THE ROAD
Carry your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications in their original containers in your
carry-on luggage. Pack a simple first-aid kit along with medicines for motion sickness and mild
upset stomach. As a precaution, use only bottled water and avoid foods from street vendors. This
journey includes travel to remote regions with limited medical facilities.
KEEP VALUABLES SECURE
We strongly recommend leaving valuables such as jewelry at home as A&K cannot be
responsible. Use safes where available to secure valuable items such as passports, or else
always carry them on your person.
Replacing a lost or stolen passport is much easier if you have a copy on hand. Pack a photocopy
of your passport’s personal information page with your luggage, and keep a photo of it on your
Opportunities for shopping on this journey are limited to your stay in Cape Town and the small
souvenir shop at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
Consult the local customs authority (cbp.gov in the U.S. and travel.gc.ca in Canada) for
information on what you can bring back and duty taxes. Keep receipts and items together.
Be sure to ask permission before taking pictures of local people, including small children.
Extreme care should be used when photographing wildlife in order not to cause any disturbance
to a single animal, or group of animals.
Note that photography is not permitted in some locations; it is usually clearly marked. If in doubt,
ask your Tour Manager to avoid having your camera confiscated.
TIPS ON TIPPING
As a convenience, all gratuities are included. Any additional gratuities that you may choose to
present to specific members of your tour staff are left to your personal discretion.
EMPERORS & SOUTH POLE
AN INSPIRING EXPEDITION BY GEOFFREY KENT
TIME ZONES Continental
New York &
Cape Town, South Africa
UTC +2 Hours
9:00 a.m. in Cape Town =
8:00 a.m. 7:00 a.m. 2:00 a.m.
Whichaway Camp, Antarctica
Operates on UTC +1 Hour
9:00 a.m. in Whichaway Camp =
9:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 3:00 a.m.
Cape Town, South Africa 75ºF / 23ºC 61ºF / 17ºC 7
Whichaway Camp, Antarctica 28ºF / -2ºC 12ºF / -11ºC 0
South Pole, Antarctica -15ºF / -26ºC -20ºF / -29ºC 0
Antarctica’s weather and climate are influenced by its position, elevation, the amount of snow and
ice covering the surface of the continent and the lack of precipitation. The climate also varies by
region, and temperatures in the interior are far more extreme than coastal areas and the Antarctic
At Whichaway Camp on the coast of Droning Maud Land, humidity is low and when wearing
appropriate clothing it often does not feel cold. High winds dramatically lower temperatures
particularly at night.
Temperatures at the South Pole drop considerably, although it tends to be much less windy.
Of Special Note: Batteries in Cold Climates
Battery life is greatly reduced in cold weather. It is recommended that you keep your mobile
phone in an inner pocket of your parka and avoid taking it out in frigid temperatures. For your
digital camera, bring two sets of rechargeable batteries and a charger. During outings, a set of
spare batteries should be carried in an inside pocket to keep them as warm as possible. If you
have a small camera, attach it to a lanyard so you can carry it under your parka.
LIFE IN WHICHAWAY CAMP
Whichaway Camp is comprised of seven individual sleeping pods. Each sleeping pod is heated
and features en-suite wash area (sink with thermos of hot and cold water) and toilet facility.
Sleeping pods may be configured as twin or double. Hot water bottles are provided on request.
A separate shower pod which houses three shower cubicles, and two toilets is located near the
main lounge and kitchen area. Hot water is provided by a solar water with a back-up gas heater
for cloudy days. “Grey-water” produced in camp is treated and it is necessary to keep the impact
in the environment to a minimum. The shower is open daily; however, please be mindful of the
amount of water you use as every drop is hand pumped from a lake and after it is used, the water
is filtered through a custom-built unit.
There are also three large, interconnected communal pods, including a dining room, library, and
lounge, which are always open for guest use.
Three hot meals are served daily in the dining room. Hot and cold beverages, including a
selection of soft drinks, and snacks are also available throughout the day. A selection of spirits,
as well as red and white wines, are available in camp. While alcohol is provided at lunch and
dinner in camp, please be aware that alcohol exacerbates the effects of the cold at high altitudes.
Additionally, pathways to individual pods are rocky and need to be navigated with caution to avoid
danger from injury or slipping.
Sleeping pods and the communal lounge and library provide electricity for charging cameras,
laptops, and other tech devices. Electrical power in comes from solar panels and back-up
Smoking is prohibited inside any of the pods and guest will incur a fine of US$5,000 per violation.
If you wish to smoke during your stay, staff will direct you to designated smoking areas outside
where containers for ash and cigarette butts are located.
LIFE IN SOUTH POLE CAMP
Facilities at the South Pole camp consist of two-person Arctic Oven tents. The insulated tents are
large enough to stand up in and can accommodate two cot beds and hand luggage.
Temperatures in the tents will range from 23°F/-5°C to 40°F/4°C depending on the amount of sun
available. Antarctic-rated sleeping bags are provided. A hot water bottle can be provided on
Toilet facilities are basic, and you will be provided with a bottle for use at night so that you do not
have to get dressed and go outside to use the toilet facilities. Staff will provide additional details at
the safety briefing.
Staff makes and serves meals in two separate tents. Meals are simple, supplemented by snacks
available throughout the day. Hot drinks are provided; however, alcohol is not provided at South
Please be aware that flying to one of the most remote locations in the world is a complicated
process and your safety is our primary concern. Flights are dependent on weather and delays,
last-minute changes to the schedule, and on rare occasions, a change of aircraft type are a
Flights between Cape Town, South Africa and Wolf’s Fang, Antarctica are flown in a Gulfstream
All internal flights within Antarctica are flown in an aircraft called the BT-67 Basler, which is
powered by a turbo propeller. These aircraft are specifically designed and equipped for Antarctic
conditions. They are functional with emphasis on reliability, durability and safety, as opposed to
luxury. You will be flying in the same conditions as Antarctic scientists and explorers and seeing
the continent as they do. The aircraft are supplied with toilets and survival bags, including tents,
sleeping gear and food.
PACKING LIST & BAGGAGE RESTRICTIONS
EMPERORS & SOUTH POLE
AN INSPIRING EXPEDITION BY GEOFFREY KENT
On flights within Antarctica, each passenger is limited to a maximum baggage weight of 48
pounds (22 kilograms). This includes the weight of purses and camera equipment in addition to
regular luggage. As a convenience, A&K will provide each guest with a complimentary, customdesigned A&K Duffel. This bag is specifically crafted to meet airline standards.
Set aside items you may need while in Cape Town and on the day of your flight including your
passport, any medications, cameras, or laptops. Pack these items in a carry-on bag (limited to 17
pounds/8 kilos per person) to bring on board the flight. The remainder of your luggage will be
stored in Cape Town.
Please use the provided A&K luggage tags, even if your bags already have ID tags. This makes it
easier for A&K staff to collect and manage your luggage for you.
It is imperative that you dress in technical clothing that is specifically created for extreme
conditions. Expedition staff will check all of you gear to ensure you are fully equipped. At
approximately 120 days prior to departure, A&K will be providing you with a gear kit list and order
forms. Pre-ordered items will be distributed at a briefing held in Cape Town on the second day of
your journey. You will have the opportunity to try on and exchange items if necessary. Payment
for items should be made at this time by credit card or in cash (South African rand).
Clothing and Equipment Provided for Temporary Use
□ 1 heavy, insulated down jacket (a warm over jacket for cold days)
□ 1 heavy, insulated down pants (for people feeling especially cold, or for the South Pole flight)
□ 1 over mitt (warm mittens, provided when necessary)
□ 1 pair Baffin boots (rated -100 degrees, warm and comfortable, used for walking and crosscountry skiing)
Expedition Wear — Outer Layer
□ Windproof and water-resistant hooded jacket
□ Windproof and water-resistant winter pants
□ 6 pairs of high thermal socks
Expedition Wear — Mid Layer
□ Insulated jacket
□ 1-2 thin fleece jackets
□ Fitted fleece pants/tights
Expedition Wear — Base Layer
□ 3 thermal tops
□ 2 thermal pant/leggings
Expedition Wear — Accessories
□ Small backpack (33 liter)
□ Pair of lightweight, mountain/trekking boots with sturdy soles
□ 3-4 pairs of thermal sock liners
□ 1 beanie (polypropylene or wool ski cap)
□ 1 brimmed sun hat with draw-cord
□ 1 tube-style scarf (balaclava)
□ 1-2 pairs glove liners
□ 1 pair mid-weight gloves (fleece-lined)
□ 1 pair waterproof insulated gloves
□ Extra pair of ski mittens or gloves
□ Goggles (100 UV protection)
□ Sunglasses (100 UV protection)
□ Sunscreen (high SPF of 30 or higher)
□ Optional: Hand and foot warmers. Guides carry hand, feet, and body warmers in case of
□ Casual summer-weather outfit for daytime Cape Town
□ Smart casual evening outfit for Cape Town
□ 1-2 pairs of warm casual trousers to wear under snow pants (Expedition Stretch fabric, wool, or
corduroy fabric work well)
□ 1 warm woolen sweater
□ 1-2 warm turtlenecks or long-sleeved tops/shirts (Expedition Stretch fabric, wool, or corduroy
fabric work well)
□ Personal garments including thermal or silk long underwear
□ Pair of comfortable walking shoes with low or no heels
□ Valid driver’s license for Cobra driving experience scheduled on December 12 in Cape Town.
□ Photography equipment: Batteries (lithium batteries recommended for longer life), memory
cards, charging cables. A waterproof case or sealable plastic bags and lens brush are also
□ Aspirin/pain relievers
□ Antacids/laxatives/anti-diarrhea medicine/motion sickness tablets
□ Moisturizing cream and lip balm
□ Personal toiletries (Biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner provided in camp; electrical
system in camp cannot support hairdryers)
□ If you wear glasses or contact lenses consider bringing an extra pair; contact lens solution
□ Prescription medications and copy of prescriptions
□ First aid kit including Band-Aids and moleskin
□ Slippers (for comfort after a long day of activities)
□ Ziplock bags for camera equipment, wet or dirty clothes
□ Personal electronics and chargers; global travel adapter