QUEST Magazine, The Africa Guide

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T H E A F R I C A T R AV E L G U I D E

ASIA

AF RICA

EU R OP E

L AT I N A M E R I C A

N O RT H A M E R I C A

SO U T H PACIFIC

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.

Royal Malewane


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 enjoy the peace of mind of lenient cancellation policies.

CARRIERS AIR FRANCE

KLM

AMERICAN AIRLINES

L ATA M A I R L I N E S

B R I T I S H A I R WAYS

Q ATA R A I R WAYS

C AT H AY PAC I F I C

R OYA L A I R M A R O C

D E LTA

S O U T H A F R I C A N A I R WAYS

E M I R AT E S

SINGAPORE AIRLINES

ETIHAD

TURKISH AIRLINES

FINNAIR

V I R G I N AT L A N T I C

IBERIA

V I R G I N AU S T R A L I A


A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

In May I traveled with a small group of friends to Zambia and South Africa. It was a trip we started planning in 2019, but then was postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19. Stepping onto a half-full long-haul flight again was surreal and exciting. Our expeditionary group of friends had never been to Africa and their excitement was contagious. We stayed in The Bushcamp Company properties and Royal Chundu in Zambia as well as Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in South Africa. Traveling during the pandemic brought a few extra precautions and inconveniences, but they were minor compared to the incredible adventure we had. What is more, everyone we met, whether in the airport, a shop, camp staff, or safari guide, were genuinely excited to see people traveling again. As we were working through this issue of Quest, a theme stood out that we had to pursue. It is said that each person with a job in Africa supports at least 20 family members. The impact of COVID-19 has been especially hard on the people of Africa who depend on tourism dollars. In this issue, we’re highlighting some of our partners who continued to support their local communities and pursue conservation initiatives even while the tourism industry slowed to a standstill. As you begin to think about travel again, I encourage you to consider one of the itineraries listed in this Africa guide. By doing so, you will be supporting the local communities in the destinations you are traveling to. Travel well, do good. It makes a world of difference.

David Marek President

ON THE COVER: Starlight bed at Onduli Ridge Photo courtesy of Ultimate Safaris


THE RIPPLE EFFECT Photos courtesy of The Ripples Foundation

By Haley Beham Over our past two-and-a-half decades in the travel industry, we’ve seen firsthand how travel supports local and international economies and people. With the travel industry coming to a standstill in 2020, Africa has lost billions of tourism dollars. The loss of revenue has been felt most in the rural and impoverished communities. Through Ker & Downey’s 501c3 Ker & Downey for Africa, we have made it our mission to serve these communities, and in particular, in those areas we travel to most often. We’ve done this mostly through medical mission trips that provided yearly well-visits. Additionally, we’ve handed out around 100,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets to help combat malaria in East Africa. At the end of 2020, we began partnering with The Ripples Foundation by Diane Kwesiga, a Ugandan-based charity initiative, to help cover tuition costs for 12 school-aged children for a year, which amounted to $5,700. But we didn’t stop there. Instead of paying for the one year, we set a goal to pay their tuition each year until they are out of university. 12 children. 12 lives changed. Education is the key to the future and hope for generations to come. We set a goal to raise $6,000 by the end of 2021 to cover tuition costs for one year. Any amount we receive over our target goal will roll over to the following year’s tuition costs. That’s where you come in. You can participate in our fundraising efforts and make a change in these 12 lives by donating at www.kerdowney.com/giving-back-partners/the-ripples-foundation-fundraiser/.


NO MAN IS AN ISLAND By Haley Beham

“NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, ENTIRE OF ITSELF; EVERY MAN IS A PIECE OF THE CONTINENT, A PART OF THE MAIN . ” - John Donne

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umans were not created to live in isolation. 2020 and most of 2021 have really made that point clear. We thrive in communities that build up and support each other. While some communities are location based, like the neighborhood or village you live in, others are interest-based. We are all part of the travel community. At Ker & Downey, combining a passion for travel with compassion for people is part of our ethos. The local communities surrounding safari properties and conservation efforts are deeply entwined. When local communities receive tangible benefits from safari operations and employment at properties, they have a stronger desire to conserve the land and wildlife.  With our offices in Katy, Texas, we can’t always know what communities need most. That’s why we love supporting our partners on the ground in the destinations we travel to. They are able the be the hands and feet to the local communities. Here’s how four of our partners are putting tourism dollars to work, even during the pandemic, and making a difference in their communities.

NOMAD TANZANIA TRUST, TANZANIA

Take care of the people and the wildlife will take care of itself; this is the belief that drives Nomad Tanzania’s conservation efforts. Before making a meaningful contribution to the conservation of wildlife, they strive to meet the needs of their neighbors first. One tangible way they do that is through improving basic healthcare resources in the remote villages many at Nomad call home.

Photos courtesy of Nomad Tanzania | The Bushcamp Company

Healthcare Resources and The Plaster House


Through health education and awareness campaigns covering basic sanitation, safe water use, and child nutrition, they are equipping communities with knowledge to protect and take care of themselves. They also support rural village clinics with essential medicines, access to vaccines, and mosquito nets that protect the most vulnerable from malaria. Beyond addressing basic healthcare needs many of us take for granted, they partner with The Plaster House, a home in Arusha that provides corrective, orthopedic, plastic, and neurosurgery for disabilities such as cleft palate and clubfoot. These are life-changing operations for the children who are often hidden away due to their disfigurements, and for their families.

“IT IS ESTIMATED THAT IN AFRICA ALONE, OVER 345 MILLION PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER.”

Commit to Clean Water THE BUSHCAMP COMPANY, ZAMBIA

Since 2009, The Bushcamp Company has sponsored, funded, and organized projects to promote better education, health, and employment for the local people who live around South Luangwa National Park, where the company operates six safari properties. Their projects include planting trees and providing 2,900 meals to children at school each day. The Bushcamp Company introduced the “Commit to Clean Water” project in 2014. It is estimated that in Africa alone, over 345 million people do not have access to clean water. The burden

of collecting water usually falls on women or children, who spend hours collecting water, often from crocodile-infested rivers. Through the project, they are tapping into clean water deep below the Earth’s surface by drilling deep boreholes and providing central pumps to supply safe, clean drinking water to thousands of people in the local villages. By the end of 2021, The Bushcamp Company will have drilled 156 boreholes. Approximately 42,000 people a day have clean, safe drinking water because of the project.


Green Futures GROOTBOS, SOUTH AFRICA

The Grootbos Foundation’s mission is to conserve the Cape Floral Kingdom and improve the lives of the local communities in sustainable ways through ecotourism, enterprise development, sports development, and education.

At the end of their schooling and training, each student graduates with an internationally recognized Lobster Ink certification, a highly sought-after certification in the eco-tourism sector.

Solar Mamas GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION, BOTSWANA

It’s estimated that only 35% of the households in the remote regions bordering the Okavango Delta have electricity. To help bring electricity to the rural villages, and to empower women to become entrepreneurs, Great Plains Conservation identified nine women from five local villages to attend a six-month solar power training program in India through Barefoot College International. Over six months, the women, most of whom are illiterate, learn to build, install, and maintain solar panels and batteries, bringing electricity to their villages. It’s Great Plains Conservation’s hope to continue recruiting a new class of women each year to complete the training. Eventually, they hope to expand into Kenya and Zimbabwe, bringing electricity to off the grid villages, reducing poverty, and empowering women in each of the destinations where Great Plains operates.

Photos courtesy of Grootbos | Great Plains

One way that they do that is through Green Futures College, which offers an Eco-Tourism and Hospitality curriculum to 12 unemployed young adults each year. Through Green Futures, people from the local community are trained and find work in fynbos landscaping and horticulture, equipping them to create a sustainable income for themselves and their extended family. During their training, they learn to propagate endemic fynbos plants and indigenous trees at the Green Futures Nursery. The funds generated from the sale of the plants are then reinvested back into the project.


A luxury eco-reserve close to the southern tip of Africa, tucked between mountains, forest and sea, offering immersive experiences in nature , which reflect the passionate conservation vision at it's core.

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


L U X U R Y S A FA R I J O U R N E Y

A GRAND TOUR OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 1 5 D AY S / 1 4 N I G H T S On this exciting journey of discovery, travel through four different countries, staying at six unique accommodations offering standout experiences and unparalleled luxury that are sure to create lasting memories. From scenic helicopter transfers and expert guiding to high-end dining and delightful spa spaces, this grand tour of southern Africa offers plenty of opportunities to relax between wildlife adventures.

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 1-2: JOHANNESBURG | THE SAXON HOTEL, VILLAS & SPA DAY 3-4: VICTORIA FALLS | VICTORIA FALLS RIVER LODGE DAY 5-7: SELINDA RESERVE | SELINDA CAMP DAY 8: ZANNIER RESERVE | OMAANDA DAY 9-11: DORO !NAWAS CONSERVANCY | ONDULI RIDGE DAY 12-14: GROOTBOS PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE GROOTBOS FOREST LODGE DAY 15: DEPARTURE


SETTLE IN AT

THE SAXON HOTEL

Tucked in a secure, leafy suburb, the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is perfectly situated to explore the many gems of Africa’s financial capital, Johannesburg — a vibrant world-class city with a fascinating mix of expressive art, eclectic culture, and intriguing history. Set within a magnificent 10 acres and surrounded by lush gardens, this luxury hotel offers an exclusive escape where every detail of your stay has been considered. Step into the luxurious Saxon Spa, a sanctuary offering a variety of healing and reviving Signature Therapies. The Saxon’s fine dining restaurant, Qunu, offers a modern African table, where local and international flavors meet to inspire a unique, vibrant culinary experience. The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is wholly committed to your absolute comfort and will strive to provide you with an experience of a lifetime.

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in your next custom journey. +1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


HOT TO TROT Ker & Downey’s Vice President of Sales & Business Development, Nicky Brandon, shares what she’s most excited about on her next trip to Africa. By Vanessa Niven

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lthough I count myself among the lucky few over the past 18 months who have been able to travel to Africa and see firsthand how local communities have overcome the many pandemic-related challenges, there are still many places on my seemingly endless list that I have yet to visit. Here are two of the experiences that I am most looking forward to having in 2022.

The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa In addition to launching a sleek new website and smartphone app, this dreamy hotel in the cozy Sandton suburb of Johannesburg underwent extensive renovations during its pandemic closure before reopening on May 1st, 2021. Many readers will know the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa for its connection to former president Nelson Mandela, and the hotel’s exquisite fine dining venue, Qunu, is named in honor of the small rural town he loved to call home. Qunu underwent a variety of upgrades in its redesign, all of which were intended to amplify the indoor-outdoor atmosphere that is such an intrinsic part of the African experience. With a gorgeous new mural by artist Justin Badenhorst, aka Nomad, and pieces of the hotel’s extensive African art collection interspersed throughout, guests can enjoy the sumptuous ambience while dining on meticulously prepared modern African cuisine paired with the perfect wine from the hotel cellars’ extensive collections.

Victoria Falls River Lodge Have you always wanted to experience the magic of a safari sleepout adventure in the secluded African bush but felt a bit too nervous about being alone in the wilderness, away from the main lodge facilities? Look no further than the two stunning starbed treehouses nestled amid the exclusive island treehouse suites on Victoria Falls River Lodge’s private Kandahar Island. These two-story treehouses, suspended over the Zambezi River, feature all the creature comforts one would expect from a five-star luxury property on the first story, which encompasses an elegantly appointed indoor bedroom and bathroom with sliding glass doors and ample windows. The private deck offers a seating area and plunge pool for guests to cool down during the hot afternoons. Head upstairs to the rooftop sitting area for evening sundowners, and then spend the night under the stars on the signature starbed.

Photo courtesy of Victoria Falls River Lodge


EXPERIENCE

THE ZAMBEZI LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Victoria Falls River Lodge is the first private game lodge to be built in Zambezi National Park. Situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, the Zambezi Crescent Collection’s pioneer lodge is so close to the world-renowned Victoria Falls one can see the spray in the distance. Our luxury five-star suites offer breathtaking views and secluded privacy. Victoria Falls River Lodge’s luxury tented suites offer wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities, fine dining, and easy access to the historic town of Victoria Falls, in addition to the opportunity to visit the world-famous Falls. All luxury tents and suites offer a larger than king size bed, comfortable sitting area, open-plan bathroom with freestanding bath, and both indoor and outdoor showers.

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


HOT SPOT: NAMIBIA Damaraland’s newest safari property, Onduli Ridge sits perfectly poised for tracking desert-adapted wildlife and taking in Namibia’s stunning natural beauty. By Haley Beham

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here are few places on Earth like Namibia. It’s a country of raw, natural beauty. Dramatic landscapes of soaring sand dunes, vast and arid desert stretching miles upon miles, windswept coastlines, and the Naukluft Mountains are just a few of its natural wonders. The country, which is about twice the size of California, boasts one of the lowest population densities in the world with only around 2.5 million people. Traveling to Namibia offers a completely different experience than anywhere else in Africa. Namibia’s northwestern region of Damaraland is sandwiched between the Skeleton Coast and Etosha National Park. The remote region is special for its ancient natural history, culture,

and geology. Vast gravel plains, flattopped mountains, and clusters of granite outcroppings create a rugged environment that, for thousands of years, has protected a number of rock engravings. This rock art, which dates back 6,000 years, was created by the Damara people who, along with the San, are thought to be the oldest inhabitants of Namibia. One of the most highly debated rock art findings is the White Lady found at Brandberg, although it’s now generally agreed to be a bushmen painting dating 2,000 years ago. It depicts what is assumed to be a ritual dance with several human figures, oryxes, and the “White Lady” which is the most detailed of the figures.


You can find even more ancient rock engravings nearby at Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the Stone Age. There are more than 2,500 clear depictions of giraffes, cattle, rhinos, and lions alongside geometric markings making it the largest collection of rock art in Africa. It’s believed that the San bushmen made the rock art at Twyfelfontein as many as 2,500 years ago. An advantage to traveling to the remote regions in Namibia is the personal, and often exclusive, nature of the accommodations. Newly opened (April 2021) Ultimate Safaris’ Onduli Ridge is one such luxury outpost. Onduli Ridge, named for the resident giraffe in the area, is located in a private concession in the Doro !Nawas Conservancy in the heart of Damaraland. Situated at the base of two south-facing granite outcrops, the six suites sit nestled among the boulders. The

Photos courtesy of Ultimate Safaris

camp is designed to maximize views of the striking landscape, including those of the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain. Taking advantage of Damaraland’s temperate climate and the extraordinary natural beauty, suites are naturally ventilated, with partial open-air bathrooms, louvered shutters, and a deck that allows you to roll your bed out onto it for an afternoon siesta or an evening sleepout. Can you imagine falling asleep under Namibia’s vast night sky covered in stars? From Onduli Ridge, set off on 4x4 safaris in search of desert-adapted wildlife. Steenbok, kudu, baboon, and warthog all thrive in the area. It’s even home to Africa’s largest population of free-range rhinos. But the biggest draw to the remote region is the desert-adapted elephant and lion, who against all odds, have found a way to survive in the desert environment. These elephants can go four days without water. You can even get out of the vehicle and explore the area on foot.


You’ll want to stay for at least four nights so that you have time to not only explore the nearby geological sights like Twyfelfontein, Burnt Mountain, Organ Pipes, and Doros Crater, but to also join in on tracking the desert-adapted elephant and rhinos. Onduli Ridge is easily accessed from Windhoek by air, with its own private airstrip located approximately 20 minutes by safari vehicle from the lodge. We have included a wonderful sample journey in this travel guide that includes Onduli Ridge on a larger exploration of southern Africa. Or, if you’d like to spend more time in Namibia, consider combining it with a stay at Camp Sossus in the Namib Tsaris Conservancy in the south and Ongava Lodge just outside Etosha National Park in the north.

Conservation Chronicles Like so many of the destinations we travel to, the communities and conservation projects in Namibia depend on tourism dollars. While the regular stream of tourism-related financial support has been slow to recover, Ultimate Safaris rallied with corporate companies, Namibian businesses, trade partners, past guests, and armchair conservationists to raise funds through the Conservation Trust Foundation. Because of their efforts, they were able to invest USD $765,000 to a variety of causes and projects, including support for rural schools and scholarships and a community food security project. Additionally, they invested USD $103,000 for two rhino relocations to Doro !Nawas and Huab Conservancies, provided assistance for researchers’ salaries for the AfriCat Foundations, and invested USD $162,000 for human and wildlife conflict mitigation efforts. While the world was in lockdown, they produced a conservation travel series of 66 episodes called the “Covid Chronicles” which documented real-time, behind-the-scenes life of active conservation in Namibia. Episodes took viewers on adventures following the anti-poaching unit at Ongava, getting up close to a pangolin, and even capturing and relocating giraffes.


WILD AND REMOTE

NAMIBIA

Go off the beaten path from Namibia’s famed desolate landscapes and step into Doro !Nawas Conservancy, which means “the place where rhinos roam,” in the heart of Damaraland. Alongside expert guides, you can track desertadapted elephant and keep an eye out for general plains game. On longer stays, you may have the option to seek out rare desert-adapted black rhinos and lions or elusive predators such as spotted and brown hyena. With the backing of Ultimate Safaris’ involvement with conservation in the area, know that your stay is helping preserve this unique ecosystem and its communities. The luxurious and private Onduli Ridge is the perfect place to relax after a day of adventurous activities. With only 6 suites, the personal attention and vast openness allows for a true immersion into Namibia’s most remote corners.

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


O F F T H E B E AT E N PAT H J O U R N E Y

A TRUE TANZANIAN SAFARI 1 1 D AY S / 1 0 N I G H T S This inimitable adventure will weave you through the wonders of northern Tanzania in signature Nomad style, offering an offbeat take on some of safari’s most celebrated spots. Once the spell of enchantment is complete, it’s time to truly drop off the map. Get lost in the secrets of the south in Sand Rivers Selous, or wander way out west among the chimpanzees of Greystoke Mahale … you may never want to return.

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: ARUSHA | LEGENDARY LODGE DAY 2-3: TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK | KURO TARANGIRE DAY 4-5: NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA ENTAMANU NGORONGORO DAY 6-8: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK | LAMAI SERENGETI OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS 3 DAYS: SELOUS GAME RESERVE | SAND RIVERS SELOUS OR MAHALE NATIONAL PARK | GREYSTOKE MAHALE


IN PURSUIT OF

ADVENTURE

For over 20 years Nomad Tanzania has owned and operated outstanding safari camps in three of Tanzania’s remotest corners. They were pioneers in parts of the country few people had heard of at the time, and fewer still had visited. Since those early days, their enduring obsession with Tanzania’s wild places has translated into truly original and exhilarating safari experiences, created with love.     But their motivation goes far deeper than exceptional experiences. They firmly believe that tourism practiced properly is a driving force in conservation, and this belief has dominated their business practice from the beginning. Year after year, they are intensifying their efforts to protect our wild Tanzania from harm, and simply by going on safari with them, you’re helping make that happen.

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


C L A S S I C S A FA R I J O U R N E Y

A ZAMBIAN WALKING SAFARI 1 1 D AY S / 1 0 N I G H T S Zambia’s iconic South Luangwa National Park has long been famed for its untouched bush, prolific game, and expert guides, making it the perfect place to experience a multi-day walking safari. Stay at The Bushcamp Company’s three most recently refurbished luxury bush camps and get as close as possible to the denizens of this natural utopia. Wrap up your itinerary with a visit to the iconic Victoria Falls, staying in unparalleled luxury at Royal Chundu.

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: SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK | MFUWE LODGE DAY 2-3: SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK | KUYENDA BUSHCAMP DAY 4-5: SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK | CHINDENI BUSHCAMP DAY 6-7: SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK | KAPAMBA BUSHCAMP DAY 8-9: SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK | MFUWE LODGE DAY 10-11: LIVINGSTONE | ROYAL CHUNDU


INTIMATE AND EXOTIC

ZAMBIA

Each of these six bushcamps is set in glorious surroundings and can accommodate a maximum of just eight guests, ensuring that every stay is a peaceful one and tailored to guests’ personal needs. Together with the warmest hospitality, sumptuous meals, and first-class guides, The Bushcamp Company’s camps are the perfect gateway for individuals and small groups wishing to explore the spectacular wildlife of the South Luangwa National Park. In the South Luangwa, the walking safari is king. This is what The Bushcamp Company is famous for, so it is only fitting that most outings will be on foot with the very finest guides, though game drives are always on offer as well. The Bushcamp Company is fortunate enough to be the only safari operator in this southern section of the park. As a result, they pride themselves on the intimate nature of their small, exclusive bushcamps, each one situated in breathtaking and remote locations, far from other camps and tourists.

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



BEYOND THE BORDERS How a new generation of rhinos are providing hope for the future of the species in southern Africa. By Haley Beham

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n the 1900s, it was estimated that only 50 white rhinos remained in the wild. Heroic conservation efforts brought that number up close to 20,000 by 2008. In recent years, however, the population has started to decline. Similarly, black rhinos saw a sharp decline in population due to poaching between 1970 and 1993. Today, there are only about 5,600 black rhinos left in the wild. Clearly the rhinos need rescuing. In response to the large numbers of poached rhinos, Great Plains Conservation launched Rhinos Without Borders in 2014. Its goal was to translocate 100 rhinos from poaching hotspots in South Africa to safer safari environments in Botswana where they could be closely monitored using specially designed telemetry devices. Since 2015 Rhinos Without Borders has successfully translocated 87 rhinos. Whenever you embark on a conservation project, you are looking for markers of success. Is the animal thriving in its new habitat? Has it integrated into a group? And perhaps most importantly, is it breeding? Reproduction is the ultimate litmus test as to whether an animal is thriving after it has been relocated. More than 50 babies have been born to translocated rhinos since the project began. This milestone is huge and should be celebrated.


WHEN YOU BOOK A STAY AT ONE OF GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION’S PROPERTIES THROUGH KER & DOWNEY, A CONTRIBUTION IS MADE TO THE GREAT PLAINS FOUNDATION, WHICH SUPPORTS RHINOS WITHOUT BORDERS.

In 2015, Ker & Downey donated $70,000 to move one rhino from South Africa to Botswana. Following our donation to the project, we were given the honor of naming the rhino whose relocation we funded. We named her after Ma Palmer, a deeply loved stalwart of Ker & Downey Botswana’s development into a leading source of photographic safaris. Now Ma Palmer’s spirit lives on in the rhino we relocated — a pioneer in the re-establishment of the rhinos in Botswana. What’s more, Ma Palmer has given birth to a calf named Angela, named after a dear friend of Great Plains Conservation, who spent hours upon hours encouraging others to donate to the project and participate in philanthropic travel.

Photos courtesy of Great Plains

This new population of rhinos is giving tremendous hope for the future of the species. Currently, Rhinos Without Borders is focusing their efforts on the security of these animals. Experienced teams of monitors are on the ground and in the air, working daily with the Botswana government and rhino conservation stakeholders to ensure the safety of the rhinos. Constant monitoring isn’t cheap. When you book a stay at one of Great Plains Conservation’s properties through Ker & Downey, a contribution is made to the Great Plains Foundation, which supports Rhinos Without Borders, as well as other conservation projects.


LUXURY MEETS C O NS E RVAT I O N I N

B O T S WA NA

As one of Botswana’s few Relais & Châteaux properties, the newly rebuilt Selinda Camp continues to meet — and exceed — the expectations of luxury safari goers time and again, with three expansive suites under thatch as well as the stunning two-bedroom Selinda Suite to choose from. Set in one of the most pristine wilderness areas left on our planet, the new Selinda Camp rests on the banks of Botswana’s Selinda Spillway as it enters the Linyanti River. The private 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve boasts large elephant herds, regular sightings of the Selinda pack of African wild dogs, and the famous Selinda lion pride recently featured in the National Geographic film “Birth of a Pride” by Dereck and Beverly Joubert. The area has a sense of remoteness, a true spirit of Africa, and an excellent example of Botswana bush embodying various species and rare animals, offering the perfect safari experience.

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


FEEL GOOD GIFTS Our picks for gift giving with a purpose this season. By Amy Willis

Ubuntu Life Feel good while looking good by supporting Ubuntu Life. Based in Kenya, their mission is to empower lives through each product made by creating social enterprises with Maker Mums who craft beautiful bags, jewelry, and shoes by hand. Along with providing full time employment to more than 80 people in Maai Mahiu, the proceeds go towards operating a center for children with disabilities, providing life-changing therapy and medical care for kids who suffer from physical challenges and social stigma. See more at ubuntu.life

The ELE Collection Help protect elephants in Zimbabwe by giving a thoughtful piece of jewelry. The ELE Collection was inspired by the elephants that walk through Mfuwe Lodge each November in search of wild mangoes. Each pendant can be customized with ethically sourced diamonds, rubies, Zambian emeralds, silver, and gold. The sales fund the CSL’s (Conservation South Luangwa) anti-poaching programs and the Commit to Clean Water project in the local community. See more at eleafricacollection.com


D&B Explorer Collection Look no further than the Great Plains’ safari clothing collection for that perfect look out in the bush. Designed and developed by Dereck and Beverly Joubert — National Geographic Explorers, world-renowned filmmakers, and safari camp owners — who carefully created functional, thoughtfully produced, and stylish pieces for men and women venturing out into the wild. For every item purchased online from the collection, $10 will be donated to the Great Plains Foundation. See more at greatplainsconservation.com/ safariboutique

Zambezi Joy Society Looking for something truly unique? You’ll find beautiful and vibrant gifts from Royal Chundu’s online shop, Zambezi Joy Society. It features colorful Zambian items for the home and Chitenge clothes for adults and children. After seeing a mounting interest in their dresses, dishcloths, tablecloths, and other items, they decided to create a way for people to purchase Zambian items from anywhere in the world. The store celebrates Zambian artists from the local village who create these wonderful wares and clothes. See more at zambezijoysociety.com

Ker & Downey Philanthropy Projects Nothing feels better than giving to those who are in need. If you’d like to contribute to one of our established philanthropy projects, we would be forever grateful. From medical assistance in East Africa, to protecting the South American condor, we support a host of reputable properties and organizations through our network. See more and give at kerdowney.com/giving-back


Photo courtesy of Belmond Khwai River Lodge

TH R E E WAYS T O CON TACT US 1. CALL US AT: 800.423.4236 2. GO TO OUR WEBSITE - PLAN YOUR TRIP: W W W. K E R D O W N E Y. C O M 3. EMAIL US AT: L U X U R Y @ K E R D O W N E Y. C O M CONNECT WITH US ON SOCIAL