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THE

EXPLORER

The Slow Travel Issue

LUXURY LODGES OF NEW ZEALAND RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL IN SRI LANKA WELLNESS TRAVEL WITH HARRY JAMESON

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Russia

A new Jacada destination The world’s largest country is at your fingertips. Discover world-class art in historic cities, explore untameable landscapes and get a taste for true Russian culture. Jacada Travel can make your magical trip to Russia a reality. Breathtaking churches and grand architecture in St. Petersburg, snowmobiling through Siberia’s wild forests or stepping foot in the iconic Red Square in Moscow; our travel designers will carefully craft the perfect journey across Russia for you and your family.

www.jacadatravel.com London murray@jacadatravel.com +1 866 862 3031 (US Toll-Free) / +44 203 6550 810 (UK) Hong Kong kit@jacadatravel.com / +852 2110 0537


CONTRIBUTORS

Editor Christopher Sharpe Sub-editors Alastair McClymont Emma Schofield Ilse Van Steen Kelly-Anne Ellis Sascha Gill Terri Dunbar-Curran

Kirsty McAlister Blue Badge guide and Scottish history expert With a love of castles and clans, as well as a background in historical research, Kirsty fell naturally into the role of tour guide. With a PhD in Scottish history and experience as a history lecturer at Glasgow University, her skills as a researcher and a Blue Badge guide allow her to share Scotland’s rich cultural heritage with visitors from across the world.

Kate Herz Europe travel expert From Delphi in Greece to the Colosseum in Rome, Kate has a deep love for the depth of history to be found in Europe. Every trip she takes is about exploring the local food and wine. A perfect day for Kate is one spent chartering a boat, swimming in the sea and enjoying a lunch of grilled octopus and crisp white wine.

Design She Was Only shewasonly.co.uk Illustrations Lauren Crow Other Contributors Keith Jarman Bruce Munro Alissa Ruxin Cover Image A river delta in Southern Iceland The Explorer is published by Jacada Travel

Harry Jameson Wellness expert Harry is an elite personal trainer and awardwinning health and wellness expert with over 15 years' industry experience. Harry spent seven years at Harley Street, working closely with the medical industry community to develop the perfect lifestyle and performance models. He’s just launched Africa’s first Sleep Rooms at Ellerman House, Cape Town. Harry has taken on many cross-country cycle races for charity and is looking to next explore the ski slopes of Japan.

Rebecca Cook Africa travel expert Before working in travel, Rebecca was a primary school teacher. Her teaching experience allowed her to volunteer in Zambia, helping in hospitals and schools by running health workshops and sports coaching. The genuine warmth and generosity of the people of Africa is what keeps drawing Rebecca back, especially to Cape Town with its perfect combination of mountains, sunsets and wine. When Rebecca isn’t travelling, she’s an active triathlete and a keen photographer.

Travel enquiries enquiries@jacadatravel.com US toll-free +1 866 862 3031 UK +44 2036 550 810 HK +852 2110 0537 Online jacadatravel.com Address London Bentima House, 168-172 Old Street, London, EC1V 9BP, UK Hong Kong 29/F Wyndham Place, 40-44 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong Cape Town Suite SP7C6, Somerset Square, Highfield Road, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa

Emily Hunter Africa travel expert Emily was raised in the Scottish Highlands and started her career as a trained chef, cooking in private lodges and expedition boats across the world. Her wanderlust took her to Africa, where she lived on a rose farm at the foothills of Mount Kenya and she spent her days fly camping in light aircraft across Kenya’s stunning landscapes and lakes. It was in Kenya that she fell in love with Africa: the smells, the sense of magic, the animals and the sense of freedom. Her travels have seen her witness elephants cross the Nile in Uganda, enjoy a camping camel safari in Laikipia and road trip across Namibia.

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Santiago Calle Padre Maríano 82, Providencia, Metropolitan, 7500000, Santiago, Chile

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it.


Dear Travellers

It brings me great pleasure to announce the return of The Explorer. In this first 2020 edition, we’ll ignite your wanderlust with real-life travel stories from our team, stunning photography and expert contributors. I’d also like to highlight Jacada Travel’s continued commitment to responsible travel. Our long-term partnership with Cool Earth has allowed us to protect over 655 acres of rainforest since March 2019. We truly believe that luxury travel and sustainability go hand in hand, so we’re putting a spotlight on the hotels that give back to local communities and the environment. You can find out more about the great work our Positive Impact Pioneers are doing on page 14. With lifestyles becoming increasingly busy, we’ve noticed a shift toward travelling at a slower pace. It’s changed from ‘what can we pack into this trip?’ to ‘how can this destination enrich me?’. People want to travel in a way that preserves the location, but also allows them to really get under the skin of the destination over a longer period. We’ve highlighted some of the most outstanding Slow Travel experiences on page 18 that allow you to discover the romance of travelling slowly.

We’ve also observed an increase in the number of visitors looking to retrace their heritage on ancestry tours in Scotland and Ireland. Millions of Americans in particular have retraced their forebears to parts of Europe and enjoyed the unique experience of walking in the footsteps of their ancestors. Find out more on page 46. For many, a concern for wellness is becoming less of a once-off and more a lifestyle choice, with travellers hoping to keep up healthy habits on the move. Which is why our eye-opening interview with wellness expert Harry Jameson and his new Sleep Rooms at the exclusive Ellerman House in Cape Town could revolutionise the way you travel (page 50). Since our last edition, there’s also been a lot of change within Jacada Travel. We’re proud to have welcomed a number of new tribe members, including the Australasia team (check them out on page 39) and to have launched incredible destinations such as Russia, China and Turkey. In the next year, you can expect bigger and better things from us. New, exciting destinations but always the same personal, expert service. So, wherever in the world you want to go, you can trust that we’re here for you.

Warm regards,

Alex Malcolm Founder & MD

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CONTENTS

Boarding Call 08 Briefing The latest news from the world of luxury travel 11 The List Products to help you travel more responsibly

Features

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Slow Travel Venture at a more leisurely pace, with one of these easy-going getaways

Luxury Lodges of New Zealand Eschew cityscapes for the island country’s top far-flung sanctuaries

12 Responsible Travel How resilient tourists are supporting Sri Lanka’s communities 14 Positive Impact Pioneers Alissa Ruxin, owner of The Retreat, discusses opening Rwanda’s first eco-friendly resort

40 Uluru’s Field of Light British artist, Bruce Munro, talks to us about his epic light installation in Australia’s Northern Territory

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Arrivals

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Who Am I? Ancestry tour guide, Dr Kirsty McAlister, delves into the realm of heritage travel

Rise and Shine Experience the ultimate slumber in Africa’s first Sleep Rooms

76 Tribe Corner Keith Jarman, our Travel Designer for Asia, explains his passion for the diverse continent 78 My Cape Town Cape Town resident and Jacada’s travel writer, Terri Dunbar-Curran, enlightens us on the must-see highlights in the Mother City 80 Room with a View Idyllically remote, the Awasi Patagonia lodge boasts awe-inspiring vistas of the region’s triple peaks

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Land of Fire and Ice Europe Travel Designer, Kate Herz, on her unforgettable Icelandic adventure

All Creatures Great and Small Our Africa Travel Designers share their Botswana safari sightings

“You don’t have to head too far from the city to discover some of Iceland's most famous scenery.” Page 54

CONTENTS

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08 Briefing 11 The List 12 Responsible Travel 14 Positive Impact Pioneers PAGE TITLE

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BRIEFING Openings and news in the luxury travel world.

AMERICAN AIRLINES ADDS NEW INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS The United States’ largest airline, American Airlines, will be adding new routes to their international offerings in the first half of 2020. From early May, travellers will be able to fly from Chicago O’Hare to Krakow in Poland, Budapest in Hungary and Prague in the Czech Republic. There will also be daily flights from Philadelphia to Reykjavik in Iceland. In June, American Airlines will make its first foray into Africa with flights three times a week from Philadelphia to Casablanca in Morocco, the only non-stop service from the US to the city. 10

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IN BRIEF

FORBIDDEN CITY CELEBRATES 600 YEARS One of Beijing’s most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Forbidden City marks its 600th anniversary in 2020. The complex, which provides invaluable insight into the lives of China’s emperors, will also open its Qianlong Garden to visitors for the first time. Spanning two acres of the Forbidden City, the garden was built in the 1770s by Emperor Qianlong, the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty.

WITNESS A SPECTACULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE Visitors to Chile or Argentina on December 14, 2020, may have the opportunity to witness a spectacular solar eclipse. Occurring just a year and a half after the previous one, this eclipse will take place in the dry summer season when the weather is far more conducive to making the most of the experience. For the best viewing conditions, head to Argentina’s Piedra del Aguila.

Six Senses Fort Barwara set to open Set in a carefully converted historic 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, Six Senses Fort Barwara is due to open in 2020. Originally owned by the Rajasthani Royal Family, the hotel is located directly opposite the Chauth ka Barwara Mandir temple. It will feature 48 suites and incorporate a palace with two temples. Guests can look forward to dining on classic and modern dishes at two restaurants. A Six Senses Spa and fitness centre will be housed in the original women’s palace, and there will also be two swimming pools. Arctic Bath welcomes guests in 2020 Early 2020 will see Arctic Bath open its doors to guests. With 12 private cabins, a spa, cold and hot baths, various saunas, a spa treatment room, restaurant, bar and lounge, this hotel is an oasis of wellness, located in the heart of Swedish Lapland. With much of its design inspired by the timber rafting era of days gone by, the natural spa retreat is a reminder of the importance of the country’s forests. Six floating cabins are located downstream from the hotel, with private access to the shore via footbridges. Shop Singita worldwide A new online catalogue allows visitors to buy from Singita Boutique and Gallery’s curated collection from anywhere in the world. Dedicated consultants offer shoppers personalised assistance. You’ll find everything from tailored clothing and stylish accessories, to handcrafted glassware and jewellery. All items are evocative of Africa’s diverse landscapes and cultures. Start browsing at singitastores.com

MASHPILAB OPENS IN ECUADOR This exciting new culinary project in Ecuador’s Cloud Forest will see chefs work with newly-discovered ingredients from the surrounding forest, like the guayusa plant and the chicle fruit, to create unique dishes. Some of their culinary creations will feature on the Mashpi menu from autumn 2020. The lab will be open to guests of Mashpi Lodge to sample the ingredients and see the chefs at work. There will also be opportunities to join the experts for community-led cultural and gastronomic forest-to-table experiences.

MARRAKESH VOTED AFRICAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE Marrakesh has been named African Capital of Culture for 2020. This is the first time the title has been awarded. The ‘Red City’, which already boasts two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the square of Djemaa El Fna and its medina the walled old city, was recognised because of its architectural, artistic and cultural legacy. BRIEFING

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SURFING TO MAKE WAVES AT OLYMPICS This year’s Summer Olympics in Japan will see surfing included as an event for the first time. The contest site will be Shidashita Beach, about 40 miles from Tokyo. Because the surf can be unpredictable, the contest will have a waiting period of 16 days, but once it begins it will run over two days. There will be 20 men and 20 women competing, with four athletes in the water at any given time and the surfer closest to the peak having right of way. The games will be held between July 24 and August 9.

WHITE NIGHTS FESTIVAL 2019 at Jacada Travel Last year was a busy one for Jacada Travel. Not only did we increase the number of hotels we work with that have a positive impact on local communities and the environment from 70 to 149, but we also partnered up with Cool Earth, an organisation which works to prevent deforestation while maintaining biodiversity and carbon storage levels. This means that for every trip taken with Jacada, an acre of rainforest is preserved.

If you find yourself in St. Petersburg, Russia, between May 21 and July 21, you’ll get to experience the White Nights Festival. It is held during the summer when there’s almost 24 hours of sunlight every day. Special events are held around the city. Look out for opera, ballet, pop art and special exhibitions at galleries and cultural institutions. The Long Night of Museums sees some venues stay open until the early hours, and the Scarlet Sails event on the shortest night of the year includes a lightshow on an iconic tall ship.

We also grew, with 37 new people joining the team across our offices in London, Hong Kong, Cape Town and Santiago. During the year, we also expanded your travel options with us, adding Russia, China and Turkey to the ever-growing list of places we can take you to. And, an impressive 1,185 trips were booked through us over the course of the year.

ALL ABOARD KRUGER SHALATI

SPOTLIGHT ON VIENNA

Set to open in the first part of 2020, Kruger National Park’s Shalati will transport guests back in time to an era of classic, luxury rail travel. Located on a bridge, high above the Sabie River, the vintage train is permanently stationed in the exact same spot the park’s first visitors would have stayed overnight. Kruger Shalati will feature 31 glass-walled rooms: 24 carriage rooms and seven Bridge House rooms, as well as a deck and swimming pool.

Over the past few decades, Austria has been reinventing itself, pouring resources into new art institutions as well as promoting its existing cultural treasures. A variety of new hotels are opening in Vienna catering to a younger crowd, among them the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere. The hotel is part of a $240 million development project around Vienna’s central train station. The nearby Belvedere 21 contemporary art venue has been renovated and the Freud Museum building is also undergoing a revamp which is due to be completed in May 2020.

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The List Products to help you travel more responsibly

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Go Nimble 3 Day Fast Portable Charger gonimble.com $75.95 

Aluminum shell suitcase awaytravel.com $575

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Compostable phone case pelacase.com $47.95

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Welly Bamboo Water Bottle wellybottle.com $35 

Merino wool Runner allbirds.com $115

4 Recycled wool-blend fleece patagonia.com $159

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Bamboo cutlery bambuhome.com $22

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Bamboo sunglasses wearpanda.com $120

Reef-safe sunscreen us.caudalie.com $25

THE LIST

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Responsible Travel

How resilient tourists are supporting Sri Lanka’s communities

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“When incidents like the attacks in Sri Lanka happen, it has a knock on effect to the amount of travellers visiting.”

When disaster hits and organisations like the Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office start issuing travel advisories, it can be hard to know what to do as a traveller. You want to stay safe, but also support the local communities that rely so heavily on tourism. One such destination that’s recently suffered at the hand of tragedy is Sri Lanka. Despite it all, the local tourism industry is in the midst of an inspiring comeback. We’ve taken a look at how resilient travellers can help communities like these get back on their feet. The small island nation of Sri Lanka hasn’t had an easy ride over the years; it spent almost 26 years bearing the brunt of a brutal civil war between the Sinhalese majority and the separatist Tamil Tigers group. After the war ended in 2009, it took just a few years for peace to rule across the country. Sri Lanka soon became synonymous with golden beaches, ancient temples and laid-back safaris. A country with startling beauty, genuinely warm locals and untapped potential, it wasn’t long before visitors flocked to the nation’s shores over the subsequent years.  A record 2.3 million tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2018, contributing an incredible $3 billion to the Sri Lankan economy. Tourism was such a big business in Sri Lanka that the island even topped Lonely Planet’s list of the best places to travel in 2019. Then, in April 2019, a series of terror attacks tore through Colombo - Sri Lanka’s capital - killing over 250 people and bringing a significant halt to tourism. In the wake of the attacks, a state of emergency was declared and visitor numbers were down by 70%. Natascha Genette-Stride, Jacada Travel’s Asia expert, says, “The attacks in April had devastating impacts on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, but travelling through Sri Lanka is a complete contrast to what we hear on the news. It’s peaceful, picturesque and the people are extremely warm and welcoming.”  It’s not all doom and gloom though - 10 months on from the attacks, this paradise island is solidifying its position as a fully-fledged tourist destination. A combination of government measures, affordable hotel rates and resilient travellers have helped Sri Lanka get back on its feet. Less than a month after the attacks, the government began working with a team of experts in crisis management. Visa-free arrivals were also introduced for an extended list of countries and airline ground charges were reduced significantly.  “When incidents like the attacks in Sri Lanka happen, it has a knock-on effect to the amount of travellers visiting. Whilst immediate aid helps countries get back on their feet, the best way to help is to visit, explore and see why these countries are so popular as tourist destinations,” says Sarah Jarvis, Jacada Travel’s Regional Sales Manager for Asia. “Some of Jacada’s experts have recently been to Sri Lanka and our clients who have travelled to Sri Lanka since the attacks adore the country - it’s such a varied island with lots to see and do, from climbing Sigiriya to leopard spotting on safari.” 

In the weeks that followed, many travel advisories were scaled down and a trickle of visitors began to return to the country. It’s been a slow and steady recovery and numbers remain down on previous years, but today tourist arrivals are down just 9.5% year on year compared with a 70% difference in May 2019. Gilda Tang, Jacada Travel’s Lead Travel Concierge for Asia, says “The revival of tourism in a sustainable way is the most important way to support Sri Lanka long term. Many Jacada clients have visited and were impressed by the locals’ warm hospitality, as well as the island’s unparalleled scenery and unique cultural heritage.” According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the average recovery time for an affected destination is 13 months. So now is a great time to travel if you want to show solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, and experience the island as it was 15 to 20 years ago with fewer tourists and beautifully untouched landscapes. Industry players across Sri Lanka are all increasing their efforts to help drive the positive impacts of the tourism industry to the region too. One such organisation is Resplendent Ceylon, parent company of luxury resorts Ceylon Tea Trails, Wild Coast and Cape Weligama. Through their Giving Getaways programme, the properties enable guests to give back during their stay. At Ceylon Tea Trails, guests can take part in a reforesting programme whilst at Cape Weligama and there are opportunities to volunteer at the local MJF Centre. Offering educational classes and creative workshops for children from nearby fishing communities, the MJF Centre is involved in a number of worthwhile projects. For families staying at the resort, children can strike up a friendship that can be continued cross-continent via the Resplendent Ceylon PenPal programme is particularly special.  “At our properties, we have ongoing projects that aim to positively impact the community as well as the environment. While staying at Wild Coast Lodge, guests are able to contribute to a school in Bundala, an area near Yala National Park, in cash or kind,” says Nethmie Dehigama, Communications Coordinator for Resplendent Ceylon. “At Tea Trails, guests can take part in our reforestation programme which focuses on helping to foster leopard populations; you can either plant or buy trees - or both.”  As we have seen from examples such as Paris, Tunisia and Nepal, disaster doesn’t have to mean the end of a thriving tourism industry. Although it may take a while for a country to get back on its feet, the reason it does so is largely down to resilient tourists. Of course, it’s always best practice to take into account what’s happening on the ground, but it’s equally as important to continue travelling to affected countries. Sri Lanka’s impressive comeback has proven that travel really can make a difference when it matters most. Pack your bags Show Sri Lanka some love from $6,050 per person. → jacada.travel/classicsrilanka For further info, contact our Travel Designers: London: rachel@jacadatravel.com, Hong Kong: natascha@jacadatravel.com RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

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Positive Impact Pioneers

Alissa Ruxin, The Retreat, Kigali

Rwanda's capital city, Kigali, is becoming far more than just a stopover destination. One of the safest cities across Africa, Kigali's cultural centres, seemingly endless food markets and historical museums are sure to cast a spell on anyone who visits. With the arrival of properties like the One&Only Nyungwe House and Singita Kwitonda Lodge, the luxury market in Rwanda is really starting to open up too. In the heart of the nation’s capital lies The Retreat, Rwanda's first entirely eco-friendly resort. We caught up with owner Alissa Ruxin, to hear more about how this incredible project came to be. Josh and Alissa Ruxin, New York natives, moved to Rwanda 15 years ago in 2006. In 1994, a terrible genocide took place in Rwanda. In 2005, Josh – who was 16

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working as a public health consultant at the time - had been called over to Rwanda to consult on how tourism in the region could be improved. Alissa accompanied him, and the couple soon fell in love with Rwanda. Their admiration for this central African country is palpable. “We started off working in the village of Nyamata, where Josh was asked to deliver the Millennium Development Project, aimed at breaking the village out of poverty,” says Alissa. “We were both truly inspired by working on the ground in Rwanda, and are both firm believers in creating jobs and opportunities for local people. We’ve really made our lives in Rwanda now, and have three adopted Rwandan children alongside three of our own.” Alissa and Josh set up their first hotel,

Heaven, in 2008 and have always been passionate about their hotels creating a positive impact. Heaven sources its food from local farmers and its organic garden, as well as focusing on wellness. With their latest offering, The Retreat - which opened in late 2017 - the couple wanted to set up something that had a focus on telling the stories of Rwandan people and the local community. “We took a massive risk in setting The Retreat up, as we didn’t know whether there’d be a luxury market or not. The risk seems to have paid off though. Now, most of our efforts focus on positively impacting the local community through our hotel,” Alissa added. One of The Retreat’s major accomplishments is the hotel’s hospitality school, which has seen 1,000 Rwandans trained


Left. Alissa Ruxin, owner Right. The Retreat offers a welcome haven from bustling Kigali, Below. a graduate from The Retreat's hospitality programme puts her newly found skills to work

across different functions, from customer service to cookery. As Alissa told us: “At Heaven and The Retreat, our hospitality programme is based on older staff training new intakes. We encourage our staff to seek opportunities elsewhere once they’re trained up, and everyone who has graduated from the programme has gone on to work for incredible local businesses, including Singita Kwitonda and Bisate Lodge.” To show guests the authentic Kigali, The Retreat also runs a number of community-led experiences. Ranging from fashion tours where guests can meet local women’s cooperatives making incredible jewellery to historical tours through Nyamata village, the tours on offer give guests an unfiltered view of Kigali’s inspiring locals. It’s often hard

for community-based experiences to stay true to their roots, but Alissa reckons her years of exploration have helped inform how responsibly The Retreat operates its excursions. “I’d say the main reason our tours are so true to the community is because I’ve spent years exploring and getting to know the local entrepreneurs who aren’t necessarily being written about. From supporting street kids to giving genocide survivors a platform to tell their stories, all our community-led experiences focus on showcasing the locals behind Rwanda.” On why it’s important for the industry as a whole to be creating a positive impact, Alissa continued, “Ultimately, I believe in the power of companies and the private sector to benefit local com-

munities. I could have easily worked for an NGO instead of setting up a business from scratch, but I really do believe working on the ground to create jobs and opportunities for local people is a vital ingredient for success when it comes to doing tourism responsibly.” Visit The Retreat for a sustainable and peaceful stay in the heart of Kigali’s bustling downtown, as well as a chance to get to know the people that make this city one-of-a-kind. 

Pack your bags Stay at The Retreat from $6,470 per person → jacada.travel/kigalirwanda For further info, contact our Travel Designers: London: byron@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: jess@jacadatravel.com POSITIVE IMPACT PIONEERS

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18 Slow Travel 28 Luxury Lodges of New Zealand 40 Uluru’s Field of Light 46 Who am I? 50 Rise and Shine 54 Land of Fire and Ice 62 All Creatures Great and Small PAGE TITLE

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Slow Travel The world’s most laid-back journeys

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‘Slow Travel’ has taken the travel industry by storm over recent years, but what exactly is it? And which destinations are leading the way when it comes to laidback exploration? Slow travel’s origins lie in the slow food movement, a focus on local farming and regional cuisine that began in 1980s Italy as a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome. Following suit, slow travel has become part of what’s widely known as the ‘Slow Movement,’ which aims to address the issue of ‘time poverty’ through an increased focus on making connections with people, places and things. When it comes to slow travel in particular, this means spending a little more time getting to know the places you’re visiting, as well as the people behind them. With the advent of train travel and river cruising, it’s becoming even easier to appreciate landscapes as you go rather than rushing through them. Read on for our round-up of the world’s most leisurely trips, from the timeless elegance of Australia’s Ghan train to cruising the Mekong’s lively waters. SLOW TRAVEL

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For a journey steeped in history

The Ghan, Australia

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Australia’s most iconic train ride, The Ghan has intriguing origins and was named after the cameleers who used to travel into Australia’s Red Centre over 150 years ago. Many were migrants from what is now today’s Pakistan, but back in the 1800s they were thought to hail from Afghanistan, and were colloquially known as ‘Ghans’. With ancient origins, today The Ghan is one of Australia’s most timeless luxury journeys. The track stretches for an impressive 3,000 kilometres, taking in all the incredible sights from Darwin to Adelaide and back. If you don’t have time to travel across all 3,000 kilometres, you can choose to journey from Darwin or Adelaide to Alice Springs and vice versa. Whichever route you choose, you’ll be


“Whichever route you choose, you’ll be rewarded with rural Australia’s unbeaten landscapes. ”

rewarded with rural Australia’s unbeaten landscapes. Rolling pastoral hues of the South Australian Plains, rusty reds of the MacDonnell Ranges and tropical greens of Darwin all come together to create an unforgettable journey. There’s an incredible menu of offtrain experiences to choose from too, ranging from scenic flights over Alice Springs to discovery walks through Simpsons Gap. A comfortable 90-minute flight over Alice Springs and its scenic surroundings is the perfect way to see Australia’s Outback from an entirely new perspective. As you fly over the arid landscapes, you’ll pass Gosses Bluff, once the largest meteor impact crater in Australia, the River Todd and the enormous Ghan itself looking minuscule amongst the 642 kilometres of Australian bush. If you opt for trekking through Simpsons Gap, you’ll discover over 40 rare species of plant, as well as the area’s fascinating Aboriginal history. Known as Rungutjirpa amongst the Aboriginal people, Simpsons Gap is thought to be the mythological home of their ancestors. Many dreaming trails and stories are set in this part of Australia and this important spiritual site has a truly ethereal feel to it. As you wander, enjoy the stillness as the walls glow from reflected sunlight, creating a breathtaking display of distinctive form and striking colour. SLOW TRAVEL

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For epic landscapes

Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru

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Travelling between three of Peru’s most stunning areas, Belmond’s Andean Explorer is one of the best ways to journey through Latin America’s striking landscapes. Traversing Cusco, Lake Titicaca and Arequipa, the Belmond’s Andean Explorer is one of the world’s highest train routes. In unmatched style and comfort, the train effortlessly glides through Cusco’s cobbled streets and past Lake Titicaca’s spiritual shores before arriving in the unesco World Heritage ‘White City’ of Arequipa. The exclusive feel continues throughout the carriages, with interiors inspired by Peru’s traditional hand-woven fabrics

and complemented with the soft tones of alpaca wool. The lounge car features a baby grand piano, offering the perfect setting for guests to come together and enjoy a convivial drink. Two dining cars on board serve contemporary cuisine, brought to life by local, seasonal produce from the Peruvian Andes. The real highlight though, is the open-deck observation car; enjoying the breathtaking mountain scenery whilst sipping on a Pisco sour is an experience few will forget. On a typical two-night voyage, the highlights of journeying through Cusco include visiting the ancient archeological site of Raqch'i - once an important


“The exclusive feel continues throughout the carriages, with interiors inspired by Peru’s traditional hand-woven fabrics.”

control point for the Incas - and soaking up the sunset over the La Raya mountain range. As the train pulls into Lake Titicaca, catch a breathtaking sunrise over Latin America’s largest navigable body of water. Later in the day, enjoy a traditional boat ride out to the Uros Islands, before ending your time here with a private lunch on secluded Collata Beach. On the way to Arequipa, uncover a forgotten world as you venture through the Sumbay Caves, a cave system filled with paintings that are an estimated 8,000 years old. Once in the ‘White City,’ explore the metropolis’ nooks and crannies on a panoramic city tour.

SLOW TRAVEL

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For cultural discovery

Aqua Mekong, Vietnam & Cambodia

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For a memorable discovery of Southeast Asia, take to the waters aboard the Aqua Mekong on a journey through Vietnam and Cambodia. Spanning an astonishing 4,350 kilometres, the Mekong River is the lifeblood to communities across the continent. From its icy beginning on the Tibetan Plateau, the Mekong winds its way through China, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia before breaking out into Vietnam’s vast Mekong Delta. Rice paddies, fruit orchards, fish farms and floating villages all rely on the river’s bounty and the riverside communities are a real delight to explore. The best way to journey along the Mekong is on a refined luxury river

cruise, offering a wonderful way to meet locals and witness life along the river banks. One of our favourite boats is the Aqua Mekong, complete with an outdoor deck, shaded infinity pool and a one-to-one staff to guest ratio that offers complete luxury - with the unwavering attention of a dedicated staff member, your every need is catered for. Whilst on board, indulge in the spa, relax in the library or kick back in a private cabana next to the ship’s plunge pool. Mekong cruises generally last anywhere between three days and a week, with a seven-day itinerary the perfect length for in-depth exploration. For an


“The best way to journey along the Mekong is on a refined luxury river cruise, offering a wonderful way to meet locals and witness life along the river banks.”

educational introduction to the Mekong, climb aboard a sampan - a traditional flat-bottomed boat - to paddle through Vietnam’s Cai Be floating market, home to everything from Vietnamese fish sauce to colourful confectionery. For a break from the water, head deep into the acacia flooded Tra Su Cajuput Forest. Explore the 845 hectares filled with 70 different bird species here, or scale the 230 metre (755 feet) high Sam Mountain, presided over by the venerable Mahayana Buddhist monks at Long Son Tu Temple. Round off your river cruise with an exploration of wildlife and sustainable development efforts in Tonle Sap Lake, one of Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lakes. SLOW TRAVEL

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For cruising the waters in style

Alexa J, Greece

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Away from the hustle and bustle of popular tourist spots, Greece’s Ionian islands bring together world-class beaches, laid-back locals and delectable food. Each of the islands has its own personality, ranging from mountains covered with olive trees to ancient temples. From the sea turtles of Kefalonia to the rolling hills of Zakynthos, this picturesque slice of Europe is ripe for exploration. A unique charter yacht experience, the Alexa J allows travellers to sail the Ionian seas in complete luxury. With uber-stylish interiors and world-class bespoke service, this one-cabin superyacht gives any

couple or family the luxury of complete privacy. There’s also an additional cabin below the front deck, perfect for younger members of the family. An onboard crew of six - including a dive instructor and spa therapist - means any itinerary can be personalised to your interests. The path your boat takes through the Ionian islands is also completely up to you, so sailing the Alexa J is a truly bespoke adventure. On a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, indulge in a secluded picnic under a 100-year-old olive tree. If food is your thing, a culinary odyssey of juicy grilled peaches and scrumptious feta cheese awaits. Onboard, your chef will surprise


“With uber-stylish interiors and world-class bespoke service, this one-cabin superyacht gives any couple or family the luxury of complete privacy.”

you with a seven-course tasting journey of delicious Grecian delicacies. For family vacations, tailored diving lessons help adults and children alike get acquainted with the underwater world. However you choose to explore the Ionian islands, doing so on the Alexa J is an experience that is sure to create lifelong memories. Pack your bags Take a more mindful approach to travel from $9,340 per person → jacada.travel/slowtravel Contact us to find out more about any of these destinations: London / Cape Town: enquiries@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: travel@jacadatravel.com SLOW TRAVEL

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Off the Grid Getting back to nature in New Zealand's luxury lodges

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With a landscape that varies from snowcapped mountains to ancient forests, New Zealand has gained a reputation for its unique natural beauty. However, some of the nation’s most picturesque places often lie well off the beaten track. For those that want to experience total immersion in awe-inspiring landscapes, New Zealand’s exclusive luxury lodges are the perfect marriage of spectacular scenery and lavish comfort.  

For foodies

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses Surrounded by dramatic mountains near the South Island’s coastal town of Kaikoura, Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses is a one-of-a-kind retreat. Rising 10 metres above a canopy of native kanuka grove are five luxurious tree house suites, made from responsibly sourced or recycled and salvaged timbers. Each tree house looks out onto the estate’s 1,600-acre deer farm, grapevine-covered pergolas and the sparkling Pacific Ocean.  Despite the incredible view, the star attraction here is the restaurant. The lodge is located in an area historically designated as “kai whare”, the Maori term for “house of food” and executive chef Fiona Read, former Masterchef finalist, has a passion for growing food as much as cooking it. The lodge produces its own olive oil and many of the vegetables and herbs will come straight from the kitchen’s organic garden. 75% of the ingredients used in the kitchen are also sourced directly from local farms, cheese-makers and fishermen; of particular note is the local speciality, Kaikoura crayfish.  32

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Left. A chef in Hapuku Lodge plating up. Middle. The lodge’s tree houses are suspended above a kanuka grove canopy. Right. The kitchen’s garden supplies fresh herbs and vegetables. OFF THE GRID

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Left. On the deck at Mahu Whenua. Middle. A dramatic alpine setting backs this high-country haven. Right. The peaked roof of the homestead building pierces the baby-blue sky. 34

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For giving back

Mahu Whenua, Wanaka   Located in Wanaka, the gateway to New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Mahu Whenua is the eco-sanctuary you’ve been dreaming of. The property is comprised of four adjoining high-country sheep stations, which span an enormous stretch of some of the most dramatic alpine scenery in the country.  The name Mahu Whenua is Maori for “healing the land” which illustrates the owner’s vision to protect and regenerate the land. Actions taken by the lodge include planting over one-million trees, introducing a native bird-breeding programme and using renewable solar energy so that the lodge operates in harmony with nature. Waking up to views of Lake Wanaka each morning, guests can truly get back to nature and even take part in conservation practices like planting trees or feeding the native birds. 

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For iconic views

The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley If you’re seeking the wow factor, this is the place. The Lindis is located in the Ahuriri Valley, north of Wanaka, which was carved into the landscape over millions of years by the glacial waters of the Ahuriri River. The lodge itself features an elegant timber-slatted roof, which mimics the surrounding undulating landscape. To enjoy the environment in the most private way, guests can choose to stay in one of the lodge’s deluxe pods. These ‘pods’ are actually made from mirrored glass, positioned out of sight of the lodge and each contains luxurious fittings: en-suite, king-size bed, private outdoor bathtub and fine linens.   For outdoor lovers, the valley is a playground: hiking trails, mountain biking and horse riding are but a sample of what’s on offer. The Ahuriri River is also rated as one of New Zealand’s best fly-fishing spots. To experience total rejuvenation, sink into a deep chair in the lodge - wine in hand - and look out onto the valley, appreciating the exquisite panorama before you. 

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Left. The magnificent view of the Ahuriri Valley from one of the deluxe pods. Middle. A candy-floss sky over the wooden-slatted roof of the Lindis lodge. Right. Sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows inside the main lodge.


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Left. A softly lit, wood-panelled corridor leads to an elegant bedroom suite. Middle. Misty morning views across the manicured great lawn to the Victorian mansion. Right. The cosy interior of the drawing room is warmed further by the glow of a fireplace. 38

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To travel back in time Otahuna Lodge

Built in 1895 - and celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2020 - Otahuna Lodge is one of New Zealand’s finest Victorian mansions. The country home, a threestory 40-room timber and slate house, was built for Sir Heaton Rhodes, a highprofile pioneer from Canterbury. The decor at Otahuna reflects Rhodes' status: an opulent, dark-wood dining room, cosy library, fragrant Dutch Gardens and a lush green lawn for playing polo. Rooms are luxuriously appointed, with wood-burning fireplaces and terraces with sweeping views of the manicured great lawn, daffodil fields and the Southern Alps in the distance. Dinner is a five-course chef ’s degustation menu - which changes daily - and the Woodlands Massage Studio provides much-needed indulgence. You can even stay in a room patronised by royalty; the magnificent Verandah Suite once hosted King George VI on his royal visit to New Zealand in 1927. 

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To get away from it all Bay of Many Coves

Accessible only by water taxi or helicopter, this lodge is as secluded as you could possibly want. Bay of Many Coves is a sanctuary of nature, surrounded by native bush and positioned among the timeless beauty of Queen Charlotte Sound at the very tip of the South Island. Made for adventurers, the idyllic backdrop of the Marlborough Sounds makes this the ideal place to rejuvenate both body and mind. Just 11 suites overlook the quiet bay where the only sounds are tropical birdsong and perhaps the splash of a bottlenose dolphin. As well as water-based activities like paddleboarding and kayaking, you can also hike among 52 hectares of native bushland or spot twinkling glow worms just a short distance from the resort. 

Pack your bags Discover New Zealand’s luxury lodges → jacada.travel/newzealandlodges For more info, contact our Travel Designers: London: ellie@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: jess@jacadatravel.com

Left. The wooden façade of the resort, set right on the water’s edge in the heart of Marlborough Sounds. Middle. A jetty stretches out from the native bushland, surrounded by water glistening in the golden light. Right. Warm, wooden interiors frame the turquoise waters of the tranquil bay below. 40

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Meet your Australasia Travel Designers:

Levi Beck Favourite place? Byron Bay, New South Wales. For the laid-back Australian surfer vibe. Secret recommendation?  Akaroa, in New Zealand’s South Island is the nation’s only French colonial settlement and its harbour was formed by an extinct volcano.  Favourite local food?  Steak pie. 

Ellie Khoury Favourite place? Definitely Queenstown. I love the adventure opportunities, the stunning scenery and mountains. Secret recommendation?  Go for a swim in the turquoiseblue glacial Lake Pukaki in New Zealand.  Favourite local food?  Tim Tams.

Jane Dumble Favourite place? I love Tasmania for its isolation and vast wilderness. Secret recommendation?  Australia’s Sunshine Coast for the beaches, walks and national parks. Favourite local food?  Definitely Vegemite.

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Uluru’s Field

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The age-old adage that art imitates life rings true for Uluru’s Field of Light. Renowned artist Bruce Munro tells Sascha Gill what inspired his most impressive installation yet.Â

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ritish artist Bruce Munro is well-known for his immersive, large-scale light installations. From the Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah to Jeju Light Festival in South Korea, Bruce’s work has made an impact across the globe. His most famous work is the Field of Light, a light installation created on an epic scale. This installation has journeyed across the world, visiting everywhere from the US to Denmark, but the most impressive version is undoubtedly found in the land Down Under. Taking pride of place in the heart of Australia’s Northern Territory, the latest iteration of this impressive structure has brought a whole new lease of life to the already awe-inspiring Uluru since 2016.  With the Uluru installation of Field of Light now extended indefinitely, we caught up with Bruce to talk about everything from how he finds his inspiration to his favourite travel destinations.  Light installations are coming to the forefront of modern art, with prominent artists such as yourself helping to push the boundaries of how art enthusiasts interpret light. How did you begin to work with light as your main medium and what was it that initially drew you to it?  I started working with light in my mid-20s, when I was living and working in Sydney. After I finished my Fine Arts degree in Bristol in 1982, I really didn’t believe I’d be able to turn the creative process of painting that I’d come to love into a full-time career. So, I decided to move to Sydney and just live life for a while. I hadn’t given up on my dream, and I used to fill sketchbooks with page upon page of different ideas. It was only when an executive from Saatchi & Saatchi

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told me that I was somewhat of a “butterfly” that I realised I probably needed to settle on one medium. One day as I was walking down the street, a light in a shop window caught my eye and after that I remember buying some lights and setting up some very small light installations across the city. When I first began working with light in my mid-20s, I didn’t see it as creative work – I was really just trying to make the most of life. It wasn’t until my father passed away 20 years later that I really started taking the creative work seriously, and I feel that choosing light as my main medium was something that came about very naturally. I took a massive risk when planning Field of Light – I bought a run-down house with a huge mortgage just because it came with a field that I could experiment with light in. Hopefully it’s a risk that’s paid off! Your work is often based around dramatic landscapes. Can you tell us a bit about the relationship between your work and the natural world? I believe everything comes from nature – no part of our world works in isolation from any other part. I also believe that respecting the natural environment is paramount. At Uluru, the Field of Light is completely solar-powered, so it’s a very gentle installation. At the moment, there’s a team on the ground working to refurbish some of the fibre optics and make sure that the work is constantly in harmony with nature. In fact, the Field of Light installation in Uluru creates the same amount of light pollution as just powering two domestic houses for four hours a day.


Previous. Uluru’s Field of Light comes into its own under the starry central Australian night sky. Left. Artist Bruce Munro. Below. Uluru’s Field of Light by day.

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“I love travelling and I believe art is a great way of connecting people universally, across cultures and languages."

You’ve displayed installations and exhibitions all over the world. Are there any destinations that stand out in your mind as particularly special, or any anecdotes from your travels that you’d like to share? I love travelling and I believe art is a great way of connecting people universally, across cultures and languages. I remember one occasion from my travels as a teenager, when I was hitch-hiking in France. I ended up accepting a lift with a car, and I thought to myself “you can either think you’re going to get murdered or accept that 99% of people are going to be good, honest people.” I’ve never really had a bad moment whilst travelling, and I really think that’s down to the way in which I choose to perceive the world and the people in it. I understand you moved to Sydney and spent a few years travelling through Australia after studying your degree in Fine Arts. What was it about Uluru in particular that made you want to create the Field of Light installation there?  Uluru was really the starting point for Field of Light. The first time I visited, I was camping with my now wife Serena and thought it was an extraordinary place. I always thought deserts were barren, lifeless places but being in Uluru gave me the complete opposite feeling. I felt totally alive the whole time I was there, so I started wondering how I could communicate this feeling through my art. At the time, I was travelling through Australia in a camper van and I had a lot of time to think through 46

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ideas. The original iteration of Field of Light was slightly different than what it has ended up being. I owned an industrial lighting business, so I was originally thinking about putting together a sort of dance of light. I then started playing around with fibre optics, and became increasingly drawn to them – hence why the installation of today is made up of more than 50,000 fibre optic flower-like stems. Is there anywhere in the world you’d really like to exhibit that you haven’t had the opportunity to do before? For me, the projects really come first. I often get approached by people from across the globe who ask me to come and set up installations in their communities, and I’ll go pretty much anywhere if it’s a project I believe in. For example, my recent Sensorio installation in California was inspired by a couple who visited Uluru and asked me to set up Field of Light in their hometown. I do particularly like working on commissions that take me to more remote places. However, I recently went on a trip to central Berlin where I was asked to set up installations in old buildings and on derelict land, which I loved too. I’m also heading out to Victoria in Australia later this year to scope out locations for my next installation. I love learning about new places and cultures, and I’m currently focusing on pieces about how nature and places have developed through the ages. Your new exhibition ‘Bruce Munro: Tropical Light’ recently opened in Darwin earlier this year. Can you tell us a bit more about it?  I first visited Darwin in 1992 with Serena, and we ended up camping there during the hot season. It wasn’t the best time to camp, but I fell in love with the city! I recently returned and spent four or five days just walking through the city. The installation itself actually runs across eight or nine different locations within Darwin, and it’s more of a large-scale, city-based installation compared to my previous work. The curator of the installation is actually also involving local creatives – poets, musicians etc. – so that it’s a proper city-based endeavour. I named it ‘Tropical Light,’ because it’s light-based (of course!) and will be running throughout Darwin’s tropical hot season. 

Pack your bags Witness the magic of Bruce Munroe’s Field of Light from $8,700 per person. → jacada.travel/uluru For further info, contact our Travel Designers: London: levi@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: riki@jacadatravel.com ULURU’S FIELD OF LIGHT

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Who Am I? Heritage travel is on the rise, with many North Americans keen to retrace their links to the Old World in countries like Scotland and Ireland. Ancestry tour guide and Scottish history lecturer at Glasgow University, Dr Kirsty McAlister, shares her experiences on bringing visitors closer to their forgotten heritage.

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Next spread. Left. Could this be the home of your ancestors? Castle Stalker, Scotland Right, Discover your connection to the Emerald Isle at the epic The Irish Emigration Museum

n 16th September 1620, a ship named the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth to Massachusetts. The passengers, later known as the Pilgrims, arrived in the harsh winter of 1620, creating a profound effect on the future of the United States of America. Today, 30-million people in the US can retrace their heritage to the 102 passengers and 30 crew onboard the ship. With 2020 marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage, many North Americans will be commemorating their shared heritage, while many more will become curious about their own family tree.    The desire to track back our genealogical heritage is nothing new. People have long had an interest in looking back to their early relatives through family trees. However, a recent boom in companies offering dna and genetic testing - combined with access to more online records than we’ve ever had - makes it simpler than ever to discover the rich tapestry of stories and people from your hidden past. As Kirsty notes, “It’s never been easier to access information remotely, you really don’t need to be in the country to get an in-depth understanding of your ancestry.” The chance to visit the ancient home of your relatives is particularly popular among American and Canadian tourists. Recent research has shown that 23% of long-haul visitors to Scotland travelled to the country to hunt down their Scottish heritage. Similarly, Ireland is a destination that attracts a lot of interest from the estimated 33 million Americans with Irish ancestry.    The first step to discovering your heritage is always research. “There are a huge number of websites that offer dna testing, giving you a general understanding of where your family’s roots lie.” Kirsty points out. “From here, you can delve even deeper using government-operated databases. These track national records from church registers, birth certificates, land property rights and migration records. Websites like scotlandspeople.gov.uk even give you access to records used by professional genealogists.” For some, discovering the names and locations of their ancestors is enough. However, an ever-increasing number want to experience these places in person,

to breathe in the same air and walk the same ground as their forebears. Almost all of the tours run by Kirsty start at this point, “Many of my clients will know their ancestry already, what I do is provide those lightbulb moments that snap the story into historical context.” “What side of the war did their family fight on in the Jacobite rebellions between 1688 and 1746? Which locations did they live in? What was happening at the time they were living? It’s these details that really bring to life the names on the page.” Ancestry tours can take visitors on a visceral, emotive journey back in time to the lands and places associated with their family’s names. Property deeds are an effective way to trace back sites related to a particular name. Who knows, you may even be related to an ancestor tied to one of Scotland’s iconic castles. In fact, one of Kirsty’s favourite moments guiding tours came after a surprise revelation. “We were overlooking the dramatic cliff-top Dunnottar Castle in the northeastern coast of Scotland, discussing its ancestral owners, Clan Keith. Suddenly the client had a moment of realisation. He consulted his research and discovered he was a direct descendent of the fortress’ owners. It was a beautiful merging of two sides of the story and in celebration we toasted his new found relatives with a hip flask of whisky.”   “It’s moments like these that you realise this is so much more than just a holiday to these individuals.” Of course, discovering your heritage doesn’t have to be the only thing you do on your trip. After all, the sweeping landscapes and weather-beaten castles of Scotland and Ireland are unlike anywhere else in the world. Because of this, tours can be personalised to include all the highlights of your chosen destination, as well as allowing time for more off-thebeaten-track experiences. “Every trip is different, as every person will have different needs. What we always make sure to do is as well as the iconic sights we take our clients to the lesser-visited areas that you can’t read about in the guidebooks. For example: storytelling evenings with local historians, opportunities to meet craftspeople and dine in local restaurants away from the crowds.” Another great incentive to make the journey to your ancestral homeland is that once you’ve arrived, you can delve into PGE TITLE

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local museums or develop your research with access to local archives. In Dublin’s dockyards, the interactive epic The Irish Emigration Museum tells the story of the 10-million Irish emigrants and the influence they collectively made on the rest of the world. Within the museum complex, you can also visit the Irish Family History Centre, which offers consultations with genealogy experts and interactive displays to uncover your Irish roots. The facility notably aided us Vice President Joe Biden to discover his Irish family history on a recent visit. Meanwhile, those with a clan kilt attached to their name can experience what life was like for Highland people at the open-air Highland Folk Museum near Inverness. The authentic, hand-

built site gives a true flavour of local life from the 1700s onwards. Thankfully, even those short on time in Scotland can deepen their research by visiting the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh. Here a plethora of information awaits, from coats of arms to census records or even local maps and plans. “While information is accessible, those who are short on time can opt to work with a professional genealogist – this is a great way to get insight into your background with a minimum of effort. Which is something we can arrange prior to your trip.” Kirsty explains. Whatever you think you know about your heritage, even the most detailed researcher can still be surprised by what they can find. As Kirsty shares “I’ve traced

my family all the way back to the 17th century. Though we were almost exclusively working class, I was shocked to discover a distant relative named Felix was registered in the census as a violinist. A very rare occupation for someone of that era.” For those curious enough, Kirsty shares the emotional impact that heritage tours can provide, “One of the biggest reasons I love what I do is that heart-warming moment when someone feels that personal connection to their ancestors’ story. A validation that connects them to the destination forever.” Pack your bags Travel to the home of your ancestors and rediscover your heritage. For further info, contact: London: hanna@jacadatravel.com

“Whatever you think you know about your heritage, even the most detailed researcher can still be surprised by what they can find.”

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WHO AM I?

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Rise and Shine

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Africa welcomes its first Sleep Rooms at the luxurious Ellerman House hotel in Cape Town. The concept was dreamed up by internationally-renowned wellness expert Harry Jameson, who shares with us his holistic approach to wellness and his tips for staying fit while travelling.

35% of adults aren’t getting enough sleep.” Harry explains. For those of us living busy lives, the fact we aren’t getting enough sleep won’t come as much of a surprise. However, the health impact of poor sleep is often overlooked, especially when we travel. In fact, studies show that a bad night’s sleep can leave you with the same cognitive ability as someone over twice the legal drink-drive-limit. “Would you walk into the office in the morning and down two beers?” Harry asks, “No!” The reason sleep is so important is that it's responsible for many essential bodily functions: muscle growth and repair, as well as the consolidation of memory. Besides this, Harry adds, “Sleep also helps the management of stress, mental health and weight gain.” However, even if travellers are keen to get some shut-eye, there are a multitude of factors that prevent getting a good night's sleep. As Harry shares, “Hotel rooms are not actually designed for sleep, they’re often overstimulating and full of distractions, from the TV to the minibar full of sugary snacks.” To combat this, Harry has created a back-to-basics wellness bootcamp centred around the pillar of sleep. Perched on a hill overlooking the sparkling Bantry Bay in Cape Town, the retreat takes place in the incredible 13-bedroom Edwardian mansion Ellerman House. With its lush terraced lawns and ocean views, it’s easy to see how the luxurious hotel could become the perfect place for a restorative sanctuary. 53


The exclusive retreat takes place over three, hopefully, sleep-filled nights. Guests participate in workshops, eat nutritious, locally-sourced meals, indulge in deep tissue massage treatments and, most importantly, are taken through a unique sleep ritual. There are several stages to the Ellerman Sleep Ritual, including using luxurious aroma-rich products, each carefully designed to help the body naturally increase melatonin and induce a deep, satisfying sleep. “This ritual was actually inspired by my newborn son, Otis.” Harry explains, “We bathe him every evening and then let him dry naturally. Not only does this signal to him that it's bedtime, but by allowing him to dry naturally it slowly cools his body temperature, which helps create the right melatonin levels needed for sleep.”  Following a ritual in this way sets up the body for sleep each evening. For those lacking in willpower, all devices are removed from the room: even your phone is safely locked away and charged for you until the next morning. Each guest receives a customised plan based on their needs and can enjoy nutritional classes, cooking classes and nature-based activities like hiking Lion’s Head. “Ultimately, we want guests to take home these tips and empower them to use what they’ve learned on a daily basis.” With nature right on Ellerman House’s doorstep, there are ample opportunities to kayak the Atlantic, cycle along the Sea Point Promenade or, if you’re ambitious enough, hike Table Mountain. For those who struggle to find the time to exercise while travelling, Harry has some tips: “My best advice is to get your exercise routine done early, or incorporate it as the day’s main activity.

If you’re with the family, make it a family activity, involve the children in hikes, walks or racquet sports.” “Ultimately, you need to make a conscious decision to unplug, get back to nature or play sports. Making time for these activities will leave you more stress free and productive.” However, even those of us with the best intentions can be waylaid by longhaul flights and a haywire body clock. Travel fatigue can often eat away at your energy in the early stages of a trip. To combat this, resetting your circadian rhythm is vital. “Set your clock to the correct time of your arrival destination for long haul trips and try to follow this sleeping pattern,” Harry advises. “Another thing I would mention is that you shouldn’t eat or drink alcohol on flights. Skip the bloating, sodium-rich airplane meals, keep hydrated with water and fast. This will actually help you sleep better.” Having cycled across European countries and explored the Cape, Harry is himself an experienced traveller. But what’s the next destination for this personal trainer to some of the world’s most high performing individuals? “I’d love to go to Japan. Many of my favourite restaurants are Japanese and the whole country just intrigues me. Tokyo is also hosting the 2020 Olympics and I love to ski so if I could combine a visit with a ski trip that would be amazing.”

Pack your bags Plan your dream stay at Ellerman House → jacada.travel/ellermanhouse For more info, contact our Travel Designers: London: byron@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: kit@jacadatravel.com

“Hotel rooms are not actually designed for sleep, they’re often overstimulating and full of distractions, from the TV to the minibar full of sugary snacks.”

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Previous page. Harry Jameson hiking in Cape Town Right. Ellerman House, a calming space for rest and recovery Below right. Ellerman House offers sparkling views across Bantry Bay


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From exploring Iceland’s iconic natural landmarks to absorbing the serene and remote character of its far north, Jacada’s Europe Travel Designer, Kate Herz, recalls her adventure in Iceland.


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urrounded by blissful seclusion, with nothing but expansive plains and undulating landscapes to be seen, while the other-worldly Northern Lights shimmered overhead for company - this was the wild isolation that I had been hoping for from Iceland. I was visiting Torfhús Retreat on the doorstep of Iceland’s famous Golden Circle, but this felt worlds away from the frequented tourist hotspots nearby. The retreat is inspired by a traditional Icelandic Viking farm, with all its buildings constructed in the classic Icelandic torfhouse style, made using stones, turf and wood. From relaxing in one of the on-site thermal pools to horseback riding around the area courtesy of the retreat’s own stables, this was the quintessential Icelandic experience I’d been imagining as I prepared for my week-long adventure in the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’. I was already three days into my Iceland journey, having started my trip exploring Reykjavik’s colourful streets, stylish restaurants and dramatic surroundings. The world’s most northerly capital is a vibrant and innovative city,

where the likes of eye-catching architecture and design combine with rich culture and intriguing heritage. You don’t have to head too far from the city to discover some of Iceland's most famous scenery. I was blessed by some breathtaking views in easy reach of the capital, including Hafravatn Lake and numerous spectacular mountain peaks. Undoubtedly the most famous and dramatic examples of Iceland’s diverse and rugged terrain can be found in the Golden Circle, and my first impression of this unique area was incredibly memorable. I headed to Thingvellir National Park and the Silfra fissure, a unique location which perfectly showcases the activity and instability hidden below the earth’s surface.  The Silfra fissure is a giant rift formed within a tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates, which continue to drift apart by around two centimetres every year. The ‘giant crack’ sinks deep into the waters of Thingvallavatn Lake, providing the only place in the world where you can dive or snorkel directly in a fissure between two tectonic plates. I was fortunate enough to take to the water on a snorkelling expe-

“You don’t have to head too far from the city to discover some of Iceland's most famous scenery.”

Left. A view across the rooftops of Reykjavik. Right. Kate in a pool: The perfect vantage point to enjoy the surrounding landscapes. 58

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LAND OF FIRE AND ICE

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This image. The cascading Gullfoss Falls Right. Hardy Icelandic horses 60

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rience, where the underwater visibility extends to an incredible 100 metres. It was captivating to get so close to the point where two continents meet and whose movement is literally changing the shape of Earth. I continued east through an endless snowy expanse. Every now and then a sparkling lake would come into view, with the occasional mountainous peak jutting out of the sprawling landscape, as I headed towards the edge of Iceland’s wild interior and the Golden Circle’s headline act, Gullfoss Falls. The cascading, icy water that tumbles from this two-tiered waterfall comprises the largest volume falls in Europe, and it’s hard not to feel inspired by this significant presentation of Iceland’s powerful natural world. The same can be said for the area's two most famous geysers, Geysir and Strokkur. The former was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans, one can only imagine their fascination and interpretation of this mysterious geothermal setting. Strokkur erupts every six-to-ten minutes, usually reaching a height of 20 metres, though it has been recorded to

reach a towering 40 metres on occasion. If I needed a reminder that Iceland was one of the most geothermally active locations in the world, nothing said it better than an unannounced jet of boiling water shooting out of the ground to the equivalent height of the Jacada office back in London. The next two days would give me the chance to head to the country’s south, a region home to a stirring concoction of natural wonders, including the thundering Skogafoss Waterfall, striking black sand beaches, the jaw-dropping Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and Europe’s largest glacier, the immense Vatnajokull. I was diving head-first (hopefully not literally) into this frozen expanse, as I prepared to traverse an ice cave whose formation dates back thousands of years. I popped on a pair of crampons, a helmet and the thickest pair of gloves I could find as I marched across an awe-inspiring glacial landscape towards the cave. I’ve seen incredible ice formations in various parts of the world, but I’d never seen any quite like this, where the ice and lava flows merged to form a black and white-striped terrain. It perfectly summarised the dramatic balance between the intense heat and the

deep freeze that has impacted Iceland’s appearance for millions of years. The same can be said for Thorsmork, a mesmerising valley named after the Norse god of Thunder and found sandwiched between two giant mountain glaciers. This nature reserve, in the southern Icelandic highlands, is one of the country's most popular hiking destinations, and a real treat for keen photographers. As my Super Jeep transport bounced along and cut through vast plains, a towering line of snow-capped peaks emerged in the distance, leading me to the doorway of this adventure haven. It wasn’t long before I was hiking through a magical and wild location, ascending to a vantage point that would present me with the most breathtaking view from my entire Iceland experience. I felt like the only person in the world as I gazed across this sprawling expanse, punctuated by lush oases and rugged glacial terrain which cut through the black desert-like volcanic rock. Iceland was starting to show off. My final experience in Iceland took me to the bewitching rural beauty of the country’s far north, an area less frequented by tourists but no less significant

“I was hiking through a magical and wild location, ascending to a vantage point that would present me with the most breathtaking view from my entire Iceland experience.”

LAND OF FIRE AND ICE

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in its wild charm. This dramatic territory is almost entirely surrounded by volcanoes, with steaming and bubbling other-worldly sights seemingly falling straight off the set of a sci-fi movie. I set foot in the Mars-like atmosphere of the Namafjall Geothermal Area. Boiling mud puddles and smoking fumaroles surrounded me, as did an overwhelming smell of rotten eggs, an unpleasant characteristic of the sulphur present in the area. These fumes and the ground quality have driven away any sign of plant life from the area, which only goes to amplify the inhospitable conditions of the surroundings.  In a region so wild and isolated, it’s somewhat miraculous to have stumbled across one of my final locations in Iceland. Set in a remote valley in the middle of the Troll Peninsula, Deplar Farm is arguably one of the most unique places to stay in the whole of the country. Once a working sheep farm, today the complex has been transformed into a luxurious lodge, complete with an indoor-outdoor saltwater pool and bar, a sauna, a gym, a dining area, a spa and a warm lounge area. It was hard to fathom how anyone could make a living

in such a remote setting, let alone host one of Iceland’s most luxurious and rewarding hotels. It was simply mind-blowing. Winter days here can be spent doing everything from heli-ski adventures to hot spring-hopping, while the summer months allow for fantastic fly fishing and thrilling river kayaking – it’s truly an adventure-lover’s private playground. Amid the surge of interest and popularity in Iceland as a travel destination in recent times, a setting like Deplar Farm brought me relief in knowing that even in one of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating locations, you can still find a sense of exclusive isolation if you search hard enough. Amongst the cascading waterfalls, bubbling springs and gushing geysers, it was the silent serenity of Iceland’s rugged north that resonated the loudest.  

Pack your bags Discover the natural landscapes of Iceland from $4,920 per person. → jacada.travel/ice For more info, contact our Travel Designers: London: kate@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: kit@jacadatravel.com

“Even in one of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating locations, you can still find a sense of exclusive isolation if you search hard enough.”

Left. Fire and ice combine in this frozen landscape. Right. A rainbow over Torfhus Retreat. LAND OF FIRE AND ICE

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Travel Designers, Rebecca Cook and Emily Hunter, took a trip to Botswana where they were in awe of not only the Big Five but the smaller species that make it such a captivating country to visit.

All Creatures Great

These hairy looking antelope are called waterbuck - they are found near areas of water, and have a very recognisable heart-shaped nose. Their defence mechanism is releasing a poison into their blood while being chased so the meat is rotten to predators. This male waterbuck surveys the landscape, constantly looking for threats. 64

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And Small

Although found in many African countries, this species of dragonfly, the red-veined dropwing, can mostly be found at the waterside. This beauty was spotted hovering over the still waters of the Okavango Delta.Â

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Above. The king of the jungle! Male lions are at the top of the food chain, and this one had recently enjoyed a very large feed. Using his tail to flick away the constant flies, he lazed in the sunshine contentedly without concerning himself with our presence.

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Right. This common woodpecker, the cardinal woodpecker, can be found across Sub-Saharan Africa in a wide range of habitats. They can easily be identified by their extremely vocal calls.Â


ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

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Elephants are led by the matriarchal female of the herd. She knows where to locate the best waterholes and feeding spots. This large breeding herd of elephants will mainly stay together, apart from the young males who will go off on their own and find other bachelor males.

ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

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Above. These female waterbuck kept a vigilant watch over the Okavango. Travelling in herds of up to 30, they can make for easy prey.

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Right. Baboons are known for being crafty, intelligent creatures and they are always on the lookout for food. A high-pitched alarm call and fantastic eyesight keeps these monkeys keep safe from predators.


ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

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A battle of spots! Although at first glance, these may look like the same species, this was actually a leopard and cheetah fighting it out for territory in the Delta. We’ll leave it up to you to guess who won. 72

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ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

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Below. After a long and unsuccessful chase for an impala through the mopane woodland, this African wild dog cooled off in a pool of water.

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Right. This young male southern giraffe was with six other giraffes, all on the lookout for snacks. A collection of stationary giraffes is called a ‘tower’ and when they are moving, they are called a ‘journey’.


Pack your bags Discover Botswana’s creatures for yourself → jacada.travel/botswana For more info, contact our Travel Designers: London: em@jacadatravel.com or rebecca@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: kit@jacadatravel.com ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

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Coffee with a Travel Designer Jacada’s Travel Designer for Asia, Keith Jarman, shares his affinity for Cambodia, curry and conservation-led hotels.

What drove you to become a Travel Designer? Funnily enough, I actually started off my career as a hairdresser! I went backpacking during this time and got hooked on travel. I didn’t ever want to come home! I love flying, planes and anything luxury, so starting to work in luxury travel felt like a natural progression. What’s your connection to Asia? My visit to Asia during my gap year ignited my love for this continent. I went from Bangkok to the islands of Koh Tao and an overland tour all the way from Southern Thailand to Singapore. Even when I moved to Australia, I found myself constantly returning to discover new places and check out up-and-coming areas. What makes Asia so special? The diversity of Asia is what makes it so unique. I love vibrant, busy cities, which Asia has in abundance. I enjoy the freedom of jumping on a tuk-tuk and being whisked away somewhere crazy, but also being close to a beach or a jungle to wind down. In each country, you’ll also find completely different cultures and cuisines. Where are your must-visit destinations in Asia for 2020? Cambodia is definitely up there, for its authentic experiences and untouched natural beauty. Koh Rong, Cambodia’s largest island, makes a great alternative to Thailand’s islands, with its white sand and pristine landscapes. Phnom Penh, the capital and one of my favourite cities, has had a massive transformation over the last few years, with new pop-up bars, luxury hotels and an incredible fine dining scene. What’s your favourite eco-friendly hotel in Asia? The Six Senses in Yao Noi, Thailand, takes sustainability and conservation to another level. Their recycling practices and chicken farm are amazing – in the morning you can actually collect fresh eggs to have for your breakfast. They even play classical music to keep the chickens relaxed. What have you experienced on your travels that money can’t buy? I was lucky enough to visit the Chin people in a mountainous area of

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Myanmar, an ethnic group that are now sadly dying out. The women here believe in Animism and have incredible facial tattoos that they believe ward off evil spirits. Despite how difficult their lives are, I was struck by how warm and funny the tribe’s people were. What’s been your biggest adventure in Asia? A few years back, a group of seven Scottish friends and I went on a three-day motorbike tour from Nha Trang, Vietnam. It almost seemed doomed from the start as it rained for the whole three days, we had four punctures and three blowouts. Despite this, it was incredible. The areas we went through were like the land that time forgot: we slept in huts, no-one spoke English and there were no other tourists. With the natural beauty and lack of foreigners, it felt like the real Vietnam. What has been your most memorable travel experience in Asia? On my last trip, I stayed at Shinta Mani Wild, a luxury eco-camp in Cambodia designed by Bill Bensley. Your arrival to the hotel is one of a kind; you zipline from a tower and across a waterfall straight into the reception. What’s your favourite dish from an Asian country? A massaman curry from Thailand. I’m a bit of a fussy eater and this was one of the first foods I tried in Asia. Since then I always order it, it’s not too spicy and you can find it pretty much anywhere in Asia. It’s actually become a home comfort to me now. What are your must-have travel essentials? A waterproof jacket, as even in the high season in Asia the rain can appear from nowhere. And a pack of cards – just in case. Where are you off to next? I would love to do something adventurous, like trekking in Nepal. I’ve done a lot of hikes in the past in India and along the Lares Trek in Peru; I find it helps to clear the mind and detach you from the stresses of city life. Get in touch with Keith: keith@jacadatravel.com , +1 866 574 9975


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Tribe Corner

My Cape Town Our Cape Town-based writer, Terri Dunbar-Curran, shares her love of the Mother City, what visitors can’t miss and a few hidden gems.  

Where do you recommend for a romantic meal? I would book a table at Azure at The Twelve Apostles Hotel. Besides the exquisite seafood, it’s the magnificent ocean views that seal the deal. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a glass of bubbles out on the terrace here as the sun sinks beneath the horizon. 

What is your favourite South African delicacy? Unlike many of my fellow South Africans, I prefer the sweeter side of life. When it comes to my favourite South African desserts, I love malva pudding, which is similar to sticky toffee pudding, or a freshly-made milk tart sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg.

If you had friends visiting Cape Town for one day, where would you take them? It’s going to be a busy day! There’s so much to see and do. But some of the highlights are always a visit to the penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach, an easy cruise along the stunning Chapman’s Peak Drive, a cuppa and stroll around Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and, if we still have time, a ride to the top of Table Mountain in the cable car.

What’s the best meal you’ve had in Cape Town? The thing about Cape Town is that we’re thoroughly spoilt when it comes to dining out. From restaurants where you have to book months in advance, to quaint little suburban breakfast spots, there’s really no need to ever eat bad food. That said, I had the most sublime mushroom risotto I’ve ever tasted at Monneaux Restaurant in Franschhoek. I often return for the delicious avo on toast with crispy bacon that Four and Twenty Cafe in Wynberg is known for and I will find any excuse to treat myself to the lavish afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel. I also have to note that I’d come pretty close to selling my soul for the portobellini mushroom and truffle oil pizza at Mulderbosch Vineyards in Stellenbosch.

Where do you go to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? If I can’t actually jump in my car and escape for a day, then my go-to spot has always been the Company’s Garden slap bang in the centre of the city. Dating back to the 1650s it makes for a wonderfully peaceful oasis of trees and flowers and shady pathways. At lunchtime, the lawns are dotted with people having a quick nap beneath the trees, children pointing excitedly at the koi fish in the ponds and, of course, a multitude of cheeky squirrels hoping to take advantage of the vendors selling peanuts. What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend? You’ll most likely find me out in nature at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, watching kids chase guinea fowl across the grassy slopes. Though I also enjoy sipping a glass of beautifully wooded wine in Stellenbosch or Franschhoek; or simply lazing about with friends with a refreshing G&T. What’s your Cape Town secret? I’m a complete sucker for anything quirky and underground and The Art of Duplicity ticks all these boxes. Part of this bar’s charm is its secret location and password entry. Once you’ve got the clue, you’ll venture down a hidden corridor and step into an underground speakeasy straight out of the Prohibition era.

Who’s your Cape Town hero? I’d definitely consider Archbishop Desmond Tutu to be one of my Cape Town heroes. Not only did he coin the phrase “Rainbow Nation”, but he’s also a wonderful example of what it is to live in unity with one another. He has always encouraged South Africans to strive to find peace, acceptance and understanding. What one thing can’t you miss in Cape Town? As cliché as it sounds, Table Mountain. The views from the top, across the City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard, are spectacular. Grab a coffee and a bite to eat and breathe in the fresh, fynbos-tinted air.

Pack your bags Explore the delights of the Mother City from $5,640pp → jacada.travel/mycapetown For more info, contact our Travel Designers: London: byron@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: riki@jacadatravel.com TRIBE CORNER

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Room with a View

Awasi Patagonia A sleek and stylish bolthole with a window to one of the best views in the world.

Where? One of the twelve cabin-style, wooden clad villas at Awasi Patagonia. What’s the view? The name says it all! Located in the middle of Chile’s pristine and wildly beautiful Patagonia region, the design-led villas all have breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding landscape. Most impressive of all, you can bask in the unfolding scenes of Lake Sarmiento, the formidable threetower peaks rising from the earth and majestic snow-capped mountains. But what’s on the inside? The inside counts too. Modelled on the old outpost shelters, these cabin-style villas have taken on a typically Scandinavian design: lots of wood, effortlessly stylish and incredibly cosy. Juxtaposed against the harsh wilderness of Patagonia, these sumptuously inviting villas all also contain large, comfortable beds, their own living

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room with a log fireplace and a hot tub, with plenty of amenities immediately to hand. The Awasi lodges have all recently been certified as carbon neutral, so you can feel proud for staying somewhere that has minimal impact on the environment. What can you do here? Apart from drinking in the awe-inspiring view? With your dedicated personal guide, take a private 4x4 out into the national park and explore Patagonia close up. Awasi Patagonia is the only hotel in the area to arrange tailor-made excursions for each guest. And it’s only fair to mention that the food also matches its otherworldly surroundings.

Pack your bags Enjoy this room with a view → jacada.travel/awasipatagonia For more info, contact our Travel Designers: London: susann@jacadatravel.com Hong Kong: jess@jacadatravel.com


Turkey

A new Jacada destination Bridging two continents, rich in everything from history and culture to cuisine and natural beauty, Turkey is a country where cultures and continents collide. From bustling Istanbul and the ancient ruins of Ephesus, to magical Cappadocia and the beaches of the Turkish Riviera – Jacada Travel is ready to showcase the very best of this diverse country. Whether you’re in search of Turkey’s famous cuisine, dramatic natural landscapes or vibrant and captivating cities, our dedicated and expert team of Travel Designers are ready to help you craft your perfect travel itinerary in this fascinating country.

www.jacadatravel.com London melania@jacadatravel.com +1 866 862 3031 (US Toll-Free) / +44 203 6550 810 (UK) Hong Kong riki@jacadatravel.com / +852 2110 0537 PAGE TITLE

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www.jacadatravel.com London & Cape Town enquiries@jacadatravel.com / +1 866 862 3031 (US toll-free) / +44 2036 550 810 (UK) Hong Kong travel@jacadatravel.com / +852 2110 0537 84

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Profile for The Explorer by Jacada Travel

The Explorer - 11: The SLOW TRAVEL Issue