Geoffrey Kent Five places that changed me

Geoffrey Kent Five places that changed me
August 2016

•         When I turned fifteen, my parents arranged for me to go on a hunt, which was a rite of passage for young men in Kenya in that era. I tracked, shot and killed an elephant. From the moment I watched the most magnificent beast I’d ever laid eyes on fall, I was heartsick and made a vow to myself: to shoot only with a camera, never with a gun. That’s why A&K became the first safari outfitter to introduce refrigeration so we could serve fresh food in the bush. Other companies continued to rely on hunting to feed their guests.                           

•         Uganda is considered the "Pearl of Africa" with deep lakes, soaring mountains and the greatest treasure of all - half of the world's surviving mountain gorillas. Looking into their eyes, you gain a profound understanding of the bond that exists between them and us. Seeing these animals in their remote jungle home is an experience that has always stayed with me. When I first met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, I encouraged him to set aside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as a reserve to protect the gorillas. Today almost half the world’s surviving gorillas live there.

•         The Galápagos Islands in Ecuador are one of the world’s most rewarding destinations: an open-air wildlife museum that is home to an astonishing variety of endemic species that inspired the theory of evolution. I found the marine life there so fascinating that on one dive I kept descending, almost succumbing to the “raptures of the deep” or nitrogen narcosis.

•         After Princess Diana’s tragic death, HRH Price Charles asked me to take Prince Harry on safari. I chose Botswana and the Okavango Delta, a vast wilderness where I knew he was safe from the prying eyes and long lenses of the paparazzi. It is the predator capital of Africa with lion, leopard, cheetah and the rare African painted dog. That trip convinced me we should build our own camps and lodges there, now known as Sanctuary Retreats. Although Botswana faces the same challenges balancing human and animal populations as the rest of Africa, they have successfully forged public/private partnerships that protect wildlife while providing good jobs.

•          Palau has some of the finest scuba diving and snorkeling in the world. It’s the only place in the world where you swim amongst millions of non-stinging Mastigias jellyfish. This is the first in a series of Ocean Explorations and Expeditions in Style, in partnership with the Oceanographic Institute Foundation Albert I, Prince of Monaco, whose mission is to promote a respectful and sustainable approach to our oceans. Operating in November 2016, five percent from each booking will be donated to the Institute to support its efforts.

Join Geoffrey Kent on an exotic, around-the-world expedition from the coral reefs of French Polynesia, to the orangutans of Borneo, snowmobiling across an Icelandic glacier, hiking in Bhutan, exclusive helicopter touring in Tasmania and more. Guests enjoy privileged insider access, five-star hospitality and the comforts of a privately chartered Boeing 757 featuring fully reclining first-class seats.

Tour dates:         1-24 October 2017
Price:                  US$147,500 per person

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