Page 1



The Transformation Issue





INTRODUCING THE THIRD AWASI PROPERTY IN LATIN AMERICA: AWASI IGUAZÚ Located on the Argentinian side of the Iguazú Falls, there are 14 stilted suites located in a private reserve on the banks of the River Iguazú, just 15 minutes from the falls. The hotel offers private vehicles and guides for each room, personalised service and tailor-made experiences around the surrounding area. From Awasi Iguazú, guests can not only explore the famous Iguazú Falls, but also discover the fauna, flora and indigenous cultures of the surrounding Atlantic Rainforest.


ART OF THE LAND - ETHIOPIA Award-winning photographer, Tugo Cheng, presents a photography exhibition of Ethiopia’s dramatic and otherworldly landscapes at The Haven.

OPENING HOURS 15th December 2017 onwards Monday: 10am – 7pm Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 8pm By appointment only

THE HAVEN BY JACADA TRAVEL The Haven by Jacada Travel is a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and a space for travellers to be inspired by photography and stories from all over the world. Located in the heart of Central, The Haven hosts photography exhibitions and workshops, travel speaker events and panel discussions, movie screenings and pop-up events. Jacada Travel is dedicated to uplifting everyday life through inspirational and meaningful experiences. Come and see us to find out how.



Editor Heather Richardson Sub-editors Kirsty Page James Whiteman Design She Was Only Illustrations Lauren Crow Other contributors Anton Noll David De Vleeschauwer

Katie Holmes Australasia & Pacific Islands Expert Katie’s interest in Australasia began when she first visited Australia on a family holiday aged 17, and fell in love with the golden beaches and laidback lifestyle. When she travelled to New Zealand, she ended up staying for four years. One of her favourite travel memories is kayaking in New Zealand’s Abel Tasman National Park and having a seal pup playing around her kayak.

Debbie Pappyn Travel Writer Debbie has been travelling the world for almost 15 years with her partner in crime, photographer David De Vleeschauwer. The journalist/ photographer duo embark on voyages of discovery commissioned by international titles such as Monocle, Condé Nast Traveller and Telegraph Luxury. They are interested in experiential travel, adventurous explorations in style and the quest for secret, lesser-known places.

Travel enquiries UK +44 2037 335 698 US toll-free +1 877 967 0096 HK +852 2110 0537 Advertising Cover image Annandale’s Scrubby Bay villa in New Zealand

The Explorer is published quarterly by Jacada Travel Online Address London 144 Liverpool Road, London, N1 1LA, UK Hong Kong 29/F Wyndham Place, 40-44 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong​

Meera Dattani Travel Writer Meera is a freelance travel journalist with a love of independent travel, walking and cycling holidays, wildlife and national parks, and anything with a green/ eco-tourism focus. With several solo backpacking trips under her belt, she’s always on the lookout for interesting adventures, stories and people on her trips, which have included Argentina, South Africa, India, Cambodia and French Polynesia. 4


Heather Richardson Editor/Travel Writer Heather is the editor of The Explorer and an awardwinning travel writer. She has had the travel bug ever since travelling to Ecuador at age 18, spending six weeks in the Amazon rainforest and two in the Galápagos highlands. She recently moved from London to Cape Town, where she spends much of her free time running and hiking around Table Mountain or being decidedly less healthy in the winelands.

Cape Town Suite SP7C6, Somerset Square, Highfield Road, Cape Town 8005, South Africa Santiago El Golf 40, 12th Floor, Office 1228, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile Connect #JacadaTribe #JTExplorer @jacadatravel

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it.


“Despite the new ambition in the air, Douro’s history is as ever-present as the port ripening in the age-old barrels.” Page 42

22 Safari, Solitude and Salt At Jack’s Camp on Botswana’s Makgadikgadi salt flats, Heather Richardson finds an unexpected amount of life surviving in a harsh, yet beautiful wilderness.

32 Inside the Zeitz MOCAA Cape Town’s formerly neglected waterfront Silo District is now home to the continent’s first major museum of contemporary African art, the impressive Zeitz MOCAA.

42 Port to Perfection With new design hotels and young, dynamic winemakers, there is much more to Portugal’s Douro Valley than sickly sweet port and oldfashioned quintas.

52 Connecting the Dots Our most popular bucket list trips are just the beginning. Jacada’s travel experts suggest your next destination based on your last adventure. CONTENTS



BOARDING CALL 10 Briefing The latest news from the world of luxury travel 14 The List Products to help you travel better

“Here, the rolling hills of the Banks Peninsula offer simple things that many of us crave: relaxation, solitude and lungfuls of fresh air.” Page 18

Page 18

15 Responsible Travel How tourism can aid countries in need

ARRIVALS 66 Hot Tickets What to book and where to travel now 70 Foodie Virgilio Martínez on Peruvian cuisine and Lima’s culinary renaissance 74 Jacada Travel Photos The winners of our recent Instagram competition

16 A Thousand Words Frans Lanting talks to us about his famous orangutan twins photograph

76 Ask the Experts Our experts answer your questions about family travel

18 Hotel of the Moment Katie Holmes reviews New Zealand’s beautiful working farm retreat, Annandale

77 Letters from the Field Stephanie and Stephen check in after a trip to Tanzania

Page 70

78 Giving Back What the charities we support have been up to this year 80 The Five-Q Travel Interview Swimwear designer, Melissa Odabash, answers our five travel questions





he theme of transformation seems very appropriate as a new year begins. Right now, many of us are busy planning the year ahead: maybe finding more time to relax and be with friends and family (hint: try New Zealand’s Annandale, our cover star, reviewed on page 18); promising ourselves we’ll be better at keeping fit; deciding to take up a new hobby or learn another language; and, of course, choosing where to travel. Some of the most exciting destinations are the site of recent, restorative transformations. The Silo District of Cape Town has been given a new lease of life this year, largely thanks to the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA). The groundbreaking museum is housed in an impressively reimagined grain silo and is the first museum of its kind in Africa. Read about our opening week tour, guided by the MOCAA’s founder, Jochen Zeitz, on page 32. Another destination to have experienced a rebrand is Portugal’s Douro Valley. New hotels – including a Six Senses – and an energetic new breed of winemakers have lent the region a fresh sense of

modernity and style (page 42). Meanwhile, it’s the food scene that has remodelled the city of Lima into an internationally recognised culinary capital, as the trailblazing Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez explains on page 70. Perceptions can be transformed, too. When I visited Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pan, one of the world’s largest salt flats, I expected to find a beautiful wilderness, striking in its emptiness. But I was really struck by the wildlife we saw: fierce lionesses battling it out amongst rivals; bull elephants wandering right past camp; herds of zebras and wildebeest; and rare brown hyenas slinking out as the sun set on the giant salt pan. Combine this with the ancient culture of the Bushmen and the area’s history (one that dates back 10,000 years to when the pan was a lake the size of Switzerland), and you’ll find the Makgadikgadi is so much more than just a vast expanse of sun-parched salt. As the year comes to a close, so does The Explorer. I really hope you have enjoyed reading the magazine as much as I have enjoyed putting it together and that you find some inspiration for 2018 in this tenth and final issue.

Heather Richardson Editor




Boarding Call


Boarding Call 10 Briefing 14 The List 15 Responsible Travel 16 A Thousand Words 18 Hotel of the Moment PAGE TITLE



BRIEFING Openings and news in the luxury travel world.

TOURISTS BANNED FROM CLIMBING ULURU From 26th October 2019, tourists will no longer be able to climb Uluru. The iconic landmark, formerly known as Ayers Rock, has been a sacred site for Aboriginals for over 10,000 years. To climb it is against the traditional law of the local Anangu people, something made apparent at the site, but it has still been permitted for those determined to do so. Now, after 70 years of tourism, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board has finally voted unanimously to prevent people being able to climb the sacred site from October next year. 10

Boarding Call

PERU PLEDGES US$62M FOR DEVELOPMENT OF CHOQUEQUIRAO As Machu Picchu gets ever busier, the Peruvian government has dedicated US$62 million to boosting the appeal of another Inca site, Choquequirao. The ruins are very similar to Machu Picchu, but only attract a handful of tourists a day due to the extra effort it takes to reach the site, which involves several days of hiking. To tackle this, the government will build a road connecting it to Machu Picchu, allowing tourists to visit both places in one trip. There are also plans to build a cable car to Choquequirao, further aiding travel to the site.

AMERICAN AIRLINES TO FLY TO ICELAND IN 2018 Responding to Iceland’s increasing popularity as a tourism destination, American Airlines will start flying to Keflavík International Airport in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik from next summer. The route will commence from 7th June until October 2018, departing from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

IN BRIEF Mexico creates huge new marine park Mexico has created a new marine park larger than the country of Greece to safeguard the Revillagigedo Islands and the surrounding area. The UNESCO-protected islands are located 400 kilometres south of the Baja Peninsula and their waters host whales, sharks, dolphins, manta rays and tuna. 26 of the 366 species of fish are found nowhere else on Earth. Explorer to attempt solo Antarctica traverse Ben Saunders, a British explorer, is attempting to cross Antarctica alone and with zero support. Saunders will have to cover 1,000 miles dragging 130 kilograms and will be crossing the continent from west to east. His journey is being covered on his daily blog: Rwanda introduces visas on arrival for all Rwanda has declared that from January 2018, travellers from any country will be able to get a visa on arrival. Currently, this is only the case for citizens of certain African countries and a handful of other nations. Additional changes include a free 90-day visa for many African, Asian and Caribbean countries.

LONDON’S OXFORD STREET TO BE PEDESTRIANISED London’s main shopping street, Oxford Street, is to be pedestrianised by the end of 2018. Public art is to be commissioned, including one that will run 800 metres down the length of the pedestrianised road, acting as a centrepiece. The move comes to prepare for the increase of visitors brought into central London by the new Elizabeth railway line and to improve air quality and traffic congestion.

YVES SAINT LAURENT MUSEUM OPENS IN MOROCCO The Musée Yves Saint Laurent opened in October 2017 in Marrakesh, Morocco. Yves Saint Laurent owned a property in Marrakesh to which he returned every year to design his haute couture collections. The museum is dedicated to the work of the French fashion designer, featuring his drawings and couture pieces. In addition, an onsite library stocks rare books about fashion, Morocco, literature, history and the arts. It joins the sister Yves Saint Laurent museum in Paris, which also opened in October. BRIEFING


CALLS FOR A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN EAST ANTARCTICA A 40,000-strong colony of Adélie penguins suffered a ‘catastrophic breeding event’ as all but two of their chicks died of starvation over the past year. The cause is thought to be larger areas of sea ice than usual – exceptional in this area of Antarctica – which means the penguins must travel 100 kilometres further for food. Calls have since been made to make East Antarctica a marine protected area to prevent further damage being done to its wildlife populations.


Boarding Call

ROBERT MUGABE RESIGNS AFTER 37 YEARS IN POWER Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe resigned on 21st November after 37 years in power. The move came about after the army initiated a peaceful coup and put the 93-year-old autocrat under house arrest. Since his resignation, Zimbabweans across the world have been celebrating the end of a regime that has decimated their economy. The lucrative tourism and safari industry is one major market that now has the potential to finance Zimbabwe’s future.

AWASI IGUAZÚ TO OPEN IN FEBRUARY 2018 Awasi will open their third luxury lodge on 5th February 2018, at Iguazú Falls. The famous falls straddle Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, and are surrounded by rainforest. Awasi – who have existing lodges in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park and Atacama Desert – will be opening their newest property on the Argentine side of the falls, offering private guides for each of the 14 villas. BRIEFING


The List.


Products to help you travel better.

1 Excellerator wood and leather jump rope $37 -

2 Moment screen-time tracker app free -

3 Hydrapak Stash water bottle 750 ml $18 -






Jurlique rosewater balancing mist $24 -

Slip silk sleepmask $45 -

Dr. Hauschka vitalizing body care kit $22 -

eKO SuperLite yoga travel mat $42 -

Boarding Call


Illustration: Tom Jay


Watching the news these days isn’t always the most uplifting experience; a half-hour stint can leave us feeling rather helpless. The devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on 25th April 2015, leaving over 9,000 dead, 22,000 injured and millions homeless, generated a similar sentiment. Anyone who’s visited this tiny landlocked nation knows of its magic, with its mountain landscapes, ornate temples and some of the world’s kindest people. But as a traveller, how do you realistically support a country in these circumstances? A plea for ‘trade, not aid’ is a common cry. But what does that mean? After all, aid is required, providing much-needed food, shelter and water. As the uk’s Disasters Emergency Committee (dec) said in 2016, “One year on from Nepal’s worst natural disaster in decades, we can be proud of how much has been achieved across some of the worst-hit remote parts of the country. Lives were saved through clean water, emergency shelter and healthcare.” Naturally, many travellers are unsure how to react after such an event. The decision to go (or not) tends to rely on accurate, diligent research. While disaster might have hit one region, it may be hundreds of miles away from other perfectly safe areas. Media – and social media – play their part; post-earthquake, the #nepalnow hashtag was used to encourage visitors. For travel companies themselves, ‘business as usual’ may not be possible immediately. Some donate to specific projects or will be the first to promote a place once it’s deemed safe. As a traveller, choosing responsibly-minded organisations is imperative for finding itineraries and tours that support community tourism or encourage travel to lesser-visited rural areas, offering a direct income to those

affected. As Alex Malcolm, founder and md of Jacada Travel, says, “Tourism can help provide a truly sustainable source of income,​s​ o travelling is a great way​t​ o help lift countries that are in need.” Ben Lynam, head of communications at The Travel Foundation, which researches the impact of tourism in a destination, agrees. “Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and represents a significant proportion of many developing countries' gdp,” he says. “But we need to make sure economic benefits trickle down to the right people – supporting the livelihoods of the communities where tourists visit.” A recent success can be seen along Mexico’s Yucatán coastline, where an economic, rather than natural, disaster had occurred. With tourism jobs largely restricted to low-paid roles in beach hotels, Mayan people from rural areas were leaving their villages to live in Cancún, leading to loss of cultural traditions

As a traveller, it’s hard to know how to react when tragedy hits your holiday destination. What can you do to stay safe and support muchneeded tourism? Meera Dattani looks at Nepal as an example of how travellers can help a country get back on its feet after a disaster.

and family life. The Travel Foundation set up two projects that allowed small enterprises to access the tourist market – and remain in their communities. One was a jam cooperative, the other a honey products business (that also protects the local Melipona bee). Judging everything on a case-by-case basis is important, as is research and on-the-ground, first-hand knowledge. "Nepal's largest industry is tourism so when it dries up after a major event like the earthquake, the knock-on effects are huge,” says Kate Herz, Jacada Travel’s Asia expert. “Immediate aid is important, but a revival of tourism is what really helped Nepal get back on its feet. Many Jacada team members have visited since, and found the trekking to be as incredible as it’s always been." It's proof that travel really can help the places we love to visit. Like a friend in trouble, you find out what they need, and help however you can. RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL


Photo credit: Frans Lanting/



Boarding Call

National Geographic photographer, Frans Lanting, tells us about a now iconic photo he took of two orphaned orangutans in Borneo.

Where was this photograph taken? These two young orphan orangutans were photographed in a facility in the province of Sabah, Borneo. They’re clinging to each other, because that’s the best thing they’ve got; they don’t have their mums anymore. There are a number of these facilities around Borneo and other parts of Indonesia, taking in orphans who have been displaced by deforestation. Baby orangutans are also often victims of the illegal pet trade; poachers will kill their mothers to take the young ones. In some cases, there is an active effort to try and rehabilitate the orangutans, so that they can be released back into the forest. You can imagine that in the case of these two young ones, that’s going to be quite a process. For every orangutan that is successfully returned to the forest, there’s probably ten others that are picked up [by poachers], so it’s a never-ending challenge. The image has really struck a chord with people. We refer to them, here in the studio, as the ‘pretzel twins’, because they’re so entwined with each other. Orangutans are very tactile, they like to embrace each other, and they cling to anything or anyone. When did you visit? It’s quite a while ago; I don’t recall the year. I was on assignment for National Geographic and I did a profile of northern Borneo. We did extensive work, both in the forest as well as in the areas where there is more of a conflict between the natural heritage of Borneo and human activities. We covered the logging, the deforestation, the wildlife trade, all of those things. What are your aims when photographing animals? What I’m always looking for, no matter where I am or what the conditions are, is to reveal personalities, because every animal is an individual. In the wild, that can take quite a while, but in captivity, even though the access isn’t quite as problematic, I still aim to go further than just photographing a generic orangutan.

I try to reveal something through the body language, the gestures, the facial expressions, everything that helps the viewer connect with the subject I’m photographing. I’m a keen student of animal behaviour and of human behaviour. When it comes to primates, there isn’t really that much that separates us. What was your experience of being in Borneo? I’d been to Borneo several times before the trip on which this photo was taken. In fact, we’re making plans to go back. We’re still in the research stage, though. Borneo is very rich, one of the treasure houses of the planet. But there are few places in the tropics that are as affected by population growth, economic activities and a lack of stewardship of natural resources as Borneo is. The diversity and the sheer abundance of life is extraordinary, in places like Mount Kinabalu and Maliau, and when you plunge into the water off Sipadan Island… between those three places alone, you have an incredible measure of the diversity of life. Those three locations are actually quite well protected now and are visited by more and more people, but it’s all these other places in between that I’m really concerned about. The technical details I made the image with a wide-angle lens, something like a 24mm, and the aperture was probably partially closed down to F8. I like to keep my shutter speed faster than 1/25 of a second because you never know with animals when they will make their next move. Frans Lanting is a world-renowned, National Geographic photographer. He was born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and moved to the US after university. His National Geographic assignments have included photographing the bonobos of Congo and the emperor penguins of Antarctica, and he was a pioneering photographer in Madagascar, where he documented wildlife and tribes never previously captured. You can follow Frans Lanting’s work on Instagram: @FransLanting.




ANNANDALE On the picturesque coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Annandale offers four luxury, exclusive-use lodges. Katie Holmes shares her experience of staying at the farm.

A working farm overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Annandale describes itself as ‘gumboot luxury’. Here, the rolling hills of the Banks Peninsula offer simple things that many of us crave: relaxation, solitude and lungfuls of fresh air. The four accommodation options are all totally different, ranging from the restored 19th-century Homestead to the modern, sleek Seascape villa. Each place is designed for exclusive use – two for couples, two for families or groups – and so private, you’ll have no idea there’s anyone else around. Katie Holmes drove to Annandale’s scenic coastal stretch to soak up some of that serenity. How did you get there? Annandale is around a 75-minute drive from the centre of Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island. I was travelling with a guide from Lake Tekapo, which took roughly three-and-a-half hours, so of course we stopped for lunch. Once I arrived, I was met at the gate and transferred to my villa, Seascape, by the farm utility vehicle. This was a lot of fun, as I was able to jump out and open and close all the cattle gates en route (this is optional!). You can also arrive or depart by helicopter, as each villa has its own helipad. What are the accommodation options? During my visit, I got to see all four of the properties at Annandale. They are all very different, so there really is something for everybody. Shepherd’s Cottage is adorably cosy, surrounded by the resident sheep. The Homestead is large and would 18

Boarding Call

What was the highlight? Relaxing with a glass of wine on my private deck, watching the sunset and having the fire roaring next to me.

be perfect for a big family; the facilities are amazing, with a private gym and pool area. Scrubby Bay and Seascape have both won architectural awards and it is not hard to see why. They sit in neighbouring private bays. Scrubby Bay is styled as a beach house, clad in beautiful cedar, whereas Seascape – where I stayed – looks like something out of a James Bond film with floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Everything is automated (someone will explain it all first!) and futuristic. The indoor and outdoor fires make it feel snug and warm, and the Jacuzzi is exactly what you need after a busy day on the farm. What did you do during your stay? Annandale is a working farm, so just on the drive to and from Seascape I got to meet the local sheep and cows. They also run daily farm tours, which are based around what needs to be done for the day – no shows for tourists, just a real working farm, which is fascinating. I might have gone for a swim in my private bay if the water was a bit warmer, but a paddle was quite enough in September!

How was the food? Annandale has an interesting way of serving their farm-to-table food. Due to the seclusion of each property, they provide your gourmet dinner and breakfast on trays in the fridge, with instructions on how to heat everything up and serve it. They also offer the services of a private chef who will come and prepare your meal if you don’t fancy doing it yourself. I had a wonderful rack of lamb for dinner, and the breakfast was amazing, too. What sets this lodge apart? The fact that each property is so different in style, as well as the absolute seclusion of each one. Who would this appeal to? The Homestead and Scrubby Bay are perfect for big family groups who want a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle. Seascape and Shepherd’s Cottage are perfect for honeymooners and couples, as they allow guests to be totally undisturbed by the outside world. Need to know Each property is for exclusive use. It is rather cold in winter (from May to September), but the fires make each property warm and cosy. For bookings and more information, please contact travel designers Katie Holmes (, based in London, UK) or Kit Wong (, based in Hong Kong). HOTEL OF THE MOMENT




Features 22 Safari, Solitude and Salt 32 Inside the Zeitz MOCAA 42 Port to Perfection 52 Connecting the Dots




At Jack’s Camp on Botswana’s Makgadikgadi salt flats, Heather Richardson finds an unexpected amount of life surviving in a harsh, yet beautiful wilderness.

Solitude 22


and Salt



hat’s out there?” Jack Bousfield asked, gesturing out to the emptiness that sprawled beyond the village of Gweta. It was 1962 and Bousfield, a guide, hunter and adventurer, was exploring Botswana. “Nothing. Only idiots go there,” came the villager’s reply. “Fine,” thought Bousfield. “That’s the place for me.” Bousfield spent many years out in that wilderness. He was a legendary safari guide, with his Swahili kikoi wrapped around his head, bushy white beard and almost-black, weather-worn skin. He was a record-breaking hunter, having killed around 53,000 crocodiles before he turned to guiding the likes of royalty and movie stars. That didn’t mean his style of safari was tame; his camps were determinedly free of frills, he’d sleep under the stars and he crashed his light aircraft multiple times – until the final, fatal occasion. 24


Today, Jack’s Camp – named after Bousfield by his son Ralph and co-founder Catherine Raphaely – still pays homage to Jack Bousfield’s safari style, but with more than enough luxuries to make it a comfortable resting place in such unforgiving environs. Ten khaki canvas tents are dotted around an island of palm trees on the salt pan. Inside the tents, guests will find Persian rugs, dark-wood décor, four-poster beds so high you have to climb stairs to slip between the cotton sheets, and copper outdoor (and indoor) showers. At night, in lieu of electricity, gas lamps provide illumination. An oasis in a sea of salt On our way to Jack’s Camp in a four-seater Mosquito plane, I looked down at one of the largest salt flats in the world; Lake Makgadikgadi was the size of Switzerland before it dried up several thousand years ago. Touching down on the salt flat, we were met by our guide, Dabe, chicly attired in polished, point-

ed-toe boots, a khaki safari shirt and tight-fitting beige trousers. We drove straight to the mess tent for lunch, which we ate at a long, communal table with Jack’s Camp staff, including our host, the always-smiling bk. Around us was the camp’s listed museum of ancient Botswanan artefacts, black and white photographs and an array of animal skeletons. After cooling off in the shaded pool that somehow maintained a bone-numbing temperature despite the sweltering heat, we dried off on the deck with a couple of cold beers, watching silently as three bull elephants came to the nearby watering hole. After they’d had their fill, they slowly ambled on, giving us an enquiring lift of their trunks as they passed us. Later, after we’d had afternoon cake in the Moroccan-style tea tent, we embarked on one of Jack’s Camp’s signature tours with our fellow guests. With a nod to Jack himself, we wrapped scarlet kikois around our heads – with a little help from our deft-handed guides – clambered onto quad bikes and zipped off into what the guides described as the ‘great nothingness’. Silence and solitude As we put distance between us and the little island, the carpet of crunchy, white, sun-dried salt expanded out before us, a true wilderness, impressive in its sheer vastness. The kikois protected us from the dust that flew out behind the bike in front. Eventually we stopped, in the middle of nowhere. The sun was dipping lower in the sky, casting a warm, apricot glow above the featureless horizon. “This is one of the few remaining places you can experience absolute silence,” said Harold, one of the guides from San Camp, Jack’s neighbouring sister property. “When people say, ‘the silence was deafening’, it’s because they can only hear the blood rushing in their ears. That’s the only sound here.”

Top. The camp’s museum of Botswanan artefacts, photographs and animal skeletons. Right. Jack’s Camp is located on the starkly beautiful Makgadikgadi Pan. SAFARI, SOLITUDE AND SALT


Harold asked us to walk 100 paces in different directions, sit down and watch the sun set by ourselves. Once alone, I made myself comfortable and as soon as I finished shuffling, I noticed it: the silence. Like the world had been muffled. As I ‘listened’, the only thing I could hear was my body working, my blood pulsing. The sun dropped lower, the sky turning to a dusty rose and the salt pan to pale mauve. As the light faded, we each slowly got up and walked back to the bikes. In the dusk, Harold reminded us how bad our sense of direction is in such a barren landscape. To prove his point, he set a backpack a distance in front of us. “Your task is to walk to the backpack,” he said. “Blindfolded.” I was nominated as the guinea pig. As the blindfold was wrapped around my eyes, I decided my strategy would be confidence. I marched forward, trying to focus on a spot in the darkness to maintain a steady trajectory. I felt like I’d been walking for a long time, the only noises – my footsteps crunching through the salt crust and a slight breeze around my ears – disclosing nothing to my position, but I kept going. Suddenly, I heard Harold’s voice directly in front of me: “Stop!” I whipped off my blindfold, utterly confused. I was stood exactly where I’d started, having somehow walked in a perfect circle. 26


Lessons in survival The next morning, we went out for a walk with the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, one of the world’s oldest surviving cultures. From the Western Kalahari, the community still live semi-traditionally, continuing to pass down knowledge of the land, but also learning English and going to school. The Bushmen know this land to an intimate degree and revealed a few of its secrets to us: a root that they dig up in droughts, squeezing water from its pulp, before carefully replanting it; an abandoned ostrich shell they use for their decorative beads; and the branches they use to make fire. In the evening, we were lucky enough to watch them perform a trance dance with their healer, something that one of the guides, Greg, told me he had only seen three times in as many years. The men stomped around the fire as the women clapped and sang. They continued long into the night after we went back to our tents. One afternoon, Dabe took us out for a game drive to find the tiny lion cubs he thought were in a thicket, sheltering from the sun. Sure enough, as we drove into the area, he noticed a couple of wildebeest standing and staring in the same direction. Following their gaze, we found the two cubs, play-stalking each other in the tall grass. Their mother and another female were close by, in the shade.

Left. The Jack’s Camp pool deck. Right. Quad biking is a signature experience at Jack’s. Below. Walking with the Bushmen allows a little insight into their semitraditional lifestyle.








Suddenly, we noticed a third lioness. Dabe recognised her: “She’s not from this group,” he said, reversing the truck out of the bush as the other lionesses immediately took off after her. As the two females chased the imposter, we sped along behind, watching them close in on her, swiping viciously at her hind quarters. Eventually, they reached the edge of their territory and launched into the lioness, dust billowing around the three of them, until the intruder lay down in submission, roaring, teeth bared, her eyes wide. They stood over her, not allowing her to get up. As our heart rates settled and we watched, Dabe told us that the outsider was actually related to the first two lionesses. Their untraditional pride meant they had no other females to hunt with and no dominant male. As such, survival is even tougher. “I hope they let her in,” Dabe said, watching the two lionesses finally walk away, leaving the third lying in the grass, waiting for her cue to get up and limp away. The bullying is often a rite of passage, necessary before lions will let an outsider join the pride. As we drove away, we passed a family of bateared foxes, no doubt mightily relieved the charging lions had not been coming for them, and a solitary, brown hyena – the rarest of hyenas – waking up for a night of scavenging. The next day we saw another threat to the lionesses, or at least their cubs: three young brothers who had just moved into the territory. The resident male – father to the cubs and a bigger, older and more experienced lion – was nearby. Each of the pale blonde lions, still with the faint, tan-coloured spots of youth, were alert, always looking around and resisting the urge to sleep through the heat of the day. They will eventually have to fight the large male, but it wasn’t to be during the time we spent with them. A short distance away, wildebeest and zebras streamed past, all but ignored by the distracted brothers. These parts are no stranger to such herds. The zebra migration is the second largest of its kind after the much more famous Great Migration of Tanzania and Kenya. Though the Serengeti and the Mara see greater numbers of animals, the Southern African zebra migration is longer than that of any other large mammal. Approximately 25,000 zebras journey 300 miles from Namibia to the Makgadikgadi Pans and back again, leading some to call the flats the ‘Serengeti of the south’. As we drove away from Jack’s Camp at the end of our stay, we passed through the town of Gweta, where Jack Bousfield first gazed out to the wilderness into which ‘only idiots go’. What is out there? At first glance it may seem to be a ‘great nothingness’ offering a luxurious sense of real solitude and space – but a short stay reveals that there is much more to the Makgadikgadi, from ancient culture and fascinating geography to rare animals fighting for survival in this harsh, vast and eerily beautiful landscape. 30


Above. The lionesses chased the intruder to the edge of their territory where she lay down in submission.



Journey to the great wilderness of Botswana with Jacada Travel. Disconnect from the modern world on a five-night mobile safari in the Okavango Delta, before spending three nights at the legendary Jack’s Camp on the Makgadikgadi Pan.

Airlink offers direct scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town to Maun, Botswana. Airlink is a privately-owned airline business and a member of South African Airways (SAA) loyalty programme, Voyager. Through their alliance with SAA, travellers can connect conveniently with SAA, their partner airlines and other carriers throughout Southern Africa and the world.

From $9,937 per person WWW.JACADATRAVEL.COM CAPE TOWN ANTON@JACADATRAVEL.COM +1 866 928 7950 (US TOLL-FREE) / +27 21 200 6371 HONG KONG JOYCE@JACADATRAVEL.COM / +852 2110 0537



Cape Town’s formerly neglected waterfront Silo District is now home to the continent’s first major museum of contemporary African art, an opening that paves the way for the area’s redevelopment as an art and design hub. Heather Richardson visits the groundbreaking Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art.

Inside The Zeitz MOCAA






ozens of bricks hang at various levels, suspended from the ceiling by red rope, creating a tight maze we must navigate in order to get to the other side. Our guide for the evening, Jochen Zeitz – the German ex-ceo of Puma, philanthropist and the founder of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (mocaa) – explains that the bricks are a reference to those thrown over bridges at cars during apartheid in South Africa. By physically experiencing the exhibit, the artist, Kendell Geers, meant for visitors to get a tiny taste of the oppression and anger of the apartheid era. It is just one of the many politically and socially charged displays in the Zeitz mocaa, a much-anticipated opening in Cape Town that has turned a spotlight onto the continent’s art scene. The mocaa is a not-for-profit partnership between Zeitz and the v&a Waterfront, the latter



of whom funded the redevelopment of the site and donated the building. Meeting with the v&a Waterfront organisation was one of the factors that accounted for Cape Town being chosen as the site of the collection. “Cape Town is an incredibly beautiful, diverse and creative city, a gateway to Africa, which is enjoyed by both locals and visitors from all over the world,” says Zeitz. “[The v&a Waterfront] were considering how best to repurpose the historic grain silo, and we were building a worldclass collection of African contemporary art, which we wanted to house in Africa. It was the meeting of these two visions that resulted in the creation of Zeitz mocaa.” The building of the mocaa has attracted just as much attention as the museum itself. Designed by British architect, Thomas Heatherwick, the museum is housed in a reimagined grain silo – at one point, the tallest building in Southern Africa – at

Main. The atrium of the MOCAA, a former grain silo. Top. Kendell Geers’ Hanging Piece in the Zeitz MOCAA. Bottom. The building, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, has attracted as much attention as the museum itself. INSIDE THE ZEITZ MOCAA






Right. Divider, by Lungiswa Gqunta. Top. Nicholas Hlobo’s installation in the MOCAA’s atrium. Middle. Soweto-born Mohau Modisakeng’s untitled self-portraits. Bottom. The sculpture garden on the roof of the museum.

Cape Town’s v&a Waterfront. From the outside, the building is an imposing L-shaped bulk of concrete. It is topped with five rows of oversized, convex windows behind which is The Silo, a luxury hotel that opened in March 2017. In September, the museum – housed in the bottom half and back end of the building – officially opened, revealing a striking atrium, hollowed out in the shape of a grain of corn by diamond-tipped blades. Beneath the skylights above hangs a huge dragon of fabric, bone and dripping ribbons, based on the Xhosa lightning bird myth and created by Capetonian artist Nicholas Hlobo. Beyond the atrium are nine floors of art from Africa and its diaspora (Zeitz suggests three to four hours to truly enjoy the whole museum), all of which are from Zeitz’s personal collection, donated on long-term loan. “I love Africa and have had a home in Kenya for the last 14 years, but my passion for the continent started decades ago,” Zeitz tells me. “During that period, I was buying art for myself privately, but the decision to build a substantial collection only came about when I met Mark [Coetzee, the chief curator and executive director of the museum]. I was ceo of Puma at the time and ended up sponsoring the groundbreaking show 30 Americans (the first significant exhibition of African-American artists and still travelling today), which Mark curated. This was undoubtedly the starting point for me. The show ignited my passion to build a representative collection of contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora to return one day to Africa.” The chosen artwork – including paintings, photographs, sculptures and video installations – are often strong, powerful and do not shy away from uncomfortable issues. The French-born, Gabonese artist, Owanto, tackles female genital mutilation (fgm) in an old black and white photograph of a 38




young, naked girl, her legs spread for the circumcision ceremony, her genitals covered with a bright yellow porcelain flower overlain on the image. Other pieces look at identity: Thania Petersen’s collage of gaudy, provocative selfies in Flamingo explores the use of social media and how it factors into modern identities and self-portrayal. Another of Peterson’s self-portraits shows her stood on top of a mausoleum in Surat, India (the burial place of the men who forcibly moved Indonesians to the Western Cape) wearing a scarlet dress, its long train flowing dramatically down to the ground, as the artist, who is of Indonesian heritage, visually dominates the colonial space. Of the criteria for choosing the artwork for the museum, Zeitz says: “We are trying to ensure that the museum is as representative of Africa and its diaspora from the 21st century as possible. This was undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges we faced. Africa is so diverse, and it is important that we reflect the regional and cultural differences in the work that is shown in the museum.” Aside from the museum being a major coup for the city of Cape Town, it is hugely important for the artists of Africa and the diaspora. “I strongly believe that every part of the world should have its own cultural institutions to help shape its own dialogue and inform other people’s perceptions,” Zeitz says. “I didn’t feel there were enough opportunities for the creativity and artistic talent in Africa to be presented to the rest of the world. Zeitz mocaa offers that opportunity.” 40


Of some of the criticism he has received from Western press as to whether the museum rightly defines African art or should have been founded by a non-African, Zeitz is unperturbed: “It’s not for everyone else to decide whether this is a good thing. It’s for Africans to decide.” “I have heard many people talk of this as being Africa’s moment,” Zeitz continues. “But we still have a long way to go. It is important that we do not rest or treat this as a passing moment; we are seeking to build something that will sustain itself for generations and that has a lasting impact for Africa and beyond.” Pack your bags Visit Cape Town and explore the city’s art scene as part of a 10-day trip that includes a South African safari and Victoria Falls, from US$7,050 per person. For more information, please contact travel designers Tess van der Walt (tessa@jacadatravel. com, based in Cape Town) or Kit Wong (, based in Hong Kong).

Top left. Jochen Zeitz, founder of the Zeitz MOCAA. Main. A digital video installation by William Kentridge. Top. Marlene Steyn’s How to Be a Door. Middle. Thania Petersen’s self-portraits, Remnants 4 and Flamingo. Bottom. A sculpture by Zimbabwean artist, Kudzanai Chiurai.



Port to Perfection



There is much more to northern Portugal’s Douro Valley than sipping sickly sweet port in old-fashioned quintas. A new breed of design hotels and a generation of young and dynamic winemakers are upping the game. Writer, Debbie Pappyn, and photographer, David De Vleeschauwer, explore the region.



rancisco Ferreira, the charismatic co-owner of Quinta do Vallado, talks about his greatgreat-grandmother Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira’s life as if it were a racy novel. A kick-ass lady and businesswoman, Dona Antónia was one of the founders of viticulture in the Douro Valley. She started out in the early 19th century in a tough, man’s world, fighting sexism, bureaucracy and grapevine pests phylloxera to develop her wine business in northern Portugal. Back then, port was the favourite tipple of the British upper classes, which they drank like water, from high tea until well after dinner. Dona Antónia was ahead of her time, a feminist avant la lettre who could often be found riding horseback through her dozens of vineyards. Francisco Ferreira walks me through the history of his family, of winemaking in the Douro region and through the new and minimalist extension of the old quinta, which was built in 1733. The newest part of the hotel and wine business was designed by wellknown Portuguese architect, Francisco Vieira de Campos. It’s impressive architecture: clean, modern and modest. Yet despite the new ambition in the air, Douro’s history is as ever-present as the port ripening in the age-old barrels. It’s obvious that old and new get along well in the Douro, often without the need for compromise. Reimagining the Douro Quinta do Vallado is located close to the lively city of Regua, with a view of the Corgo River, a tributary of the Douro. There are hotel rooms hidden inside the historic quinta and a minimalist annex where the restaurant and bar are also located. Dinner is the best time to taste Vallado’s wines: a glass of crisp and invigorating Prima with grilled octopus, followed by the Reserve, full of body and attitude, served with Iberico pork cheeks. 44


Top. Modern architecture at Francisco Ferreira’s Quinta do Vallado. Left. Dinner at Quinta do Vallado is the best time to sample their wines. Right. Classic, yet modern décor.



This quiet quinta, surrounded by gardens of fragrant citrus trees, seems a world away from the famous blockbuster wineries where every tourist bus and cruise group stop. Ferreira approaches winemaking differently, aiming for quality over quantity. The young winemaker is also a member of the so-called ‘Douro Boys’, a group of friends, all visionary winemakers who want to put the Douro on the map as a real wine destination, not only for its port, but also for the beautiful table wines. A sense of change When the Asian luxury hotel chain, Six Senses, announced it was coming to Europe and had found the perfect spot somewhere between these vineyards with a view of the Douro River, everyone was surprised. Not Tuscany or Cote d'Azur for this European debut, but Portugal, a destination that until recently was not considered particularly trendy. Of course, it wasn’t just any building they chose to inhabit. Overlooking the river, the hotel is a 19th-century manor, which has undergone a complete makeover, including a modern extension with 57 rooms and suites. There’s a huge spa, offering all kinds of treatments from simple relaxation to complete detox programmes – just the ticket after a week of wine tasting. Also remarkable is the kitchen of Six Senses: a farm-to-fork experience with greens and herbs from the garden located next to the stylish swimming pool. Here, you can rest in pod-like lounge chairs between the basil plants, admiring a crop of ruby-red tomatoes. Beyond the river bank In 2001, part of the 150,000-hectare Douro region was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its ‘culture and lively landscape’. Since then, the region has featured more on the tourist map. It’s busy and crowded on the Douro River, where fully-loaded river cruises sail back and forth. But travel by road and just half an hour’s drive from the river, you’ll find the tiny village of Provesende and there, Morgadio da Calçada. 46


Top left. The 'Douro Boys'. Left. The Six Senses surprised everyone by choosing the Douro Valley for their first European resort. Top. Diners will find a farm-to-fork menu at the Six Senses Douro Valley. Bottom. A modern extension has been built alongside the Six Senses’ 19th-century manor. PORT TO PERFECTION






Main. Boutique hotel, Casa do Rio, is located amongst the vineyards. Top. In the vegetable garden of Casa do Rio. Bottom. Wine isn’t the only thing these hotels do well. 50


The owner of Morgadio da Calçada is Manuel Villas-Boas (nephew of the Portuguese soccer manager André Villas-Boas) and the youngest generation of Villas-Boas’ to live in the 17th-century country house. The solar (Portuguese for estate) is enclosed on one side by old vineyards and on the other by a narrow, cobblestone street that leads to the charming village. Villas-Boas’ wines gain their character from the slightly higher elevation of the vineyards compared to those along the river, at around 650 metres above sea level. He also runs a small-scale hotel and sells a collection of fine, organic soaps made from wine and grapeseed oil, based on an ancient Villas-Boas family recipe that was found in the archives. Hidden gems From Provesende, we drive back towards the river, slaloming along narrow roads. There are ingeniously built terrace vineyards as far as the eye can see. Below us, the river winds elegantly towards the Atlantic Ocean. A little further away is another less crowded place: the beautiful Quinta do Crasto, owned by brothers Tomás and Miguel Roquette, who also belong to the dynamic Douro Boys club. The quinta is small, affordable, exclusive and without attitude. Their red Vinha da Ponte and Vinha Marie-Teresa (made from vines over 80 years old) have become true cult wines and are counted amongst the best in Portugal. We end our trip at the Casa do Rio, near the town of Vila Nova de Foz and a 20-minute drive from the Spanish border. This hotel has only eight rooms and two suites and is also owned by Francisco Ferreira and his cousin João Alvares Ribeiro. Casa do Rio is perhaps one of the most secluded luxury hotels in Portugal, a hidden gem at the end of a winding road, between vines and olive trees, with beehives here and there and the river below. It looks like a Mies van der Rohe pavilion. Here you can swim in the Douro, take trips in the hotel’s small luxury boat and visit the famous Côa Museum, dedicated to the pre-historic rock paintings found close by. Perfect for the bon vivant who likes to escape the crowds. It’s wonderful to enjoy the silence and tranquillity of this place, as the Douro River flows past us to the wild Atlantic Ocean. One thing we have learnt on this trip is that this waterway, the land and the people who live here provide more than enough dynamism, freshness and energy to revamp the Douro Valley into one of the coolest wine regions in Europe.

Pack your bags Explore Portugal’s food and wine scene over nine days, including three in the Douro Valley, from US$6,045 per person. For more information, please contact travel designers Melania Siriu (, based in London) or Kit Wong (kit@, based in Hong Kong).



CONNECTING Our most popular bucket list trips are just the beginning. Jacada’s travel experts suggest your next destination based on your last adventure. 52



Your last trip:

Hiking in Patagonia



Trekking through the Himalayan mountains

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

“Nepal has long been a firm favourite for adventurers keen to tackle the strenuous bucket-list hike to Everest Base Camp. Poon Hill and the Annapurna Ranges are also popular treks for majestic views and insight into the gentle Nepalese culture – plus they don’t require too much training. The landscape is peppered with small tea houses strung with colourful prayer flags and Buddhist temples with rows of Tibetan prayer wheels. You'll share the trails with mules carrying produce up to remote villages and friendly school children. Over in India, in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, there are considerably fewer visitors, offering a less crowded and more exclusive Himalayan trekking experience. There are trails cut into the steep slopes of rice paddies, whist rhododendron forests add colour to the snow-capped mountain vistas. The grand finale is the boutique hotel Shakti 360° Leti where you'll, quite literally, feel on top of the world.” Kate Herz, Asia expert

“Climbing Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, doesn’t mean roughing it, as many people think. On the hike, you’ll have hot showers, bathroom tents with a scenic view, walk-in tents that are high enough to hang up your gear and bath towel, and you even sleep on stretcher beds with soft mattresses. The food is all freshly cooked and lunch and dinner are never the same. We can organise off-the-beaten-track routes that steer clear of the bulk of trekkers; on some nights, yours might be the only group at the camp site. Visiting Tanzania and climbing Kilimanjaro with Jacada is not just an amazing experience, but also one which benefits the local communities by providing a sustainable income. The trekking team is treated well, with strict luggage weight limits for the porters, the highest wages of any other outfitter, and they are provided with their hiking gear and three meals a day.” Joyce Choi, Africa expert

Above. The Himalayan mountains are home to some of the world’s most beautiful trekking destinations. Top right. Donkeys are a familiar sight on the Himalayan trails. Bottom right. Climbing Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is a popular bucket list item.





Top left. Uluru, the sacred site at the centre of Australia. Above. Aboriginal rock art in Australia’s Red Centre. Left. The great doors to the Royal Palace of Fez, Morocco.

Your last trip:

Travelling to Machu Picchu



Exploring the ancient cities of Morocco

A cultural journey to Uluru

“Entering the walled medinas of Morocco's cities feels like stepping back in time. Wandering through the rabbit's warren of narrow streets, you never quite know what to expect around the corner. Through each window and doorway is a view of a traditional way of life that is rare in the modern world. Artisans and merchants of every kind line the streets of the souks. Through an unassuming door, you’ll enter the calm sanctum of your riad, a Moroccan villa with an open-air atrium. Stunningly beautiful Moorish architecture and a serene atmosphere make you almost forget the bustle and noise of the streets outside. Each of Morocco's cities is different, from the souks of Marrakesh, to the bohemian seaside town of Essaouira, to the bustling, spiritual city of Fez.” Alex Malcolm, Jacada Travel founder and managing director

“Uluru is sacred to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area. This unesco World Heritage Site is a perfect place to get in touch with their culture and to experience the great outback of Australia. You can dine under the stars, walk through the canyons of Kata Tjuta, try 'bush tucker' with an Aboriginal guide and watch the changing colours of the landscape at sunrise and sunset.” Katie Holmes, Australasia and Pacific Islands expert



Your last trip:

A safari in South Africa



Witnessing the Great Migration in the Serengeti

An Arctic safari in Swedish Lapland

“The Great Migration is undoubtedly one of the world’s most incredible natural occurrences. Around 1.5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebras and 200,000 gazelles embark on a relentless migration, following the rain around Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Reserve. River crossings are the most popular part of the migration, due to the high drama made famous by various National Geographic documentaries. The wildebeest must cross the Mara River on their journey from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara. It’s a perilous passage that sees many of the herd lost to the crocodiles that lurk in wait. At other times of the year, you can see the wildebeest birthing or just admire the awe-inspiring, vast number of animals that gather together on the wide Serengeti plains.” Jonny Humphreys, Africa expert

“Imagine being picked up from the airport in a dog sled, wrapping up in your Arctic gear and then being whisked off into the wilderness, through a forest and across a frozen lake to find your snow-covered lodge on the far bank. On arrival, you can enjoy a hot lingonberry juice by the bonfire before settling in. This is the first evening of an Arctic safari. From the hot tub at the lodge, watch the northern lights flickering magically overhead. You can spot reindeer and moose during the day, explore the winter wonderland of the frozen north and take a real Scandinavian sauna after a day in the wild.” Alec Curry, UK and Scandinavia expert

Above. Spot reindeer on an Arctic safari in Swedish Lapland. Top right. Experience a night in the famous Icehotel. Right. Witnessing the Great Migration is an unforgettable experience.







Your last trip:

A Galápagos Islands cruise


A voyage to Antarctica “Travelling in Antarctica is a life-changing experience; it’s something about the remoteness, the pristine mountains, glaciers and coastline, and the penguins and whales you encounter along the way. You feel cut off from the rest of the world and humbled by the vast, fragile surroundings. Most of all, you feel very lucky to be in such a beautiful, far-off place.” George Warren, director of travel design

Top left. Spot whales in Antarctica from your boat or even kayak.


Chartering a private boat to the Indonesian Komodo Islands “Chartering a traditional Indonesian phinisi boat is the best way to explore the Komodo Islands, a striking archipelago of volcanic islands rising out of a sea teaming with marine life. Many of the islands offer hiking trails which promise spectacular panoramic views from mountain summits. Empty pristine beaches are a welcome reward for a post-trek dip. The Komodo dragons inhabit three of the islands here and these fierce, archaic creatures are best viewed from a respectful distance. Back on the boat, swap the hiking boots for fins for a chance to swim with whale sharks and graceful manta rays. A real treat for divers and snorkellers, the coral here is vibrant and unbleached and the fish are at times so plentiful, it can be disorientating. There's a real sense of wild luxury as set your own schedule and pace.” Kate Herz, Asia expert

Above. The surreal scenery of the White Continent. Left. Cruise around the Komodo Islands for a killer combination of wildlife and hiking. CONNECTING THE DOTS


Your last trip:

Exploring Angkor Wat


Discovering the Meteora monasteries in Greece “The Meteora monasteries combine nature, history, architecture and man's desire to connect with the divine. The energy of the region is truly magical. Gigantic rocks loom over the town below, the highest ones reaching 400 metres. Monks – originally hermits living in the caves – built monasteries on top of the rocks where they would be safe to practise their religion without persecution. It is thought there were originally 24 monasteries, but only six remain and are now a unesco World Heritage Site. Discovering how they were built and how the monks lived and are still living in this way is quite incredible.” Ruth Jones, Europe expert


Trekking to Tikal in Guatemala “Trekking through the dense, tropical forest surrounding the ancient pyramids of Tikal feels like walking into a Jurassic world. With howler monkeys roaring from the leafy canopy above and agoutis scuttling through the site, you can imagine the life of the Maya here and consider how they controlled this region for centuries.” Jen Richt, Latin America expert



Your last trip:

Adventures in Iceland


Winter in New Zealand “Winter in New Zealand is spectacular, especially in the South Island. The Southern Alps are covered in snow, the days are crisp and cold and there are so many activities to enjoy. My favourites are heli-hiking on the glaciers, snow shoeing on Mount Cook, relaxing in a hot tub overlooking Lake Pukaki, and taking a helicopter to Milford Sound.” Katie Holmes, Australasia and Pacific Islands expert


Hiking in volcanic East Java “The scenery of Eastern Java is breathtaking. It is one of the best places in the world to visit active volcanoes, from the sulphur mines and turquoise lagoon of Mount Ijen to the lunar landscapes and smoking crater of Mount Bromo. Climbing to higher altitudes, you’ll see terraced rice fields and tropical palm trees give way to alpine forests and rocky outcrops. This is a unique and underrated part of Indonesia, ideal for travellers who want to get a little off the beaten path and experience another side of this incredibly diverse island nation.” Rachel Beck, Asia expert Pack your bags To find out more about any of these destinations, contact our UK and Cape Town offices (enquiries@ or our Hong Kong office (travel@ CONNECTING THE DOTS





Arrivals 66 Hot Tickets 70 Foodie 74 Jacada Travel Photos 76 Ask the Experts 77 Letters from the Field 78 Giving Back 80 Five-Q Travel Interview PAGE TITLE


HOT TICKETS The destinations and holidays you should be booking for 2018.







Cambodia’s islands are hot property. In 2018, Six Senses on Krabey Island and Alila Villas on Koh Russey will join honeymooners’ favourite Song Saa Private Island Resort as luxury options. Inland, there are more high-end offerings opening, including Rosewood Phnom Penh and Shinta Mani Wild, the latter of which is a new kind of high-end resort for Cambodia, located in a mountainous rainforest, home to elephants, monkeys, tigers and bears.

For a family vacation with a difference, consider Sri Lanka. This teardrop-shaped, Indian Ocean island offers families the chance to go on safari, tracking leopards in Yala National Park or visiting the huge gatherings of Asian elephants in Minneriya National Park; go on hikes or bike rides through lush tea plantations; and to explore ancient temples and crumbling ruins, now inhabited by troops of monkeys.





Seeing the critically endangered mountain gorillas of Central Africa is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Recently, Rwanda has attracted a number of luxury brands who have chosen to open their newest resorts in the country. In 2017, Wilderness Safaris opened the highly-anticipated Bisate Lodge, whilst Singita will open their next camp here in 2019. Meanwhile, One&Only are opening not one, but two new resorts in Rwanda: Nyungwe House is on the edge of a tea plantation, opening in December 2017, and Gorilla’s Nest will open in 2018, in the Virunga foothills, from where guests can visit the gorillas.

Small-boat cruising is one of the best ways to enjoy slow travel, and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea is the perfect setting in which to set sail for a few nights. Even better news is that the experience can be even more exclusive with the launch of the Alexa J, a sleek yacht designed for just one couple. Set sail around the Ionian Islands of Greece, stopping along the way for hikes to ancient temples, village visits, and to sample local, fresh Mediterranean dishes and produce.




BOTSWANA Botswana still offers the ultimate luxury safari, say Jacada travel experts. The low-footfall, high-spend model has served to protect the country from overtourism, whilst generating employment and income for Botswanans. The Okavango Delta is home to unique water-based safaris and wildlife such as buffalo-hunting lions, huge herds of elephants, solitary leopards and wild dog packs. Meanwhile, accommodation such as Jack’s Camp provide a base from which to explore a very different landscape: the vast Makgadikgadi salt pan.







Tiny, landlocked Laos is often overlooked by those travelling in Southeast Asia – but those who do visit will be rewarded with a terrain of craggy limestone cliffs, thick forests, waterfalls rushing into azure pools, rare river dolphins and picturesque French colonial towns. In the north of Laos, Oudomxay Province is home to hot spring-based Muang La Resort, from where guests can delve into this less-visited part of the world by trekking through the rainforest, mountain biking and cooling off in the waterfalls.

Right on the doorstep of North American residents, Mexico is one of the easiest places to get away and detox, be it physically or mentally. Many resorts are set up for wellness with spas offering a range of therapies, whilst the activities one can enjoy (swimming in secret cenotes, wandering down deserted beaches, sunrise yoga sessions and savouring delicious Mexican dishes) are all excellent ways to unwind. Being based in the Yucatán Peninsula means that you can keep travel distances minimal, which helps to make a vacation feel like exactly that.

ITCHY FEET? Travel Now




January and February in Kenya mean dry, warm weather, sunshine and great wildlife spotting opportunities, especially around watering holes. Newborn animals are also common at this time of year.

Late January and February are perfect months in which to travel to Costa Rica. The weather is largely hot and dry. Even better, there’s still availability for travellers to kick off 2018 with some winter sun.

The Galápagos Islands are good to visit year-round, offering some of the most relaxed, memorable wildlife encounters in the world. Snap up the last few boat cabins available for the first quarter of next year.

Pack your bags To plan your 2018 adventure, contact our UK and Cape Town offices ( or our Hong Kong office ( HOT TICKETS




Peruvian chef and owner of one of the world’s best restaurants, Virgilio Martínez, is at the helm of a movement that has transformed the city of Lima into a leading international destination for food. He talks to us about how and why Lima became a culinary capital and his plans to promote Peruvian food beyond fine dining.



The capital of Peru was once seen as a mere ‘get-in-get-out’ stopover en route to the country’s more famous sites, such as Machu Picchu or the Amazon jungle. In recent years, however, one major thing has changed that reputation: food. Peruvian cuisine has taken off worldwide, with major foodie cities, such as London and New York, seeing an array of new restaurants serving ceviche, pisco sours and other varieties of Peruvian dishes (as yet cuy, or guinea pig, hasn’t quite featured in the same way). Arguably the most famous Peruvian chef of all is Virgilio Martínez, the chef behind Lima-based Central (which he owns with his wife, Pia León), this year voted number five in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Maido, another Lima-based restaurant, came in close behind at number eight, and Martínez also won the Chefs’ Choice Award. Chefs like Martínez have been busy elevating the status of Peruvian food to a fine dining level, in Peru as well as internationally, with their award-winning restaurants. However, one of Martínez’s newest projects brings his passion for food down to an earthier level. Mater Iniciativa aims to record the hundreds of undocumented ingredients in Peru, many of which are then used in the kitchen of Central. The group travels around the country, from the Andes to the Amazon, finding and documenting unusual or largely unknown produce and learning from local communities and shamans how the plants can be used. Mater Iniciativa is run by Martínez’s sister, Malena Martínez, a physician – a useful occupation given that Martínez has poisoned himself on more than one occasion after sampling unknown plants. Martínez chats to us about the Lima food scene, Mater and his future plans to expand the influence of modern Peruvian cuisine.



What was your background before food? I was trying to be a professional skateboarder and I’d also attended law school for a year. How did you start your career as a chef? I started my career as a chef whilst travelling. I decided to travel and explore the world, so I went to different continents to learn about cooking in new places. But the travelling was just an excuse – it was really a meant to be a starting point for me becoming a professional chef. How has the Lima food scene changed since you were growing up? The Lima food scene has changed dramatically. Nowadays, we see people coming to Lima from all over the world to experience not only the restaurants, but also Peruvian ingredients and artisan products. In Lima, there are many styles of Peruvian cuisine, all developing and being showcased at the same time. That is how it has become such a vibrant food city. What are some of your favourite dishes you've created and why? My favourite dishes…I have a lot. But I don’t really think of my favourite dish, I think of my favourite ingredients or experiences – and there are also too many to name! I can never wait for the cacao, corn and coffee seasons. Tell us about Mater Iniciativa. Mater is an initiative of exploration and discovery, in which our team travels throughout Peru in search of new ingredients and products, and stories from local people. We sample what it is that makes Peru such a diverse country. 72


How do you think food trends will develop, both in Peru and internationally? There are so many food trends happening simultaneously across different countries. I see the popularity of local cuisine growing in many parts of the world, after which those cuisines will likely be shared and become more global, perhaps as fusion cuisine. There is a new type of fusion food, a new way of understanding it, because now there's more access to other cultures and better communication. Local food is not necessarily seen as ‘ethnic’ anymore. What are your upcoming projects? We're transferring Central’s location to Barranco, which is very exciting. We will be moving Mater Iniciativa to the centre of Lima; we will be opening another restaurant, Kjolle, also in Lima; and in January 2018, we are opening the Mater Iniciativa Food Lab in Moray, Cusco. Pack your bags Take a foodie tour through Peru with Jacada Travel and Central restaurant, eating at Central and Maido in Lima before discovering the art of making pisco in one of South America’s oldest distilleries, from US$5,875 per person. For more information, please contact travel designers Emily Opie (, based in London, UK) or Jobi Chan (, based in Hong Kong).

Top left. The type of dishes diners can expect at Central. Above. Chef Virgilio MartĂ­nez in his home country of Peru. FOODIE



JACADA TRAVEL PHOTOS We asked our Jacada Tribe to share their best travel photos with us on Instagram using the hashtag #JacadaTravelPhotos. These are our favourites.

WINNER Iceland Kathy Dorsey @kathydorsey2274 “Land of the midnight sun, Iceland, on the night of summer solstice 2017. Sunset time: 12.38am.” 74







RUNNERS UP 1. Crawford Market, Mumbai, India Shaikha AlRashed @amatraveller “Sometimes great things happen when a traveller leaves their fixed plans behind. I ran into this holy celebration at one of the markets while I was wandering around.” 2. Patagonia, Chile Stuart Mono @stumonophoto “The photo was shot just outside the Explora lodge. It’s really quite a view from there!” ©stuartmono, 2017

3. Gleneagles, Scotland Anna Lord @annacotterlord "While staying in Gleneagles, I woke up early one July morning and went for a walk on the golf course at 4am. There wasn’t another human in sight, just me and the wildlife. This young stag was a tad curious and stopped and stared at me just long enough for me to grab my camera and catch him in the perfect morning light." 4. Cuenca, Ecuador Nicolas Richard @nicolas_choco “I took this photograph in Cuenca, Ecuador. So funny!”

5. Maasai Mara, Kenya Sion Gwydion Jones @sion_gwydion “This photograph was taken in the Maasai Mara with my parents. We were heading back to Rekero Camp at the end of the day, but en route we spotted this solitary bull elephant heading towards the river. We parked up and just watched this mountain quietly tread his way along as the sun was setting. As he got closer, he shot us a simple warning with a flare of his ears, as you can see in the photo – but didn’t break his stride and walked straight on by.”




Can children go on safari?

My answer to this question is a resounding yes! Exposing children to nature and wildlife at an early age can be an inspiring and transformative journey, the type of vacation that will be remembered as the ‘Best Trip Ever’. With our first-hand safari knowledge, we can plan an itinerary suited to the specific needs and preferences of your family, and guarantee the trip is run smoothly and safely. For instance, some safari lodges are better equipped for children than others, with nanny services and kids’ club programmes, so parents can enjoy a few hours of ‘me time’. Much of the decision-making process depends on the age of the children; families with infants will usually need to go to specific areas with no predators and private vehicles, whereas older kids can enjoy more adventurous safaris. Joyce Choi, Africa expert

How can we keep the kids off their phones?

Travel is a great distraction from our phone screens. Packing your days and evenings with profound experiences is a fantastic way to encourage a digital detox for the whole family. Remote regions such as the //Galápagos Islands, Antarctica or inside the Amazon rainforest, where the lack of Wi-Fi and phone signal is often a blessing for both parents and kids, allow full immersion in



Our Jacada experts answer some of your most frequently asked questions about family travel.

the destination. On our Amazon cruises, you have pink river dolphins swimming beside you and sloths hanging overhead. You can head off kayaking or hiking through the flooded forest, go piranha fishing or meet the local communities. In places such as the Atacama Desert of Chile, digital-free evenings will inspire the family to go outside and learn about the stars and space in these clear, light pollution-free skies. New Zealand even has its own Dark Sky Reserve and Iceland is a really popular spot to witness the northern lights.  George Warren, director of travel design

How can we show our children the ‘real world’?

Personally, I think the best way to engage kids and get them to learn is by allowing them to meet other children, their little contemporaries, in different parts of the world. For example, going hunting for honey with the hunter-gatherer Hadzabe tribe kids in northern Tanzania is not only fun, but also allows children to experience a lifestyle totally different from their own. Visiting schools and projects, playing soccer and interacting with children of a similar age offer eye-opening experiences. In the townships around Cape Town, this is something we can safely set up with contacts and organisations with whom we work closely. Byron Thomas, Africa expert

 ue to our busy schedules, it D is really hard to spend time as a family. How can we use this trip to pull us closer?

We understand how precious family time is for our travellers and how it can be hard to schedule it in at home. Our trips are always designed with that in mind. Activities are the best way to spend time together and have fun. We have really interesting, foodie-based tours such as a beekeeping experience in Nafplio in Greece, where you put on a keeper’s suit and tend to the bees with the beekeeper, who will show you how they make honey. I've done this with teenagers and they loved it. We can organise a cooking experience in a farmhouse in Crete or pizza-making in Rome. Family time around the dinner table is the best, and it’s lovely to learn to cook these amazing dishes together. In Lapland, we have exclusive lodges that are just for you and no one else, so you can spend uninterrupted time with each other, whether that's sitting around the fire in your private lounge, chasing the aurora with a Sami reindeer shepherd, or being told traditional stories under the stars by the campfire. Ruth Jones, Europe expert

LETTERS FROM THE FIELD Stephanie & Stephen in Tanzania Dear Tess and Angela, We had a fantastic time! It’s the only trip that I can recall getting teary eyed when we left. The highlight was Singita Sabora and the reserve. Everybody at Sabora strove to make our stay as comfortable as possible. It’s hard to believe that you can stay in a tent and still feel that you are in the lap of luxury. The food was out of this world. We saw elephants (over 200!), leopards, cheetahs, gazelles, all sorts of birds, zebras, wildebeest, buffalos, hyenas, jackals… I just felt at peace and came closer to understanding what life (and death) is about. Humans are just a small part of the landscape. Thank you for doing such an outstanding job! Regards, Stephanie and Stephen 77

Giving back is at the heart of how Jacada Travel operates, with profits from each trip we book going to both a conservation and community charity or project. Here are just some of these charities’ achievements and successes from the past year.



Mousetrap, uk Mousetrap Theatre Projects believe in the power of theatre to transform young lives. Each year they take thousands of children and young people who are disadvantaged or have special needs to see London’s top shows. They open the doors to this magical world for those who would otherwise find them closed. Mousetrap also run an extensive range of theatre education projects in schools and youth clubs across London, designed to encourage creativity, teach new skills, develop self-esteem, boost self-confidence and raise aspirations. This summer, Mousetrap enabled over 550 disadvantaged families to attend a theatre performance through Family First Nights, including 62 families who lost their homes in the disastrous Grenfell Tower fire. In addition to school and youth club projects, they also hosted a performance of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax at The Old Vic for families with children with special needs and a family performance of Five Guys Named Moe, and supported Theatrecraft, the careers fair for young people. 78


The Condor Trust, Ecuador Over the past ten years, the Condor Trust has helped over 80 young Ecuadorians attend secondary school and/or higher education. Some of the first students taken on in 2004 graduated from university in 2012 and now have professional jobs, which demonstrates how successful the whole cycle of support can be.  Jacada donations enable five young people from low- or no-income families in Ecuador to attend secondary school, paying for uniforms, books and school materials. All of them achieved high enough marks over the 2016/17 school year to allow them to pass into the next class. In September, two of the students started their fifth and penultimate year of secondary education. For both of them,

graduating from secondary school will be a tremendous achievement: no one in their families has managed this before and it will certainly transform their lives by opening up prospects either in further education or careers. The other three young people are 14to 16-year-olds and have just started their fourth year at secondary school. Thanks to Jacada’s contribution, all these young people have been able to buy the books and uniforms they need and also pay for transport to and from school, photocopies, drawing equipment and – importantly – have a healthy lunch every day. Uthando, South Africa Uthando (Love) South Africa is an innovative, non-profit and Fair Trade in Tour-

ism-accredited company, founded by James Fernie. The aim of Uthando is to raise funds and other forms of assistance for various community development projects in South Africa. This year, the funds Jacada Travel have donated have helped rebuild the township areas around Cape Town that were completely destroyed in a terrible fire. We donated money that was spent on 30 pairs of new ballet shoes for the ngo Zama Ballet School in the Gugulethu township, and also financially supported the creation of community gardens in various townships where organic vegetables will be grown. Contributions to Sihle Tshabalala’s coding school for underprivileged youths in Langa paid for the expensive data costs required to run the programme. The Amy Foundation, which partners with Uthando, supports children living in poverty around Cape Town. Our most recent donations through Uthando mean that two children will be kept off the streets, with daily meals and classes to teach them essential and creative skills, for the next 12 months. Further to donating to these projects, we also support Uthando by offering our travellers the chance to visit some of the projects themselves to better understand the issues faced by communities in South Africa and how these initiatives help. Kids Saving the Rainforest, Costa Rica Kids Saving the Rainforest (kstr) rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife in and around Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. The organisation was founded in 1999 when two nine-year-olds, Janine Licare and Aislin Livingstone, were inspired to protect the rainforest and its wildlife. kstr purchased sloth collars to monitor the animals once they have been released into the wild. This allows the scientists at kstr to track the sloths, check

on their wellbeing and gather valuable data that will help other wildlife release projects around the world. The two-toed sloth, BeyoncĂŠ, is the next to be released and her enclosure has now been opened so she can go into the wild whenever she wants. Depending on her progress, sloths Bruno and Elvis may also be released soon. Kiwi is a three-toed sloth who is in the 'bootcamp' phase of being prepared for the wild. Rhinos Without Borders, Botswana/South Africa Faced with a devastating rise in illegal rhino poaching in South Africa, Rhinos Without Borders was formed by Great Plains Conservation and andBeyond in order to start moving these endangered

animals away from poaching hotspots in South Africa to a safer environment in Botswana. They aim to move 100 rhinos in total. The budget to translocate just one rhino is us$45,000. The whole project, including ongoing monitoring and security, requires a total budget of us$4.5 million. Back in July, Rhinos Without Borders released a further 12 white rhinos in Botswana and in November, they moved a massive 40 more. Aside from moving the rhinos out of immediate threat of poaching, the South African rhinos also help to widen the gene pool in Botswana, which is another conservation issue tackled by the ambitious Rhinos Without Borders project.





Where was your last trip? I went to Copenhagen last weekend for the opening of the beautiful Sanders Hotel. What was the highlight? Visiting Tivoli Gardens was my favourite part. It's the second oldest fairground in the world, built in 1843. All the rides are charmingly old-fashioned and there are these incredible gardens throughout the park. It's all very surreal. What are your three travel essentials? Sunglasses, a white bikini and sunblock! What is the most memorable place you have visited? The Maldives is beyond stunning. No cars, no noise. You can unplug from the world and just be present. You can ride your bike on sand paths through tropical trees and the water is the most incredible shade of blue. Also, the Maldivian people are so kind. What is the greatest lesson you have learned from travelling? It is always a humbling experience to discover new places. The greatest lesson that I've learned from my travels is that many people live without materialistic things, but are perfectly happy and content. It helps me reset to the basics and be thankful for things like my health and my family.



Swimwear designer to the stars, Melissa Odabash, knows a thing or two about travelling for both work and pleasure. We asked the former model where her travels have taken her lately.

SCANDINAVIA A NEW JACADA DESTINATION If you dream of racing across crisp, white snow behind a pack of huskies, gazing at the dancing aurora, or snuggling up in front of a crackling fire in the middle of a magical, glittering forest – then you’ll be pleased to discover Jacada Travel has launched Scandinavia as a new destination. From thrilling wilderness adventures and reindeer encounters, to ice-fishing lessons and snowmobile safaris, our travel designers will craft a perfect journey to Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Faroe Islands for you and your family.


SPEND IT WELL Family time is precious, so don’t waste it. Let the experts at Jacada Travel plan your next dream holiday for you and your family. Start planning your 2018 family trip now.


Profile for The Explorer by Jacada Travel

The Explorer - 10: The TRANSFORMATION Issue