SEATTLE | A WARM WELCOME
Arrive in Seattle and transfer to your accommodations at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, where you meet your tour leadership team and fellow guests over cocktails and dinner.
Japan | The Snow Monkey
Set off on your private jet for Tokyo, Japan (crossing the International Dateline en route), and arrive to an evening dinner of sushi and sake. Travel to Joshinestu Kogen National Park in Nagano and take a pleasant walk through the park to meet the Japanese macaque, commonly known as the snow monkey. Enjoy a special talk conducted by the director of the national park before heading to lunch. Dine at your choice of one of A&K’s hand-picked restaurants in Tokyo.
Design Your Day with an excursion to Kawazu to enjoy the spectacular hues of Japan’s earliest cherry blossoms and sip Champagne under the cherry trees. Alternately, explore Tokyo, taking in the Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine, and Asakusa Kannon Temple, one of the most revered Buddhist sites in Japan. In the afternoon, relax and enjoy a spa treatment, compliments of A&K, or enjoy a shopping excursion alongside a personal shopper. Tonight, attend a celebratory dinner hosted by an expert geisha.
China | The Giant Panda
Your private jet brings you to China, where your memorable greeting combines tea with a lively martial arts and acrobatics demonstration. Visit the Giant Panda Breeding Center, a combination of lifelike habitat and conservation center, and see China’s charming living icon up close. Take on the role of assistant keeper as you join the center’s staff inside the enclosures to help feed the bears and observe them with no barriers. See the workings of the panda nursery and even have your photo taken with a panda cub. Take a guided walk along Kuan Zhai Jie (Wide and Narrow Street), a marvelous example of how Chengdu leads the way in historic preservation while infusing the area with contemporary design and innovation. Here, centuries-old lanes, buildings and temples have been painstakingly restored, with some finding new life as a home for business, deftly fusing traditional architecture with 21st-century innovation.
In the evening, savor the flavors of Sichuan cuisine prepared by a master chef, accompanied by a performance of bian lian, China’s legendary “face-changing” theater style, in which performers don colorful paper masks in the blink of an eye.
The Philippines | Tarsiers & Whale Sharks
Celebrate your arrival in Cebu, the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, during a beachfront Playa del Fuego cocktail reception and dinner. The next morning, set out via private helicopter for Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Visit the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary at Corella for a chance to see one of the world’s smallest, and rarest, primates in its natural habitat. These shy creatures are difficult to keep in captivity and seeing them in person is a rare treat. Continue to the Chocolate Hills, a region famous for its undulating topography — here you have the opportunity to interact with local children as they perform traditional songs and dances. Enjoy a private recital by the renowned Loboc children’s choir.
Design Your Day the next day with your choice of activities. Swim with the majestic whale shark — the world’s largest fish, and despite its name, a placid and harmless creature — and observe this one-of-a-kind species up close; enjoy a leisurely 18 holes at a nearby golf course; or take your pick from the many activities offered by your resort. On your last evening here, take part in a local cultural feast featuring an array of traditional Filipino dishes and lively entertainment.
Malaysia | Honey Bears & Orangutans
Board your private jet this morning for your flight to exotic Borneo. Proceed to the hotel, and then set out on an afternoon excursion to the wildlife sanctuaries of Sepilok. Visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center for a lecture followed by a stroll on the boardwalk in search of the sun bear, also known as the honey bear for its voracious appetite for honeycombs and honey. There are 44 rescued bears at the center, thriving within a natural environment while being prepared to re-enter the wild. Continue to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Sanctuary, one of the best places to observe this critically endangered primate, and enjoy a behind-the-scenes opportunity to observe young orangutans as they are conditioned to return to the jungle.
The next day, embark on an Abai River cruise in search of wildlife away from the crowds. Abai village is your entry to the lower Kinabatangan Segama Wetlands, located about an hour’s boat ride from Sandakan. The diversity of this area is stunning, with a record of 1,000 plant species, more than 200 bird species, 90 fish species and 50 mammal species. Return to your hotel to freshen up before tonight’s exclusive gala dinner at the English Tea House.
India | The Elusive Bengal Tiger
Arrive in Jaipur, India’s fabled “Pink City,” and drive to Ranthambore National Park, where you and your expert trackers search for the greatest of all the great cats, the Bengal tiger, so endangered that there are more specimens in captivity in the United States than remain in the wild. Spanning about 250 square miles, the forests of Ranthambore were once the private hunting grounds of the maharajahs of Jaipur, and their desire to preserve game in these forests is partially responsible for making Ranthambore the finest habitat in the world to see wild tigers. Explore on morning and afternoon jungle drives, watching for these magnificent predators as well as the numerous other species that call the park home, including the wild boar, deer, antelope and sloth bear.
Mughal ruins, palaces and tombs also dot the treeclad hills. Gather for dinner in the Mango Orchard, an intimate natural space hung with lanterns and suffused with the scent of blossoming mango trees. Design Your Day the next day with a choice of a cultural encounter at a local village; a visit to historic Ranthambore Fort; a lesson in Indian cuisine; or a relaxing spa afternoon. Enjoy a farewell feast at a torchlit, open-air amphitheater.
Rwanda | Gorillas & Golden Monkeys
Arrive at Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport. Set out for Musanze, your gateway to Volcanoes National Park, home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. Set out on your once-in-a-lifetime chance to encounter the mountain gorillas of the Parc Nationale des Volcanes, part of a worldwide population of just 600 individuals. This is one of the world’s truly memorable experiences — a look into one of these magnificent creatures’ eyes brings home the bond that exists between them and us. It also brings home the poignant fact that they are on the edge of extinction, and that your presence here contributes to their continued survival. Design Your Day with a choice of a cultural demonstration by the local Iby’iwacu people or a visit to a local market. Learn the ins and outs of gorilla conservation at a talk with a Gorilla Doctor.
A further Design Your Day opportunity offers a tempting array of choices: a trek to spot the jungle’s resident golden monkeys; a hike to Bisoke Volcano; a visit to the research center established by Dian Fossey in 1967; or a massage at the camp compliments of A&K.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Bisate Lodge and Kwitonda Lodge offer comfortable accommodations in the heart of Volcanoes National Park. All three camps are reserved exclusively for Wildlife Safari.
Madagascar | Land of the Lemurs
Your next stop is Madagascar, where life proceeds at a slower pace and hospitable Malagasies welcome you with serene smiles. Arrive on the island of Nosy Be — known as “the perfumed island” for the fragrant ylang-ylang that grows everywhere — and receive a festive local welcome. Your explorations include a trip to Millot Plantation, one of the finest cacao and coffee growers in Madagascar, to sample some of its delicious products. Take an excursion to the Nosy Antsoha Reserve for an encounter with Madagascar’s endemic primates, the lemurs. These curious creatures are a mesmerizing sight as they forage, play and interact with each other. Pause for refreshments on the beach, or, if you wish, take a dip in the crystal clear waters before heading to lunch.
Sip cocktails and enjoy a festive dinner on the beach featuring an unforgettable seafood selection accompanied by local musicians. Return to Nosy Be’s airport the next day and rejoin your private jet for the final stage of your wildlife adventure: Kenya.
Kenya | The Big Five
Arrive in Nairobi and board your private charter flight to the Masai Mara, where a party of tribal dancers is on hand to welcome you when you touch down. Your safari adventure begins with a game drive en route to your safari lodge, your first chance of many to spot the amazing variety of wildlife that populates the Masai Mara, including the iconic Big Five: lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and Cape buffalo. Spend two days observing this incredible living bounty on game drives, a guided bush walk and even an early-morning balloon safari complete with breakfast served in the bush. Retire at the end of each day to your luxurious lodge, reliving the day’s adventures over a gourmet dinner. You also have the opportunity to visit a Maasai village, where you meet the nomadic herders who have acted as stewards of this land for hundreds of years. A visit to a local school provides a glimpse of how A&K Philanthropy is working to make lives better in the Mara.
Your last evening includes an informal talk from a wildlife conservation expert. The next morning, board your private jet for the flight back to Boston, USA, where you bid farewell to your private jet crew and connect with your homebound flight.