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T H E T R AV E L O G

ASIA

AFRICA

EUROPE

L AT I N A M E R I C A

NORTH AMERICA

S O U T H PAC I F I C

MIDDLE EAST


W H Y T R AV E L W I T H K E R & D OW N E Y The heart of the matter when traveling with Ker & Downey is more than just traveling in luxury and style: it’s all about those little ineffable moments, beholding the beauty of the world the way you always imagined. These experiential moments — a breath of fresh mountain air, the rush of adrenaline, the peace of a calm beach, the taste of a new cuisine — whatever it may be for you, you’ll know it when you experience it. And it comes standard on every Ker & Downey journey.

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TA K I N G A I R TO N E W H E I G H T S When reserving your custom land arrangements with Ker & Downey, please ask about our incredible airfare rates. Our experts partner with the best to ensure a comfortable and luxurious journey in transit. Forget the hassles: obtain premium seating at great rates, accrue mileage where available and get the peace of mind of lenient cancellation policies.

CARRIERS AIR FRANCE A L I TA L I A AMERICAN AIRLINES B R I T I S H A I R WAYS C AT H AY PAC I F I C D E LTA E M I R AT E S KLM L ATA M A I R L I N E S Q ATA R A I R WAYS R OYA L A I R M A R O C S O U T H A F R I C A N A I R WAYS SINGAPORE AIRLINES T U R K I S H A I R WAYS V I R G I N AT L A N T I C V I R G I N AU S T R A L I A

British Airways KE R & DOWN E Y

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A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

There have been several studies in recent years on vacations and the effect they have on quality of life. There have even been studies on how the act of just planning a trip affects quality of life. Researchers are finding that people experience a significant boost in happiness during the planning stages of the trip because they are looking forward to the good times they’ll have and the break from the everyday routine. I know from my own experience, new surroundings and a few days away from the office do wonders for my mental state and overall happiness, clearing my head and giving me a chance to focus on other things. That’s the key — you actually have to take the vacation. You can’t just plan it. In this issue of QUEST, we’ve got tons of ideas for your next journey — whether you have three days, or three weeks. For those short on time, Haley Beham has you covered with exactly what to do in Guatemala with only 72 hours. For those who prefer to stay close to home, Katy Heerssen takes us on a grand tour of some the United States’ most iconic cities. And for those looking to travel a little farther, Rina Chandarana takes us on a journey to enchanting Seville and Granada. Our designers are no strangers to the ‘out of office’ message. In this issue, you’ll also find inspiration from their trips to Uganda, Botswana, Chile and Germany. Zimbabwe is undergoing a transformation as it strives to regain its status as a premier safari destination. A safari there should definitely be on your radar. While you’re planning for safari, boost your wildlife photography skills with detailed tips in the Guide section of QUEST. Don’t just plan the trip, take the journey. We’re here to help. Contact us at luxury@kerdowney.com.

David Marek President

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WHAT'S NEW

THE LATEST TRAVELS AND EXPERIENCES FROM OUR DESIGNERS

TIF FAN Y D ESA LVO

MJ E R A C I

Where were you last? Slovenia

Where were you last? Northern Kenya

What was your most amazing experience? Rafting the jade-colored Soca River and being surrounded by the beautiful mountain scenery. Dining at Hisa Franko after the adventure was a close second.

What was your most amazing experience? The helicopter flight in northern Laikipia had amazing views. We landed on a cliff for our sundowner.

What would you recommend from your trip? Visit the family-run wineries in the charming region of Goriska Barda. Book a suite at Vila Istra to watch the sunrise over Lake Bled while you sip your morning coffee.

What would you recommend from your trip? Don’t get caught up in your phone or camera. Just watch, listen and observe. You’ll see amazing things.

HOT TOPIC: IT’S CONGO TIME! An African safari is always a good idea, especially if it’s in the Republic of Congo. We’ve got three reasons why it should be on your travel radar.

G OR IL L A S Take a trek in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in search of lowland gorillas. Watch the endangered species parade through the jungle and feel like the only person on Earth in this far-flung region of Africa.

W IL D L IF E Beyond the primates, there’s a magnificent range of animal life. Think toothy crocs, forest elephants and a pandemonium of African grey parrots that gather to bathe, sip water and swoop through the air in the open savannahs and swamps.

R A IN F OR E S T S Thick and lush rainforests sprawl over 80 percent of the country, which makes it the second largest on the planet after the Amazon. The lungs of the world are pretty amazing, aren’t they? Sleep amongst wildlife at Ngaga Camp.

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CONTENTS

8

GIVING BACK Travel that gives back across the globe

10 ARRIVALS

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87

CULINARY JOURNEYS

JOURNEYS

88

WELLNESS JOURNEYS

90

ROMANCE/HONEYMOON

92

ACTIVE/ADVENTURE

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LUXURY SAFARI

Top itineraries from Ker & Downey

Openings, revamps and the latest travel news

18 THE GUIDE Insider secrets of luxury travel

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THE SHOT One memory captured by photographer Mark Edward Harris

pg. 88


DESTINATIONS 24 EA ST AFRICA

30 SOUTHERN AFRICA

38 NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EA ST

44 A SIA

50 NORTH AMERICA

56 LATIN AMERICA

FEATURES 26 UGANDA FOREVER

32 AFRICA’S SAFARI DARLING ZIMBABWE

40 DESERT DREAMS EGYPT

46 OUTSIDE LANDS JAPAN

52 SOUTHERN COMFORT

EUROPE NORTHERN & WESTERN

74 EUROPE ON THE COVER: Swimming in a waterfall pool in Lihue, Kauai Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tommy Lundberg

EA STERN & SOUTHERN

80 SOUTH PACIFIC

CO PY E DI TO RS ELIZABETH FRELS K AT Y H E E R S S E N VA N E S S A N I V E N A R T D I R E CT I O N & DESI GN AMY WILLIS CO N TR I B U TO RS E D I TO RS N IC K Y B R A N D ON DAV I D M A R E K W RI T ERS HALEY BEHAM M A RT I N E B U RY R I N A C H A N DA R A N A ELIZABETH FRELS K AT Y H E E R S S E N P H OTO G R A PHERS AU S T I N M A N N M A R K E DWA R D H A R R I S

LOUISIANA, TENNESSEE AND KENTUCKY

58 QUICK TRIP GUATEMALA

62 SALT OF THE EARTH CHILE

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E DI TO R I N CHI EF M A RT I N E B U RY

68 GREAT UN-EXPECTATIONS GERMANY

76 SPANISH STEPS SPAIN

LET’S CONNECT O N TH E WEB kerdowney.com questkerdowney.com

FAC E B O O K facebook.com/ KerandDowney

TW I TT ER/ I N STAGRAM @kerdowney

PHO NE 82 SOUTH PACIFIC ESCAPES TAHITI, MARQUESAS ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, EASTER ISLAND AND HAWAII

800.423.4236 +1.281.371.2500

E M AI L luxury@kerdowney.com

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GIVING BACK When you travel with Ker & Downey, you become a force for good across the globe. These are some of the initiatives and partnerships we’re proud to support.

B OTSWA N A CA MB ODI A ECUA DOR SOUTH A FR I CA EAST A FR I CA

W I L DA I D We encourage the mission of WildAid as a travel partner and a sponsor of stateside events. Recently WildAid partnered with the Mara Elephant Project, which protects Kenyan elephants at risk from poaching through collaring and monitoring. In Asia, WildAid continues campaigns to end the ivory trade by reducing the demand.

Our clients traveling to South America support the Ker & Downey Education Fund at the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation, which underwrites the foundation's library programs, three school scholarships and an annual summer camp for close to 60 kids in remote Andean communities. The organization provides aid — via education, conservation and community development projects — to underserved rural areas.

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Photos courtesy of Mara Elephant Project | Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation | AboutAsia Schools | David Marek | Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

E C UA D O R


EAST AFRICA Ker & Downey is heading to Uganda to continue to provide thousands of Ugandans with malaria nets and medical care through Nets for Africa. Our company matches the donation for every net purchased, helping us stop the sting of mosquito bites.

SOUTH AFRICA Having planted 385 trees since 2013 and another 600 on the way, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve’s efforts make it easier to fill your lungs with fresh air. The Grootbos Foundation plants a tree for every Ker & Downey client going to South Africa, making this biodiverse region an easy choice for an eco-conscious traveler.

CAMBODIA A portion of every custom Cambodia journey goes to ABOUTAsia, an organization providing muchneeded programs. So far, close to 53,000 children across 110 schools have received school supplies. Recently, our donations went directly to local libraries and funded life-sustaining water wells in local communities. KE R & DOWN E Y

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ARRIVALS

Open in g s , Revamps a nd th e L a test Tra vel News

S HI P W REC K LOD G E, N A MI B I A With a striking minimalist design meant to evoke shipwrecked wooden boats, this modern marvel sits landlocked between two rivers in Skeleton Coast Park. Mingle with other guests on the wraparound deck for uninterrupted views across the sand. Roam the dunes and enjoy an evening sundowner on the stark coast, dotted with abandoned diamond mines, ghostly boats and seal colonies. Believe it or not, desert-adapted elephants and lions roam the hostile landscape too. It is a safari like no other.

BY RINA CHANDARANA & MARTINE BURY 10

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Photos courtesy of Shipwreck Lodge; Shawn van Eeden | Machaba | The Retreat | Singita

AFRICA

L IT T LE M A C H AB A, B OTSWANA This camp is vintage chic, channeling classic 1950s style. Four luxury tents are connected by decks that meander through the trees. Game viewing is a cinch from your private tent overlooking a floodplain — a hot spot for elephants roaming through the golden grass. If you ever tire of walking safaris and gliding in mokoros (which we doubt), unwind even more by lounging near the pool or indulging with a massage and facial.

T HE RET REAT, RWANDA Eat a traditional meal with a Rwandan family, pick out colorful fabrics in the market or spend time with a farmer. This Kigali-based, 11-room property expertly eases guests into the groove of local living. Every design detail sticks to the ethos of “made in Rwanda,” from the furniture built with locally-sourced teak to farm-to-fork meals to strong Rwandan coffee.

SING ITA PAMUSHANA, Z IMBABWE Following a top-to-bottom renovation by design team Cécile & Boyd, Singita’s classic lodge is open and takes African design to new heights with a muted palette, modern finishes and well-edited, global touches. Eight luxury suites — each boasting two en suite bedrooms — and one five-bedroom villa brim with local textures. Perched on a sandstone ridge overlooking the Malilangwe Dam, the lodge offers the best seat in the house, perfect for taking in the sights and sounds of birds and beasts of the surrounding private wildlife reserve.

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AFRICA

BLUE SAFARI, SEYC HELLES

M A P U LA LOD G E, B OTSWANA This blissfully uncrowded, nine-tented camp is enveloped by a world of glassy lagoons and palm-fringed islands. Elephants and hippos feel right at home in this remote corner of Botswana in the Okavango Delta’s northwest region. Having recently undergone a facelift, the camp is packed with character: chic brass lanterns, Malawi chairs, quirky elephant lamps and royal red rugs. Soak in the swimming pool just like the hippos do in the adjacent lagoon.

SOSSUS UNDER C ANVA S, NAMIBIA A natural granite amphitheater protects eight spacious tents from the elements. Sustainable recycled materials blend beautifully into the earthy surroundings, while power is generated from the sun. The camp has the lowest environmental footprint of any in the country, which bolsters the preservation of the dramatic Great Namib Sand Sea — a haunting space where antelopes dash, kicking red dune powder into the air. Treading on silent, shifting sands and sleeping under the inky starlit sky is an experience you won't soon to forget.

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Photos courtesy of Blue Safari | Mapula Lodge | Sossus Under Canvas | The Ritz Carlton Residences | Belmond | Futangue Hotel & Spa

There are very few places left on earth that feel as pristine and untouched by mankind as these 72 sparsely-populated coral islands dotting the furthest reaches of the Indian Ocean. Lucky for us, the Astove Coral House, Alphonse Island Lodge and Cosmoledo Eco Camp make it easy to feel like a castaway living luxe. Unwind in the spa, dive into the turquoise sea and dine on freshly-caught seafood alfresco in this faraway paradise.


AROUND THE WORLD

TH E R IT Z- C A RLTON RESID E N CE S, WA IK IK I B E A C H, H AWAII

Stay awhile at Oahu’s first Ritz-Carlton resort, which has just completed a major expansion with the addition of swank Diamond Head Tower. Guests have the chance to truly live like a kama'aina (local) in residential-style accommodations, with the bonus of a world-class spa, Waikiki’s highest infinity pool and Sushi Sho — acclaimed Japanese sushi master Keiji Nakazawa’s private, 10-seat omakase-style eatery where the chef creates culinary treats just for you. Perfect for families with children who don’t want to sacrifice an ounce of luxury, custom orders can be placed with a highend grocery store, so snacks tailored to the needs of little ones are at your beck and call. In the heart of the action, dive into Waikiki’s famous beaches with views of Diamond Head or explore world-famous shops and restaurants. Venture out to the island’s legendary jewels like the North Shore or the wild, uncrowded west side where you can swim in natural pools, play in waterfalls, hike through jungles and experience rich Polynesian history.

BE L MON D C AD OGAN H OTEL, E N G LA N D History and literary buffs will be delighted tracing the steps of Oscar Wilde and the kings of England — all esteemed guests of this lovingly restored, Queen Anne-style property. Standing proud between the fashionable Chelsea and Knightsbridge neighborhoods, the property’s 54 rooms are dashing, tailored, intimate and complete with a fireplace, which is a nice, toasty treat on a drizzly London day.

FUTANG UE HOTEL & SPA, C HILE If getting as far away as possible is your goal, then Chile’s Futangue Hotel & Spa is a natural choice. Colorful textiles and objects inspired by the Mapuche culture are visual additions, making you feel right at home in one of 26 rooms smack dab in the middle of northern Patagonia’s lakes, rainforests and volcanoes. Trek the day away and then succumb to utter relaxation in the spa.

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AROUND THE WORLD

Cambodia’s siren call is beckoning us to its powdery sand beaches and crystalline seas. Dip into one of the 40 standalone pool villas set on a 30-acre private island paradise. Budding chefs can join a cooking class and learn how to whip up some delicious Indochineinspired cuisine. Detach from the world you left behind in the spa, focusing on Cambodian healing traditions.

R OS E W OOD B ANGKOK, T H A I LA N D With so many superb properties to choose from in one of Asia’s most frenetic cities, the ultra-luxe Rosewood hotel is poised to be on every hot list for 2019. Comprised of two high-rise buildings shaped like a traditional hand gesture greeting, the new property symbolizes Thai hospitality. Plunge pools and large terraces are private retreats, away from the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced hub. Savor delicious meals in one of three restaurants and indulge with cocktails at the bar.

INFINI TY LUXURY YAC HT, G ALAPAG OS Set sail on a luxurious, 20-passenger yacht and explore the Galápagos Islands, a bucket list destination. Panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies open to exquisite views of the worldrenowned bio-diverse islands. Sea salty air brushes your skin as you dine al fresco. Hop offshore, channel your inner Darwin with a naturalist guide and behold a mindboggling array of unique wildlife in this pristine archipelago aboard one of the region's newest, most exclusive vessels. 12

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Photos courtesy of Bairro Alto Hotel | COMO Hotels and Resorts | Infinity Luxury Yacht | Six Senses | iStock | St. Regis

SIX SENSES KRABEY ISLAND, C AMBODIA


COM O U M A CAN GUU, BA LI COMO Hotels and Resorts makes a splash on Bali’s south coast with 52 rooms and suites that blend high design and flawless service with the relaxed attitude of a surf hotel. Guests can further make themselves at home in one of 55 additional oneand two-bedroom surfside residences plus 12 plush, three-bedroom penthouses. Situated along six miles of pristine coastline in the boho chic village of Canggu, the 2.2-acre spread is all about the beach. Take advantage of the hotel’s partnership with Tropicsurf, which offers expert-led surfing lessons for all levels, and find a few of the country’s famous surf breaks a stone’s throw from your accommodations. Sample menus of fresh fare made with ingredients sourced from the island’s farms, and don’t miss the unparalleled pampering and healing experience at COMO Shambhala Retreat.

BA IRRO A LTO H OTEL, PORTU GAL

ST. REG IS, EG YPT

All the cool kids hang out in Lisbon’s buzzy Bairro Alto neighborhood, home to this boutique property set to unveil its lengthy renovations this winter. Part of the overall reimagining by Pritzker-winning Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, the addition of an 18th century building ups the room count to 87. Late night cocktails, a must-do, are sipped on the terrace facing the Tagus River.

On the banks of the Nile, the soon-to-open St. Regis will make a luxurious home base for exploring Egypt’s largest city, Cairo. Luxury touches abound, from distinctive papyrus garden murals and oriental-style rugs to pearl inlaid nightstands and marble bathrooms fit for a queen. Lounge with a Hibiscus Mary, the property’s take on the iconic St. Regis Bloody Mary, featuring an exotic hit of cumin and mint. KE R & DOWN E Y

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ARRIVALS

HOTSPOT:

B OTSWANA By Haley Beham

With over one-third of the country’s land designated as national parks and reserves, the landlocked nation just north of South Africa is as wild and varied as they come. From the life-giving waters of the Okavango Delta to the dry and arid Kalahari Desert, the landscape offers just as much diversity as the wildlife. It's no wonder the exclusive safari destination is one of the most popular in Africa.

Elephants roaming the Okavango Delta

MA K E A SPL A S H Famous for its wildlife, Botswana adopted a low-volume tourism model over 30 years ago, ensuring the ecosystem thrives and remains pristine. The results are clearly seen in the untouched and relatively undeveloped wildlife destinations, offering a truly off the beaten path experience. The Okavango Delta is one of the last great wildernesses on earth, where an abundance of bird and animal species flourish. Here, you’ll find game viewing experiences like nowhere else in the world: trips through the delta in a mokoro canoe, motorboat safaris, private game drives in open 4x4 vehicles and walking safaris for the truly adventurous. Take in the waterworld from Kanana, a water camp that has developed a loyal following of travelers thanks to its mokoro safaris and incredible bird watching and fishing.

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Photos courtesy of iStock | Ker & Downey Botswana | Bana Ba Letsatsi

GO WIL D To the west of the Okavango Delta you’ll find the Moremi Game Reserve, widely regarded by safari lovers as one of the finest game viewing regions in all the world. Moremi is home to one of the largest concentrations of elephants on Earth. Base yourself within the reserve at Okuti, not only for its location and five-star amenities, but for the delightful staff who offer a spectacular safari experience from start to finish. The newly opened Dinaka welcomed their first guests in March. Located on the edge of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in an exclusive private reserve, Dinaka is host to one of the most unique bio-diversities in southern Africa. Activities at Dinaka focus on exploring the vast Kalahari and its wildlife, and there’s a lot of it. Kalahari lions, brown hyena, oryx and over 200 species of birdlife, including the pale chanting goshawk and kori bustard, call the desert landscape home. At night, Dinaka’s sleep-out deck is one of the only places you can truly dream comfortably under the stars. Thanks to the dry climate, you don't even need a mosquito net.

PRO TIP!

Okuti's mosasa along the river

Don’t miss out on the Bushman experience at Dinaka. It is one of the most authentic interactions you’ll have on your whole safari. - Devon Chapman, Designer

SA FA R I W I T H H EA R T Ker & Downey’s Desert to Delta Safari gives back to Bana Ba Letsatsi, a center in Maun, Botswana, that supports over 250 at-risk orphaned children and youth. The center is a safe place for the children to receive counseling and education, but also provides for basic needs like food, clothing, medical attention and showers. Simply by traveling to Botswana and enjoying a luxury safari at Okuti, Kanana and Dinaka, you are making a direct impact on the lives of the children by keeping the doors open, the water running and the lights on. A child drinking fresh water at Bana Ba Letsatsi

O U R S U G G E S T E D I T I N E R A RY:

Simply by traveling to Botswana and enjoying a luxury safari at Okuti, Kanana and Dinaka, you are making a direct impact on the lives of the local children.

D E SE RT TO D E LTA A B O T S WA N A A D V E N T U R E

10 DAYS / 9 N I G H TS TH R O U G H C E N TR A L KA L A H A R I G A M E R E S E RV E , MO R E M I G A M E R E S E RV E & O KAVA N G O DE LTA

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THE GUIDE Ins ider S ecrets of L ux ury Tra v el

BY MA RTI N E B U RY 18

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PICT URE P ERFEC T How to Photograph Animals

Mark Edward Harris: Japan is fantastic for its red-crowned cranes in Hokkaido and snow monkeys in Nagano Prefecture in winter. Alaska is amazing for bears catching salmon trying to make their way upstream on the Brooks River in mid-summer. The Arctic and the area around Churchill are incredible for its Polar bears. Trekking to photograph gorillas in Rwanda is a very intense and rewarding experience because after a long hike you end up in extremely close proximity to these fellow great apes. Latin America offers everything from whales and other sea life around Baja to parrots in a giant sink hole near Bonito, Brazil. We are so fortunate to live on a planet with so much diversity. We just have to make sure that we take care of it to the best of our abilities.

Photos courtesy of Mark Edward Harris

When traveling somewhere with the intention of photographing wildlife, which pieces of camera equipment are must-haves? Photographing wildlife is not as much about cameras as it is about lenses. The newest smart phones can take great panoramas and portraits in the right hands but are not the right tools for wildlife where extreme long lenses are the name of the game. It’s not uncommon to see pros and serious amateurs toting around 400mm to 600mm lenses. These lenses are huge in order to

FORTUNATE TO LIVE ON A PLANET WITH

Award-winning photographer and QUEST contributor, Mark Edward Harris, has traveled to 98 countries and six continents, capturing images of elusive, wild creatures at their most serene and spontaneous. Here, he shares how to get the best photo, whatever your skills. QUEST: Where are the best places on Earth you’ve taken pictures of wildlife?

“WE ARE SO

allow enough light in so that a shot can be taken without having to bump up the ISO to a very digital noise-inducing level. How do you capture an emotional quality in an up-close animal portrait? One of the main reasons for using extremely long lenses in wildlife photography is to capture an image of an animal in its native environment without disturbing it. If you can photograph their eyes, the viewers can glimpse into the window to the souls. That expression is not just reserved for humans. With fast lenses, meaning a lens that can open to a wide aperture such as f/2.8, we can focus our lenses on their eyes and let the background drop out of focus by using a shallow depth of field. This technique creates an image that helps us connect with the animal before our lens, at least on a visual level. The background in this technique is called “bokeh” — the quality of out of focusness. It comes from the Japanese word “boke.” Less expensive telephoto lenses do not maintain a wide enough aperture to get as powerful a bokeh as the top of the line fast lenses, but the reality is most people do not want to spend $8,000 on a lens that is heavy and cumbersome. It’s a balancing act, and there’s nothing wrong with someone opting to travel with a smaller lens that doesn’t break the bank or the back.

SO MUCH DIVERSITY. WE JUST HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE TAKE CARE OF IT TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES.”

Is capturing a great moment luck or technique? Most of it comes from experience and a professional approach. First, know the equipment in your hands and gain basic knowledge of photo technique. I cover this in depth in my book, “The Travel Photo Essay: Describing a Journey Through Images.” I emphasize in my workshops that a photographer who wants to take professional-looking images needs to approach the field just as a person would in any other profession. They need to learn their tools of the trade. When it comes to technique, having a firm grasp of the exposure triangle — shutter speed, aperture and ISO, and how they relate to each other — is a good start. How do you capture the drama in an action shot? The keys to capturing the decisive moment in wildlife photography is being in the right place at the right time and using a fast-enough shutter speed to capture the action. For instance, I used a shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second to freeze the salmon about to be caught by the grizzly above Brooks Falls. For these situations, it’s often best to work in shutter priority.

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What tips do you have for shooting up-close? Macro lenses are the key to photographing all sorts of smaller creatures from butterflies to tarsiers. It’s a great lens to have in the bag. Where to next and what do you hope to capture in an image?

ABOU T FAC E Leave your beauty arsenal at home and pack a cult favorite product — made in Napa Valley — that keeps skin balanced on the move. Active Botanical Serum by Vintner’s Daughter in 5 ml travel size | $65 vintnersdaughter.com

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I’m heading to Southeast Asia to continue my series of orangutan portraits. While the future for many species is uncertain, orangutans in the wild are hanging on by a particularly thin vine. Their populations have declined significantly over the past hundred years in large measure due to habitat destruction in their native Sumatra and Borneo where forests

give way to palm oil plantations. But palm oil production can be done sustainably without destroying forests and consumers can support these efforts by using products that have a RSPO (Sustainable Palm Oil) label or the Green Palm label, the latter indicating a product in support of the transition to certified palm oil. Instagram: @MarkEdwardHarrisPhoto Website: www.MarkEdwardHarris.com


MINIMAL IS M TO G O Travel accessories and multitasking takealongs have gotten sleeker and stronger, without sacrificing a single ounce of chic. In an Instagram world, the new status symbols are logo-less wonders that work hard and keep you looking sharp.

Water-resistant nylon, clean lines, ample compartments and a flat bottom make a compact duffle that fits under-seat on a plane without gobbling up legroom. The Everywhere Bag by AWAY | $195 awaytravel.com

Photos courtesy of Mark Edward Harris | Vintner's Daughter | Away | MVMT | Zendure | MUUÑ

Inspired by 1960s automotive culture, this affordable timepiece quietly steals attention with its classic blend of form and function. Choose from a variety of straps. Blacktop Series 47mm Watch in Silver Mist by MVMT | $185 | mvmtwatches.com

Chargers, no matter how small, can be cumbersome. This multitasking, portable power bank is the sleek, gold standard — crushproof, allows you to charge your devices while charging an external battery and can keep 95% of its charge for up to 6 months. Zendure A5 Portable Charger | $60 | zendure.com

A sturdy straw bag (handwoven in Ghana) with an added shoulder strap looks smart while traveling and suits any destination, from lounging on the beach to picnicking by the Seine to shopping in the souk. Medium Caba Straw Tote by MUUÑ | $215 lagarconne.com and netaporter.com

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C O S TA R I C A

NE X T U P:

A land thick with dense wildlife-packed jungles, otherworldly cloud forests, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and uncrowded, unspoiled beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean sides — Costa Rica is rich with ecozones. Visit and you’ll often hear the words “pura vida,” the national ethos of living simply, optimistically and stress free with abiding gratitude for the country’s prolific natural and cultural gifts. Think cascading waterfalls, towering volcanic mountains and steamy thermal spas, as well as the alluring colonial city of San José. Boasting some of Latin America’s most innovative environmental policies, Costa Rica has turned small-scale ecotourism into high art, with luxury glamping experiences that are at the forefront of water and wildlife conservation, and even agroforestry.

GO ECO As travelers become more aware of the environmental impacts of tourism on destinations, Ker & Downey recommends more roads less traveled. Here are three to see now.

The canopy suite at Pacuare Lodge

The sunset from White Pearl in Mozambique

MOZAMBIQUE

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A polar bear in the Svalbard islands

N O R WAY As if an arresting, dramatic natural landscape carved by fjords and massive, snow-capped mountains and hidden glassy lakes isn’t reason enough to visit, this Scandinavian country is also known for the world’s highest standard of living and fair quality of life for its inhabitants. From quaint fishing villages to rare and unusual wildlife to the heritage of Viking sagas, it’s easy to explore all, leaving a minimal environmental footprint. A perfect fit for all levels of sustainable adventure — kayaking, hiking, arctic whale watching, glacier viewing, fishing and foraging, skiing or chasing the Northern Lights — this is a bucket list destination that remains under the radar just enough that you often feel you have the whole world to yourself.

Photos courtesy of White Pearl | Pacuare Lodge | iStock

Off the beaten path, southern Africa’s remote and sparsely-touristed seaside marvel gives way to some of the planet’s most singular experiences and sights, such as the marine animals, bird species and wild horses that thrive on the six islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Traced by the Indian Ocean, the pristine coastline offers sparkling sand and views of the sea often dotted with colorful dhows afloat above vibrant corals and abundant sea life. While the country is home to wetlands, forests and savannahs, underwater safari is where it’s at, making Mozambique an ideal place to view sea life in the vast and purest of blues. The islands and islets of the seemingly-boundless Quirimbas Archipelago and Quirimbas National Park are virtually undiscovered. Beyond the sea, the sleepy seaside villages of Nampula Province beckon discovery of authentic local life.


DESTINATIONS T he Wor l d of Ker & Downey

Chichicastenango, Guatemala

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EAST

AFRICA TA N Z A N I A Embark on a photographic safari with a wildlife photography expert.

U G A N DA Volunteer with local hospitals, schools or a conservation organization.

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K E N YA

REPUBLIC OF CONGO

M A DAG AS C A R

R WA N D A

MAURITIUS

S E YC H E L L E S

ETHIOPIA

TA N Z A N I A U G A N DA


Photos courtesy of iStock | Little Chem Chem | Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp | Nyungwe House, a partner hotel of One&Only | Ol Jogi

ETHIOPIA Interact with the Mursi, Hamer and Karo peoples in Omo Valley, home to eighteen diverse tribes.

K E N YA Take a private helicopter tour of lakes Turkana and Logipi, Mount Kenya and the highlands of Aberdare National Park.

M A DAG A S C A R Canoe to Lemur Island sanctuary to view lemurs in their jungle refuge, one of a precious few places to see these primates wild and free.

R WA N DA Trek under the canopy in Nyungwe Forest National Park, home to 25 percent of Africa’s primate species.


Gorilla trekking at Gorilla Forest Camp


UGANDA FOREVER Ker & Downey designer Cherie Tann shares six reasons why Uganda should not be overlooked on an east African safari.

As told to Rina Chandarana

it may be small, but uganda has so much to offer. friendly people, oodles of wildlife (including gorillas) and a beyond blissful year-round climate make this a destination worth adding to your travel bucket list.

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK Mist-laden mountains and dense forests roll as far as the eye can see in this corner of Uganda. Hidden in the greenery are one of the country’s main attractions: the gorillas. I’ll never forget the feeling of getting up-close to these magnificent creatures. Little babies played on branches and casually crossed my path. Eco-conscious travelers can get hands-on by planting trees to help preserve this landscape or help to contribute to the Gorilla Forest Camp’s philanthropy projects.

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MURCHISON FALLS After flying into the bustling capital city of Kampala, I headed north to Murchison Falls National Park to stay at Baker’s Lodge, a small boutique property frequently visited by a barrel of monkeys perched in the trees. This is one of my favorite areas because of the incredible game viewing. Rothschild giraffes wander, lions roam and hyenas yip. After a two-hour boat ride to get closer to the crashing falls, I could easily spot loads of lounging hippos. Elephants stopped by the banks for a drink and crocodiles glided along. Hike up to the top of the falls for a spectacular perspective or soar sky-high in a hot air balloon.

A private tent at Ishasha Wilderness Camp

QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK There are several lodges to choose from in this area, but my go-to is the six-tented Ishasha Wilderness Camp, a great place to start a primate trek and to see elephants. The lakes and the Kazinga Channel attract birds, beasts and scores of fishermen prepping their boats for a day out on the water.

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Photos courtesy of Gorilla Forest Camp | Baker's Lodge | Ishasha Wilderness Camp | iStock

Venture to Murchison Falls by boat.


KIBALE NATIONAL PARK

Jabali Ridge's plunge pool is a welcomed respite after a day on safari.

This absolutely stunning part of southern Uganda overflows with rolling green hills and deep blue volcanic crater lakes. Chimp trekking is the highlight, headed by trained guides adept at locating the exquisite creatures hanging out in the little clearings and peering down from tree branches. I was able to get up-close to primates during a trek from Ndali Lodge. But it was my interaction with Ugandans that endeared me to the country. Towns and villages are hives of activity. Ladies carry baskets on their backs, brimming with freshly picked leaves and beans at verdant tea and coffee farms. Happy children run around and play soccer after school. This is a true glimpse into daily Ugandan life.

A mother and her child in Uganda

A wild chimpanze at Kibale National Park

The crested crane, Uganda's national bird

LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK Activities are plentiful around Lake Mburo. Enjoy a horseback safari or speed things up with a mountain bike ride while zebras race along. The wonderful variety of birds caught my eye the most. Crested cranes—the national bird of Uganda featured on the country’s flag— wade in the waters, while a colorful cast of yellow, blue and green birds chirp in the surrounding trees.

PRO TIP!

Pack light-weight, quickdrying hiking pants that can be tucked into sturdy hiking boots. - Cherie Tann, Designer

JINJA Adventure-seekers will love river rafting, fishing and gliding along in canoes launched from the shores of Lake Victoria, where the Nile begins. There is a lot to do here, and it’s easy to end your trip on an exciting note. As for me, I relaxed at the end of my full and fulfilling journey to Uganda.

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SOUTHERN

AFRICA

B O T S WA N A

SOUTH AFRICA

MOZAMBIQUE

ZAMBIA

NAMIBIA

ZIMBABWE

M OZ A M B I Q U E Sail the Indian ocean in an authentic Arabian dhow.

B OT SWA N A Take in the marvel of the Okavango Delta on a private helicopter tour.

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Photos courtesy of Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa | iStock | Busanga | Kuala Desert Lodge | Belmond Eagle Island

SOUTH AFRICA

ZIMBABWE

Hike the coastal Oystercatcher Trail to spot rare birds and sea life.

Cruise the Zambezi River and catch sight of hippos wading in the water.

ZAMBIA See the mighty Victoria Falls on a sundowner cruise.

NAMIBIA View the famous red dunes and dramatic desert landscapes of Sossusvlei from a hot air balloon.

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Guests on a walking safari at Victoria Falls River Lodge


AFRICA’S SAFARI DARLING Why Zimbabwe Should Be Your Next Safari. By Haley Beham

with incredible natural beauty, exceptional wildlife variety and some of the friendliest people on the planet, zimbabwe offers an unrivaled safari experience at a fraction of the cost of its neighboring countries.

In The Colorado Kid, Stephen King wrote that ‘sooner or later, everything old is new again.’ If he was right, then Zimbabwe is about to have a very big moment on the safari scene. After decades-long political and economic turmoil cast a dark shadow over tourism in Zimbabwe, the country is back and poised to reclaim its position as a top safari destination. Helping to usher in this new era is the Victoria Falls International Airport which opened at the end of 2016. While it is far from seeing 1.5 million visitors per year as it did in the 1990s, there’s no doubt about it: a new dawn is breaking. The time to visit Zimbabwe is now.

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Photos: Above: Cheetahs in Hwange National Park; Right: A stunning suite at Somalisa Camp

WHERE TO STAY: With just seven canvas tents outfitted with copper bath tubs and outdoor showers, Somalisa Camp offers luxury and adventure in the heart of Hwange National Park. You don’t even have to leave camp in search of wildlife. Zebras have been known to snack within view of the bathtubs, and the swimming pool and main areas boast amazing views of the pan where large herds of elephant have attempted to claim the territory.

MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK In the remote reaches of the north, Mana Pools National Park is a wildly untamed conservation area and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, the Zambezi River is the life force, flooding the plains and filling four large pools that were once part of channels that have long since ceased flowing. These pools, brimming with water year-round, attract big game to the area. Still, the park is more well-known for its large concentration of hippos and crocodiles. Get out of the safari vehicle here to stretch your legs and explore the area on foot, as Mana Pools is renowned for walking safaris. WHERE TO STAY: Explore Mana Pools National Park and the neighboring private Sapi Reserve (which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site) with Greater Mana Expedition, an intimate six-day adventure focusing on exploration and discovery through walking and canoe safaris.

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A mother elephant with her young at Greater Mana Expedition

Photos courtesy of Victoria Falls River Lodge | Somalisa Camp | Greater Mana Expedition | Singita Pamushana

HWANGE NATIONAL PARK Situated on the western border of Botswana, Hwange National Park spreads across 5,650 square miles and is the country’s largest wildlife sanctuary and its most famous safari destination. It is well-known for its thriving elephant population, and is one of the best places in Southern Africa to spot lions, zebra, giraffe and white rhino. Notably, brown hyena and large packs of wild dog are also prolific in the authentic wilderness of Hwange. Variety is the spice of life here, not only in its assembly of wildlife, but also in its landscape. Within the park, you’ll find diverse topography, from the desert sands of the Kalahari near the border, to the mopane woodlands and grasslands, to the ancient seasonal floodplains which form wetlands in the rainy season.


Photos: Left: Glorious Victoria Falls at sunset; Bottom: The island treehouse suite at Victoria Falls River Lodge

VICTORIA FALLS Of course, you can’t travel to Zimbabwe without visiting Mosi-oa-Tunya, better known as Victoria Falls. Its local name means “the smoke that thunders,” and it’s an awe-inspiring Natural Wonder of the World. When the Zambezi River, the natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is in full flood, it forms the world’s largest curtain of falling water. It’s quite a spectacle to experience.

WHERE TO STAY: Located on the banks of the Zambezi River just minutes from the falls, Victoria Falls River Lodge is the first private game lodge within Zambezi National Park. With just seven tented suites, you can combine a safari experience in the African bush with visits to Victoria Falls, undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous destinations.

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Incredible views await at Singita Pamushana

MALILANGWE PRIVATE RESERVE The Malilangwe Private Reserve in southeastern Zimbabwe is home to one of the most successful black rhino protection programs in Africa. As a result, the highest concentration of black rhinos in the world thrive in this 130,000-acre wilderness. Geologically, the land is diverse, with sandstone hills, the Chiredzi River, riverine forests, mopane woodlands and the Malilangwe dam. The diversity in habitats supports a wide range of wildlife in addition to its population of rhino. Predators like lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs prowl the reserve for plains game. Sable antelope and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest roam in the mopane woodlands to the south and east. Tiger fish, among other species of fish, and a healthy population of hippo, crocodile and birdlife are found in the Malilangwe dam. WHERE TO STAY: Recently renovated, the celebrated Singita Pamushana lodge is the ecotourism arm of the Malilangwe Private Reserve and exists to help fund the conservation projects and assist the communities bordering the reserve. It is an excellent example of the harmony that can exist between conservation initiatives, community outreach and tourism.

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Luxury Afr i ca n S a fa r i

ZAMBEZI QUEEN

Rolling on the great Chobe River, Zambezi Queen is a 5-star, 42-meter-long luxury houseboat offering unparalleled sophistication in one of the most remote locations on the planet. As our guest, you can enjoy a truly adventurous river safari while being immersed in complete comfort and elegance. Each of the Zambezi Queen’s 14 suites features airconditioning and a private balcony, where you can take in unobstructed views of the Chobe River and African landscape. See wildlife from different vantage points on board, including from the comfort of your own bed. Chobe National Park boasts one of the densest populations of elephants on the African continent, as well as leopards, lions, buffalo, a variety of antelope and abundant birdlife.

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Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Camp Jabulani in your next custom journey. Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM the Zambezi Queen in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EA ST OMAN Hop on board a luxury yacht from Muscat’s marina.

ISRAEL Shop in a Tel Aviv market and learn to cook the ingredients with a local chef.

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EGYPT

Q ATA R

ISRAEL

S U DA N

J O R DA N

UNITED ARAB

MOROCCO

E M I R AT E S

OMAN


J O R DA N Explore the desert canyon surrounding Petra.

M O R O CCO Learn how to extract argan oil, an important family cottage industry.

U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S

Photos courtesy of iStock | Jordan Tourism Board | Ker & Downey

Share a meal with an expert on Arab and Emirati culture.

E GY P T Find out how the Sphinx was carved from a single mass of limestone from a leading Egyptologist.


The spa at Lazib Inn


DESERT DREAMS There’s more to Egypt than the grand temples of the ancient pharaohs along a legendary river. Head west of the Nile and south of Cairo and find two unique oases and cultures. By Haley Beham

Fayoum Oasis When describing the region 750 years ago, Fayoum’s governor Abu ‘Uthmân al-Nabulsi wrote, “Cool are the dawns; tall are the trees; many are the fruits; little are the rains.” With such a tranquil retreat so close to Cairo, it’s surprising one of the most ancient areas in all of Africa remains relatively unknown to the outside world. Sunflowers, date palms and water buffalo dominate the landscape. This area, known as the Fayoum Oasis, is not an oasis in the truest sense of the word, as it is fed by hundreds of capillary canals from the Nile instead of springs. Still, the land is fertile.

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Drink local tea at Lazib Inn.

to truly experience one of Egypt’s best kept secrets, make your base at the lavishly luxurious Lazib Inn. With just eight rooms, the boutique hotel is set among manicured gardens overlooking the world’s oldest nature reserve on the shores of Lake Qaroun. Once a breadbasket of the Roman world, this area is known for producing delicious fruits and vegetables. Its bounty inspires the dining experience at Lazib Inn, where fresh, local ingredients stand out. The relaxing setting makes Lazib Inn an ideal destination to start or end a journey to Egypt, but there’s also plenty to do there. Try horseback rides on Arabian steeds, desert safaris exploring the shimmering sand dunes and exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wadi El Hitan (Valley of the Whales). Fayoum is widely regarded as the best place for birdwatching in Egypt, peaking from October to April when a number of bird species, including a variety of warblers and larks, flock to the oasis.

PRO TIP!

From Lazib Inn, head up the street to Mahmoud el-Sherif’s pottery shop and stock up on beautifully hand-thrown bowls, platters and more. - Nicole Porto, Designer

Further west in a seemingly endless expanse of sand, the Siwa Oasis is home to 20,000 indigenous Siwis, a Berber ethnic group who lead minimalistic lives in a tribal system that has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Since about 700 BC, they have managed to live in isolation, speaking their own language and boasting a cultural identity vastly different from modern Egyptians. For a true glimpse into the lives of the Siwis, make plans to visit a local family for tea in their home.

The Greeks first discovered the Siwa Oasis and established the Oracle of Amun there. After reclaiming Egypt from the Persians, Alexander the Great made the long journey to Siwa to visit the Oracle where, allegedly, he was told he was the son of Amun-Ra, the supreme god. Today, you can walk in Alexander’s footsteps and visit the ruins of the Oracle Temple. You shouldn’t miss a visit to Jebel alMwata (Mountain of the Dead) either. It’s Siwa’s version of the Valley of the Kings with ancient tombs dug into the mountain. If you’re adventurous, try dune bashing, sand boarding, hiking or horseback riding in the desert. Retreat to Adrere Amellal, a 40-room eco-resort located at the foot of White Mountain overlooking Lake Siwa. Each room is hand-built using traditional materials in the unique Siwan style that blends into the landscape. With no electricity, the environmentally-sustainable lodge is a true getaway in the desert. At night pathways are illuminated by lanterns and beeswax candles. Dining becomes an elegant affair as traditional cuisine made from organic and locally-grown produce is served in a different location each night: in a small nook tucked out of the way of the lodge, by the shore of the salt lake or in a forest of palm trees.

Siwan-style rooms at Adrere Amellal

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After exploring Cairo and the ancient Egyptian temples along the Nile, make time to escape to the two oases setting a new standard of luxury in the desert.

Photos courtesy of Lazib Inn | Adrere Amellal

Siwa Oasis


Shali Fortress in Siwa Oasis


A SIA

B H U TA N

L AOS

SINGAPORE

CAMBODIA

M A L AY S I A

SRI LANKA

CHINA

MALDIVES

THAILAND

INDIA

MONGOLIA

VIETNAM

INDONESIA

M YA N M A R

U Z B E K I S TA N

J A PA N

N E PA L

K A Z A K H S TA N

PHILIPPINES

INDONESIA See pristine coral reefs, swim with dolphins, dive among Taka Makassar’s Manta Rays or trek Komodo Island.

PHILLIPPINES Dive the deep with whale sharks, the ocean’s gentle giants.

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THAILAND

VIETNAM

Take a helicopter ride over Phang Nga Bay to a private beach for canoeing and snorkeling.

Experience a warm welcome from traditional dancers followed by dinner and live music at a French villa in Ho Chi Minh City.

CAMBODIA Visit remote villages via private boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake and sip on crafted cocktails as you watch the sunset from a private viewing platform.

CHINA

Photos courtesy of iStock | Ker & Downey

Discover the vibrant creative scene in Shanghai’s arts districts, including the Former French Concession, the Bund, Huangpu museums and the famous M50.


Gassho-zukuri style homes in Kanazawa


OUTSIDE LANDS Designer Tess Koptiuch travels to Japan and discovers a country where modernity and ancient tradition go hand in hand.

As told to Haley Beham

If ever there was a picture of how millions of people can peacefully coexist, Japan is it. Over 127 million people call the island country home, yet the streets are clean and people are civil and polite to one another.

It’s full of stark contrast. I take in these odd, striking juxtapositions as I travel from Tokyo to Kanazawa to Kaga, and back to Tokyo again. Yet the big picture is harmoniuous. After a brief stay in high-tech Tokyo, I board Japan’s luxurious Shinkansen bullet train in Gran Class (first class) for Kanazawa, a town known for its well-preserved Edo-era districts, restored Samurai houses, geisha culture and regional handicrafts. Because of its relatively remote location, the city escaped bombing during World War II. As a result, much of its traditional architecture is still intact. Its proliferation of traditional arts like hand-painted silks and ceramics, earned Kanazawa designation as a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Art.

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"Established in 1639, Araya Totoan has been owned by the Maeda family for 18 generations. Hostesses anticipate my every need ... "

As I watch the artisans cut gold leaf into small squares, I learn that Kanazawa is the leading producer of gold leaf in Japan. The city’s gold leaf production dates back 400 years and today is a source of local pride for the artisans and residents alike. You can find it decorating folding screens, ceramics, glassware, temples and shrines. I am served green tea with a piece of gold leaf in it. Before leaving, I am given a piece to keep in my wallet for good fortune. From Kanazawa, I continue my journey to Kaga, a quaint spa town. I stay at Araya Totoan, a traditional Japanese ryokan, where I am steeped in classic Japanese hospitality. Established in 1639, Araya Totoan has been owned by the Maeda family for 18 generations. Hostesses anticipate my every need and fresh Kaiseki-style meals are served on rare Kutani ceramic and Yamanaka lacquerware. Inside my suite I indulge in modern amenities that complement the traditional, minimalist Japanese style. I also take full advantage of two hot spring bath tubs. In addition to the private baths, Araya Totoan has three public baths filled with the restorative waters of Yamashiro hot springs. While in Kaga, I have the rare treat of visiting the artist Buzan Fukushima at his home studio. Buzan is a master of Aka-e painting (red painting), a highly valued craft first produced in 1640. In 2015, he was commissioned by Hermès to paint 12 watch faces for the Slim d’Hermès line, marking the first time Japanese art was combined with French porcelain. I enjoy seeing the intricacy and difficulty of his craft firsthand. I’m surprised to see that he paints with such precision, even without the use of glasses or a magnifying glass. To demonstrate his craft while I’m there, he paints my name onto a single grain of rice. He then signs the back and gives it to me. All of Buzan’s works are commissioned and cannot be purchased in a shop, so my little grain of rice is my most prized souvenir.

Photos: Above: Hot springs bath tubs at Araya Totoan; Bottom: Buzan Fukushima at work

PRO TIP!

It's Japanese tradition to remove your shoes when entering a home or various other establishments that you will surely visit. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. And be sure to wear socks! - Tess Koptiuch, Designer

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Modern meets tradition at Palace Hotel Tokyo

I wrap up my journey in the heart of the action, at the Palace Hotel Tokyo, a property that effortlessly blends old and new. The luxe high rise is impeccably clean, with 278 spacious rooms and 12 suites that sit opposite the Imperial Palace Gardens. Throughout the hotel, I find an eclectic mix of over 1,000 pieces ranging from traditional ink washes to colorful abstracts and laser-cut paper art. Each piece has been specially selected or commissioned for the hotel from some of Japan’s most loved artists, as well as some of the country’s most promising up and coming creatives. But the

cornerstone of the hotel is its staff. Friendly, polite and attentive, Japan’s traditional culture of hospitality is present even in the cutting-edge, urban hotel. Japanese hospitality encompasses so much more than friendly service. I experienced it throughout my journey, from the meticulous preparation and presentation of meals to the pride artisans take in their craft. I felt it most in the sincere kindness of each person I met along the way. KE R & DOW N E Y

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NORTH AMERICA

UN I TED STATES

CALIFORNIA Sail to the notorious Alcatraz Island prison in San Francisco Bay and dig into its history with a private guide.

Photos courtesy of iStock | The ARTS at Marks Garage

H AWA I I Explore Honolulu’s Chinatown and enjoy a performance at the ARTS at Marks Garage.

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N E W YO R K See a pizzaiolo spin a pie from scratch in Brooklyn.

P E N N SY LVA N I A Learn more about the origins of the Declaration of Independence in the city of Philadelphia.

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The Preservation Hall Band in New Orleans


SOUTHERN COMFORT Stimulate all of your senses on a grand tour of the southern United States, from the home of the King of Rock to the streets of the Big Easy. With Ker & Downey you’ll experience the holy trinity of southern hospitality: good music, decadent cuisine and handcrafted booze to lift your spirits. By Katy Heerssen

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL NEW ORLEANS, DECADENT CITY OF INDULGENCE, is a celebration of life year-round. Exclusive Ker & Downey experiences let you bear witness to its eclectic tapestry of food, drink and live music far from the hordes of tourists. Prowl the streets with a local musicologist and hear tales of musicians who have shaped the landscape of the city as you explore Congo Square, the Preservation Hall Jazz Club and the Treme. From fresh Gulf oysters and shrimp to immaculate Creole creations, take your mealtime to the next level. Taste some of the world’s best bites at James Beard award-winners and family joints passed down through generations. Shake things up with celebrity mixologist Daniel Victory and go behind his bar to learn the art of crafting memorable cocktails.

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Classic car tours outside of Sun Studios

THE SOUL OF MEMPHIS IN 1968, DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WAS ASSASSINATED at the Lorraine Motel. This pivotal place in American history is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum, a moving interactive experience that traces past and ongoing struggles for equality in the United States. It’s a story told frankly and with much respect, and you encounter it in reverence with a knowledgeable Ker & Downey guide. Explore Memphis’ legendary musical roots at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. More than 2,000 artifacts and ephemera from the golden age of this distinctly American genre fill the halls of this hallowed space.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964

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PRO TIP!

Take time to watch the resident ducks walk the red carpet at the Peabody Hotel — a longstanding Memphis tradition. -Catherine Brown, Designer


Photos courtesy of Zack Smith Photography | Alex Shansky-Memphis Tourism | Library of Congress/World Telegram and Sun/Dick DeMarsico | The Grand Ole Opry; Joel Michah Dennis | Kentucky Tourism

Carrie Underwood peforming at The Grand Ole Opry

MUSIC CITY MAGIC NASHVILLE HAS BEEN THE LAUNCHPAD FOR COUNTLESS CAREERS AND MUSICAL LEGENDS, and while the Grand Ole Opry is the big name in the city’s music history (and should absolutely be seen) its roots date back to 1943 and Ryman Auditorium. Known as “The Carnegie Hall of the South,” the historic venue has hosted revivals and stage plays and was the home of the Grand Ole Opry variety show from 1943 to 1974. Take a private tour through the venue with the curator, and an exit through the stage door places you at the doorstep of a local honky-tonk where the stars of tomorrow ply their trade. Don’t miss a private walk through the Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA Studio B, where greats like Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson recorded hit records.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville

BLUEGRASS & BOURBON WHAT COULD A BLUEGRASS PICKER KNOW ABOUT WHISKEY? Quite a lot as it turns out, when whiskey is the subject of many of his songs. Louisville legend Hickory Vaught leads you on a unique musical tour by way of downtown Louisville, where live music and an astounding collection of bourbon and whiskey bars await. Outside of the city, heavy hitters like Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark stand out on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, but they aren’t the end of the story of the spirit. With a private Ker & Downey driver and guide, you’ll go behind the scenes at some of the more regionally-famous purveyors. Among these secret spots is the Town Branch Distillery and Brewery, a barrel-aged distillery that also happens to be the oldest craft brewery in Lexington. Alongside master distiller Mark Coffman, get expert insight into both crafts and plenty of tastings, too. See the History of the South full itinerary on kerdowney.com KE R & DOWN E Y

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LATIN AMERICA

ARGENTINA

C O S TA R I C A

MEXICO

BELIZE

CUBA

N I C A R AG UA

BOLIVIA

ECUADOR &

PA N A M A

BRAZIL

G A L A PA G O S

PERU

CHILE

ISLANDS

U R U G U AY

CO LO M B I A

G U AT E M A L A

PA N A M A Soar over the Panama Canal and the Pacific and Caribbean coasts in a private helicopter.

Photos courtesy of iStock | Camp Cecil | Puerto Valle | Inca Rail

M E X I CO Glamp on the beaches of Isla Espiritu Santo in the Gulf of California.

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BRAZIL Join local scientists as they track and monitor the elusive jaguars of the Pantanal.

BRAZIL Paddle down Ushuaia’s Lasiphashai River into the Beagle Channel in your own inflatable canoe to view stunning wildlife.

ARGENTINA Venture out on a horseback ride to spot the endangered wildlife of the lush Ibera Wetlands.

PERU Surround yourself in the beautiful Andean landscape aboard the new 360° Machu Picchu Train.

BOLIVIA Enjoy a traditional picnic lunch on the shores of Lake Titicaca’s Sun Island.

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Antigua


QUICK TRIP Spend 72 hours in the land of eternal spring. By Haley Beham

In a word, Guatemala is diverse. Language and rituals from 21 indigenous Mayan populations and the 16th-century Spanish conquerors converge to create a complex cultural heritage. Their influence can be seen woven throughout the architecture, cuisine and traditions all over the country. Its eclectic culture is matched by the country’s natural beauty found in 14 recognized eco-regions that vary from mountainous highlands and volcanoes to shimmering coastline. Seventy-two hours in Guatemala will only scratch the surface of all there is to see and do, but for a quick getaway from the States, it is an ideal destination. Whether you’re into hiking volcanoes and zip-lining or browsing craft markets and drinking espresso, Guatemala offers something for every traveler.

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The Arco de Santa Catalina

DAY ONE after landing in guatemala city, head straight for antigua. Surrounded by three volcanoes, Antigua is one of the world’s best-preserved colonial towns and feels like a world away from the city sprawl. Pastel walls line cobblestone streets that lead to colonial-era churches and mansions in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Rose suite at Posada del Angel

PRO TIP!

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Take a tuk tuk up to Antigua’s lookout point called Cerro de la Cruz for gorgeous views of the city. -Trista Gage, Designer

Spend the afternoon getting acquainted with Antigua on a private walking tour through the city, exploring the Spanish colonial architecture and art. Foodies can also visit a chocolate museum and learn how to prepare chocolate from a time-honored Mayan recipe, or visit a working coffee hacienda to learn about the country’s most famous export. At sunset, enjoy a rooftop cocktail. Fans of craft beer can head to Antigua Brewing Company for a nice menu of sandwiches, burgers and appetizers to complement their local, artisanal beers. From their terrace, you’ll have a 360° view of the city and three volcanoes. Keep your eye on the horizon. The lava below gives it a warm, red glow after the sun goes down.

Photos courtesy of Austin Mann | iStock | Posada del Angel

Check into Posada del Angel. Tucked away on a quiet street, the elegant seven-room boutique hotel is a favorite hideaway among the world’s dignitaries. Details such as large, old-fashioned room keys, hand-woven Guatemalan fabrics, antique four-poster beds and wrought-iron headboards lend authenticity to the building which was once a Spanish colonial casona.


Sunsets light up the sky at Pacaya

DAY TWO In the morning, hike up Pacaya, one of Central America’s most active volcanoes. The trek up is fairly easy and suited for a variety of fitness levels. Once you clear the forests at the bottom, it feels like you’re walking on the moon, with dark, volcanic rock all around. On a clear day, if the top isn’t covered by clouds, you may even see it fuming. In the evening, enjoy traditional Guatemalan cuisine at Los Tres Tiempos. For a truly authentic dish, order pepian, one of the country’s most common cuisines. Follow up this rich, dark stew of meat or chicken, tomatoes and spices with an al fresco drink or dessert on the restaurant’s illuminated terrace.

DAY THREE Set out early for Lake Atitlan, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes on earth. The shorelines are picturesque, with tiny villages dotting the hills above this ancient body of water. On the way, make a stop at Chichicastenango in Guatemala’s Western Highlands. On Thursdays and Sundays, it plays host to one of Latin America’s largest and most colorful outdoor markets, famous for its textiles.

Children fly a giant kite for Dia de los Muertos

SAVE THE DATE Make plans to be in Guatemala on November 1 for Día de los Muertos. As part of the All Saints’ Day celebrations, the neighboring towns of Santiago Sacatepequez and Sumpango fly giant (some as big at 100 feet) colorful kites in the air as part of a 3,000-year-old tradition honoring departed loved ones. It’s an easy day trip from Antigua and worth it to see the colorful masterpieces that take to the skies around dusk.

CONSIDER AN ADD-ON If you have a couple more days to spare, head to Petén, the cradle of the Mayan civilization. From there, you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal National Park and see the Mayan wonders at Yaxha.

Later, retreat to the luxe villas of Casa Palopó for a bit of serenity and spectacular views on the shores of Lake Atitlan in charming Santa Catarina Palopó. A private boat cruise takes you to visit the indigenous villages on the shores and offers gorgeous views of the volcanoes surrounding the lake. If you can stretch your journey more than 72 hours, spend them in Casa Palopó’s solar-heated infinity pool overlooking the deep, blue lake.

See a time-lapse video of Guatemala’s volcanoes by photographer Austin Mann on Ker & Downey’s Instagram, @kerdowney.

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The stunning surreal landscape of the Atacama Desert.


SALT of the EARTH Discover the surreal song of the planet’s driest desert in vast, enchanting Chile. By Elizabeth Frels

I

t only takes one day to fall in love with the Atacama Desert, a plateau on South America’s Pacific coast that meets the Andes on its descending slopes. Its rugged, ever-shifting landscape, astronomic clarity and fivestar amenities are enough for you to feel like you could stay there for weeks. The Kari Gorge is one of the lesser known regions of the Atacama, yet it comes highly recommended by some of the most experienced guides in Chile. Not only is an afternoon outing to Kari Gorge hyper-personalized to your interests, but the few guides who lead the excursion are some of only a handful certified to protect the environment. In fact, only two properties in all of Atacama have access to the Kari Gorge, Explora Atacama and Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa. Nothing can quite prepare you for the gorge’s otherworldly setting, a location often used in movies as a representation of Mars. Situated along the edge of the protected Moon Valley, the scenery is filled with rugged, jagged rocks. Following the ridgeline to the gorge, you receive an uninterrupted view of the area’s iconic sand dunes and volcanoes. While the terrain is certainly mesmerizing, equally fascinating is the story of how this environment, considered one of the world’s oldest deserts, came to be.

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Photos: Left: Expert guides lead the way through the Moon Valley; Right: The Atacama Desert

It’s result of a phenomenon owing to massive high-pressure systems over the Pacific, cold Antarctic currents and a barrier created by the towering Andean mountain range which prevents moisture from reaching these parched lands. Remnants of millions of years of geological activity are on vibrant display. Formations and striations reveal where tectonic movements shifted and where top layers were settled from volcanic ash. The most surprising facet to witness, however, is the salt. Salt saturates the landscape. Snowy white in appearance, the salt mountains, salt lakes, salt waterfalls and salt rivers surrounding you can easily trick you into thinking snow has fallen in the desert. In reality, the rains have simply evaporated, draping the land in a crystalline blanket.

The gorge itself is about 15 feet wide, with salt rock walls towering 30 to 40 feet high on either side. One of the first surprises upon your arrival is a raging river that looks to be flash fro-

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You are going beyond the demarcated pathways to set foot on the pristine dunes of the Atacama Desert — something very few are allowed to do.

While exploring this natural wonder, trek inside the gorge’s many naturally-formed caves, where salt crystals embed themselves in the rock face within. The lack of foot traffic and natural erosion inside the caves means that the salt deposits inside are so concentrated that they are prone to glowing when exposed to light — a phenomenon easily illuminated by your cell phone flash. Perhaps the most memorable experience amid this land of sand and salt is toward the end of the three-hour trek when you are encouraged to pause for a moment of silence while standing in the gorge. All of a sudden, the swelling of sound reaches your ears as the salt crystals crack, expand and contract with the changing temperatures of the desert. It is an orchestra of crystals, harmonious and full of soaring moments. Nature’s composition reminding you of its undeniable beauty. Even in this remotest of settings, while celebrating with a refreshing drink amid the salt

flats of the Moon Valley, it is difficult not to be reminded of how severely impactful your presence is on such a unique corner of it. Thankfully, the few guides who venture into this region have an undeniable respect for the land. Not only do they take great care of your every step, but they also expose you to aspects of the Atacama otherwise hidden to the common eye — whether it is the geological markers that illustrate the history of the environment; or the owl regurgitations that divulge how an animal can survive in such a harsh habitat; or the prime photo spots, exposures and settings to snap the best images, even on your iPhone. They will also introduce you to the phenomenon that is the symphony of salt, a composition you are not likely to forget. Contact a Ker & Downey Designer or your local travel professional to start planning your personalized stay in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Photos courtesy of Explora | Turismo Chile

Next, descend down the face of a sand dune toward the valley floor of the Kari Gorge. This steep slide down is significant. You are going beyond the demarcated pathways to set foot on the pristine dunes of the Atacama Desert — something very few are allowed to do.

zen with its waves and crevices perfectly preserved in the ice. Your eyes might deceive you into thinking it is a glacier, but it is actually just more salt. In fact, this is what the whole gorge would look like if people did not walk through it.


HOTEL BASED JOURNEY explora Patagonia explora Atacama explora Rapa Nui explora Valle Sagrado

TRAVESIAS, NOMADIC JOURNEYS explora Uyuni explora Salta explora El Chaltén

MORAY - Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru

SOUTH AMERICA´S LEADING EXPEDITION COMPANY World Travel Awards 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to www.explora.com include the Explora in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


NORTHERN & WESTERN

EUROPE GREENLAND Visit an Inuit settlement to learn about traditional fishing techniques.

S COT L A N D Embrace the national dress with a bespoke kilt fitting.

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AUSTR I A

GR EEN LA N D

N ETHER LA N DS

B ELGI UM

I CELA N D

N ORWAY

DEN MA R K

I R ELA N D

SCOTLA N D

EN GLA N D

LATVI A

SWEDEN

ESTON I A

LI ECHTEN STEI N

SWI TZER LA N D

FI N LA N D

LI THUA N I A

WA LES

FR A N CE

LUXEMB OUR G

GER MA N Y

MON ACO


FRANCE

Photos courtesy of iStock | Royal Fingal Yacht

Enjoy a family-friendly treasure hunt inside the Louvre.

AU S T R I A Drive through Salzburg’s idyllic countryside in a vintage Rolls Royce.

E S TO N I A Shop for weird and wonderful trinkets at the Soviet Flea Market in Tallin.

B E LG I U M Sip on local beer on an artisanal brewery tour.

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A sprawling, birdseye view of Berlin


GREAT UNEXPECTATIONS Ker & Downey’s Michael Jackson’s journey through Berlin and Hamburg reveals that the future of luxury travel in Germany is all about the unexpected: the Michelin-starred cuisine, the cultural rebirths and the old stereotypes finding new identities in a country ready for its breakout moment.

I expected to love Berlin. Its creativity, character and flavors always held more appeal to me than the typical Paris or Rome European gateways. The city did not disappoint and impressed me more than I thought possible. The magnitude of Berlin’s history alongside its cosmopolitan progressiveness leaves in its wake a unique drive to usher tradition into the modern era. I see it during a private visit to the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktu (KPM) porcelain factory, which has been producing porcelain since its founding by King Frederick II of Prussia in 1763. These miniature masterpieces and their detailed decorations are still created by hand. They’re coveted not only for their exquisite quality, but also for their sustainable reputation within the home.

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Color explodes at Berlin's East Side Gallery.

PRO TIP!

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Vegan travelers will still find plenty of elevated dining options — Berlin is Europe’s #1 city for vegan cuisine. - Michael Jackson, Operations Manager

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I see it in the neighborhoods like those surrounding the Hackesche Höfe, where a private guide reveals traces of the old Jewish quarter. The meandering streets of the Scheunenviertel act as a canvas for Eastern European immigrants who have transformed the heart of Berlin into a visual color explosion. It’s on display from the gravesite of Moses Mendelssohn to the places of Jewish Renaissance that blossomed here during the Weimar Republic. I also see it in the food. Sausage, pretzels and beer are overshadowed by fresh, regional cuisine found in trendy hotels and bars scattered across the city, as well as family-run Riesling farms and gin distilleries popping up around the peripheries. My favorite examples are all sugar-filled: the 133-year-old chocolatier, Sawade, with its thoughtfully made hazelnut and champagne truffles, and the charmingly deconstructed Black Forest Cake of Hotel Adlon Kempinski. Of course 21st-century Berlin would turn something as familiar as chocolate cake into magic.

Photos courtesy of iStock | GNTB/photographer Philip Koschel | Michael Jackson

" IF YOU DIVE DEEPER BEYOND THE STEREOTYPES AND ONESIZE-FITS-ALL TOURS, YOU MIGHT JUST FIND YOURSELF LIKE ME — WITH SHATTERED EXPECTATIONS."


If Berlin exceeded my expectations, Hamburg shattered them completely. Though Hamburg is a modern city, it feels as though it has one foot in the past. Its position on the river Elbe fortifies its role as the third largest container port in Europe while also inundating the streets and shops with new spices, flavors and ideas. Around 9,000 ship calls and 136.5 million tons of cargo per year have transformed what could have been a simple port town into a metropolis of immense wealth and global influence. The ornate exterior of City Hall, the 1920s Chilehaus, Marco Polo Tower, the UNESCO-honored Speicherstadt warehouse district and the blocks upon blocks of historic merchant meetinghouses are all reminders of Hamburg’s open-door policy to affluence and innovation. They are feasts for the architectural eye. There is also an immense respect for seafood I never saw coming. The Hamburg Fish Market, an institution since 1703, is a Sunday tradition along the shores of the Elbe. Market barkers out-scream each other. Shoppers are coaxed with the promise of free salmon as they stroll from stall to stall. Late-night revelers gorge themselves on early morning fish sandwiches. And some, like me, are just there to enjoy the lively atmosphere with views across the harbor.

Hamburg's ornate City Hall

The most memorable surprises for me are the velvety eel at Fischereihafen, relished as the boats floated by my window; and the elevated Japanese-Peruvian cuisine of the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten’s Nikkei Nine restaurant. The culinary mash-up as executed by Executive Chef Ben Dayag and Sushi Master Yuki Hamasaki introduce me to my new favorite sashimi. Knowing Hamburg’s history of global trade, it makes sense that a restaurant like this would exist. But to the average visitor, it’s the last thing you might anticipate from German cuisine. The synthesis of old and new, tradition and innovation, is what makes my time in Germany so unique. If you dive deeper beyond the stereotypes and onesize-fits-all tours, you might just find yourself like me — with shattered expectations.

A seafood dish prepared at Fischereihafen

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G ERM A N Y THE ULTIMATE GOURMAND’S GUIDE

Move over, beer and bratwurst. During the last decade, Germany’s culinary scene has blossomed, making the country one of Europe’s most exciting foodie destinations distinguished by international influences, innovative chef-driven eateries and hyperregional cuisine. Sure, beer is firmly cemented in Germany’s cultural history — as evidenced by the country’s 1,300 breweries and the weekslong beer worship at Oktoberfest (the world’s largest folk celebration). But the land of poets and thinkers is also home to 13 wine-growing regions and 300 Michelinstarred restaurants. Only France, the birthplace of haute cuisine, has more epicurean temples to its name. Germany’s spectrum of gastronomic experiences is as vast as it is surprising, whether it's centuries-old traditional dishes unique to each region, internationally-lauded menus in cosmopolitan hubs, locallyproduced beverages in rustic inns, seasonal food festivals catering to the world travelers or food-themed tourist routes for the adventurous at heart. Delve deeper into Germany with Ker & Downey’s quintessential food-lovers guide and explore every corner of the country.

BADEN -W ÜRT T EM B E R G In Stuttgart savor Maultaschen, miniature ravioli-style pasta parcels filled with meat, spinach, onion and parsley. Legend has it they were invented by monks who didn’t want to go without meat during Lent, so they secretly encased the forbidden luxury inside pasta.

BAVARI A Dive into the land of lederhosen along Bavaria’s Beer and Castle Route, which introduces travelers to Germany’s history and countryside, as well as several local breweries, some with secret recipes dating back 500 years. With over 40 beer varieties and 1,000 brands each with its own unique flavor, it’s no wonder why Bavaria is known as the land of everflowing amber nectar. 72

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While in Brandenburg, be sure to gobble up the gherkins, the most famous export of the Spree Forest. The beautiful Gherkin Cycle Route is an especially thrilling way to learn about this crunchy snack, as it leads cyclists on a 160-mile journey following the entire production process from field to fork.

Follow the German Wine Route from the famous Dürkheim Barrel in Bad Dürkheim to the German Wine Gate of Schweigen-Rechtenbach. In the country’s ancient wine region, visitors will find Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Dornfelder wines flowing on the side of the road, in tasting rooms and in numerous wine bars along the way — especially during wine festival season between mid-August and early October.

B R EMEN Enjoy a private tour of one of Bremen’s many roasting houses. Ever since 1673, when the first coffee house in a Germanspeaking country opened in Bremen, the city has exhibited an undeniable passion for the caffeinated drink and is now considered one of Europe’s premiere coffeetrading capitals.

H E S SE N Head to one of Frankfurt’s local cider houses for a sip of Ebbelwoi cider, the signature drink of the Hessen region. Traditionally served in a blue earthenware ‘bembel’ pitcher, the cider is best enjoyed alongside hearty dishes such as pork chops, blood sausages or the regional specialty of 'Grie Soß' (green sauce).

ME C K L ENBUR G-WES TER N P O MER A NIA Visit Rügen Island to witness the regional sea buckthorn harvested off the coast. This thorny shrub is rich in vitamins and minerals and its orange berries are often found in local oils, juices, teas, preserves, liqueurs, wine and grog.

LO WE R S A XO NY Embark on an epicurean tour through asparagus country. Known as the royal vegetable, this white delicacy dominates the Lower Saxony landscape, especially from March through June during asparagus harvesting season. Highlights of this route include the medieval asparagusproducing town of Burgdorf, the Asparagus Museum in Nienburg and a tour through the beautiful city of Hannover.

N O R T H R H INE-WES TP H A L IA North Rhine-Westphalia produces an extensive range of beers, including kölsch from Cologne and altbier from Düsseldorf. Take part in a beer workshop and visit the brewery museum in Dortmund to learn everything there is to know about brewing beer.

S A A R L A ND You can’t visit Saarland without tasting the popular delicacy of Dibbelabbes, a hash of grated potato, leek, bacon and herbs and served with homemade apple sauce.

S A XO NY Attend Dresden’s Christmas Striezelmarkt in December for a taste of Christstollen, possibly the most famous holiday pastry in the world. This geographically protected fruit bread is produced by just 130 Dresden bakeries, each with their own top-secret family recipe.

S A XO NY-A NH A LT Take a detour to a local dairy in Saxony-Anhalt for an introduction to Harz cheese. High in protein and low in fat, these healthy morsels have been a favorite in this region for several hundred years.

S CH L ES WIG-H O L S TEIN Home to more than 120 different varieties of artisanal cheeses, Schleswig-Holstein plays host to the Schleswig-Holstein Gourmet Festival, a 30-year old event known for attracting international Michelin-starred chefs to northern Germany between September and March each year.


Photos courtesy of GNTB/Deutsches Weininstitut, Jens Wegener

Asparagus and white wine

Enjoying wine at Weingeniesser

Chef Johannes King of Sรถl'ring Hof Sylt

Hessische Bergstrasse wine region


EASTERN & SOUTHERN

EUROPE

A LB A N I A

GEOR GI A

R OMA N I A

A R MEN I A

GR EECE

R USSI A

A ZER B A I JA N

HUN GA RY

SER B I A

B OSN I A &

I TA LY

SLOVA KI A

HER ZEGOVI N A

MA LTA

SLOVEN I A

B ULGA R I A

MON TEN EGR O

SPA I N

CR OATI A

POLA N D

TUR KEY

CZECH R EPUB LI C

PORTUGA L

UKR A I N E

TURKEY Take in a spellbinding whirling dervish show in Cappadocia.

ROMANIA View bears in the Carpathian Forest, home to over 45 percent of Europe’s brown bears.

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S PA I N

Photos courtesy of iStock | Elizabeth Frels | Volga Dream | Avan Dzoraget

Get lost in the rhythm of flamenco at a private masterclass and performance.

RUSSIA Set sail on the Volga River to discover the lesserknown villages that line its verdant banks.

ARMENIA Stay in a medieval castle hidden away in the Caucasus Mountains.

GREECE Meet the resident beekeeper of Nafplio and taste his award-winning honey.


El Alhambra in Granada


SPANISH STEPS Ker & Downey’s Rina Chandarana journeys to Seville and Granada and discovers the heart of Andalusia, a vibrant fusion of Spanish and Moorish cultures.

“keep going,” encouraged a determined traveler, striding up the stairs ahead of me. I looked back, panting and saw the red-roofed city below. There are easier ways to get to the imposing 13th century Alhambra, a Moorish fortress, the jewel in Granada’s crown. I chose the well-worn scenic route, which was also a step back in time. Starting in the year 711, the ruling North African sultans referred to this area as Al-Andalus and the Alhambra is their greatest legacy. Stone walls adorned with exquisite tiled patterns burst with color and Arabic calligraphy. All the detailed archways are perfectly symmetrical — a mathematical masterpiece. I wandered the manicured gardens, dotted with shimmering reflective pools, soaring palms and bubbling fountains. The snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountains lay in the distance. It’s no wonder why the Moors wanted to stay.

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he UNESCO World Heritage Site peeks between the maze of slender cobblestone lanes that wind up higher between white-washed homes, convents and churches of the Albayzin neighborhood. A Gitano musician strums on a guitar, his raspy, passionate song wafting into the chilly air. Brooding clouds add a moody magic. Spain cast its spell on me, and I am totally enthralled. That evening, I climbed another hill (there are many in Granada) to get to Sacromonte, Granada's flamenco mecca. When the Gitanos first arrived from India centuries ago they carved out simple caves in the soft rock. The moon-

A local flamenco dancer performing in Granada

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lit Alhambra, a constant companion, shimmered across the valley. The faint sound of music leads me into a cave. Copper spoons and pots — a reminder that this was once someone’s home — dangle from the ceiling. Musicians bang on drums and sing. Dancers shout “Ole!”, their frilly skirts morphing into a blur of color as they spin, and feet are electric with clacking and stomping. Shiny black hair is pinned with decorative combs, ruby red roses and fans. The atmosphere is charged with a powerful and infectious energy. One woman pulls me up and I attempt to mimic her snapping fingers. I don’t even understand Spanish, but I’m completely caught up in the moment.

White-washed homes at sunset


Photos courtesy of iStock

View of Seville from the Cathedral

A

lthough there’s no shortage of architectural stunners in Seville, its main draw is the 10th century Alcazar, a palace still inhabited by the royal family. Southern Spain is a Mudejar treasure trove, Islamic and Christian architectural styles merging in a beyond-beautiful blend. Intricate plasterwork and delicately painted azulejo tiles add decorative flourishes. Turn to any page of “The Arabian Nights” and the Alcazar would fit perfectly into its stories of princesses, palaces and far-away lands. Thinking of this I drifted into a fairytale garden, my path interrupted by colorful, proud peacocks.

The massive Seville Cathedral is the city’s focal point and sits on the site of a former mosque. Bright oranges bulge from the inner courtyard’s trees. This hallowed building houses the remains of Christopher Columbus, whose travels amassed overflowing wealth for Seville. I repeatedly craned my neck up to see an even more stirring azulejo-tiled depiction of a tearful Mary, the Esperanza de Triana. After Granada’s leg workout, I sacrificed myself again and jolted up the 35 ramps of the Giralda, the minaret -turned-bell tower, to get a beautiful view of Seville’s blue skies, church domes and bright homes.

PRO TIP!

Sevillanos linger alfresco over tapas. Pale green olives burst in my mouth with tangy delight. Cortado coffee, a bold espresso, was far stronger and tastier than anything back home. Lightly spiced chickpeas tucked into spinach, crispy toasts topped with tomato marmalade and glasses of red wine were the day’s fuel. I refuse to admit just how many napolitana de chocolate croissants I ate. Maybe my legs were tired from exploring so much of southern Spain, but my senses and my taste buds were happy as Andalusia softly sang to my heart.

Go during the weeks leading up to Easter when large floats and processions are being prepared and the weather is just right. - Rina Chandarana, Marketing and Content Assistant KE R & DOWN E Y

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SOUTH PACIFIC

AUSTR A LI A FI J I FR EN CH POLYN ESI A N EW ZEA LA N D PA PUA N EW GUI N EA

NEW ZEALAND Enjoy a private cruise of the Marlborough Sounds aboard the MV Tarquin.

Sample the wines of Valli Vineyards in Central Otago, South Island.

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Photos courtesy of Valli Vineyards | Park Hyatt Sydney | Arnhemland Safaris.,Tourism Australia | Kauri Cliffs | Rob Suisted

NEW ZEALAND


AU S T R A L I A Explore Sydney Harbor from the waterfront and the luxurious Park Hyatt.

NEW ZEALAND Take a private technical lesson with a golf pro on the greens at Kauri Cliffs on North Island.

AU S T R A L I A Discover 50,000 years of indigenous history through the stories depicted in Aboriginal rock art.

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TAHITI The biggest French Polynesian island delivers surreal sunsets with silhouettes of swaying palms and peaked islets against a pink and purple-streaked sky. It may be a dot in the vast Pacific, but its natural beauty and cultural contributions are boundless. Enjoy a delicious dinner with the sizzling sunset backdrop as traditional Tahitian dancers shake their hips in frilly skirts and elaborate headpieces. Their coordinated dance performances are energetic and accompanied by fast drum beats.

Tahiti sunset


SOUTH PACIFIC ESCAPES It’s time you had some of the best island experiences on earth. By Rina Chandarana

New Zealand, Hawaii, Easter Island, Tahiti and so many of the South Pacific islands have offered inspiration and escape for centuries. Brimming with natural beauty, the islands are home to ancient cultures and a soulful way of life that is deeply connected to the rhythms of the world’s vastest ocean. There are plenty of reasons to lose yourself in these island idylls.

Marquesas Islands

MARQUESAS ISLANDS The Marquesas are just about as far-flung as you can get with barely a footprint on their white sand beaches, lush jungles and clear, calm lagoons. Once you arrive, you will feel like you have discovered paradise. Jump into a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and explore the winding coast before visiting an archaeological site in Puamau on the tip of Hiva Oa where unique Tiki statues were unearthed. Takai is the tallest known Polynesian stone.

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EASTER ISLAND There aren’t many places that feel as completely detached from the rest of the planet as Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, as it is known. The inhabited island, with a population under 6,000 is one of the most isolated in the world. The allure of seeing the massive stone statues, called moai, draws adventure seekers to this remote spot. Some of the moai stand 32 feet tall, and there are at least 900 of them scattered around the island. Explore the archaeological and anthropological sites and enjoy a picnic in the shadow of the looming figures.

PRO TIP! Plan ahead to go to Easter Island in February when the Tapati Festival recreates ancient royal traditions. - Catherine Brown, Designer

Moai on Easter island

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HAWAII

Traditional lei making in Hawaii

When the Polynesians arrived in Hawaii, they brought their food, medicines and tradition of making leis. Learn how to make these wreaths of flowers and vines often given to visitors as a symbol of peace and greeting.

Photos courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme | New Zealand Tourism, Julian-Apse | iStock

Te Puia, Rotorua

NEW ZEALAND There’s a serene feeling among the lofty trees near Tane Mahuta, God of the Forest, a giant kauri tree estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old. Cape Regina, the northernmost tip of New Zealand’s North Island is considered a spiritual place for the Maori who believe that it’s where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld. Feel immersed in Maori culture in the Te Whakearewarewa Thermal Valley of Rotorua, a wonderland of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. Follow a Treetops Lodge & Estate chef on a Maori food trail followed by a delicious lunch. KE R & DOWN E Y

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JOURNEYS Ker & D owney 's Top Itinera ri es

Rome, Italy

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C U L I N A RY J O U R N E YS

I T I N E R A RY

A T A S T E O F I T A LY

1 0 D AY S / 9 N I G H T S This is Ker & Downey’s quintessential Italy food and wine tour, plating up the finest culinary delights and bottled vintages from Tuscany, Rome and Sorrento. With luxury villa accommodations, expert guides and exclusive hands-on cooking classes, you will savor every last drop of Italy’s delectable art, culture and cuisine.

S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1-3: TUSCANY | VILLA SAN PAOLO DAY 4-6: ROME | PARK HOTEL VILLA GRAZIOLI DAY 7-10: SORRENTO | GRAND HOTEL DE LA VILLE

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K O R E A N W E L L N E S S R E T R E AT

7 D AY S / 6 N I G H T S The legendary healing arts and beauty treatments of Korea are yours to enjoy with Ker & Downey. Indulge in treatments at the country’s best spas, soak in the natural beauty of Jeju Island and go behind the scenes with top beauty brands alongside your private guide.

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S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1: SEOUL | ORAKAI HOTEL DAY 2-3: JEJU ISLAND | WE HOTEL DAY 4-7: SEOUL | NOVOTEL AMBASSADOR SEOUL YONGSANG


SOUTH KOREA A Wo n d e r f u l L a n d of Contrasts

Photo of Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

Seoul is a thriving modern city that embraces its traditional past. It is amazing to walk through this great 600 year old city and discover Buddhist Temples and Royal Palaces nestled among sleek, high-rise buildings, creating serene oases in the midst of vibrant city life. The rest of this country also has wonderful places to behold. From the mountains in PyeongChang, which hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics, to the bustling beaches at Busan, to the quieter and naturally lush UNESCO World Natural Heritage Jeju Island, Korea has something for everyone. Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include South Korea in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


ROMANCE/HONEYMOON

I T I N E R A RY

BALI LUXURY HONEYMOON

1 0 D AY S / 9 N I G H T S The Island of the Gods beckons on this 10-day Bali luxury honeymoon, the ultimate romantic escape. From the rice paddies of Ubud to the private beaches of the Lombok Strait, Ker & Downey has gathered all of Bali’s most breathtaking resorts and secluded hideaways to create what you will no doubt remember as the honeymoon of a lifetime.

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K E R & D OW N E Y

S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1-3: UBUD | VICEROY BALI DAY 4-6: CANDIDASA | AMANKILA DAY 7-10: JIMBARAN | AYANA RESORT


ESCAPE TO

Bali Viceroy Bali is a family-owned luxury hotel, featuring 25 stunning private pool villas that offer absolute privacy and unparalleled jungle valley views. Located five minutes from the center of Ubud, the villas are complemented by 5-star facilities, including a worldclass spa, fine dining restaurants and private helipad.

V

Viceroy Bali

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Viceroy Bali in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


AC T I V E /A DV E N T U R E

I T I N E R A RY

ECUADOR: THE AMAZON AND ANDES

1 0 D AY S / 9 N I G H T S The countryside of Ecuador comes to life on this picturesque ten-day journey. Discover the rural villages outside of Quito and the Amazon’s lush jungle, and end at the doorstep of the Andean Highlands.

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S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1: QUITO | CASA GANGOTENA DAY 2-4: OTAVALO | HACIENDA ZULETA DAY 5-6: AMAZON | HAMADRYADE LODGE DAY 7: QUITO | CASA GANGOTENA DAY 8-10: COTOPAXI | HACIENDA SAN AGUSTIN DE CALLO


EXPLORE

Q U I TO CASA GANGOTENA There it awaits: a meticulously renovated colonial mansion in the heart of Quito’s Historic Downtown. Elegant. Stately. Grand. Reserved. Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Casa Gangotena in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


L U X U RY S A FA R I

I T I N E R A RY

A L U X U R Y K A L A H A R I S A FA R I

1 3 D AY S / 1 2 N I G H T S Exclusivity is the quintessential hallmark of this stunning 13-day luxury Kalahari safari through South Africa. Experience the finest boutique accommodations and most coveted corners of natural beauty from Cape Town and Hermanus in the south to the Kalahari and Madikwe in the north. 94

K E R & DOW N E Y

S U G G E S T E D J O U R N E Y AT A G L A N C E : DAY 1-4: CAPE TOWN | ELLERMAN HOUSE DAY 5-7: HERMANUS | GROOTBOS GARDEN LODGE DAY 8-10: KALAHARI | TSWALU KALAHARI DAY 11-13: MADIKWE GAME RESERVE | MATEYA SAFARI LODGE


LU X U RY S A FA R I I N

SOUTH A F R I C A

T S WA LU K A L A H A R I Tswalu guests are in search of rarity, adventure, privacy and inspirational travel. This extraordinary property provides all of these and more. With the emphasis on privacy and exclusivity, guests take pleasure in an authentic African wildlife experience while they are exposed to the wonders of the Kalahari ecosystem and Tswalu’s conservation vision. Expect to see some of Africa’s rarest and most extraordinary wildlife — including black-maned lions, African wild dogs and pangolins — and to enjoy the flexibility of the safari experience with a private vehicle, guide, and tracker. A variety of game-viewing experiences includes game drives, guided bush walks, horseback safaris and bird watching. Spend time with colonies of habituated meerkats; book a night under the Kalahari sky at the Malori sleep-out deck; or indulge in some pampering at the Safari Spa. Visit the site of some of the oldest Bushman rock engravings in Africa. Or take a helicopter flip to learn more about Tswalu’s conservation efforts, and enjoy a private picnic on the peaks of the Korannaberg Mountains.

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Tswalu Kalahari in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


THE

SHOT ONE PICTURE, ONE MOMENT, ONE MEMORY CAPTURED BY PHOTOGRAPHER MARK EDWARD HARRIS

I based myself in La Paz on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula for an extended weekend photographing gray whales and diving with whale sharks. Both were incredible experiences but for very different reasons. One thing a still camera can’t record is the sounds of the whales blowing air out of their blowholes. At times we were surrounded by whales, and they put on a magnificent symphony. Diving with whale sharks was a very different (but just as intense) experience. To be only a few feet away from these magnificent 18- to 33-foot creatures effortlessly gliding through the water was humbling to say the least. For this gray whale off the coast of Lopez Mateo photograph, I used a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens on my Nikon D850 set to 1/3200th of a second at f/10, ISO 200. Long lenses and fast shutter speeds are the name of the game when photographing most animals in the wild. While in La Paz I made a pilgrimage to Sorstis, my favorite restaurant in Baja. One cannot live by photography alone.

Mark Edward Harris’ assignments have taken him to 98 countries on six continents. His editorial work has appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, Life, Time, GEO, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR, as well as all the major photography and in-flight magazines. His commercial clients range from The Gap to Coca-Cola to Mexicana Airlines. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a CLIO, ACE, Aurora Gold, and Photographer of the Year at the Black & White Spider Awards. His books include Faces of the Twentieth Century: Master Photographers and Their Work, The Way of the Japanese Bath, Wanderlust, North Korea, South Korea, and Inside Iran. www.MarkEdwardHarris.com @MarkEdwardHarrisPhoto

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MALARIA KILLS MORE THAN WITH

90%

ONE MILLION PEOPLE

E AC H Y E A R ,

OF THEM OCCURRING IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA.

O F T H E S E D E AT H S O C C U R I N

75%

C H I L D R E N U ND E R 5 .

OUR GOAL TO P R OV I D E

18,000 NETS

TO C O M M U N I T I E S TO H E L P R E D U C E T H E

R I S K O F L I F E -T H R E AT E N I N G D I S E A S E S

DONATE F O R E V E R Y N E T P U R C H A S E D K E R & D OW N E Y W I L L D O N AT E A N E T. D O N AT E S E C U R E LY O N O U R W E B S I T E AT W W W. K E R D OW N E Y.C O M A N D TYPE

“NETS FOR AFRICA”

UNDER ADD SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

TO T H E S E L L E R .

TOGETHER WE CAN STOP THE STING OF MOSQUITO BITES


T H E L U X U R Y M A G A Z I N E F O R W O R L D T R AV E L E R S

EXPERIENTIAL. L U X U R Y. T R AV E L .

Kingston treehouse at Lion Sands

Forget group tours, long lines or packaged experiences; with Ker & Downey, everything is a completely tailored fit, and our artist’s signature is threaded throughout. Let us offer you the opportunity for something rare and exotic, an exclusive journey that no one else can duplicate, and a one-of-a-kind adventure filled with the thrill of experience and the luxury of privacy. This is Ker & Downey.

K E R D O W N E Y. C O M | I N F O @ K E R D O W N E Y. C O M | 8 0 0 . 4 2 3 . 4 2 3 6

K E R D O W N E Y. C O M

C O N T A C T Y O U R T R AV E L P R O F E S S I O N A L O R V I S I T U S O N T H E W E B A T

QUEST Magazine Fall 2018  

The Travelog

QUEST Magazine Fall 2018  

The Travelog