55 years ago Geoffrey Kent founded Abercrombie & Kent with his parents as a Safari company and later branched out to offer worldwide luxury tours. Today he organises tailor-made holiday travel for the super-rich in over 100 countries of the world.
Geoffrey Kent‘s life began exactly like he lives it today – exciting and adventurous at an exotic location. He was born in 1942 during a safari that his parents, Colonel John and Valerie Kent, were taking in North Rhodesia (today Zambia). Growing up on the family farm in Kenya, his childhood was shaped by the splendour of untamed Africa. At the tender age of 16 years Kent went on a trip on his own across the African continent, which was to influence his future life in many respects. He was the first individual to cover the 5000 kilometres between Kenya and Cape Town in South Africa on a motorbike in a two-month trip. The company Abercrombie & Kent Travel, which he founded in 1962, began modestly. Geoffrey Kent looks back on how the first safaris were organised with «a Bedford lorry and my mother’s sterling silver ice bucket ». Nowadays the trips are somewhat more luxurious.
ADAM: Mr Kent, how often do you travel privately?
Geoffrey Kent: Oh, very often. I travel approximately 250 days a year. I never offer my customers anything that I have not experienced myself. And I am obsessed with detail, so I have to repeatedly check whether everything is really working 100 %.
How do you plan a trip such as «Around the World»?
Completely egotistically! I include the things I like and locations that I always wanted to visit.
Is the «Around the World» trip for people, who have already been everywhere and for whom money is no object?
Exactly! Those people, who claim to have already seen everything, should accompany me on these trips around the world. A group of a maximum of 50 people flies in a private jet on an exclusive world trip, visiting fantastic locations. In 24 days they discover unusual things that they have never experienced in their lives. The next trip is in October 2017. The trip begins in LA and goes from Hawaii to French Polynesia, Nepal to Iceland.
And what does this exclusive fun cost?
We estimate 147,500 dollars per person (in a double room) for 24 days. In exchange we give our guests experiences that you will not find in any travel guide. Including swimming with sharks, climbing the historical Tiger Nest monastery in Bhutan and take a daring ride on a snowmobile across the surface of an Icelandic glacier. I would describe it as an all-inclusive holiday on a six or seven star level.
Can you reveal who has already been on one of your trips?
Oh, there are a lot … Bill Gates, Cameron Diaz, Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro, Sting, Henry Kissinger and many, many more …
Your trips always include a bit of adventure …
I inherited that from my father. . It was important for him to go on holiday with us somewhere, where – as he put it – «you can’t drink the water ». He was always on the lookout for original experiences and I would like to convey that to my customers. But always at the highest quality level. Troops of assistants ensure that our guests lack for nothing, even in the bush.
«I am committed to bringing people to the most unusual spots in the world, in elegance and style and with the best catering.»
Photos: Geoffrey Kent