Six Places that Changed My Life

geoffrey-kent-iceberg

Travel has helped shape the lives of countless millions, none more so than that of A&K founder Geoffrey Kent. In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Geoffrey recounted how experiences in a half-dozen incredible destinations proved pivotal to his personal and professional development.

elephant safari, Kenya

1. Kenya

“I was born and raised in East Africa, and 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 only shoot with a camera, not 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, while other companies continued to rely on hunting to feed their guests.”

Geoffrey Kent, gorilla, Uganda

2. Uganda

“Uganda is considered the ‘Pearl of Africa’ with deep lakes, soaring mountains and the greatest treasure of all — one of the two remaining strongholds on earth of the highly endangered mountain gorilla. The first time I saw these animals in their remote jungle home was an experience that has always stayed with me. Looking into their eyes, you gain a profound understanding of the bond that exists between them and us. When I first met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, I encouraged him to set aside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as a reserve to protect these gentle primates. Today almost half the world’s surviving mountain gorillas live there.”

Seal, Galapagos

3. The Galápagos Islands

“The Galápagos Islands off the coast of 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. Observing their adaptations to this remote, isolated environment, Charles Darwin was able to formulate his theory of evolution. I found the marine life in the Galápagos so fascinating myself that, on one dive, I kept on descending without realizing it, and almost succumbed to the ‘raptures of the deep’ or nitrogen narcosis. My visit made me realize how important it was to preserve this special place, and to let more travellers experience it firsthand, as I did.”

hyena in Botswana

4. Botswana

“After Princess Diana’s tragic death in 1997, HRH Prince Charles asked me to take their son, Prince Harry, on safari. I chose Botswana and the Okavango Delta, a vast wilderness where I knew photographers would not be able to find him. It is the predator capital of Africa, where the lion, leopard, cheetah and the rare African painted dog are all endemic. Botswana faces the same challenge of balancing the needs of human and animal populations as the rest of Africa, and A&K Philanthropy has successfully forged public/private partnerships that protect wildlife while supporting local communities.”

Geoffrey Kent in Anatarctica

5. Antarctica

“Antarctica is one of the world’s great wildlife destinations with magnificent landscapes, pristine glaciers and millions of penguins. There are few other places in the world where you feel such a sense of vastness and isolation. But I know many of our clients cannot leave their businesses for a 14-day expedition cruise, whether to the White Continent or elsewhere.”

Islands of Palau

6. Palau

“Palau has some of the finest scuba diving and snorkeling in the world. From the Blue Corner — made famous by Jacques Cousteau — to the Big Drop Off and Ulong Sandbar, and from the German Channel and Shark City, to the submerged wreck of ‘Iro,’ a Japanese ship sunk during World War II, it is a diver’s paradise. Come November, Inspiring Expeditions by Geoffrey Kent: Treasures of Palau — the first in a series of Ocean Explorations and Expeditions in Style, in partnership with the Oceanographic Institute Foundation Albert I, Prince of Monaco — will explore this tropical Pacific island chain as never before.”

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The Perfect Holiday Gift for the Adventure Traveller

Safari by Geoffrey Kent

Safari by Geoffrey KentSafari: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer by A&K Founder Geoffrey Kent is brimming with stories drawn from a life spent exploring, starting with his childhood on safari in the African bush. From the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the sands of the Giza Plateau to the shores of the Yangzi River and the beaches of the Galápagos, these are tales told with passion and humor, sure to inspire the adventurer on your list.

“The spirit of discovery is deeply imbedded in Geoffrey’s DNA, and it rubs off on his clients. In my case, traveling with him to Africa, Egypt and China directly inspired such films as “The Lion King,” “Madagascar,” “Prince of Egypt” and “Kung Fu Panda.””
–Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation

“This is an extraordinary series of stories about travel and adventure in many parts of the world that will fire the imagination of any reader. It left me wondering how I have been so conservative in my own travels which do not begin to compare with Geoffrey Kent’s. A very good and easy read that leaves you hungry for more.”
–Richard Leakey, FRS

Order Safari: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer

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A Travel Pioneer Opens Up: Geoffrey Kent Shares an Excerpt from His New Book, Safari

Safari: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer

I am happy to present an excerpt from my new book, Safari: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer, published by HarperCollins. I tell of my journey from the East Africa of my birth to the first beginnings of Abercrombie & Kent, and how (thanks to hard work and more than a little luck) I eventually grew it into the world’s premier luxury travel company, with offices around the globe. In the section excerpted below, find out how Abercrombie & Kent almost began life as “Abbot & Kent,” how we learned to set up a safari camp in 24 hours, and how a travelling Texan ended up teaching me an important lesson in salesmanship.

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Looking Ahead to an Amazing Experience in Cuba and South America

Looking Ahead to an Amazing Experience in Cuba and South America
Geoffrey Kent with a vintage car in Cuba

For years, I had dreamed of combining the greatest destinations in South America into a single, comprehensive itinerary. I personally designed our new Private Jet Journey for 2016 to fulfill that dream. While it is months away, I am already looking forward to travelling with A&K guests on the Cuba portion of our upcoming Cuba & South America by Private Jet.

Here are the three things I am most excited for our guests to experience:

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Safari: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer Available for Presale Now

SAFARI: A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer Available for Presale Now

In my new memoir Safari, publishing August 11, I share the story of my life as a traveller and entrepreneur, beginning with my childhood in East Africa where I was born and where A&K began, and continuing across the globe as A&K grew into the world’s premier luxury travel company. Click below to hear me talk about the book in more detail, and pre-order your copy today.

I also invite you to follow my travels on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the places that inspire me.

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Welcome to A&K’s New Luxury Travel Blog

Inside the Ampersand
Geoffrey Kent

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Inside the Ampersand, the new travel blog by Abercrombie & Kent. A celebration of the world’s best luxury travel experiences as well as its most inspiring destinations, Inside the Ampersand is also uniquely A&K in that it delivers an insider’s perspective — as only we can.

From exploration in Antarctica to luxury African safaris to pure culture immersion in Cuba, we plan to take you there with firsthand stories and memorable images from our own insiders (as well as you, our guests), the latest news in the locales we visit and my own personal stories, from explorations past and present.

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