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THE LUXURY MAGAZINE FOR WORLD TRAVELERS

BESPOKE SPRING 2011

KER & DOWNEY MAGAZINE

Out of Morocco E X P E R I E N T I A L S KO U R A , D A D E S VA L L E Y A N D B E YO N D

INSIDE:

ECUADOR GALAPAGOS ISLANDS TANZANIA UGANDA MOROCCO NEW ZEALAND

PHILANTHROPY

S AV E T H E S T R E E T CHILDREN

( Uganda )

S E YC H E L L E S B E A PA RT O F T H E L I F E O F A H AW K S B I L L T U RT L E O N DESROCHES ISLAND

All Under the Kiwi Sun T H E G R E AT E S T N E W Z E A L A N D I T I N E R A RY EV E R

( The Adventure Capital )


WISHLIST

#3 UMA PA RO

Bhutan

ASIA

SOUTH AMERICA

NORTH AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

OCEANIA

AFRICA

BEYOND


W W W. FA C E BOOK.COM/KERANDDOWNEY


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Down Narrow Streets of Morocco

From the endless maze of Marrakechi streets to the Sahara desert, Morocco is full to the brim of surprise and vibrant color; even Berbers in a cave.

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Welcome to Kiwi Country

Long known as the adventure capital of the world, luxury is still making a name for itself through a few incredible properties featured in K&D’s latest itinerary to New Zealand.

“ Here lies the Region of the Thousand Kasbahs - stone fortresses rising out of the sand, beacons for ancient travelers and safe havens from desert marauders. ” - Down Narrow Streets of Morocco / Page 27 -

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S E YC H E L L E S

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On Conservation Island

Visit Desroches Island, where Ker & Downey guests get a very special experience in working hands-on with endangered hawksbill turtles, getting them on their way from hatchlings to the sea.


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he grandiose triumphs of man and earth awaken the architect within, swaying you to craft your own blueprints of unforgettable experiences in this ancient land…

SIGNATURE TURKEY History and modern beauty converge on an amazing 10-day journey through Ker & Downey’s Signature Turkey (from $7,835). Heed the mesmerizing call of timeless underground cities in Cappadocia, relax at the stunning Aegean Coast, marvel at Istanbul’s Byzantine splendor and cruise the Bosphorus in contemporary luxury.

800.423.4236 www.kerdowney.com


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Crusoe-chic relaxation in Zanzibar.

G A L A PAGOS

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TANZANIA

Galapagos By Land/Sea

The wonderful little islands of the Galapagos are NOT just for cruisers - in fact, try a land AND sea journey to make sure you get the best of both worlds.

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Wonders of Tanzania

The world of wildlife is no better than in Tanzania. Explore the “wonders” of this East African country through this amazing itinerary we have outlined for you.

T H E T R AV E L O G U E Letter from the President Ker & Downey president David

“ Sun and sand take center stage in this island paradise, showcasing a heritage steeped in spices and warmed by the Indian Ocean. ” - Wonders of Tanzania / Page 49 -

PHILANTHROPY Save Street Children Uganda Check out the

latest updates from Uganda and the SSCU orphanage. Change is on the way. pg.14

Marek talks about your comfort level and Philanthropy. pg.5

Ker & Downey Online Don’t forget to stay up to date

with all of our online outlets like Facebook and Twitter. pg.7

Our World A comprehensive map of our destinations. pg.9 The Photo Hunt The Photo Hunt contest is back and even better! Submit your travel photos to us and see if you get published in the next issue of BESPOKE! pg.11

Newsworthy Airfare, Elite Traveler Magazine, and more. pg.11

CREDITS Spring Magazine 2011 Executive Editor: Andrew Littmann Contributing Editors: David Jones, Brittan Pittman Content Writers: Katy Heerssen, Andrew Littmann Design: Andrew Littmann, Brittan Pittman For future advertising consideration: Contact Andrew Littman - 281.371.2500 alittmann@kerdowney.com

Lodge, Kauri Cliffs, Asilia Lodges, Desroches Island All pricing that has been notated in this magazine has been listed based on double occupancy. Prices may vary depending on the time of year as well as other variable factors. © 2011 Ker & Downey

Photography credits include: La Mamounia, Uma Paro, Corbis Images, Four Seasons Istanbul, Thinkstock Photos, David Marek, Grasmere Lodge, New Zealand Tourism, iStockphoto, Qantas Airlines, Emirates Airline, Mountain Lodges of Peru, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Andrew Littmann, Galapagos Safari Camp, Michael and Stephanie Mesdag, Dar Ahlam, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Matakauri

*This magazine is a publication of Ker & Downey. The views and opinions expressed in this magazine belong to contributors and writers and may not reflect the views and opinions of Ker & Downey.

On the Cover: Where Anything Goes: The staff at La Mamounia in Marrakech are perfectly attuned to the idea of “bespoke,” as is seen here in the traditional tea service at Le Menzeh. For other great ideas in and around Marrakech and the rest of Morocco, see “Down Narrow Streets of Morocco” on page 27. F O R T RAV E L AG E N TS : Reservations or questions can be handled by calling us at 800.423.4236.

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Here´s news that will put you to sleep. Premium Business to South America. 100% horizontal, full flat.

For more information visit www.kerdowney.com/book-airfare or call Cheri Sanders at 800.423.4236

oneworld

Earn kilometers/miles on LANPASS or AAdvantage every time you fly with us. American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® Program anytime without prior notice. American Airlines is not responsible for products and services offered by other companies. LAN® is a registered trademark.


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Photo of Children at the orphanage.

On the Edge of Your Comfort Level Why is it that some people travel to the same places year after year? And when they do decide to do something “adventuresome” the most adventuresome thing they can make themselves do is to join a group tour where, in all likelihood, they’ll be stuck in the back of a bus with a bunch of tourists from who knows where, stopping every 30 minutes for a “pit stop” behind every bush between Nairobi and Arusha. That’s not my type of adventure… and certainly has nothing in common with Ker & Downey’s luxury bespoke adventures.

For those that would like to be involved in a project such as Save the Street Children Uganda, we invite you on a journey with us to East Africa, where you can not only see nature in its most dramatic and awe-inspiring glory, but also visit the children at the orphanage. They will sing to you, visit with you, hug you and thank you. You will leave there a changed person.

This issue of Bespoke presents to you a few of Ker & Downey’s favorite destinations but also something else…philanthropy. The project at the top of my list is Save the Street Children Uganda, an orphanage based in Kampala that provides shelter, food, clothes, school, and love to a growing number of Ugandan orphans. Ker & Downey has made a commitment to this orphanage to make sure that EVERY child’s needs will be met, including the cost of an education. On top of that, we’re committed to helping them buy land and build a larger facility to handle the ever-increasing number of orphans.

Here’s to living life on the edge of your comfort level.

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David Marek President


Grasmere Lodge- One of the stops made on Ker & Downey’s:

NEW ZEALAND DISCOVERER

Amidst rolling pastures, backed by towering ranges and punctuated by stands of beech and evergreen you will find the historic Grasmere Lodge. Built in 1853, the original homestead still stands at the heart of this impressive lodge, a hub of activity and effortless relaxation in New Zealand’s quiet countryside.

800.423.4236 info@kerdowney.com


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Now on the Web

Don’t miss out on the photos, stories, and personal connections you can make via our online social outlets.

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BLOG

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

WEBSITE

The Ker & Downey blog is an easy-to-read stream of simply great travel resources. Here you’ll find stories about each of our destinations, content from our newsletters (in case you missed one), trip ideas, and much more. Just check under the resources tab.

Did you know Ker & Downey has a Facebook page? We’d love to see you join us, Like us, and share the experiences of your trip with us! This is the perfect outlet to share your photos, your favorite places to go, things to do and people to meet. So please take a few moments and connect with us; share your ideas – make traveling personal.

Follow us on Twitter and get updates on what’s going on with Ker & Downey and the travel industry as a whole. With content ranging from breaking news and world updates to suggested itineraries and hot properties, following Ker & Downey on Twitter can only deepen your knowledge of the world around you and the limitless possibilities of travel with Ker & Downey, the experts.

The grandstand of our online presence, our website is full of all things experiential. Tabs like Destinations, Properties, and Philanthropy make it easy to find destinations you like, properties you want to visit, and good things to do in the name of conservation and making the world a better place.

B LO G : www.kerdowney.com/resources/blog        FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/keranddowney        TWITTER: @kdluxurytravel 

Please visit us on the web at

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or contact us by email, info@kerdowney.com, to learn more or for booking information.


Qantas International Business

Enjoy the journey.

Our award winning business Skybed invites you to stretch out for a restful sleep. Or converts at the touch of a button to a multi-adjustable seat with a built-in massage system. Qantas offers daily non-stop service from the US to Australia and New Zealand. Starting May 16th, Qantas begins direct service from Dallas/Fort Worth to Australia. Available on our B747-400 and A330-200 aircraft operating between the U.S. and Australia/New Zealand. Subject to last minute change of aircraft.


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Bespoke Thinking

Our Global Destinations BRAZIL CHILE ECUADOR & THE GALAPAGOS PERU

EAST A F R I CA KENYA RWANDA SEYCHELLES TANZANIA UGANDA

AS I A

NORTH A F R I CA & THE MID D L E E AST EGYPT ISRAEL JORDAN OMAN QATAR TURKEY MOROCCO UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

BHUTAN INDIA NEPAL LAOS CAMBODIA THAILAND VIETNAM

S O U T H PAC I F I C AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND

SOUTH A M E R I CA ARGENTINA

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S O U THERN AFRICA BOTSWANA MAURITIUS MOZAMBIQUE NAMIBIA SOUTH AFRICA ZAMBIA ZIMBABWE

The real heartbeat of Ker & Downey traveling lies in our dedication to creating hand-crafted journeys that will change your life. The experience you gain, the adventure you have, the people you meet - all of these are the benchmarks of a truly life-changing journey. So step into the world of Ker & Downey with boldness. With any of our excursions, mix and match a world of destinations and luxury properties for your very own, unique trip of a lifetime.

FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE AFRICA UGANDA TANZANIA MOROCCO SOUTH AMERICA ECUADOR & THE GALAPAGOS

ISLANDS SEYCHELLES SOUTH PACIFIC NEW ZEALAND MIDDLE EAST TURKEY


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Sara Marek Pictures from my recent trip to Kenya with Ker & Downey!

Ker & Downey Ker & Downey’s Andrew Littmann and his wife Haley are spending time this Holiday season with the Save Street Children Uganda organization. Stories from their time with these amazing children to come!

Save Street Children Uganda

6 new photos

Share Your Stories VISIT O U R FAC E B O O K PAG E TO G E T CO N N EC T E D W I T H T HE LATEST NEWS

Keep up to date with what we are doing

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If you haven’t signed on Facebook just yet, now is the perfect time to join and connect with Ker & Downey. With our powerful online tools, you can stay connected with our weekly newsletter, product updates, signature journeys, special offers, BESPOKE Magazine and hot properties available to you as you customize a luxury journey with us. After your travels, share highlights from your trip with us and other travelers from all over the world. Shared experiences will open minds to unfamiliar destinations and amazing adventures with Ker & Downey. Tell us about the mahout you met on your elephant ride in India. Show us your amazing safari footage from Botswana. Share with us the view from your hotel room in Dubai. We happily encourage you to play show and tell on our page. Ker & D ow ney | SPRING 2011

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Emirates A380 First Class Private Suites.

A I R D E PARTMENT

Up in the Air

K&D has some new incredible airfare offers you won’t want to miss. With fuel surcharges and ticket costs going through the roof, wouldn’t you like to know how to get great rates (yes, even in first and business class) on premier carriers for LESS? The

answer is simple: book your airfare with Ker & Downey. Over the past few years, we have worked hard to develop great relationships with all types

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of air partners to get good rates for you, our VIP clients. Just a few airlines for your consideration: Emirates Airline, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, South African Airways, LAN Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Seychelles - you get the picture? We’re connected all over the globe, so whatever your flight needs are, don’t hesitate to ask us about the great rates we can get for you on almost any airline. Stop stressing and start flying, for less. Learn more about our air department, rates, and ticket through our website at: www.kerdowney.com/book-airfare Or, you can send us an email: csanders@kerdowney.com

facebook.com/keranddowney

“Sharing a photograph is a lot like telling a story... So how many stories have inspired you in a lifetime?” Tell us the best ones you can remember on our Facebook Page.

P H OTO G R A P H Y

The Photo Hunt Go ahead and show us what you’ve got - enter your Photo Hunt contest images on Facebook or send us an email: thephotohunt@kerdowney.com.

I N T H E PRESS

Ker & Downey in Elite Traveler Magazine Margie Goldsmith, friend of Ker & Downey and freelancer for many prominent luxury travel magazines, is having her K&D trip to Turkey published in an upcoming issue of Elite Traveler. Don’t miss it! If you’re interested in taking your own journey to Turkey or combining it with other great destinations like Jordan and Israel, send us an email: info@kerdowney.com. Ancient ruins in Ephesus.

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Prepare for landing.

You could unwind with a hot shower, or close the doors to your First Class Private Suite. You could mingle in the onboard Lounge*, or just sleep under the stars in a Business Class lie-flat bed. With so many choices, you may find yourself wishing for a longer flight. Discover more at emirates.com/choices

The Emirates A380. A sky full of choices. Fly Emirates. Keep discovering.

emirates.com/choices *Shower Spa and Private Suite available in First Class. Onboard Lounge available in First and Business Class. Over 400 international awards and over 100 destinations worldwide. Discover frequent ďƒ&#x;yer beneďƒžts at skywards.com


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he ancient halls of Ankgor Wat whisper quiet serenades, leading you to discover that souls at peace all speak the same language‌

CAMBODIA PANORAMA Rich history, genuine hospitality and an abundance of awe-inspiring temples complete the Cambodia Panorama (from $5,357) with Ker & Downey. This nine-day journey explores the cultural legacy of the Khmer Empire in the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, quiet settlements along the Mekong and the untarnished beaches on the southern coast.

800.423.4236 www.kerdowney.com


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You’ve Gotta Try This If the “bespoke” concept is new to you, then check out the travel ideas below to get started on what amazing things are available to you when you travel with Ker & Downey.

EGYPT

Dive the Ruins of Alexandria Take an extraordinary journey beneath the surface of ancient Alexandria, exploring an underwater playground where the massive monuments and ancient glory of Alexandria have been eerily preserved for centuries in the harbor. These treasures were discovered by divers in 1994 and are the continued subject of underwater archeology. Alexandria was once home to Pharos, more commonly known as the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the original Seven Wonders and the tallest manmade structure in the world. The once-in-alifetime diving experience will reveal the remains of Pharos and ancient Alexandria in the Mediterranean, along with the remnants of Cleopatra’s City and palace, dating to 300 BC.

Right: Ker & Downey offers a new way to Machu Picchu in the Splendors of Peru itinerary. Below: great white shark diving.

SOU T H A F R I C A

PERU

Shark Cage Diving

Ancient Paths of Peru

Feeling a bit daring? Why not consider a shark diving tour from Gansbaai on a boat specifically designed for your comfort and safety. Depending on the adrenaline rush you’re looking for, choose from shark cage diving or an observation trip from the deck of the shark boat. The captain and crew aspire to give you the ultimate experience in observing the great white shark. The crew has years of experience in white shark cage diving. They have worked with various international film crews, photographers and scientists.

Ker & Downey takes you away from the masses of trekkers on Inca Trail and guides you on a new road to Machu Picchu defined by all the challenge a seasoned trekker expects with unique, luxury mountain retreats. Along the way are snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes. Redefine any notions you have about trekking and indulge yourself in innovative local cuisine, massage, outdoor jacuzzis and your own en-suite bathroom. This is not just another hike; this is a true, experiential retreat for the soul.

How to Book these Experiences The world of Bespoke is yours: Mix and match any of our experiences, destinations, or suggested properties to make your own, unique journey of a lifetime. If you’re looking for the best place to get started, how about right here:

ALEXANDRIA DIVING

SHARK CAGE DIVING

PERU TREKKING

WHERE: Egypt

WHERE: South Africa

WHERE: Peru

ITINERARY NAME: Uncovering

ITINERARY NAME: Splendors

ITINERARY NAME: Trek to the

Alexander’s Egypt

of the Cape

Lost City: Luxury in the Andes

COST: from $9,870 pp/sharing

COST: from $11,055 pp/sharing

COST: from $8,635 pp/sharing

Please visit us at www.kerdowney.com or contact us by email at info@kerdowney.com, to learn more or for booking information.

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CONTENTS

SPRING 2011

Philanthropy

Save Street Children Uganda

We’ve all been in this situation: scurrying past a woman hunched over her rusted shopping cart, acting busy to avoid her gaze; or doublechecking our car doors while at a stop light where a weathered man waits with a scrawled cardboard sign. Now imagine that it’s a six-yearold girl you’re trying to ignore... Street children in Uganda often have no way of getting water for the day except by carrying old jerry cans over long distances to fill them.

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This image is the reality on the streets of Uganda, where children are often forced out of their homes and onto the streets, greeted only with danger and uncertainty. Poverty, internal conflicts and a widespread increase in HIV/AIDS cases have left countless children orphaned in the country – UNICEF estimates

top 2.5 million – all of whom often face exploitation, sickness and a very bleak future living homeless and helpless. Enter Save Street Children Uganda, a network of former street children now striving to provide guidance to this growing segment of Ugandan society. Founder Innocent Byaruhanga, who himself lived on the streets of Kampala for nine years,


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established the cause in 2005 and converted a compound in downtown Kampala into an “island of safety” for the children of the streets. Volunteers are active in the city, listening to concerns from the children who are rescued about their friends that are still homeless and making efforts to find them and bring them safely to the orphanage. Theirs seems an impossible mission – emotional and burdensome, yet justified tenfold with every small victory and positive influence brought to the former street kids.

“Ker & Downey clients have the unique opportunity to meet Uncle Innocent and the children.”

PHILANTHROPY

See for Yourself UGANDA’S WILD KINGDOMS Itinerary At a Glance Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day

1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15:

Arrive Kampala / Kampala Serena Hotel Kampala Save the Street Children / Kampala Serena Hotel (B) Murchison Falls National Park / Paraa Lodge (L,D) Murchison Falls National Park / Paraa Lodge (B,L,D) Kibale National Park / Ndali Lodge (B,L,D) Kibale National Park / Ndali Lodge (B,L,D) Queen Elizabeth National Park / Mweya Lodge (B,L,D) Queen Elizabeth National Park / Mweya Lodge (B,L,D) Bwindi / Gorilla Forest Camp (B,L,D) Bwindi / Gorilla Forest Camp (B,L,D) Bwindi / Gorilla Forest Camp (B,L,D) Lake Mburo National Park / Mihingo Lodge (B,L,D) Jinja / Wildwaters Lodge (B,L) Jinja / Wildwaters Lodge (B) Jinja / Departure (B)

SEE ITINERARY FOR DETAILS

Ker & Downey has been pleased to support Save Street Children Uganda since 2009 . It was then that we set out to remedy the situation we discovered – so many little ones and not nearly enough beds for them. With our help, not only were twin beds added to the quarters, but new bed linens, and later books, bibles and soccer uniforms too. Our efforts have even provided modern toilet facilities for the refuge, an often unattainable luxury in Kampala. Aside from providing basic needs for these children and a safe haven beyond the slums, Save Street Children Uganda also strives to give each child under their care quality schooling. Currently Ker & Downey sponsors five students living at the orphanage to ensure that school attendance is 100% within the organization. The scene today is one of optimism for the 50 children who have fortuitously made their way to the organization. Innocent, or “Uncle Innocent” to those residing in the orphanage, visits quite often between his travels and efforts to raise awareness for the plight of the forgotten children of Uganda. The future for Save Street Children Uganda is looking brighter too, as the organization is in the process of acquiring 20 acres

Ker & Downey marketing director, Andrew Littmann and his wife Haley at Save the Street Children on their last journey to Uganda.

For more information... Visit www.kerdowney.com or by email, info@kerdowney.com, to learn more.

outside of Kampala. Plans are underway to construct a new facility with more seclusion and more capacity to meet basic needs and expand upon the current life skills classes that are offered. Sewing machines are next on the agenda for the volunteers to teach a skill that will later help the children find a job in the community. Ker & Downey clients have the

unique opportunity when traveling in Uganda to meet Uncle Innocent and the children who have been given a second chance. Visitors will find children with smiling faces, eager to show off their dances, show you their rooms and soccer field, and camera-ready with sincere hugs of thanks and appreciation.

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Aboard the brand new M/Y Grand Odyssey in the Galapagos Islands.

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GALAPAGOS: by

LAND SEA WHY YOU SHOULDN’T DO ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER The two faces of the Galapagos Islands have never been as easy to explore. Try the Ker & Downey approach by taking a journey by land AND by sea.

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olorful birds create a cacophony in a crisp saltwater lagoon, while nearby giant tortoises silently make a trail through the tall grasses. Miles away, penguins jump from rock to rock, inventing a new kind of hopscotch on prehistoric atolls barely inches above the waves. Still elsewhere, marine iguanas peek over rock formations like mythical sirens, jutting out of the water to sing a song and awaken the adventurer within. These are the Galapagos Islands, the biological darling of the Pacific, and one of the few remaining pristine wildernesses left in the world. It’s hard not to feel like an explorer of old here while uncovering foreign islands and the plethora of endemic species – close to 9,000 if we’re counting – amidst an alien volcanic terrain. At every turn there are new discoveries still waiting to be made, with docile wildlife just as curious about two-legged visitors as we are about them. Unbelievably close encounters with these island natives are a delight both for youngsters and the seasoned jet set who have already ticked Africa’s Big Five off their world species bucket list.

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The choice in this diverse archipelago is not so much what to see, but how to see it. Those bound for the Galapagos with Ker & Downey inspect the best of the islands both by land and sea, partaking in the unmatched comfort of lavish tents and splendors aboard an intimate yacht. One of only a handful of luxury tented camps in South America, Galapagos Safari Camp was conceived by a pair of seasoned explorers while sightseeing from a tree branch. Michael and Stephanie Mesdag envisioned a future far from their home in Europe on that fateful perch, inspired by the vistas before them and the potential for a harmonious marrying of aesthetic accommodations and eco-minded tourism.

With facilities that stand toe-to-toe with tented camps in the Okavango or Kruger, the Galapagos Safari Camp indeed adds a touch of African-chic to this wilderness. Nine elevated tents are comprised of three protective layers of canvas, specifically designed to combat the rain and sun. Climate controls, custom-built beds and writing desks, storage cupboards and en-suite facilities with hot power showers and flush toilets are among the modern amenities. Guests will find warblers, mockingbirds, Galapagos doves and owls amidst the menagerie of birds residing on the farm. Among the highlights of a stay at camp, a chance meeting with visiting tortoises that regularly meander between the tents and through the grounds. A hammock and chairs on the tent’s gracious balcony invites relaxing moments with a front-row seat to the rustic activity, a view duplicated from the infinity pool situated inconspicuously in the brush next to the main lodge.

Dreams have been realized here – shared by the likes of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles – with Galapagos Safari Camp emerging as the leader among luxury accommodations in the Galapagos.

Shore excursions bring the Galapagos Islands to life in an up close and personal way as expert guides explain the adapted plants and wildlife.

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From its location on a hill, the open-plan main lodge’s panorama stretches across the Pacific with nearby islands briefly interrupting the blue – ever present through the picture windows and the ample curved veranda.

Main area at Galapagos Safari Camp.

The ridgeside camp occupies 55 hectares of former farmland in what is known as the transition zone – a kind of eco-DMZ bordering the Galapagos National Park and the farmlands of Santa Cruz Island. Reforestation efforts at camp, aided by the botanists of Conservation International and the Charles Darwin Foundation, are helping endemic trees reclaim ground and simultaneously removing introduced species of guava and banana leftover from the property’s former agricultural pursuits. Venturing outside of camp and into the highlands, visitors can interact with more dome-backed denizens on the tortoise reserve inside Galapagos National Park. Santa Cruz’s lowlands offer a venue for diving, snorkeling and various other watersports in the cerulean waters. A variety of further excursions can be arranged from Galapagos Safari Camp, ranging from guided mountain biking treks and horseback rides on Santa Cruz, to day trips to the nearby islands. To truly discover the wealth of biological majesty of the Galapagos, extended cruises on larger ships and yachts are mandatory. Among the sea-faring options is the newest in Galapagos Odyssey’s fleet, the Grand Odyssey.

THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS Situated 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the archipelago consists of 19 islands and over 40 inlets of pure adventure. From your comfortable base aboard the M/Y Grand Odyssey or on land at the Galapagos Safari Camp, there are many opportunities to hike, swim, snorkel, kayak, birdwatch and take some amazing photographs.

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SUGGESTED ITINERARY: To see a suggested Galapagos itinerary, see pg. 26


At every turn there are new discoveries still waiting to be made, with docile wildlife just as curious about twolegged visitors as we are about them.

A Galapgos iguana enjoying a daily dose of sunshine.

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The rare Galapagos penguin is one of the most sought after sights on an excursion to Isabela Island.

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The outdoor areas of the M/Y Grand Odyssey are some of the best, and most spacious in the Galapagos.

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open spaces, imparting the feeling of a land-based luxury hotel jettisoned into the blue. Panoramic windows are found throughout, ensuring that not a moment of scenery passes that cannot be surveyed from the suites or any point indoors on the ship. Aboard the top deck, plush deck furnishings rest beneath a good balance of sun and shade, with two Jacuzzis inviting guests to watch the scene at sea as they soak.

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The Mesdags of Galapagos Safari Camp were among the first to embark with the Grand Odyssey. Theirs was a five-night jaunt to Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago and San Cristobal Islands with their two young children. Aside from the unparalleled comfort and spaciousness found in the cabins, Stephanie praised the ease of traveling with her entire family aboard the ship. “For children, it is fabulous,” says Stephanie. “For instance, the dining room floor plan allows for separation, so families with children can keep a comfortable distance and enjoy meals as they would at home. The space helped us avoid the feeling that we were making the other passengers uncomfortable.” Tike-friendly features also include a play zone, assembled only on embarkations designated as family cruises. Safety and adventure are of equal priority on the vessel with special care paid to all maritime safeguards, reviewed with guests of all ages before each sailing.

1. Deck of the Galapagos Safari Camp on Santa Cruz. 2. The abundant outdoor deck of the M/Y Odyssey includes large and comfortable daybeds - perfect for naps in the sun. 3. The inviting main cabin area of the Odyssey. 4. Michael Mesdag on an excursion with his youngest adventurer.

In the Enchanted Islands, some of the most lasting wildlife encounters can only be reached by boat - isolated beaches abuzz with the spirited activity of flamingos or decidedly quieter shores where sea lions enjoy afternoon siestas. Having debuted in February 25

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2011, the Grand Odyssey was born of an experienced history in responsible Galapagos cruising with a focus on conservation and up-close discovery. The vessel itself embodies opulence afloat, awash in supple modern textiles, chrome accents, light wood and rare

By land and sea, the Islands are a playground for precocious naturalistsin-training. The many available tours cover a wealth of ground and water between the islands, among them the less-frequented habitats rich in fauna. Spy penguins, sea lions and marine iguanas between the lava tubes of Chinese Hat, a volcanic formation named for its resemblance to the conical hats indicative of many cultures in Southeast Asia. Snorkel among sea turtles and playful sea lions in the shadow of Pinnacle Rock on Bartholome Island. Raft the placid canals of Isabela, bordered by lush vegetation alive with twittering finches and Galapagos hawks. Expert guides are close at hand on excursions, eager to


ITINERARY

A baby seal pup.

GRAND ECUADOR

Arrive in Quito and spend an evening at the Hotel Plaza Grande, once the home of a 16th-century conquistador. Continue north of Quito for an overnight stay at La Mirage in Otavalo, a city famous for its massive Andean market. Browse the jewelry, straw hats, paintings and other fine goods handcrafted by the Andean peoples. The market is best known for its textiles with vibrant colors and warm wooly materials. Next, go cruising around the Galapagos for five days aboard the M/Y Grand Odyssey luxury yacht. Unforgettable encounters with the Galapagos’ many inhabitants, including sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, iguana and hundreds of species of birds await you on your journey. The cruise begins and ends on Santa Cruz Island with stops at Genovesa Island, Santiago Island and several small formations en route. Learn about the diversity that makes these islands so unique, including the region’s volcanic geology. After your trip through the Galapagos, spend the final evening of your journey in Quito - once more at the Hotel Plaza Grande - taking in the sights of the city before your flight home. *Ask us about customizing this journey with an extension to the Galapagos Safari Camp.

GALAPAGOS SAFARI CAMP Nestled amidst forest and brush is Galapagos Safari Camp, a luxurious tented camp that offers a whole new way to explore the Galapagos. From a wooded perch on Santa Cruz Island, embark on excursions to see the wildlife and beauty of this treasured region. Nine tents on raised platforms comprise the accommodations at the camp, each protected by three layers of specially-designed outer canvas. Relax on the hammock and balcony furnishings or sit at the writing desk to plan and reflect on the day’s travels. An electric room fan and heater, flush toilet, hot shower and plush bedding provide comfort in the seemingly rustic spaces. Set out to explore the “highlands” of Santa Cruz Island, the plains once used for cattle farming, now being

reclaimed by native trees with the help of the camp’s conservation project. Head towards the coast and the “lowlands” of Santa Cruz for snorkeling and relaxing on the white beaches. Day trips to other islands can also be arranged.

M/Y GRAND ODYSSEY Just launched in February 2011, the luxurious M/Y Grand Odyssey offers all the comforts of a traditional hotel in the Galapagos. Capacity exists for 16 passengers on the resplendent four-deck yacht. Guests can choose from any of eight standard suites and one

For more information...

spacious Odyssey Suite, which boasts 100 extra square feet of space. Head to the top deck’s solarium for lounging in the sun or the shade and soaking in the two Jacuzzis. The lowest deck features a small gym and treatment room where guests can relax with a variety of therapies and massages. Excursions on land include nature walks led by professional guides and relaxing afternoons simply lounging on the beaches. Guests can expect to see turtles, penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas and even sharks while hiking, kayaking and snorkeling.

Visit us at www.kerdowney.com or to contact one of our South America specialists,

email us at info@kerdowney.com.

A Galapagos seal

impart their knowledge of the volcanic geology of the islands and point out the varied species uncovered here. At once beautiful and fragile, ever combating the encroachment from introduced flora and fauna, the pristine state of the Galapagos remains in flux. Though sharing the magic of the region may be regarded as a double-edged sword, inviting a stifling of its prosperity, the Islands continue to be bolstered by a handful of protec-

tive organizations funded in part by the extraordinary interest in travel. With the responsible practices of Galapagos Safari Camp and the Galapagos Grand Odyssey, fans of wildlife, conservation and familyfriendly exploration can confidently chart their own adventurous course by tent and cabin on a multi-faceted safari at every angle. A rare blue footed booby.

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Down Narrow Streets of Morocco

A country that has proven culture and tradition can sustain the test of time, Morocco is on our list of top experiential places to visit this year. From the nomadic Berber tribes to the vibrant city life, your journey through Morocco will leave you wanting more.

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Morocco is an enigmatic country, UP IN THE AIR The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca rises out of the dusk over the city.

at once ancient and modern, traditional and contemporary. A concoction of cultures Spanish, French, Arabic, Berber – all share influence over the details that delight the senses on any given city street. It’s a country so much bigger than a breezy piano bar fit for Humphrey Bogart, or a bustling square packed with performers and steaming food stands. While city life is vibrant, historic, and exciting, there is another world beyond the walls of the Medina. No trip to Morocco is complete without a visit to the quieter side of the Atlas Mountains, where rock kisses sand and the Sahara begins its long stretch across the north of Africa. This range divides the country: to the north, the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts

with famous cities like Fes, Casablanca and the capital city, Rabat; to the south, vast open desert speckled with tiny oases and Berber settlements. Lush palmeraies dot the desert landscape, often surrounded by settlements and villages 29

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taking advantage of the rare waters. Located just outside Ouarzazate and sustained by the Skoura palmeraie is Dar Ahlam, a 19th century Kasbah built on what was once a sultan’s hunting ground that has now been transformed into one of Morocco’s most elite hotels. “House of Dreams,” as the hotel’s name translates, is an understatement. Between your complimentary first massage in the secluded garden, peaceful desert picnics and thrilling mountainous treks, you may have to pinch yourself more than once. Elegant accommodations feature a refined modern décor with traditional touches and a variety of locally-handcrafted textiles. Discover an indulgent Hammam and treatments delivered by French-trained staffers at Dar Ahlam’s spa. Gourmet nouveau-Berber cuisine of local meats and organicallygrown produce is on offer and guests will enjoy the culinary creLIFE IN MOROCCO ations in a new place 1. A typical market in each meal – be it in the Fes includes lots of ornate handcrafted goods. palm groves on plush 2. A bespoke sundowner at another one of Mopillows under billowrocco’s favorite hotels, ing tents or private La Mamounia. 3. Dar Ahlam also has tented nooks in the main accommodations. 4. Intricate decorating Kasbah, each vignette surrounding a Morocis carefully created by can dinner table. the attentive staff. This gracious abode is isolated, far from fastpaced civilization but close to the swirling dunes and endless sandy vistas. Head into the silent Sahara and partake in sundowners on the sands, or extend the experience with an overnight stay (at additional charge). Dar Ahlam creates a magical evening in the desert, with candles cascading down the dunes that surround the luxurious furnished tent, a roaring bonfire completing the scene. Further excursions offer a chance to discover the Dadès and Draa valleys on four wheels, or four legs when opting for an authentic desert trek on the back of a camel or mule. The Dadès River valley also known as the Valley of the Roses, producing


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While city life is vibrant, historic, and exciting, there is another world beyond the walls of the Medina.

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The Djemaa El Fna Square at Dusk.

CITY IMPRESSIONS

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Ker & Downey guests in Morocco can experience unique off the road excursions, like having traditional mint tea with a Berber in his cave.

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Rows and rows of herbs and spices line the market stalls in Marrakech.

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A romantic gorge dinner at Dar Ahlam can be arranged for a special evening under the stars.

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A 19th century Kasbah built on what was once a sultan’s hunting ground has now been transformed into one of Morocco’s most elite hotels.

THE PLUSH LIFE 1. The cozy rooms of Dar Ahlam. 2. Comfortable setting atop Dar Ahlam to take in the sunset.

coveted flowers and rosewater imported for use in perfumes and products around the world. The valley flourishes ahead of the rose harvest each May, alive with color and intoxicating fragrance. Visitors in this area will also see Todra Gorge, a massive canyon chiseled by years of river flow. Cliffs speckled with shrubs and grasses, fireworks of green against the neutral sand and stone, rise up to 1,200 feet above the shallow trickle of the Todra River.

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orocco’s longest river, the Draa River, winds through the unforgiving rocky terrain bringing life to the endemic flora and tiny towns that have sprung up next to the flow. Life here currently is not unlike that of a millennium ago. Nomadic herders tend to sheep in the

mountainous outcroppings, living their lives with few modern conveniences. For them, it may as well still be the Middle Ages. When traveling with Ker & Downey, you will meet these proud, simple souls and perhaps share a cup of tea in their homes within a cliffside cave. The Berbers possess their own language, style of calligraphy and unaffected way of life that is threatened by modernization and assimilation with each passing generation. Experiencing their modest hospitality may not be so easy in years to come. Here lies the Region of the Thousand Kasbahs - stone fortresses rising out of the sand, beacons for ancient travelers and safe havens from desert marauders. One Kasbah travelers may find familiar is Aït Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been the filming location for several motion

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Outdoor picnics at Dar Ahlam are a must.

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SCENIC DRIVES The roads in the mountains of Morocco are winding and make for incredible scenic transfers across the country.

pictures. Nearby Ouarzazate, aptly nicknamed the “the Hollywood of North Africa”, is home to a large studio and post-production facility. Ouarzazate’s prime location on the cusp of the Sahara, coupled with low production costs and a supportive Moroccan government, makes it an attractive filming location. Producers of the 2010 blockbuster The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time filmed for eight weeks in the Sahara and used over 3,000 Moroccans as extras. Gladiator, Jewel of the Nile, The Mummy and Lawrence of Arabia all employed local extras and craftsmen during their filmings. Today, Kasbah Aït Benhaddou is still home to a handful of Berber families, continuing to live and work in the city as their ancestors have for centuries past. The desert side of the Atlas is best visited in the middle of a Moroccan journey, bookended by stays in Fes and Marrakesh. The rugged drive back over the range takes travelers through many small Berber villages where fine handcrafted wares can be procured to SAVE ME continue the journey as souveSOME SHOES nirs. Most notable is the village One of the most poignant souveof Tallatast, where residents are nirs to take home from a trip to sustained by traditionally-made Morocco includes pottery and goat breeding. Outa pair of authentically crafted reach programs funded in part “babouches.” by tourism revenue have helped to build a school that offers reading and writing lessons to residents of all ages as well as a venue from which to help the younger generations learn traditional weaving and crafting methods. This project also helps to improve the health and quality of life of the residents with hygienic and life skills education – knowledge the children will need should they decide as adults to pursue a life in the cities.

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hough the two worlds of Morocco are divided by the Atlas Mountains, modern influences continue to creep into the Berber settlements, threatening to make intimate encounters with these tribes a scarce experience in years to come. The sands of time in the Sahara long since paused are beginning to stir as Berbers start to assimilate into modern society, rushing to catch up with contemporary counterparts north of the Atlas. Ker & Downey’s Moroccan escape, Land of the Berbers, will present the

Most notable is the village of Tallatast, where residents are sustained by traditionally-made pottery and goat breeding best of the old and new of this enticing region: the color and splendor of the larger cities and the subtle elegance of the desert. The cosmopolitan country is best discovered on both sides of the Atlas, where visitors can still effortlessly experience a simpler era.

For more information... Morocco is an absolutely fascinating destination with so much to see. Take Ker & Downey’s “Land of the Berbers” journey to this North African country or customize your own with our North African specialists. Visit www.kerdowney.com or by email, info@kerdowney.com For reservations, call 800.423.4236

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WELCOME TO Kiwi COUNTRY

It’s got mountains, beaches, fjords, and heart-pounding adrenaline junkie citizens; with a mixed bag like New Zealand, there’s something for everyone. Pack, plan, and go with us for one heck of an adventure.

LODGING

Grasmere Lodge //

LOCATION

The Southern Alps

Amidst rolling pastures, backed by towering ranges and punctuated by stands of beech and evergreen you will find the historic Grasmere Lodge. Built in 1853, the original homestead still stands at the heart of this impressive lodge, a hub of activity and effortless relaxation in New Zealand’s quiet countryside.

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Scenic flight through the Alps with picnic lunch

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LODGING

Cape Kidnappers //

LOCATION

Hawke’s Bay

Set in 6,000 rolling acres of stunning pasture-land in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers affords spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. The perfect setting for romance, the luxury lodge is suggestive of a working farm – a marriage of river stone and weathered wood, rustic and textured.

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Biking the rolling landscape of the Cape

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LODGING

Matakauri //

LOCATION

Queenstown

Spectacularly situated on Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge offers stunning views from every angle of the Remarkable, Cecil and Walter Peak mountain ranges. Just seven minutes from Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge will provide an alpine lakeside retreat nestled in one of the world’s most serenely beautiful landscapes.

FAVORITE ACTIVITY: “Carpe diem - ing” in queenstown

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LODGING

Kauri Cliffs //

LOCATION

Matauri Bay

Set on 6,000 acres near Matauri Bay, Northland, The Main Lodge at Kauri Cliffs affords spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. Cape Brett and the offshore Cavalli Islands are part of the panorama which can be viewed from the verandas, lounge, card and dining rooms. Every suite is nestled in a native forest overlooking the golf course and the Pacific. FAVORITE ACTIVITY: 18 holes at the lodge’s world-famous course

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NEW ZEALAND DISCOVERER 1

KAURI CLIFFS

Auckland

NORTH ISLAND

Napier

2 CAPE KIDNAPPERS

SOUTH ISLAND

GRASMERE LODGE

3 Christchurch

MATAKAURI

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Queenstown

DAY 1-4

DAY 5-7

DAY 8

DAY 8-10

Begin the north-to-south trek through Godzone in Auckland, enjoying views of the Auckland Harbor at Mollies boutique hotel. Take a tour of the city sights before a scenic drive to the Bay of Islands, stopping at Waitangi Treaty House en route. On to Kauri Cliffs, a destination prized for the panoramic views of Matauri Bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Spend two full days at leisure in this coastal haven.

Next fly to New Zealand’s Art Deco capital, Napier. Following lunch at a local winery, continue to Te Awanga, where The Farm at Cape Kidnappers waits cliffside. Set on a 6,000 acre sheep and cattle station, guests are invited to explore the diverse terrain by foot or with an ATV quadbike jaunt around the farm. Play a round at Cape Kidnappers on the cliffs 800 feet above the crashing waves, navigating course architect Tom Doak’s challenging and breathtaking par 71 opus.

Head south to discover the second half of New Zealand’s mainland playground, beginning in Christchurch, nicknamed New Zealand’s Garden City for its many green spaces and serene parks. Guests will enjoy a cycling tour of the pedestrian-friendly streets surrounding Hagley Park, Cathedral Square and New Regent Street. The tour is capped off by lunch and a punter ride on the Avon River – a relaxing farewell to the friendly, cosmopolitan city.

Continue on Day 8 into the Southern Alps to Grasmere Lodge, a 19th-century homestead perched on pasture land below the Puketeraki Range. Ker & Downey guests are treated to an off-road farm tour to take in the 13,000-acre view of the entire Grasmere Station. Spend two full days exploring the grounds and private trails, or venture further afield to Arthur’s Pass National Park for fishing and kayaking.

DAY 11-14 The Kiwi holiday ends near energetic Queenstown at Matakauri Lodge. Designed by award-winning interiors artist Virginia Fisher, the view of the snowcapped Remarkable, Cecil and Walter Peaks through the floor-to-ceiling window is the focal point of the inviting suites. Lake Wakatipu, hikes through the Kiwi Birdlife Park, jet boating, and a helicopter ride over Milford Sound are among some of the adventures to discover.

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NEW ZEALAND:

The Breakdown

Mountain Biking in the Craigeburn Ranges, Southern Alps.

The Remarkables mountain range from your suite with a view at Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown.

Matakauri Whether relaxing fireside in your generous suite or in the main lodge, floor-to-ceiling windows capture every detail of the scene at Matakauri Lodge. This sanctuary hidden on the banks of Lake Wakatipu has been carefully composed of clean lines and warm tones by celebrated interior designer Virginia Fisher. No shortage of excursions can be found at the lodge’s doorstep just minutes from Queenstown, the global hub for outdoor adventures large and small. Ker & Downey guests experience an exclusive helicopter flight over Milford Sound and the surrounding glacial peaks that melt into the emerald valleys. Daring visitors may brave the rapids of the nearby rivers or simply cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the vintage TSS Earnslaw steamship.

Kauri Cliffs

The Snug: perfect for cocktails, reading, or taking in the rolling farm land to the Pacific Ocean out the windows of The Farm at Cape Kidnappers.

Aside from the spectacular view of the Cavalli Islands offshore, Kauri Cliffs’ paramount attraction is its par 72 golf course that weaves through the forest, marsh and undulating hillsides near Matauri Bay. Tee off on the dramatic holes, six of which are played atop a cliff that plunges into the sea below. The location is ideal for spying New Zealand’s varied endemic birdlife on one of the many trails that snake through the grounds. In addition, remote private beaches and the Rainbow Falls beg to be explored and hunting and fishing excursions are convenient on the 6,000 acres encompassing the lodge.

comfort upon the lodge. Lovers of the links will delight in the challenging par 71 course, ranked among the best in the world by Golf Magazine and designed by the renowned course architect Tom Doak. This working sheep and cattle farm imparts a bit of New Zealand’s agricultural history to guests amidst amazing views – a tour of the property by foot or ATV quadbike is not to be missed.

Grasmere Lodge Tucked between the folds of a blanket of pasture land, Grasmere Lodge is backed by the glorious Southern Alps west of Christchurch. At the heart of the property sits the grand homestead, constructed in 1853 of beech logs from the area’s sparse stands. Travel off-road to remote vantages at the station, points varied in elevation but consistently striking in incredible natural beauty. Endless trails are part of an unforgettable expedition, enhanced by the company of a surefooted Kiwi horse or one of the lodge’s friendly golden retrievers. Nearby Arthur’s Pass National Park offers opportunities for hunting, fishing and kayaking in the magical alpine scenery.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers Panoramic views of Hawke’s Bay await visitors at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. The interior view astounds equally, with exposed stone, timber, modern furnishings and art coming to confluence and bestowing an air of chic

For more information... Visit www.kerdowney.com or by email, info@kerdowney.com For reservations, call 800.423.4236

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Wonders of Tanzania

Inside the spacious tents at Sayari Camp.

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The comfortable beach set-up at Matemwe in Zanzibar.

Sun and sand take center stage in this island paradise, showcasing a heritage steeped in spices and warmed by the

Indian Ocean

- Featuring Wonders of Tanzania / A Ker & Downey Itinerary -

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Giraffe, impala, elephant, hippo and wildebeest are all common sights on safari throughout Tanzania.

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The main tent at Oliver’s Camp.

Discover Tanzania, an East African nation where the

“majesty”

of the Serengeti meets the temperate shores of the

Indian Ocean.

Ker & Downey presents this region as a vintage safari with a twist, meandering through diverse landscape and seeing ample undisturbed wildlife before finally indulging in beachside luxury. The Tanzanian journey begins in Arusha, an area famous for its robust coffee crops. Arusha Coffee Lodge occupies a corner of the Burka coffee estate, a fully-operational coffee plantation with roasters and fermentation facilities on site. Guests can indulge in the blends and observe the roasting process before traveling onward to the Tarangire National Park and Oliver’s Camp. This camp is a fitting introduction to the Tanzanian wild with just the right balance of bush luxury and classic safari grit. In the distance Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, the Great Rift Valley… all visible from camp, and all anticipated bullet points on the itinerary. Slow down first at Oliver’s Camp, where their family of seasoned camp attendants are wildlife wizards. Guides and rangers excel at distinguishing between the specific families of lion and sorting out individual pride members from the throng, their characteristics and personalities memorized. Game drives will net sightings of elephant, hyena and several different big cats. Oliver’s is best known for walking safaris, an activity that not long ago was forbidden by the park authorities. Set off on foot, flanked by a skilled guide and ranger, to stealthily observe the Tarangire’s inhabitants in their natural surroundings. Extend the experiential safari and include a fly camping excursion, turning a few hours’ walk into an unforgettable day of up-close game viewing and sleeping in the solitude of the wilderness. Tents at camp are well-appointed with an incredible outdoor shower with a view and plush furnishings inside. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds and dine at the banquet table with the camp family of guides, rangers and other guests, ending the evening with conversation around the campfire – an activity affectionately nicknamed “Bush TV.” The paths that wind through the grounds are raked every evening and visitors wake to a surprise sandy tapestry of animal tracks weaving throughout the area. Depart Tarangire and take in a private game drive over lunch at the intimate and exclusive Lake Manyara National Park. Manyara’s shallow waters attract a variety of herbivores including hippos, impala, elephant, giraffe and wildebeest.

The luxurious tents at Sayari provide spectacular views of the wonders of Tazania for those who want the ultimate adventure.

Keep watch in the surrounding branches for the famous tree-climbing lions en route to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. With a constant water supply and varied terrain, the area around the stunning Ngorongoro Crater remains rich and diverse in game year-round. A Dutch colonial-chic personality defines The Manor at Ngorongoro, with whitewashed cottages standing stark and crisp against the green of the impeccable gardens. Soak in views of the Tanzanian bush from the manor and journey by off-road vehicle or bike into the crater for a closer look at the activity on the 100 square-mile crater floor. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is heralded as one of the most spectacular places for game viewing in all of Africa, particularly in the crater. From the petite dik dik to the massive black rhinoceros, an estimated 25,000 big game residents – the Big Five among them – are living on the plains or in the swamps. Trek to the Olduvai Gorge, located nearby on the plains of the Great Rift Valley, where excavations have yielded important clues to prehistoric humans’ lives.

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slow down first at Oliver’s Camp, where their family of seasoned camp attendants are

wildlife wizards... sorting out individual pride members from the

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throng.


Stunning view of the Serengeti seen on safari at Sayari Camp

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11 Days / 10 Nights

ADVENTURES clockwise: Wolgan Valley farmhouse; exterior view of Southern Ocean Lodge; exploring the surrounds at Arkaba

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The famed Serengeti National Park is next, existing on the Kenyan border and home to the annual mammalian spectacle known as the Great Migration. From every October to April, grab a front-row seat to the Great Migration from Sayari Camp’s prominent position on the Mara River. Watch as herds of big game grazers – including wildebeest, zebra and antelope – follow the rains across the Mara with predators in hot pursuit, hoping to exploit the weaker travelers. Sayari is a superb slice of luxury on the vast plains, featuring 15 deluxe tents with breezy verandas, en-suite facilities and the distinction of a five-star hotel experience in the wilderness - a far cry from a typical, more rugged tented camp. Beyond the grounds, discover all the wonders and wildlife of the Serengeti. As the only permanent camp in this region of the park, Sayari remains isolated and quiet, removed from the maddening tourism traffic. Game drives will reveal the diverse inhabitants of the plains and the towering kopje rock formations, including the Simba Kopje, a landmark that is often credited as the inspiration for the fictional Pride Rock seen in the animated feature The Lion King.

A hippo pod at Sayari Camp making a great photo-op.

Big Five

The among them are living on the

plains

TA N Z A N I A 1. New outdoor decks at Sayari. 2. Baobab Tree. 3. Zanzibar has numerous local hangout spots that line the beach - all with amazing views. 4. Indoor showers of Sayari Camp.

or in swamps.

End the Tanzanian adventure with exceptional seaside opulence on the islands of Zanzibar. Sun and sand take center stage in this island paradise, showcasing a heritage steeped in spices and warmed by the Indian Ocean. A good portion of the world’s cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper originate on these islands and guests in the region can tour the plantations and facilities where sumptuous spices are still produced. Experience the island nation from the secluded Matemwe Lodge, located on the white sand beaches of Zanzibar’s main island, Unguja. Local materials and verdant gardens set off the 12 bungalows, each with its own veranda overlooking the Indian Ocean. Aside from luxuriating in Matemwe’s oasis of sand and sea, guests can look forward to experiencing the pristine natural wonders of the island. The crystal-clear waters are a thrill for divers, with impressive coral formations found on the nearby Mnemba Atoll. An array of marine life can be found as well, with dolphins residing year-round and humpback whales passing through from July to September. On a hike through the Jozani Forest, guests will spy the Zanzibar red colobus, a primate with distinctly different markings and calls than those of its mainland colobus cousin. Zanzibar ends the journey with a choice of energetic activities and leisurely moments, leaving visitors with fond memories of their privileged trek.

There’s no better place than a hammock in the shade at Matemwe.

For more information... Wonders of Tanzania by Ker & Downey is available for your own custom, departure date, or work with our expriential travel consultants to customize it to feature your own, favorite Tanzania experiencs. Contact us by phone at 800.423.4236 or by email: info@kerdowney.com to get started.

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Overhead Desroches Island. A stunning view as you descend.

On Conservation

ISLAND

The islands of Seychelles, although hard to believe, hold much more than meets the eye, especially at one of the particular islands, home to the native hawksbill turtles who are receiving a helping hand as they make the journey to the sea. FEATURING: DESROCHES ISLAND

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Getting hands-on with the native tortoises of the island is a perfect activity for children.

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n recent history, the definition of “paradise” seems to have morphed into something superficial - less Robinson Crusoe and more Las Vegas, filled with garish beachside carnivals of cocktails and bombastic attitudes. In other words, completely the opposite of an experience at Desroches Island Resort. Occupying a remote position in Seychelles’ outer islands, Desroches is a destination equal in beauty and substance, where paradise is achieved by leaving guests and their temporary corner of sun and sand more enriched than before. Originally named Wood Island for the dense forests found by British explorers in 1771, Desroches was renamed after the Chevalier des Roches, then-governor of Mauritius. Used as a source of coconut products, this coralline slice of land in the Indian Ocean was left with a shaky ecosystem, the harvesting having a significant negative impact on the health of the endemic vegetation and birdlife. With the intervention of the Island Conservation Society of Seychelles (ICS) and its close relationship with Desroches, the island and its denizens are making a comeback. Green sea and Hawksbill turtles, both endangered marine species, regularly make their nurseries in the shores and secluded overgrown patches of Desroches. Mother turtles will lay up to

200 eggs in sandy clutches before returning to the sea on this annual pilgrimage. Green turtles tend to lay anywhere on the island, most often in the southwestern beaches; Hawksbills, more sensitive to light and sound than their green cousins, prefer to nest on the quieter north-eastern side of the island near the lighthouse. Guests visiting from October to January have the rare opportunity to witness the young turtles’ emergence and assist the hatchlings on their perilous journey to the sea. Aldabra giant tortoises, classified as a threatened species, also make their home on picturesque Desroches. Originally hailing from the Aldabra Atoll, these ancient land dwellers live a privileged life in ICS’s tortoise rehabilitation habitat and nursery. Aldabras are defined by their distinct high-domed shell, from a distance resembling petite dirt mounds lumbering along in the brush. In addition to monitoring the turtle and tortoise populations, the ICS seeks to preserve the integrity of Desroches by eradicating land-dwelling pests and exotic plants that over time have crept onto the tiny island. The ICS plant nursery regularly makes deliveries of Indian almond, Alexandrian laurel, guettarda, fruit bat trees and a variety of other endemic trees to Desroches to be reintroduced into the ecosystem. The increase of tree life, coupled with the decrease in rodents, has seen the native bird numbers begin to rise – an upward trend organizers hope will soon spread to include turtle and tortoise populations.

ALL ISLAND 1. Desroches is known for its turtle and tortoise conservation which guests can become involved in during their stay. 2. Turtle on the beach. 3. Wind surfing is part of the array of activities available at Desroches. 4. Main deck.

Hammocks make for ideal napping spots to soak up the sun.

The Inside Scoop BY HOLLY KILPATRICK

If you’re thinking of taking a trip in the near future and you are looking for something out of the ordinary, Seychelles with Ker & Downey is a wonderful choice and I’d be happy to assist you in creating your very own, unique experience of a lifetime.

Experiential Travel Specialist

Let me just start by saying that the Seychelles’ Islands are absolutely beautiful. The smiling faces of the Seychellois make you feel welcome to these culturally diverse islands. It is truly a remarkable feeling to be in this kind of place; open and friendly, warm and inviting. One thing I’ll never forget during my time in Seychelles was HOW CLOSE I got to be with my natural sourroundings. I was able to go out and discover fresh turtle tracks on the beach and even assist in monitoring native hawksbill nests during a conservation excursion at Desroches Island. It makes a tremendous difference when traveling to have that kind of “hands-on” experience. It really enriches your whole trip.

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HOW TO CONTACT HOLLY: BY PHONE: 800.423.4236 BY EMAIL: hkilpatrick@kerdowney.com


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The reception at Desroches offers a hint of the barefoot luxury awaiting you during your stay.

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“but what is found here that cannot be put into film is island opulence...”

DESROCHES

1. Drinks are served all day, every day. 2. Hawksbill hatchlings make their way to the ocean for the first time.

It’s easy to live vicariously through any number of cable television programs, leaving it up to producers to show us what we should value in search of paradise. Yes, Desroches has the accoutrements of a luxury resort you might see featured on such programs, but what is found here that cannot be put to film is island opulence washed in humility. Desroches Island Resort is patronized by those who are as quick to dig a spot for a new tree as they are to dig their toes in the sand. And there’s plenty of sand to dig into on Desroches – the island is rimmed with close to nine miles of it, backed by the subtle silhouette of the suites and villas. Open-plan, airy havens with en-suite facilities and luxurious modern conveniences are found in Desroches’ accommodations. Couples and large families alike will find comfort in the variety, ranging from the intimate Beach Suites to the generous four-bedroom Luxury Beach Villas. The gracious abodes are spread throughout various areas of the two-square-mile island, close to the amenities of the main

house and the activities inland, but far enough separated to make guests feel as if they are the only ones who have stumbled upon the paradise. Development of Desroches Island Resort has been completed – and continues – with the integrity of the island and its delicate ecosystem ever top-of-mind. Lodge structures and furnishings have been built from Casurina trees, a non-indigenous hardwood slated for removal, in a project completed locally by craftsmen on the island. The chef crafts his dishes with fish harvested safely from the sea and produce from the organic garden, nourished by composted material from the resort.

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Daybed of the Beach Suite on Desroches.

“The conservation efforts on Desroches have recently expanded to the island’s existing structures, with plans being drawn for an antique colonial home in the island’s Creole settlement to be restored..” The conservation efforts on Desroches have recently expanded to the island’s existing structures, with plans being drawn for an antique colonial home in the island’s Creole settlement to be restored and converted into a savory traditional restaurant. Amidst the beauty of the restored island, moments of adventure await. The outer islands of Seychelles are prized for their coral formations and Desroches is no exception. From the resort’s fully-equipped NAUI/PADI dive center, embark on underwater excursions through mazes of caves and hidden columns alive with colorful coral and sea life. Fish from the beach or with guides out at sea where sizeable tuna, marlin, job fish and grouper are among the catches netted then prepared with the help of the chef in the privacy of your villa. A holiday on Desroches is an experience of both recreation and education, especially for children. With childcare services and a wealth of guided excursions tailored to miniature explorers, family adventure is balanced with time for adults to retreat and experience solace in the spa, at the beach or on the breezy

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patio of their suite. Hiking or biking the island to appreciate the beauty that has resulted from careful conservation is only part of the experience at Desroches. The resort’s Rejuvenation for Conservation project offers ample opportunity for handson participation in the rehabilitation of the island. Enterprising guests can accompany the ICS staff to monitor clutches of turtle eggs in remote beach nests and track the movements of both mother and hatchlings during nesting season. Guests may also plant an endemic tree or adopt one of the many baby tortoises living in the ISC nursery – a donation that will remain cherished long after bidding farewell to Desroches’ paradise. These intensely personal acts of conservation produce something of a historical rarity: human visitors leaving a lasting, positive impact on an exotic island.

For more information... To work with us in planning your own journey to Seychelles, contact us by phone at 800.423.4236 or by email: info@kerdowney.com.


THE PHOTO HUNT IS BACK. SUBMIT PHOTOS. WIN ADVENTURE.

Show us your images from Asia, Africa, South America, the South Pacific, or the Middle East along with a location and description, and you could be published in the next issue of BESPOKE and win a $500 coupon off your next trip with us!

PLEASE SUBMIT ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO: THEPHOTOHUNT@KERDOWNEY.COM


Bespoke Magazine: Spring 2011  

The Spring Issue of Bespoke Magazine

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