As founder and co-chairman of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent (A&K), he has dedicated his life to travel and sharing his recommendations for under-the-radar destinations, along with the most rewarding ways to experience places few people can find on a map.
“With strong post-pandemic demand, Egypt, as well as East and Southern Africa, continue to be our most-requested destinations,” says Kent. “These are the places where people dreamed of travelling during the pandemic so it has become essential to book well in advance. There are already many sold-out dates at the small boutique camps and lodges I recommend, especially in places like Namibia, a destination that is just beginning to attract international attention.”
For Kent, up and coming destinations include:
Namibia: For those searching for incredible landscapes, this little-known but conservation-oriented country is a must see, from rolling coastal dunes to rugged rocky terrain with the chance to spot desert-adapted lion and elephant—plus the largest concentration of cheetah in the world.
Travel far off the beaten path to meet the indigenous Himba tribe and stay in luxurious desert camps and lodges, including Sanctuary Okahirongo River Camp and Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, on New for 2023 Namibia: Dunes & Desert Safari (limited to 12 guests; 12 days from $13,695 ). Or take an epic flying safari from the towering dunes of Sossusvlei to Victoria Falls, the game-rich Okavango Delta and cosmopolitan Cape Town, using privately chartered air, on Wings Over Southern Africa (limited to 15 guests; 14 days from $38,995).
Colombia: On one of Kent’s private jet trips around the world, he says he was so impressed with what Colombia had to offer that he made several personal trips back—and finally decided to set up an A&K office there. Explore the country’s rich culture and varied geography while traversing a market in Bogotá; navigating salt mine tunnels, where an underground cathedral resides; and reflecting on the history of Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Tailor Made Colombia: Bogata to Cartagena (nine days from $4,695).
According to Kent, places where knowledgeable local guides bring history to life include.
Japan: As the country begins to welcome international visitors again, discover the incredible breadth of culture and history, from the contemporary flair of Tokyo to the charms of traditional Kyoto, visiting historic temples, overnighting at a sought-after ryokan and sampling culinary delights on Classic Japan (limited to 18 guests; nine days from $11,995).
India: Explore India’s treasures from the Taj Mahal to the palaces of Jaipur and seek out the elusive Bengal tiger in Ranthambore National Park. In Varanasi, take a private sunrise cruise on the Ganges River to observe daily life along the ghats (stone steps leading down to the river), and join a pandit (Hindu priest) for a Hindu blessing ceremony in Jaipur. On New for 2023 Wings Over India (limited to 17 guests; 12 days from $34,495), experience all this on one remarkable journey by private air, while staying in some of the country’s most iconic hotels, including the Oberoi Rajvilas and The Oberoi Vanyavilas.
Taiwan: Venture from the Qing Dynasty-era temples of Taipei to the lush forests, narrow gorges and alpine peaks of Taroko Gorge, then meet an expert who explains the island’s pivotal role in world politics and the impact of recent events in the news on New for 2023 Taiwan: Natural & Cultural Riches (limited to 18 guests; 10 days from $11,595).
Singapore & Malaysia: Visit the film locations featured in “Crazy Rich Asians,” from the hawker-filled Newton Food Centre to the futuristic Supertree Observatory and the historic Blue Mansion, and learn to play mahjong from an expert. Contrast the soaring contemporary architecture of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur with the tropical beauty of the highlands on New for 2023 Singapore & Malaysia: Tapestry of Cultures (limited to 18 guests; 11 days from $9,895).
In Europe, for Kent, it’s all about finding ways to explore tried-and-true destinations in depth and off-the-beaten path.
Italy’s Islands: Travel to places far off the beaten path using private air to reach the storied islands of Sardinia and Sicily on New for 2023 Wings Over Italy & Its Islands (limited to 13 guests; 11 days from $38,995). Explore the countryside on a 4x4 Jeep safari, sample the culinary pleasures of Sicily and stroll through the markets of Catania. Visit a local olive oil producer with an ancient underground mill. Take in the local architecture from the traditional trulli houses of Alberobello to the Sicilian Baroque style that made Ragusa and Modica UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Discover Syracuse alongside a local expert who reveals the many-layered history of this ancient city, one of the earliest colonies of ancient Greece.
Adriatic: Cruise from Venice along the sparkling coastline, enjoying custom-designed shore excursions on New for 2023 Adriatic Voyage: Croatia, Montenegro & Greece (limited to 148 guests; eight days from $9,995). Discover the historic cities of Trogir and Split in Croatia, tasting local specialties, and visiting Diocletian's Palace. Take an E-bike tour of Dubrovnik’s Konavle Valley with lunch, followed by a stop at a winery for a tasting. Experience the thrill of a jet boat ride to the Blue Cave, a UNESCO-listed natural site in Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor. Choose unique excursions in Corfu and Cephalonia before transiting through the Corinth Canal to Athens.
Germany: An immersive exploration of the history and culture of New for 2023 Germany: Berlin to Bavaria. Meet with a local artist who lived in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, savor the tastes of the region on a foodie tour in Munich, and discover the hidden gems of Dresden, Leipzig and the fairy tale landscapes of southern Bavaria (limited to 18 guests; 10 days from $9,895).
According to Kent, nothing generates as many “likes” as a stunning landscape that only Mother Nature could create. Places to find this include:
Peru: This active adventure begins with a gastronomy-focused bike tour of Lima, a trek in the Sacred Valley alongside local villagers and llamas, and an opportunity to hike the last portion of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu—with the first female porters. Then explore the Amazon rainforest on a three-night cruise onboard the “Aria Amazon: on New for 2023 Peru: Machu Picchu & the Amazon (limited to 18 guests; 11 days from $12,995).
Australia: Experience the Great Barrier Reef on a private charter as well as Whitehaven Beach, considered one of the country’s finest. Take in Uluru at sunrise and sunset. Discover the east coast of Tasmania, including the Museum of Old and New Art. Savor the best of Melbourne’s winelands. Cruise Sydney Harbour by super yacht and explore the Opera House on a private visit. Travel by privately chartered air on New for 2023 Wings Over Australia (limited to 18 guests; 13 days from $39,995) and relax in some of the finest accommodations including Saffire Freycinet, Longitude 131 and the Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
French Polynesia: Onboard experts include an award-winning photographer and Susan Kilrain, an aerospace engineer, Navy test pilot and one of the first women to pilot the space shuttle. Her first mission was tied to Easter Island, home to a NASA runway. Dive into the region’s unique history and explore spectacular marine environments and UNESCO-designated gems. Snorkel the sapphire waters of the Tuamotu archipelago—the largest chain of atolls in the world—and experience the historic Pitcairn Islands with their shared HMS Bounty legacy, then trace Polynesian culture to its roots to learn the secrets of legendary Easter Island on New for 2023 French Polynesia to Easter Island Expedition (limited to 199 guests; 14 days from $14,995).
Alaska: Privately chartered air makes it possible to experience the far-flung reaches of Alaska in just 10 days on New for 2023 Wings Over Alaska (limited to 12 guests; from $34,995) with accommodations in remote wilderness lodges. Revel in a day of private bear viewing in Katmai National Park and go dogsledding with a former Iditarod racer. Privately cruise Prince William Sound, watching for whales and viewing tidewater glaciers. Board a train into the backcountry of the Chugach Mountains. Discuss conservation challenges with Fran Ulmer, Chair of The Nature Conservancy, and former Lt. Governor of Alaska.
Africa: In the 60 years since Kent’s parents and he started A&K in Kenya, he says this is the most comprehensive African safari we’ve ever offered. “Thanks to our local presence—with offices in 10 countries—we offer unmatched insider access,” he says. Experience the best of Africa's wildlife, ancient cultures and natural wonders on one epic journey aboard a chartered 757, beginning and ending in London. Marvel at the awe-inspiring monuments of ancient Egypt, the wildlife-rich Serengeti plains, the endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda and the bustling medina of Marrakech on New for 2023 Africa: Across A Continent by Private Jet (Sept 29-Oct 20, 2023; limited to 48 guests; 22 days from $134,500).
Abercrombie & Kent pioneered luxury adventure travel with our first African safaris in 1962, and today its travel services extend around the globe to more than one hundred countries on all seven continents. A&K’s custom itineraries and small-group journeys offer one-of-a-kind inspiring experiences, while more than 55 on-site offices ensure invitation-only access to the people and places that make every destination unique.
For more information contact your Betty Maclean Luxury Travel Advisor. Info@BettyMacleanTravel.com or call 239-513-0333