QUEST

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THE TRAVELOG

ASIA AFRICA EUROPE LATIN AMERICA NORTH AMERICA SOUTH PACIFIC MIDDLE EAST


WHY TRAVEL WITH KER & DOWNEY

The heart of the matter when traveling with Ker &

Downey is more than just traveling in luxury and

style: it’s all about those little ineffable moments,

beholding the beauty of the world the way you

always imagined. These experiential moments

— a breath of fresh mountain air, the rush of

adrenaline, the peace of a calm beach, the taste of

a new cuisine — whatever it may be for you, you’ll

know it when you experience it. And it comes

standard on every Ker & Downey journey.

2 KER & DOWNEY


TAKING AIR TO NEW HEIGHTS

When reserving your custom land arrangements

with Ker & Downey, please ask about our

incredible airfare rates. Our experts partner with

the best to ensure a comfortable and luxurious

journey in transit. Forget the hassles: obtain

premium seating at great rates, accrue mileage

where available and get the peace of mind of

lenient cancellation policies.

CARRIERS

AIR FRANCE

ALITALIA

AMERICAN AIRLINES

BRITISH AIRWAYS

CATHAY PACIFIC

DELTA

EMIRATES

KLM

LATAM AIRLINES

QATAR AIRWAYS

ROYAL AIR MAROC

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS

SINGAPORE AIRLINES

TURKISH AIRWAYS

VIRGIN ATLANTIC

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA

British Airways

KER & DOWNEY 3


A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

There have been several studies in recent years on vacations and

the effect they have on quality of life. There have even been studies

on how the act of just planning a trip affects quality of life. Researchers

are finding that people experience a significant boost in

happiness during the planning stages of the trip because they are

looking forward to the good times they’ll have and the break from

the everyday routine.

I know from my own experience, new surroundings and a few days

away from the office do wonders for my mental state and overall

happiness, clearing my head and giving me a chance to focus on

other things.

That’s the key — you actually have to take the vacation. You can’t just plan it. In this issue

of QUEST, we’ve got tons of ideas for your next journey — whether you have three days, or

three weeks.

For those short on time, Haley Beham has you covered with exactly what to do in Guatemala

with only 72 hours. For those who prefer to stay close to home, Katy Heerssen takes us on

a grand tour of some the United States’ most iconic cities. And for those looking to travel a

little farther, Rina Chandarana takes us on a journey to enchanting Seville and Granada.

Our designers are no strangers to the ‘out of office’ message. In this issue, you’ll also find

inspiration from their trips to Uganda, Botswana, Chile and Germany. Zimbabwe is undergoing

a transformation as it strives to regain its status as a premier safari destination. A

safari there should definitely be on your radar. While you’re planning for safari, boost your

wildlife photography skills with detailed tips in the Guide section of QUEST.

Don’t just plan the trip, take the journey. We’re here to help.

Contact us at luxury@kerdowney.com.

David Marek

President

4 KER & DOWNEY


WHAT'S NEW

THE

LATEST TRAVELS AND EXPERIENCES

FROM OUR DESIGNERS

TIFFANY DESALVO

Where were you last?

Slovenia

What was your most amazing

experience?

Rafting the jade-colored Soca

River and being surrounded

by the beautiful mountain

scenery. Dining at Hisa

Franko after the adventure

was a close second.

What would you recommend

from your trip?

Visit the family-run wineries

in the charming region of

Goriska Barda. Book a suite

at Vila Istra to watch the sunrise over Lake Bled

while you sip your morning coffee.

MJ ERACI

Where were you last?

Northern Kenya

What was your most amazing

experience?

The helicopter flight in

northern Laikipia had

amazing views. We landed

on a cliff for our sundowner.

What would you recommend

from your trip?

Don’t get caught up in your

phone or camera. Just watch,

listen and observe. You’ll see

amazing things.

HOT TOPIC:

IT’S CONGO TIME!

An African safari is always a good idea, especially

if it’s in the Republic of Congo. We’ve got three

reasons why it should be on your travel radar.

GORILLAS

Take a trek in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in search of lowland

gorillas. Watch the endangered species parade through the

jungle and feel like the only person on Earth in this far-flung

region of Africa.

WILDLIFE

Beyond the primates, there’s a magnificent range of animal life.

Think toothy crocs, forest elephants and a pandemonium of

African grey parrots that gather to bathe, sip water and swoop

through the air in the open savannahs and swamps.

Sleep amongst

wildlife at

Ngaga Camp.

RAINFORESTS

Thick and lush rainforests sprawl over 80 percent of the country,

which makes it the second largest on the planet after the

Amazon. The lungs of the world are pretty amazing, aren’t they?

KER & DOWNEY 5


CONTENTS

8

GIVING BACK

Travel that gives back

across the globe

10

ARRIVALS

Openings, revamps and

the latest travel news

18

THE GUIDE

Insider secrets of

luxury travel

96

THE SHOT

One memory captured

by photographer

Mark Edward Harris

86

JOURNEYS

Top itineraries from

Ker & Downey

pg. 88

87

88

90

92

94

CULINARY JOURNEYS

WELLNESS JOURNEYS

ROMANCE/HONEYMOON

ACTIVE/ADVENTURE

LUXURY SAFARI


DESTINATIONS

24

EAST AFRICA

30

SOUTHERN AFRICA

38

NORTH AFRICA &

MIDDLE EAST

44

ASIA

50

NORTH AMERICA

FEATURES

26

UGANDA FOREVER

32

AFRICA’S SAFARI

DARLING

ZIMBABWE

40

DESERT DREAMS

EGYPT

46

OUTSIDE LANDS

JAPAN

52

SOUTHERN COMFORT

LOUISIANA, TENNESSEE

AND KENTUCKY

EDITOR IN CHIEF

MARTINE BURY

COPY EDITORS

ELIZABETH FRELS

KATY HEERSSEN

VANESSA NIVEN

ART DIRECTION

& DESIGN

AMY WILLIS

CONTRIBUTORS

EDITORS

NICKY BRANDON

DAVID MAREK

WRITERS

HALEY BEHAM

MARTINE BURY

RINA CHANDARANA

ELIZABETH FRELS

KATY HEERSSEN

PHOTOGRAPHERS

AUSTIN MANN

MARK EDWARD HARRIS

ON THE COVER:

Swimming in a waterfall

pool in Lihue, Kauai

Credit: Hawaii Tourism

Authority (HTA) /

Tommy Lundberg

56

LATIN AMERICA

66

EUROPE

NORTHERN & WESTERN

74

EUROPE

EASTERN & SOUTHERN

80

SOUTH PACIFIC

58

QUICK TRIP

GUATEMALA

62

SALT OF THE EARTH

CHILE

68

GREAT UN-EXPECTATIONS

GERMANY

76

SPANISH STEPS

SPAIN

82

SOUTH PACIFIC ESCAPES

TAHITI, MARQUESAS ISLANDS,

NEW ZEALAND, EASTER

ISLAND AND HAWAII

LET’S

CONNECT

ON THE WEB

kerdowney.com

questkerdowney.com

FACEBOOK

facebook.com/

KerandDowney

TWITTER/

INSTAGRAM

@kerdowney

PHONE

800.423.4236

+1.281.371.2500

EMAIL

luxury@kerdowney.com

KER & DOWNEY 7


GIVING BACK

BOTSWANA

CAMBODIA

ECUADOR

SOUTH AFRICA

When you travel with Ker & Downey, you become a force for

good across the globe. These are some of the initiatives and

partnerships we’re proud to support.

EAST AFRICA

WILDAID

We encourage the mission of

WildAid as a travel partner and

a sponsor of stateside events.

Recently WildAid partnered

with the Mara Elephant Project,

which protects Kenyan

elephants at risk from poaching

through collaring and monitoring.

In Asia, WildAid continues

campaigns to end the ivory

trade by reducing the demand.

ECUADOR

Our clients traveling to South

America support the Ker &

Downey Education Fund at the

Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation,

which underwrites the foundation's

library programs, three

school scholarships and an

annual summer camp for close

to 60 kids in remote Andean

communities. The organization

provides aid — via education,

conservation and community

development projects — to underserved

rural areas.

Photos courtesy of Mara Elephant Project | Galo Plaza Lasso

Foundation | AboutAsia Schools | David Marek | Grootbos

Private Nature Reserve

8 KER & DOWNEY


EAST AFRICA

Ker & Downey is heading to Uganda

to continue to provide thousands

of Ugandans with malaria nets and

medical care through Nets for Africa.

Our company matches the donation

for every net purchased, helping us

stop the sting of mosquito bites.

SOUTH AFRICA

Having planted 385 trees since 2013 and another 600 on the

way, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve’s efforts make it

easier to fill your lungs with fresh air. The Grootbos Foundation

plants a tree for every Ker & Downey client going to

South Africa, making this biodiverse region an easy choice

for an eco-conscious traveler.

CAMBODIA

A portion of every custom Cambodia journey goes

to ABOUTAsia, an organization providing muchneeded

programs. So far, close to 53,000 children

across 110 schools have received school supplies.

Recently, our donations went directly to local

libraries and funded life-sustaining water wells in

local communities.

KER & DOWNEY 9


ARRIVALS

Openings, Revamps and the Latest Travel News

SHIPWRECK LODGE, NAMIBIA

With a striking minimalist design meant to evoke shipwrecked wooden boats, this modern marvel sits landlocked between two

rivers in Skeleton Coast Park. Mingle with other guests on the wraparound deck for uninterrupted views across the sand. Roam

the dunes and enjoy an evening sundowner on the stark coast, dotted with abandoned diamond mines, ghostly boats and seal

colonies. Believe it or not, desert-adapted elephants and lions roam the hostile landscape too. It is a safari like no other.

10 KER & DOWNEY

BY RINA CHANDARANA & MARTINE BURY


AFRICA

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

LITTLE MACHABA, BOTSWANA

This camp is vintage chic, channeling classic

1950s style. Four luxury tents are connected

by decks that meander through the trees.

Game viewing is a cinch from your private

tent overlooking a floodplain — a hot spot for

elephants roaming through the golden grass.

If you ever tire of walking safaris and gliding

in mokoros (which we doubt), unwind even

more by lounging near the pool or indulging

with a massage and facial.

THE RETREAT,

RWANDA

Eat a traditional meal

with a Rwandan family,

pick out colorful fabrics

in the market or spend

time with a farmer. This

Kigali-based, 11-room

property expertly eases

guests into the groove

of local living. Every

design detail sticks to

the ethos of “made in

Rwanda,” from the

furniture built with

locally-sourced teak to

farm-to-fork meals to

strong Rwandan coffee.

SINGITA PAMUSHANA, ZIMBABWE

Following a top-to-bottom renovation by design

team Cécile & Boyd, Singita’s classic lodge is open

and takes African design to new heights with a

muted palette, modern finishes and well-edited,

global touches. Eight luxury suites — each boasting

two en suite bedrooms — and one five-bedroom

villa brim with local textures. Perched on a sandstone

ridge overlooking the Malilangwe Dam, the

lodge offers the best seat in the house, perfect for

taking in the sights and sounds of birds and beasts

of the surrounding private wildlife reserve.

KER & DOWNEY 11


AFRICA

MAPULA LODGE, BOTSWANA

This blissfully uncrowded, nine-tented

camp is enveloped by a world of glassy lagoons

and palm-fringed islands. Elephants

and hippos feel right at home in this remote

corner of Botswana in the Okavango Delta’s

northwest region. Having recently undergone

a facelift, the camp is packed with

character: chic brass lanterns, Malawi

chairs, quirky elephant lamps and royal red

rugs. Soak in the swimming pool just like

the hippos do in the adjacent lagoon.

BLUE SAFARI,

SEYCHELLES

There are very few places

left on earth that feel as

pristine and untouched

by mankind as these

72 sparsely-populated

coral islands dotting the

furthest reaches of the

Indian Ocean. Lucky

for us, the Astove Coral

House, Alphonse Island

Lodge and Cosmoledo

Eco Camp make it easy

to feel like a castaway

living luxe. Unwind

in the spa, dive into

the turquoise sea and

dine on freshly-caught

seafood alfresco in this

faraway paradise.

SOSSUS UNDER CANVAS, NAMIBIA

A natural granite amphitheater protects eight spacious

tents from the elements. Sustainable recycled

materials blend beautifully into the earthy surroundings,

while power is generated from the sun. The

camp has the lowest environmental footprint of any

in the country, which bolsters the preservation of the

dramatic Great Namib Sand Sea — a haunting space

where antelopes dash, kicking red dune powder into

the air. Treading on silent, shifting sands and sleeping

under the inky starlit sky is an experience you won't

soon to forget.

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

12 KER & DOWNEY


AROUND THE WORLD

THE RITZ-CARLTON RESIDENCES,

WAIKIKI BEACH, HAWAII

Stay awhile at Oahu’s first Ritz-Carlton resort,

which has just completed a major expansion

with the addition of swank Diamond Head

Tower. Guests have the chance to truly live like

a kama'aina (local) in residential-style accommodations,

with the bonus of a world-class

spa, Waikiki’s highest infinity pool and Sushi

Sho — acclaimed Japanese sushi master Keiji

Nakazawa’s private, 10-seat omakase-style

eatery where the chef creates culinary treats

just for you. Perfect for families with children

who don’t want to sacrifice an ounce of luxury,

custom orders can be placed with a highend

grocery store, so snacks tailored to the

needs of little ones are at your beck and call. In

the heart of the action, dive into Waikiki’s famous

beaches with views of Diamond Head or

explore world-famous shops and restaurants.

Venture out to the island’s legendary jewels

like the North Shore or the wild, uncrowded

west side where you can swim in natural pools,

play in waterfalls, hike through jungles and

experience rich Polynesian history.

BELMOND CADOGAN HOTEL,

ENGLAND History and literary buffs

will be delighted tracing the steps of Oscar

Wilde and the kings of England — all

esteemed guests of this lovingly restored,

Queen Anne-style property. Standing

proud between the fashionable Chelsea and

Knightsbridge neighborhoods, the property’s

54 rooms are dashing, tailored, intimate

and complete with a fireplace, which is a

nice, toasty treat on a drizzly London day.

FUTANGUE HOTEL & SPA,

CHILE If getting as far away as possible is

your goal, then Chile’s Futangue Hotel & Spa is

a natural choice. Colorful textiles and objects

inspired by the Mapuche culture are visual additions,

making you feel right at home in one

of 26 rooms smack dab in the middle of northern

Patagonia’s lakes, rainforests and volcanoes.

Trek the day away and then succumb to

utter relaxation in the spa.

KER & DOWNEY 13


AROUND THE WORLD

ROSEWOOD BANGKOK,

THAILAND

With so many superb properties to

choose from in one of Asia’s most

frenetic cities, the ultra-luxe Rosewood

hotel is poised to be on every

hot list for 2019. Comprised of two

high-rise buildings shaped like a

traditional hand gesture greeting, the

new property symbolizes Thai hospitality.

Plunge pools and large terraces

are private retreats, away from the

hustle and bustle of the fast-paced

hub. Savor delicious meals in one of

three restaurants and indulge with

cocktails at the bar.

SIX SENSES KRABEY

ISLAND, CAMBODIA

Cambodia’s siren call is

beckoning us to its powdery

sand beaches and crystalline

seas. Dip into one of the 40

standalone pool villas set on a

30-acre private island paradise.

Budding chefs can join a cooking

class and learn how to whip

up some delicious Indochineinspired

cuisine. Detach from

the world you left behind in the

spa, focusing on Cambodian

healing traditions.

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

INFINITY LUXURY

YACHT, GALAPAGOS

Set sail on a luxurious, 20-passenger

yacht and explore the Galápagos

Islands, a bucket list destination.

Panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows

and private balconies open

to exquisite views of the worldrenowned

bio-diverse islands.

Sea salty air brushes your skin as

you dine al fresco. Hop offshore,

channel your inner Darwin with a

naturalist guide and behold a mindboggling

array of unique wildlife

in this pristine archipelago aboard

one of the region's newest, most

exclusive vessels.

12 KER & DOWNEY


COMO UMA CANGUU, BALI

COMO Hotels and Resorts makes a splash on Bali’s south coast with 52 rooms and suites that blend high design and flawless

service with the relaxed attitude of a surf hotel. Guests can further make themselves at home in one of 55 additional oneand

two-bedroom surfside residences plus 12 plush, three-bedroom penthouses. Situated along six miles of pristine coastline

in the boho chic village of Canggu, the 2.2-acre spread is all about the beach. Take advantage of the hotel’s partnership

with Tropicsurf, which offers expert-led surfing lessons for all levels, and find a few of the country’s famous surf breaks

a stone’s throw from your accommodations. Sample menus of fresh fare made with ingredients sourced from the island’s

farms, and don’t miss the unparalleled pampering and healing experience at COMO Shambhala Retreat.

BAIRRO ALTO HOTEL, PORTUGAL

All the cool kids hang out in Lisbon’s buzzy Bairro Alto

neighborhood, home to this boutique property set to unveil

its lengthy renovations this winter. Part of the overall

reimagining by Pritzker-winning Portuguese architect

Eduardo Souto de Moura, the addition of an 18th century

building ups the room count to 87. Late night cocktails, a

must-do, are sipped on the terrace facing the Tagus River.

ST. REGIS, EGYPT

On the banks of the Nile, the soon-to-open St. Regis will

make a luxurious home base for exploring Egypt’s largest

city, Cairo. Luxury touches abound, from distinctive papyrus

garden murals and oriental-style rugs to pearl inlaid nightstands

and marble bathrooms fit for a queen. Lounge with

a Hibiscus Mary, the property’s take on the iconic St. Regis

Bloody Mary, featuring an exotic hit of cumin and mint.

KER & DOWNEY 15


ARRIVALS

HOTSPOT:

BOTSWANA

By Haley Beham

With over one-third of the country’s land designated

as national parks and reserves, the landlocked nation

just north of South Africa is as wild and varied as they

come. From the life-giving waters of the Okavango

Delta to the dry and arid Kalahari Desert, the landscape

offers just as much diversity as the wildlife. It's

no wonder the exclusive safari destination is one of

the most popular in Africa.

Elephants roaming the

Okavango Delta

MAKE A SPLASH

Famous for its wildlife, Botswana adopted a low-volume tourism model over 30 years ago, ensuring the ecosystem

thrives and remains pristine. The results are clearly seen in the untouched and relatively undeveloped wildlife destinations,

offering a truly off the beaten path experience.

The Okavango Delta is one of the last great wildernesses on earth, where an abundance of bird and animal species flourish.

Here, you’ll find game viewing experiences like nowhere else in the world: trips through the delta in a mokoro canoe,

motorboat safaris, private game drives in open 4x4 vehicles and walking safaris for the truly adventurous. Take in the

waterworld from Kanana, a water camp that has developed a loyal following of travelers thanks to its mokoro safaris and

incredible bird watching and fishing.

16 KER & DOWNEY


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

GO WILD

To the west of the Okavango Delta you’ll find the

Moremi Game Reserve, widely regarded by safari

lovers as one of the finest game viewing regions

in all the world. Moremi is home to one of the

largest concentrations of elephants on Earth.

Base yourself within the reserve at Okuti, not

only for its location and five-star amenities, but

for the delightful staff who offer a spectacular

safari experience from start to finish.

The newly opened Dinaka welcomed their first

guests in March. Located on the edge of the

Central Kalahari Game Reserve in an exclusive

private reserve, Dinaka is host to one of the most

unique bio-diversities in southern Africa. Activities

at Dinaka focus on exploring the vast Kalahari

and its wildlife, and there’s a lot of it. Kalahari

lions, brown hyena, oryx and over 200 species of

birdlife, including the pale chanting goshawk and

kori bustard, call the desert landscape home. At

night, Dinaka’s sleep-out deck is one of the only

places you can truly dream comfortably under

the stars. Thanks to the dry climate, you don't

even need a mosquito net.

Okuti's mosasa

along the river

PRO

TIP!

Don’t miss out on the Bushman experience at Dinaka. It is one of the most authentic

interactions you’ll have on your whole safari. - Devon Chapman, Designer

SAFARI WITH HEART

Ker & Downey’s Desert to Delta Safari gives back to Bana

Ba Letsatsi, a center in Maun, Botswana, that supports over

250 at-risk orphaned children and youth. The center is a safe

place for the children to receive counseling and education,

but also provides for basic needs like food, clothing, medical

attention and showers. Simply by traveling to Botswana and

enjoying a luxury safari at Okuti, Kanana and Dinaka, you are

making a direct impact on the lives of the children by keeping

the doors open, the water running and the lights on.

A child drinking fresh water at Bana Ba Letsatsi

Simply by traveling to Botswana

and enjoying a luxury safari at

Okuti, Kanana and Dinaka, you

are making a direct impact on the

lives of the local children.

OUR SUGGESTED ITINERARY:

DESERT TO DELTA

A BOTSWANA ADVENTURE

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS THROUGH CENTRAL

KALAHARI GAME RESERVE, MOREMI GAME

RESERVE & OKAVANGO DELTA

KER & DOWNEY 17


THE GUIDE

Insider Secrets of Luxury Travel

18 KER & DOWNEY

BY MARTINE BURY


Photos courtesy of Mark Edward Harris

PICTURE PERFECT

How to Photograph Animals

Award-winning photographer and QUEST contributor,

Mark Edward Harris, has traveled to 98 countries and six

continents, capturing images of elusive, wild creatures at

their most serene and spontaneous. Here, he shares how to

get the best photo, whatever your skills.

QUEST: Where are the best places

on Earth you’ve taken pictures of

wildlife?

Mark Edward Harris: Japan is fantastic

for its red-crowned cranes in

Hokkaido and snow monkeys in Nagano

Prefecture in winter. Alaska is

amazing for bears catching salmon

trying to make their way upstream

on the Brooks River in mid-summer.

The Arctic and the area around

Churchill are incredible for its Polar

bears. Trekking to photograph gorillas

in Rwanda is a very intense and

rewarding experience because after

a long hike you end up in extremely

close proximity to these fellow great

apes. Latin America offers everything

from whales and other sea life

around Baja to parrots in a giant

sink hole near Bonito, Brazil. We are

so fortunate to live on a planet with

so much diversity. We just have to

make sure that we take care of it to

the best of our abilities.

When traveling somewhere with the

intention of photographing wildlife,

which pieces of camera equipment

are must-haves?

Photographing wildlife is not as

much about cameras as it is about

lenses. The newest smart phones

can take great panoramas and

portraits in the right hands but are

not the right tools for wildlife where

extreme long lenses are the name of

the game. It’s not uncommon to see

pros and serious amateurs toting

around 400mm to 600mm lenses.

These lenses are huge in order to

allow enough light in so that a shot

can be taken without having to

bump up the ISO to a very digital

noise-inducing level.

How do you capture an emotional

quality in an up-close animal

portrait?

One of the main reasons for using

extremely long lenses in wildlife

photography is to capture an image

of an animal in its native environment

without disturbing it. If you

can photograph their eyes, the

viewers can glimpse into the window

to the souls. That expression is

not just reserved for humans. With

fast lenses, meaning a lens that can

open to a wide aperture such as

f/2.8, we can focus our lenses on

their eyes and let the background

drop out of focus by using a shallow

depth of field. This technique creates

an image that helps us connect with

the animal before our lens, at least

on a visual level. The background

in this technique is called “bokeh”

— the quality of out of focusness.

It comes from the Japanese word

“boke.” Less expensive telephoto

lenses do not maintain a wide

enough aperture to get as powerful

a bokeh as the top of the line fast

lenses, but the reality is most people

do not want to spend $8,000 on a

lens that is heavy and cumbersome.

It’s a balancing act, and there’s

nothing wrong with someone opting

to travel with a smaller lens that

doesn’t break the bank or the back.

“WE ARE SO

FORTUNATE TO LIVE

ON A PLANET WITH

SO MUCH DIVERSITY.

WE JUST HAVE TO

MAKE SURE THAT

WE TAKE CARE OF IT

TO THE BEST OF OUR

ABILITIES.”

Is capturing a great moment luck

or technique?

Most of it comes from experience

and a professional approach. First,

know the equipment in your hands

and gain basic knowledge of photo

technique. I cover this in depth in

my book, “The Travel Photo Essay:

Describing a Journey Through Images.”

I emphasize in my workshops

that a photographer who

wants to take professional-looking

images needs to approach the field

just as a person would in any other

profession. They need to learn their

tools of the trade. When it comes

to technique, having a firm grasp

of the exposure triangle — shutter

speed, aperture and ISO, and how

they relate to each other — is a

good start.

How do you capture the drama in

an action shot?

The keys to capturing the decisive

moment in wildlife photography is

being in the right place at the right

time and using a fast-enough shutter

speed to capture the action. For

instance, I used a shutter speed of

1/2000th of a second to freeze the

salmon about to be caught by the

grizzly above Brooks Falls. For these

situations, it’s often best to work in

shutter priority.

KER & DOWNEY 19


What tips do you have for shooting

up-close?

Macro lenses are the key to photographing

all sorts of smaller creatures

from butterflies to tarsiers. It’s a great

lens to have in the bag.

Where to next and what do you hope

to capture in an image?

I’m heading to Southeast Asia to

continue my series of orangutan

portraits. While the future for many

species is uncertain, orangutans in

the wild are hanging on by a particularly

thin vine. Their populations have

declined significantly over the past

hundred years in large measure due

to habitat destruction in their native

Sumatra and Borneo where forests

give way to palm oil plantations. But

palm oil production can be done sustainably

without destroying forests

and consumers can support these

efforts by using products that have

a RSPO (Sustainable Palm Oil) label

or the Green Palm label, the latter

indicating a product in support of the

transition to certified palm oil.

Instagram: @MarkEdwardHarrisPhoto

Website: www.MarkEdwardHarris.com

ABOUT FACE

Leave your beauty arsenal at home

and pack a cult favorite product —

made in Napa Valley — that keeps skin

balanced on the move.

Active Botanical Serum by Vintner’s

Daughter in 5 ml travel size | $65

vintnersdaughter.com

20 KER & DOWNEY


MINIMALISM TO GO

Travel accessories and multitasking takealongs

have gotten sleeker and stronger,

without sacrificing a single ounce of chic. In

an Instagram world, the new status symbols

are logo-less wonders that work hard and

keep you looking sharp.

Water-resistant nylon, clean lines, ample

compartments and a flat bottom make a

compact duffle that fits under-seat on a

plane without gobbling up legroom.

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

Inspired by 1960s automotive culture,

this affordable timepiece quietly steals

attention with its classic blend of form and

function. Choose from a variety of straps.

Blacktop Series 47mm Watch in Silver Mist by

MVMT | $185 | mvmtwatches.com

Chargers, no matter how small, can be cumbersome.

This multitasking, portable power

bank is the sleek, gold standard — crushproof,

allows you to charge your devices

while charging an external battery and can

keep 95% of its charge for up to 6 months.

Zendure A5 Portable Charger | $60 | zendure.com

The Everywhere Bag by AWAY | $195

awaytravel.com

A sturdy straw bag (handwoven in

Ghana) with an added shoulder strap

looks smart while traveling and suits

any destination, from lounging on the

beach to picnicking by the Seine to

shopping in the souk.

Medium Caba Straw Tote by MUUÑ | $215

lagarconne.com and netaporter.com

KER & DOWNEY 21


NEXT UP:

GO ECO

As travelers become more

aware of the environmental

impacts of tourism on

destinations, Ker & Downey

recommends more roads

less traveled. Here are

three to see now.

COSTA RICA

A land thick with dense wildlife-packed jungles, otherworldly

cloud forests, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and

uncrowded, unspoiled beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean

sides — Costa Rica is rich with ecozones. Visit and

you’ll often hear the words “pura vida,” the national ethos

of living simply, optimistically and stress free with abiding

gratitude for the country’s prolific natural and cultural

gifts. Think cascading waterfalls, towering volcanic

mountains and steamy thermal spas, as well as the alluring

colonial city of San José. Boasting some of Latin America’s

most innovative environmental policies, Costa Rica has

turned small-scale ecotourism into high art, with luxury

glamping experiences that are at the forefront of water and

wildlife conservation, and even agroforestry.

The canopy

suite at

Pacuare

Lodge

The sunset

from White

Pearl in

Mozambique

MOZAMBIQUE

Off the beaten path, southern Africa’s

remote and sparsely-touristed seaside

marvel gives way to some of the planet’s

most singular experiences and sights,

such as the marine animals, bird species

and wild horses that thrive on the six

islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Traced by the Indian Ocean, the pristine

coastline offers sparkling sand and

views of the sea often dotted with colorful

dhows afloat above vibrant corals

and abundant sea life. While the country

is home to wetlands, forests and

savannahs, underwater safari is where

it’s at, making Mozambique an ideal

place to view sea life in the vast and

purest of blues. The islands and islets

of the seemingly-boundless Quirimbas

Archipelago and Quirimbas National

Park are virtually undiscovered. Beyond

the sea, the sleepy seaside villages of

Nampula Province beckon discovery of

authentic local life.

A polar bear in the

Svalbard islands

NORWAY

As if an arresting, dramatic natural

landscape carved by fjords and

massive, snow-capped mountains

and hidden glassy lakes isn’t reason

enough to visit, this Scandinavian

country is also known for the

world’s highest standard of living

and fair quality of life for its inhabitants.

From quaint fishing villages

to rare and unusual wildlife to the

heritage of Viking sagas, it’s easy

to explore all, leaving a minimal

environmental footprint. A perfect

fit for all levels of sustainable adventure

— kayaking, hiking, arctic

whale watching, glacier viewing,

fishing and foraging, skiing or

chasing the Northern Lights — this

is a bucket list destination that remains

under the radar just enough

that you often feel you have the

whole world to yourself.

Photos courtesy of White Pearl | Pacuare Lodge | iStock

22 KER & DOWNEY


DESTINATIONS

The World of Ker & Downey

Chichicastenango, Guatemala

KER & DOWNEY 23


EAST

AFRICA

ETHIOPIA

KENYA

MADAGASCAR

MAURITIUS

REPUBLIC

OF CONGO

RWANDA

SEYCHELLES

TANZANIA

UGANDA

TANZANIA

Embark on a photographic safari

with a wildlife photography expert.

UGANDA

Volunteer with local

hospitals, schools or a

conservation organization.

24 KER & DOWNEY


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

ETHIOPIA

Interact with the Mursi, Hamer and Karo peoples

in Omo Valley, home to eighteen diverse tribes.

KENYA

Take a private helicopter tour of lakes

Turkana and Logipi, Mount Kenya and

the highlands of Aberdare National Park.

MADAGASCAR

Canoe to Lemur Island sanctuary to

view lemurs in their jungle refuge, one

of a precious few places to see these

primates wild and free.

RWANDA

Trek under the canopy in Nyungwe

Forest National Park, home to 25

percent of Africa’s primate species.


Gorilla trekking at

Gorilla Forest Camp


UGANDA

FOREVER

Ker & Downey designer Cherie Tann shares

six reasons why Uganda should not be

overlooked on an east African safari.

As told to Rina Chandarana

it may be small, but uganda

has so much to offer. friendly

people, oodles of wildlife

(including gorillas) and a

beyond blissful year-round

climate make this a destination

worth adding to your travel

bucket list.

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK

Mist-laden mountains and dense forests roll as

far as the eye can see in this corner of Uganda.

Hidden in the greenery are one of the country’s

main attractions: the gorillas. I’ll never forget the

feeling of getting up-close to these magnificent

creatures. Little babies played on branches and

casually crossed my path. Eco-conscious travelers

can get hands-on by planting trees to help

preserve this landscape or help to contribute to

the Gorilla Forest Camp’s philanthropy projects.

KER & DOWNEY 27


Venture to

Murchison

Falls by boat.

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

MURCHISON FALLS

After flying into the bustling capital city

of Kampala, I headed north to Murchison

Falls National Park to stay at Baker’s

Lodge, a small boutique property frequently

visited by a barrel of monkeys

perched in the trees. This is one of my

favorite areas because of the incredible

game viewing. Rothschild giraffes wander,

lions roam and hyenas yip. After a

two-hour boat ride to get closer to the

crashing falls, I could easily spot loads

of lounging hippos. Elephants stopped

by the banks for a drink and crocodiles

glided along. Hike up to the top of the

falls for a spectacular perspective or

soar sky-high in a hot air balloon.

A private tent

at Ishasha

Wilderness

Camp

QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

There are several lodges to choose from in this area, but my

go-to is the six-tented Ishasha Wilderness Camp, a great

place to start a primate trek and to see elephants. The lakes

and the Kazinga Channel attract birds, beasts and scores of

fishermen prepping their boats for a day out on the water.

28 KER & DOWNEY


KIBALE NATIONAL PARK

This absolutely stunning part of southern Uganda overflows

with rolling green hills and deep blue volcanic

crater lakes. Chimp trekking is the highlight, headed by

trained guides adept at locating the exquisite creatures

hanging out in the little clearings and peering down

from tree branches. I was able to get up-close to primates

during a trek from Ndali Lodge.

Jabali Ridge's

plunge pool is a

welcomed respite

after a day on safari.

But it was my interaction with Ugandans that endeared

me to the country. Towns and villages are hives of

activity. Ladies carry baskets on their backs, brimming

with freshly picked leaves and beans at verdant

tea and coffee farms. Happy children run around and

play soccer after school. This is a true glimpse into daily

Ugandan life.

A mother and

her child in

Uganda

A wild

chimpanze

at Kibale

National Park

The crested

crane, Uganda's

national bird

LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Activities are plentiful around Lake Mburo. Enjoy a

horseback safari or speed things up with a mountain

bike ride while zebras race along. The wonderful variety

of birds caught my eye the most. Crested cranes—the

national bird of Uganda featured on the country’s flag—

wade in the waters, while a colorful cast of yellow, blue

and green birds chirp in the surrounding trees.

PRO

TIP!

Pack light-weight, quickdrying

hiking pants

that can be tucked into

sturdy hiking boots.

- Cherie Tann, Designer

JINJA

Adventure-seekers will love river rafting, fishing and gliding

along in canoes launched from the shores of Lake Victoria,

where the Nile begins. There is a lot to do here, and it’s easy

to end your trip on an exciting note. As for me, I relaxed at

the end of my full and fulfilling journey to Uganda.

KER & DOWNEY 29


SOUTHERN

AFRICA

BOTSWANA

MOZAMBIQUE

NAMIBIA

SOUTH AFRICA

ZAMBIA

ZIMBABWE

MOZAMBIQUE

Sail the Indian ocean in an

authentic Arabian dhow.

BOTSWANA

Take in the marvel of the Okavango

Delta on a private helicopter tour.

30 KER & DOWNEY


SOUTH AFRICA

Hike the coastal Oystercatcher Trail

to spot rare birds and sea life.

ZIMBABWE

Cruise the Zambezi River and catch

sight of hippos wading in the water.

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

NAMIBIA

View the famous red dunes and dramatic desert

landscapes of Sossusvlei from a hot air balloon.

ZAMBIA

See the mighty Victoria Falls

on a sundowner cruise.

KER & DOWNEY 31


Guests on a walking safari at

Victoria Falls River Lodge


AFRICA’S

SAFARI

DARLING

Why Zimbabwe Should Be Your

Next Safari. By Haley Beham

with incredible natural

beauty, exceptional wildlife

variety and some of the

friendliest people on the

planet, zimbabwe offers an

unrivaled safari experience

at a fraction of the cost of

its neighboring countries.

In The Colorado Kid, Stephen

King wrote that ‘sooner or later,

everything old is new again.’ If he

was right, then Zimbabwe is about

to have a very big moment on the

safari scene.

After decades-long political and

economic turmoil cast a dark

shadow over tourism in Zimbabwe,

the country is back and poised to

reclaim its position as a top safari

destination. Helping to usher in this

new era is the Victoria Falls International

Airport which opened at the

end of 2016. While it is far from seeing

1.5 million visitors per year as it

did in the 1990s, there’s no doubt

about it: a new dawn is breaking.

The time to visit Zimbabwe is now.

KER & DOWNEY 33


Photos: Above:

Cheetahs in

Hwange National

Park; Right: A

stunning suite at

Somalisa Camp

HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

Situated on the western border of Botswana,

Hwange National Park spreads

across 5,650 square miles and is the

country’s largest wildlife sanctuary

and its most famous safari destination.

It is well-known for its thriving

elephant population, and is one

of the best places in Southern Africa

to spot lions, zebra, giraffe and white

rhino. Notably, brown hyena and large

packs of wild dog are also prolific in

the authentic wilderness of Hwange.

Variety is the spice of life here, not

only in its assembly of wildlife, but

also in its landscape. Within the park,

you’ll find diverse topography, from

the desert sands of the Kalahari near

the border, to the mopane woodlands

and grasslands, to the ancient seasonal

floodplains which form wetlands in the

rainy season.

WHERE TO STAY: With just seven

canvas tents outfitted with copper bath

tubs and outdoor showers, Somalisa

Camp offers luxury and adventure in

the heart of Hwange National Park. You

don’t even have to leave camp in search

of wildlife. Zebras have been known

to snack within view of the bathtubs,

and the swimming pool and main areas

boast amazing views of the pan where

large herds of elephant have attempted

to claim the territory.

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

MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK

In the remote reaches of the north, Mana Pools National Park

is a wildly untamed conservation area and UNESCO World

Heritage Site. Here, the Zambezi River is the life force, flooding

the plains and filling four large pools that were once part

of channels that have long since ceased flowing. These pools,

brimming with water year-round, attract big game to the

area. Still, the park is more well-known for its large concentration

of hippos and crocodiles. Get out of the safari vehicle

here to stretch your legs and explore the area on foot, as

Mana Pools is renowned for walking safaris.

WHERE TO STAY: Explore Mana Pools National Park and

the neighboring private Sapi Reserve (which forms part of the

UNESCO World Heritage Site) with Greater Mana Expedition,

an intimate six-day adventure focusing on exploration and

discovery through walking and canoe safaris.

34 KER & DOWNEY

A mother elephant

with her young

at Greater Mana

Expedition


Photos: Left:

Glorious Victoria

Falls at sunset;

Bottom: The

island treehouse

suite at Victoria

Falls River Lodge

VICTORIA FALLS

Of course, you can’t travel

to Zimbabwe without visiting

Mosi-oa-Tunya, better

known as Victoria Falls.

Its local name means “the

smoke that thunders,” and

it’s an awe-inspiring Natural

Wonder of the World.

When the Zambezi River,

the natural border between

Zambia and Zimbabwe, is

in full flood, it forms the

world’s largest curtain of

falling water. It’s quite a

spectacle to experience.

WHERE TO STAY:

Located on the banks of

the Zambezi River just

minutes from the falls,

Victoria Falls River Lodge

is the first private game

lodge within Zambezi

National Park. With just

seven tented suites, you

can combine a safari

experience in the African

bush with visits to Victoria

Falls, undoubtedly one of

the world’s most famous

destinations.

KER & DOWNEY 35


Incredible views

await at Singita

Pamushana

MALILANGWE PRIVATE RESERVE

The Malilangwe Private Reserve in southeastern Zimbabwe is home to one of the most successful black rhino protection

programs in Africa. As a result, the highest concentration of black rhinos in the world thrive in this 130,000-acre

wilderness. Geologically, the land is diverse, with sandstone hills, the Chiredzi River, riverine forests, mopane woodlands

and the Malilangwe dam. The diversity in habitats supports a wide range of wildlife in addition to its population of

rhino. Predators like lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs prowl the reserve for plains game. Sable antelope

and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest roam in the mopane woodlands to the south and east. Tiger fish, among other species of

fish, and a healthy population of hippo, crocodile and birdlife are found in the Malilangwe dam.

WHERE TO STAY: Recently renovated, the celebrated Singita Pamushana lodge is the ecotourism arm of the Malilangwe

Private Reserve and exists to help fund the conservation projects and assist the communities bordering the reserve. It

is an excellent example of the harmony that can exist between conservation initiatives, community outreach and tourism.

36 KER & DOWNEY


Luxury African Safari

ZAMBEZI QUEEN

Rolling on the great Chobe River, Zambezi Queen is a 5-star,

42-meter-long luxury houseboat offering unparalleled

sophistication in one of the most remote locations on the

planet. As our guest, you can enjoy a truly adventurous river

safari while being immersed in complete comfort and elegance.

Each of the Zambezi Queen’s 14 suites features airconditioning

and a private balcony, where you can take in

unobstructed views of the Chobe River and African landscape.

See wildlife from different vantage points on board, including

from the comfort of your own bed. Chobe National Park boasts

one of the densest populations of elephants on the African

continent, as well as leopards, lions, buffalo, a variety of

antelope and abundant birdlife.

34 KER & DOWNEY

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include Camp Jabulani in your next custom journey.

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include

+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM

the Zambezi Queen in your next custom journey.

+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


NORTH AFRICA

& MIDDLE EAST

EGYPT

ISRAEL

JORDAN

MOROCCO

OMAN

QATAR

SUDAN

UNITED ARAB

EMIRATES

OMAN

Hop on board a luxury yacht

from Muscat’s marina.

ISRAEL

Shop in a Tel Aviv

market and learn to

cook the ingredients

with a local chef.

38 KER & DOWNEY


JORDAN

Explore the desert canyon

surrounding Petra.

MOROCCO

Learn how to

extract argan oil,

an important family

cottage industry.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Share a meal with an expert on Arab

and Emirati culture.

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

EGYPT

Find out how the Sphinx

was carved from a single

mass of limestone from

a leading Egyptologist.


The spa at Lazib Inn


DESERT

DREAMS

There’s more to Egypt than the

grand temples of the ancient

pharaohs along a legendary

river. Head west of the Nile and

south of Cairo and find two

unique oases and cultures.

By Haley Beham

Fayoum Oasis

When describing the region 750 years

ago, Fayoum’s governor Abu ‘Uthmân

al-Nabulsi wrote, “Cool are the

dawns; tall are the trees; many are the

fruits; little are the rains.” With such

a tranquil retreat so close to Cairo,

it’s surprising one of the most ancient

areas in all of Africa remains relatively

unknown to the outside world.

Sunflowers, date palms and water

buffalo dominate the landscape. This

area, known as the Fayoum Oasis,

is not an oasis in the truest sense of

the word, as it is fed by hundreds of

capillary canals from the Nile instead

of springs. Still, the land is fertile.

KER & DOWNEY 41


Drink local tea

at Lazib Inn.

to truly experience one of Egypt’s best kept secrets, make your

base at the lavishly luxurious Lazib Inn. With just eight rooms, the boutique

hotel is set among manicured gardens overlooking the world’s oldest

nature reserve on the shores of Lake Qaroun. Once a breadbasket of

the Roman world, this area is known for producing delicious fruits and

vegetables. Its bounty inspires the dining experience at Lazib Inn, where

fresh, local ingredients stand out.

The relaxing setting makes Lazib Inn an ideal destination to start or end a

journey to Egypt, but there’s also plenty to do there. Try horseback rides

on Arabian steeds, desert safaris exploring the shimmering sand dunes

and exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wadi El Hitan (Valley

of the Whales). Fayoum is widely regarded as the best place for birdwatching

in Egypt, peaking from October to April when a number of

bird species, including a variety of warblers and larks, flock to the oasis.

PRO

TIP!

From Lazib Inn, head up the street to

Mahmoud el-Sherif’s pottery shop and

stock up on beautifully hand-thrown bowls,

platters and more. - Nicole Porto, Designer

Siwa Oasis

Further west in a seemingly endless expanse of sand, the

Siwa Oasis is home to 20,000 indigenous Siwis, a Berber

ethnic group who lead minimalistic lives in a tribal system

that has remained relatively unchanged for centuries.

Since about 700 BC, they have managed to live in isolation,

speaking their own language and boasting a cultural

identity vastly different from modern Egyptians. For a true

glimpse into the lives of the Siwis, make plans to visit a local

family for tea in their home.

The Greeks first discovered the Siwa Oasis and established

the Oracle of Amun there. After reclaiming Egypt from the

Persians, Alexander the Great made the long journey to

Siwa to visit the Oracle where, allegedly, he was told he

was the son of Amun-Ra, the supreme god. Today, you

can walk in Alexander’s footsteps and visit the ruins of

the Oracle Temple. You shouldn’t miss a visit to Jebel al-

Mwata (Mountain of the Dead) either. It’s Siwa’s version

of the Valley of the Kings with ancient tombs dug into the

mountain. If you’re adventurous, try dune bashing, sand

boarding, hiking or horseback riding in the desert.

Retreat to Adrere Amellal, a 40-room eco-resort located

at the foot of White Mountain overlooking Lake Siwa.

Each room is hand-built using traditional materials in the

unique Siwan style that blends into the landscape. With no

electricity, the environmentally-sustainable lodge is a true

getaway in the desert.

Photos courtesy of Lazib Inn | Adrere Amellal

Siwan-style

rooms at

Adrere Amellal

At night pathways are illuminated by lanterns and beeswax

candles. Dining becomes an elegant affair as traditional

cuisine made from organic and locally-grown produce is

served in a different location each night: in a small nook

tucked out of the way of the lodge, by the shore of the salt

lake or in a forest of palm trees.

After exploring Cairo and the ancient Egyptian temples

along the Nile, make time to escape to the two oases setting

a new standard of luxury in the desert.

42 KER & DOWNEY


Shali Fortress

in Siwa Oasis


BHUTAN

ASIA

CAMBODIA

CHINA

INDIA

INDONESIA

JAPAN

KAZAKHSTAN

LAOS

MALAYSIA

MALDIVES

MONGOLIA

MYANMAR

NEPAL

PHILIPPINES

SINGAPORE

SRI LANKA

THAILAND

VIETNAM

UZBEKISTAN

INDONESIA

See pristine coral reefs, swim with

dolphins, dive among Taka Makassar’s

Manta Rays or trek Komodo Island.

PHILLIPPINES

Dive the deep with

whale sharks, the

ocean’s gentle giants.

44 KER & DOWNEY


THAILAND

Take a helicopter ride

over Phang Nga Bay

to a private beach for

canoeing and snorkeling.

VIETNAM

Experience a warm welcome from traditional

dancers followed by dinner and live music at

a French villa in Ho Chi Minh City.

CAMBODIA

Visit remote villages via private boat ride on Tonle

Sap Lake and sip on crafted cocktails as you watch

the sunset from a private viewing platform.

CHINA

Discover the vibrant creative scene in

Shanghai’s arts districts, including the

Former French Concession, the Bund,

Huangpu museums and the famous M50.

Photos courtesy of iStock | Ker & Downey


Gassho-zukuri style

homes in Kanazawa


OUTSIDE

LANDS

Designer Tess Koptiuch

travels to Japan and

discovers a country where

modernity and ancient

tradition go hand in hand.

As told to Haley Beham

If ever there was a picture of how

millions of people can peacefully

coexist, Japan is it. Over 127 million

people call the island country home,

yet the streets are clean and people

are civil and polite to one another.

It’s full of stark contrast. I take in

these odd, striking juxtapositions as

I travel from Tokyo to Kanazawa to

Kaga, and back to Tokyo again. Yet

the big picture is harmoniuous. After

a brief stay in high-tech Tokyo, I

board Japan’s luxurious Shinkansen

bullet train in Gran Class (first class)

for Kanazawa, a town known for its

well-preserved Edo-era districts,

restored Samurai houses, geisha

culture and regional handicrafts.

Because of its relatively remote location,

the city escaped bombing during

World War II. As a result, much

of its traditional architecture is still

intact. Its proliferation of traditional

arts like hand-painted silks and ceramics,

earned Kanazawa designation

as a UNESCO Creative City for

Crafts and Folk Art.

KER & DOWNEY 47


"Established in

1639, Araya Totoan

has been owned by

the Maeda family

for 18 generations.

Hostesses anticipate

my every need ... "

As I watch the artisans cut gold leaf into small

squares, I learn that Kanazawa is the leading

producer of gold leaf in Japan. The city’s

gold leaf production dates back 400 years and

today is a source of local pride for the artisans

and residents alike. You can find it decorating

folding screens, ceramics, glassware, temples

and shrines. I am served green tea with a piece

of gold leaf in it. Before leaving, I am given a

piece to keep in my wallet for good fortune.

From Kanazawa, I continue my journey

to Kaga, a quaint spa town. I stay at Araya

Totoan, a traditional Japanese ryokan, where

I am steeped in classic Japanese hospitality.

Established in 1639, Araya Totoan has been

owned by the Maeda family for 18 generations.

Hostesses anticipate my every need and

fresh Kaiseki-style meals are served on rare

Kutani ceramic and Yamanaka lacquerware.

Inside my suite I indulge in modern amenities

that complement the traditional, minimalist

Japanese style. I also take full advantage of

two hot spring bath tubs. In addition to the

private baths, Araya Totoan has three public

baths filled with the restorative waters of

Yamashiro hot springs.

While in Kaga, I have the rare treat of visiting

the artist Buzan Fukushima at his home studio.

Buzan is a master of Aka-e painting (red

painting), a highly valued craft first produced

in 1640. In 2015, he was commissioned by

Hermès to paint 12 watch faces for the Slim

d’Hermès line, marking the first time Japanese

art was combined with French porcelain.

I enjoy seeing the intricacy and difficulty of

his craft firsthand. I’m surprised to see that

he paints with such precision, even without

the use of glasses or a magnifying glass. To

demonstrate his craft while I’m there, he

paints my name onto a single grain of rice. He

then signs the back and gives it to me. All of

Buzan’s works are commissioned and cannot

be purchased in a shop, so my little grain of

rice is my most prized souvenir.

Photos: Above: Hot springs bath

tubs at Araya Totoan; Bottom:

Buzan Fukushima at work

PRO

TIP!

It's Japanese tradition to remove your shoes when

entering a home or various other establishments

that you will surely visit. Wear shoes that are easy

to slip on and off. And be sure to wear socks!

- Tess Koptiuch, Designer

48 KER & DOWNEY


Modern meets

tradition at Palace

Hotel Tokyo

I wrap up my journey in the heart of the action, at the

Palace Hotel Tokyo, a property that effortlessly blends old

and new. The luxe high rise is impeccably clean, with 278

spacious rooms and 12 suites that sit opposite the Imperial

Palace Gardens. Throughout the hotel, I find an eclectic mix

of over 1,000 pieces ranging from traditional ink washes to

colorful abstracts and laser-cut paper art. Each piece has

been specially selected or commissioned for the hotel from

some of Japan’s most loved artists, as well as some of the

country’s most promising up and coming creatives. But the

cornerstone of the hotel is its staff. Friendly, polite and attentive,

Japan’s traditional culture of hospitality is present

even in the cutting-edge, urban hotel.

Japanese hospitality encompasses so much more than

friendly service. I experienced it throughout my journey,

from the meticulous preparation and presentation of meals

to the pride artisans take in their craft. I felt it most in the

sincere kindness of each person I met along the way.

KER & DOWNEY 49


NORTH

UNITED STATES

AMERICA

CALIFORNIA

Sail to the notorious Alcatraz

Island prison in San Francisco

Bay and dig into its history

with a private guide.

Photos courtesy of iStock | The ARTS at Marks Garage

HAWAII

Explore Honolulu’s

Chinatown and enjoy

a performance at the

ARTS at Marks Garage.

50 KER & DOWNEY


NEW YORK

See a pizzaiolo spin a pie

from scratch in Brooklyn.

PENNSYLVANIA

Learn more about the

origins of the Declaration

of Independence in the

city of Philadelphia.

KER & DOWNEY 51


The Preservation

Hall Band in

New Orleans


SOUTHERN

COMFORT

Stimulate all of your senses on a grand tour

of the southern United States, from the

home of the King of Rock to the streets

of the Big Easy. With Ker & Downey you’ll

experience the holy trinity of southern

hospitality: good music, decadent cuisine

and handcrafted booze to lift your spirits.

By Katy Heerssen

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

NEW ORLEANS, DECADENT CITY

OF INDULGENCE, is a celebration

of life year-round. Exclusive Ker

& Downey experiences let you bear

witness to its eclectic tapestry of food,

drink and live music far from the hordes

of tourists. Prowl the streets with a local

musicologist and hear tales of musicians

who have shaped the landscape of

the city as you explore Congo Square,

the Preservation Hall Jazz Club and the

Treme. From fresh Gulf oysters and

shrimp to immaculate Creole creations,

take your mealtime to the next level.

Taste some of the world’s best bites at

James Beard award-winners and family

joints passed down through generations.

Shake things up with celebrity

mixologist Daniel Victory and go behind

his bar to learn the art of crafting

memorable cocktails.

KER & DOWNEY 53


Classic car

tours outside

of Sun Studios

THE SOUL OF MEMPHIS

IN 1968, DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WAS ASSASSINATED at

the Lorraine Motel. This pivotal place in American history is now the site

of the National Civil Rights Museum, a moving interactive experience that

traces past and ongoing struggles for equality in the United States. It’s a

story told frankly and with much respect, and you encounter it in reverence

with a knowledgeable Ker & Downey guide. Explore Memphis’ legendary

musical roots at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. More

than 2,000 artifacts and ephemera from the golden age of this distinctly

American genre fill the halls of this hallowed space.

Dr. Martin

Luther King

Jr. in 1964

PRO

TIP!

Take time to watch the resident

ducks walk the red carpet at

the Peabody Hotel — a longstanding

Memphis tradition.

-Catherine Brown, Designer

54 KER & DOWNEY


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

MUSIC CITY MAGIC

NASHVILLE HAS BEEN THE

LAUNCHPAD FOR COUNTLESS

CAREERS AND MUSICAL LEGENDS,

and while the Grand Ole Opry is the big

name in the city’s music history (and

should absolutely be seen) its roots date

back to 1943 and Ryman Auditorium.

Known as “The Carnegie Hall of the

South,” the historic venue has hosted

revivals and stage plays and was the

home of the Grand Ole Opry variety

show from 1943 to 1974. Take a private

tour through the venue with the curator,

and an exit through the stage door places

you at the doorstep of a local honky-tonk

where the stars of tomorrow ply their

trade. Don’t miss a private walk through

the Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA

Studio B, where greats like Dolly Parton

and Willie Nelson recorded hit records.

Woodford

Reserve

Distillery

BLUEGRASS & BOURBON

WHAT COULD A BLUEGRASS PICKER KNOW ABOUT WHISKEY? Quite a lot as it turns out, when whiskey

is the subject of many of his songs. Louisville legend Hickory Vaught leads you on a unique musical tour by way of

downtown Louisville, where live music and an astounding collection of bourbon and whiskey bars await. Outside

of the city, heavy hitters like Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark stand out on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, but they aren’t

the end of the story of the spirit. With a private Ker & Downey driver and guide, you’ll go behind the scenes at some

of the more regionally-famous purveyors. Among these secret spots is the Town Branch Distillery and Brewery, a

barrel-aged distillery that also happens to be the oldest craft brewery in Lexington. Alongside master distiller Mark

Coffman, get expert insight into both crafts and plenty of tastings, too.

See the History of the South full itinerary on kerdowney.com

Forecastle

Music Festival

in Louisville

Carrie Underwood

peforming at The

Grand Ole Opry

KER & DOWNEY 55


LATIN

ARGENTINA

BELIZE

COSTA RICA

CUBA

MEXICO

NICARAGUA

BOLIVIA

ECUADOR &

PANAMA

BRAZIL

GALAPAGOS

PERU

AMERICA

CHILE

COLOMBIA

ISLANDS

GUATEMALA

URUGUAY

PANAMA

Soar over the Panama Canal and

the Pacific and Caribbean coasts

in a private helicopter.

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

MEXICO

Glamp on the beaches of

Isla Espiritu Santo in the

Gulf of California.

56 KER & DOWNEY


BRAZIL

BRAZIL

Join local scientists as they

track and monitor the elusive

jaguars of the Pantanal.

Paddle down Ushuaia’s Lasiphashai River into the

Beagle Channel in your own inflatable canoe to view

stunning wildlife.

ARGENTINA

Venture out on a horseback ride to spot the

endangered wildlife of the lush Ibera Wetlands.

PERU

Surround yourself in the beautiful Andean

landscape aboard the new 360° Machu

Picchu Train.

BOLIVIA

Enjoy a traditional picnic lunch on the

shores of Lake Titicaca’s Sun Island.

KER & DOWNEY 57


Antigua


QUICK TRIP

Spend 72 hours in the land of eternal spring.

By Haley Beham

In a word, Guatemala is diverse.

Language and rituals from 21 indigenous

Mayan populations and the 16th-century

Spanish conquerors converge to create a

complex cultural heritage. Their influence

can be seen woven throughout the architecture,

cuisine and traditions all over the

country. Its eclectic culture is matched

by the country’s natural beauty found in

14 recognized eco-regions that vary from

mountainous highlands and volcanoes to

shimmering coastline.

Seventy-two hours in Guatemala will only

scratch the surface of all there is to see

and do, but for a quick getaway from the

States, it is an ideal destination. Whether

you’re into hiking volcanoes and zip-lining

or browsing craft markets and drinking

espresso, Guatemala offers something for

every traveler.

KER & DOWNEY 59


The Arco de

Santa Catalina

DAY ONE

after landing in guatemala city, head

straight for antigua. Surrounded by three volcanoes,

Antigua is one of the world’s best-preserved

colonial towns and feels like a world away from the city

sprawl. Pastel walls line cobblestone streets that lead

to colonial-era churches and mansions in this UNESCO

World Heritage Site.

The Rose suite

at Posada del

Angel

PRO

TIP!

Take a tuk tuk up to Antigua’s

lookout point called Cerro de

la Cruz for gorgeous views of

the city. -Trista Gage, Designer

Check into Posada del Angel. Tucked away on a quiet

street, the elegant seven-room boutique hotel is a favorite

hideaway among the world’s dignitaries. Details such as

large, old-fashioned room keys, hand-woven Guatemalan

fabrics, antique four-poster beds and wrought-iron

headboards lend authenticity to the building which was

once a Spanish colonial casona.

Spend the afternoon getting acquainted with Antigua

on a private walking tour through the city, exploring

the Spanish colonial architecture and art. Foodies can

also visit a chocolate museum and learn how to prepare

chocolate from a time-honored Mayan recipe, or visit

a working coffee hacienda to learn about the country’s

most famous export. At sunset, enjoy a rooftop cocktail.

Fans of craft beer can head to Antigua Brewing

Company for a nice menu of sandwiches, burgers and

appetizers to complement their local, artisanal beers.

From their terrace, you’ll have a 360° view of the city and

three volcanoes. Keep your eye on the horizon. The lava

below gives it a warm, red glow after the sun goes down.

Photos courtesy of Austin Mann | iStock | Posada del Angel

60 KER & DOWNEY


DAY TWO

Sunsets light

up the sky at

Pacaya

In the morning, hike up Pacaya, one

of Central America’s most active

volcanoes. The trek up is fairly easy

and suited for a variety of fitness

levels. Once you clear the forests at

the bottom, it feels like you’re walking

on the moon, with dark, volcanic

rock all around. On a clear day, if the

top isn’t covered by clouds, you may

even see it fuming.

In the evening, enjoy traditional

Guatemalan cuisine at Los Tres Tiempos.

For a truly authentic dish, order

pepian, one of the country’s most

common cuisines. Follow up this

rich, dark stew of meat or chicken,

tomatoes and spices with an al fresco

drink or dessert on the restaurant’s

illuminated terrace.

DAY THREE

Set out early for Lake Atitlan, widely regarded

as one of the most beautiful lakes on earth. The

shorelines are picturesque, with tiny villages

dotting the hills above this ancient body of

water. On the way, make a stop at Chichicastenango

in Guatemala’s Western Highlands.

On Thursdays and Sundays, it plays host to

one of Latin America’s largest and most colorful

outdoor markets, famous for its textiles.

Children fly

a giant kite

for Dia de los

Muertos

SAVE THE DATE

Make plans to be in Guatemala on November 1 for Día de los Muertos.

As part of the All Saints’ Day celebrations, the neighboring towns of

Santiago Sacatepequez and Sumpango fly giant (some as big at 100 feet)

colorful kites in the air as part of a 3,000-year-old tradition honoring

departed loved ones. It’s an easy day trip from Antigua and worth it to

see the colorful masterpieces that take to the skies around dusk.

CONSIDER AN ADD-ON

If you have a couple more days to spare, head to Petén, the cradle of the

Mayan civilization. From there, you can explore the UNESCO World

Heritage Site of Tikal National Park and see the Mayan wonders at Yaxha.

Later, retreat to the luxe villas of Casa Palopó

for a bit of serenity and spectacular views on

the shores of Lake Atitlan in charming Santa

Catarina Palopó. A private boat cruise takes

you to visit the indigenous villages on the

shores and offers gorgeous views of the volcanoes

surrounding the lake. If you can stretch

your journey more than 72 hours, spend them

in Casa Palopó’s solar-heated infinity pool

overlooking the deep, blue lake.

See a time-lapse video of Guatemala’s

volcanoes by photographer Austin Mann on

Ker & Downey’s Instagram, @kerdowney.

KER & DOWNEY 61


The stunning surreal

landscape of the

Atacama Desert.


SALT of

the EARTH

Discover the surreal song of the planet’s

driest desert in vast, enchanting Chile.

By Elizabeth Frels

I

t only takes one day to fall in love

with the Atacama Desert, a plateau

on South America’s Pacific coast

that meets the Andes on its descending

slopes. Its rugged, ever-shifting

landscape, astronomic clarity and fivestar

amenities are enough for you to feel

like you could stay there for weeks.

The Kari Gorge is one of the lesser known

regions of the Atacama, yet it comes

highly recommended by some of the most

experienced guides in Chile.

Not only is an afternoon outing to Kari

Gorge hyper-personalized to your interests,

but the few guides who lead the

excursion are some of only a handful certified

to protect the environment. In fact,

only two properties in all of Atacama have

access to the Kari Gorge, Explora Atacama

and Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the

gorge’s otherworldly setting, a location

often used in movies as a representation

of Mars. Situated along the edge of the

protected Moon Valley, the scenery is

filled with rugged, jagged rocks. Following

the ridgeline to the gorge, you receive

an uninterrupted view of the area’s iconic

sand dunes and volcanoes.

While the terrain is certainly mesmerizing,

equally fascinating is the story of how

this environment, considered one of the

world’s oldest deserts, came to be.

KER & DOWNEY 59 63


Photos:

Left:

Expert

guides

lead

the way

through

the Moon

Valley;

Right: The

Atacama

Desert

It’s result of a phenomenon owing to

massive high-pressure systems over

the Pacific, cold Antarctic currents

and a barrier created by the towering

Andean mountain range which

prevents moisture from reaching

these parched lands. Remnants of

millions of years of geological activity

are on vibrant display. Formations

and striations reveal where tectonic

movements shifted and where top

layers were settled from volcanic ash.

The most surprising facet to witness,

however, is the salt.

Salt saturates the landscape. Snowy

white in appearance, the salt mountains,

salt lakes, salt waterfalls and

salt rivers surrounding you can easily

trick you into thinking snow has

fallen in the desert. In reality, the

rains have simply evaporated, draping

the land in a crystalline blanket.

Next, descend down the face of a

sand dune toward the valley floor of

the Kari Gorge. This steep slide down

is significant. You are going beyond

the demarcated pathways to set foot

on the pristine dunes of the Atacama

Desert — something very few are allowed

to do.

The gorge itself is about 15 feet wide,

with salt rock walls towering 30 to

40 feet high on either side. One of the

first surprises upon your arrival is a

raging river that looks to be flash frozen

with its waves and crevices

perfectly preserved in the ice.

Your eyes might deceive you

into thinking it is a glacier,

but it is actually just more salt.

In fact, this is what the whole

gorge would look like if people

did not walk through it.

While exploring this natural

wonder, trek inside the gorge’s many

naturally-formed caves, where salt

crystals embed themselves in the rock

face within. The lack of foot traffic

and natural erosion inside the caves

means that the salt deposits inside are

so concentrated that they are prone

to glowing when exposed to light — a

phenomenon easily illuminated by

your cell phone flash.

Perhaps the most memorable experience

amid this land of sand and salt is

toward the end of the three-hour trek

when you are encouraged to pause for

a moment of silence while standing

in the gorge. All of a sudden, the

swelling of sound reaches your ears

as the salt crystals crack, expand and

contract with the changing temperatures

of the desert.

It is an orchestra of crystals, harmonious

and full of soaring moments.

Nature’s composition reminding you

of its undeniable beauty. Even in this

remotest of settings, while celebrating

with a refreshing drink amid the salt

You are going beyond the

demarcated pathways to set

foot on the pristine dunes

of the Atacama Desert —

something very few are

allowed to do.

flats of the Moon Valley, it is difficult

not to be reminded of how severely

impactful your presence is on such a

unique corner of it.

Thankfully, the few guides who

venture into this region have an

undeniable respect for the land. Not

only do they take great care of your

every step, but they also expose you

to aspects of the Atacama otherwise

hidden to the common eye — whether

it is the geological markers that illustrate

the history of the environment;

or the owl regurgitations that divulge

how an animal can survive in such

a harsh habitat; or the prime photo

spots, exposures and settings to snap

the best images, even on your iPhone.

They will also introduce you to the

phenomenon that is the symphony of

salt, a composition you are not likely

to forget.

Contact a Ker & Downey Designer or

your local travel professional to start

planning your personalized stay in

Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Photos courtesy of Explora | Turismo Chile

64 KER & DOWNEY


HOTEL BASED JOURNEY

explora Patagonia

explora Atacama

explora Rapa Nui

explora Valle Sagrado

TRAVESIAS, NOMADIC JOURNEYS

explora Uyuni

explora Salta

explora El Chaltén

MORAY - Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru

SOUTH AMERICA´S LEADING EXPEDITION COMPANY

World Travel Awards 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to

www.explora.com

include the Explora in your next custom journey.

+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


NORTHERN & WESTERN

AUSTRIA

GREENLAND

NETHERLANDS

EUROPE

BELGIUM

DENMARK

ENGLAND

ICELAND

IRELAND

LATVIA

NORWAY

SCOTLAND

SWEDEN

ESTONIA

LIECHTENSTEIN

SWITZERLAND

FINLAND

LITHUANIA

WALES

FRANCE

LUXEMBOURG

GERMANY

MONACO

GREENLAND

Visit an Inuit settlement to learn

about traditional fishing techniques.

SCOTLAND

Embrace the national dress

with a bespoke kilt fitting.

66 KER & DOWNEY


FRANCE

Enjoy a family-friendly treasure

hunt inside the Louvre.

Photos courtesy of iStock | Royal Fingal Yacht

AUSTRIA

Drive through Salzburg’s idyllic

countryside in a vintage Rolls Royce.

ESTONIA

Shop for weird and wonderful trinkets

at the Soviet Flea Market in Tallin.

BELGIUM

Sip on local beer on an

artisanal brewery tour.

KER & DOWNEY 67


A sprawling, birdseye

view of Berlin


GREAT UN-

EXPECTATIONS

Ker & Downey’s Michael Jackson’s journey through

Berlin and Hamburg reveals that the future of luxury

travel in Germany is all about the unexpected: the

Michelin-starred cuisine, the cultural rebirths and the

old stereotypes finding new identities in a country

ready for its breakout moment.

I expected to love Berlin.

Its creativity, character and flavors always

held more appeal to me than the typical

Paris or Rome European gateways. The city

did not disappoint and impressed me more

than I thought possible.

The magnitude of Berlin’s history alongside

its cosmopolitan progressiveness leaves in its

wake a unique drive to usher tradition into

the modern era.

I see it during a private visit to the Königliche

Porzellan-Manufaktu (KPM) porcelain

factory, which has been producing porcelain

since its founding by King Frederick II of

Prussia in 1763. These miniature masterpieces

and their detailed decorations are still

created by hand. They’re coveted not only

for their exquisite quality, but also for their

sustainable reputation within the home.

KER & DOWNEY 69


Color explodes

at Berlin's East

Side Gallery.

" IF YOU DIVE

DEEPER BEYOND THE

STEREOTYPES AND ONE-

SIZE-FITS-ALL TOURS,

YOU MIGHT JUST FIND

YOURSELF LIKE ME

— WITH SHATTERED

EXPECTATIONS."

PRO

TIP!

70 KER & DOWNEY

Vegan travelers will still find

plenty of elevated dining

options — Berlin is Europe’s #1

city for vegan cuisine.

- Michael Jackson, Operations Manager

I see it in the neighborhoods like those surrounding the

Hackesche Höfe, where a private guide reveals traces of the old

Jewish quarter. The meandering streets of the Scheunenviertel

act as a canvas for Eastern European immigrants who have

transformed the heart of Berlin into a visual color explosion.

It’s on display from the gravesite of Moses Mendelssohn to the

places of Jewish Renaissance that blossomed here during the

Weimar Republic.

I also see it in the food. Sausage, pretzels and beer are overshadowed

by fresh, regional cuisine found in trendy hotels and

bars scattered across the city, as well as family-run Riesling

farms and gin distilleries popping up around the peripheries.

My favorite examples are all sugar-filled: the 133-year-old

chocolatier, Sawade, with its thoughtfully made hazelnut and

champagne truffles, and the charmingly deconstructed Black

Forest Cake of Hotel Adlon Kempinski.

Of course 21st-century Berlin would turn something as familiar

as chocolate cake into magic.

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


If Berlin exceeded my expectations, Hamburg

shattered them completely.

Though Hamburg is a modern city, it feels as though

it has one foot in the past. Its position on the river

Elbe fortifies its role as the third largest container

port in Europe while also inundating the streets and

shops with new spices, flavors and ideas.

Around 9,000 ship calls and 136.5 million tons of

cargo per year have transformed what could have

been a simple port town into a metropolis of immense

wealth and global influence.

The ornate exterior of City Hall, the 1920s Chilehaus,

Marco Polo Tower, the UNESCO-honored

Speicherstadt warehouse district and the blocks

upon blocks of historic merchant meetinghouses

are all reminders of Hamburg’s open-door policy

to affluence and innovation. They are feasts for the

architectural eye.

There is also an immense respect for seafood I never

saw coming.

The Hamburg Fish Market, an institution since 1703,

is a Sunday tradition along the shores of the Elbe.

Market barkers out-scream each other. Shoppers

are coaxed with the promise of free salmon as they

stroll from stall to stall. Late-night revelers gorge

themselves on early morning fish sandwiches. And

some, like me, are just there to enjoy the lively

atmosphere with views across the harbor.

Hamburg's

ornate City Hall

The most memorable surprises for me are the

velvety eel at Fischereihafen, relished as the boats

floated by my window; and the elevated Japanese-Peruvian

cuisine of the Fairmont Hotel Vier

Jahreszeiten’s Nikkei Nine restaurant. The culinary

mash-up as executed by Executive Chef Ben Dayag

and Sushi Master Yuki Hamasaki introduce me to

my new favorite sashimi.

Knowing Hamburg’s history of global trade, it

makes sense that a restaurant like this would exist.

But to the average visitor, it’s the last thing you

might anticipate from German cuisine.

The synthesis of old and new, tradition and innovation,

is what makes my time in Germany so unique.

If you dive deeper beyond the stereotypes and onesize-fits-all

tours, you might just find yourself like

me — with shattered expectations.

A seafood dish

prepared at

Fischereihafen

KER & DOWNEY 71


GERMANY

THE ULTIMATE GOURMAND’S GUIDE

Move over, beer and bratwurst. During

the last decade, Germany’s culinary scene

has blossomed, making the country one of

Europe’s most exciting foodie destinations

distinguished by international influences,

innovative chef-driven eateries and hyperregional

cuisine.

Sure, beer is firmly cemented in Germany’s

cultural history — as evidenced by the

country’s 1,300 breweries and the weekslong

beer worship at Oktoberfest (the

world’s largest folk celebration). But the

land of poets and thinkers is also home to 13

wine-growing regions and 300 Michelinstarred

restaurants. Only France, the birthplace

of haute cuisine, has more epicurean

temples to its name.

Germany’s spectrum of gastronomic experiences

is as vast as it is surprising, whether

it's centuries-old traditional dishes unique

to each region, internationally-lauded

menus in cosmopolitan hubs, locallyproduced

beverages in rustic inns, seasonal

food festivals catering to the world travelers

or food-themed tourist routes for the adventurous

at heart.

Delve deeper into Germany with Ker &

Downey’s quintessential food-lovers guide

and explore every corner of the country.

BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG

In Stuttgart savor Maultaschen, miniature

ravioli-style pasta parcels filled with

meat, spinach, onion and parsley. Legend

has it they were invented by monks

who didn’t want to go without meat

during Lent, so they secretly encased the

forbidden luxury inside pasta.

BAVARIA

Dive into the land of lederhosen along

Bavaria’s Beer and Castle Route, which

introduces travelers to Germany’s history

and countryside, as well as several

local breweries, some with secret recipes

dating back 500 years. With over 40 beer

varieties and 1,000 brands each with its

own unique flavor, it’s no wonder why

Bavaria is known as the land of everflowing

amber nectar.

BRANDENBURG

While in Brandenburg, be sure to gobble

up the gherkins, the most famous export

of the Spree Forest. The beautiful Gherkin

Cycle Route is an especially thrilling

way to learn about this crunchy snack,

as it leads cyclists on a 160-mile journey

following the entire production process

from field to fork.

BREMEN

Enjoy a private tour of one of Bremen’s

many roasting houses. Ever since 1673,

when the first coffee house in a Germanspeaking

country opened in Bremen, the

city has exhibited an undeniable passion

for the caffeinated drink and is now considered

one of Europe’s premiere coffeetrading

capitals.

HESSEN

Head to one of Frankfurt’s local cider

houses for a sip of Ebbelwoi cider, the

signature drink of the Hessen region.

Traditionally served in a blue earthenware

‘bembel’ pitcher, the cider is best enjoyed

alongside hearty dishes such as pork

chops, blood sausages or the regional

specialty of 'Grie Soß' (green sauce).

MECKLENBURG-WESTERN POMERANIA

Visit Rügen Island to witness the regional

sea buckthorn harvested off the coast.

This thorny shrub is rich in vitamins and

minerals and its orange berries are often

found in local oils, juices, teas, preserves,

liqueurs, wine and grog.

LOWER SAXONY

Embark on an epicurean tour through

asparagus country. Known as the royal

vegetable, this white delicacy dominates

the Lower Saxony landscape, especially

from March through June during asparagus

harvesting season. Highlights of this

route include the medieval asparagusproducing

town of Burgdorf, the Asparagus

Museum in Nienburg and a tour

through the beautiful city of Hannover.

NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA

North Rhine-Westphalia produces an

extensive range of beers, including

kölsch from Cologne and altbier from

Düsseldorf. Take part in a beer workshop

and visit the brewery museum in

Dortmund to learn everything there is

to know about brewing beer.

RHINELAND-PALATINATE

Follow the German Wine Route

from the famous Dürkheim

Barrel in Bad Dürkheim to the

German Wine Gate of Schweigen-Rechtenbach.

In the

country’s ancient wine region,

visitors will find Riesling, Pinot

Grigio and Dornfelder wines

flowing on the side of the road,

in tasting rooms and in numerous

wine bars along the way —

especially during wine festival

season between mid-August

and early October.

SAARLAND

You can’t visit Saarland without

tasting the popular delicacy of

Dibbelabbes, a hash of grated

potato, leek, bacon and herbs

and served with homemade

apple sauce.

SAXONY

Attend Dresden’s Christmas

Striezelmarkt in December for

a taste of Christstollen, possibly

the most famous holiday pastry

in the world. This geographically

protected fruit bread is

produced by just 130 Dresden

bakeries, each with their own

top-secret family recipe.

SAXONY-ANHALT

Take a detour to a local dairy in

Saxony-Anhalt for an introduction

to Harz cheese. High

in protein and low in fat, these

healthy morsels have been a favorite

in this region for several

hundred years.

SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN

Home to more than 120 different

varieties of artisanal cheeses,

Schleswig-Holstein plays host to

the Schleswig-Holstein Gourmet

Festival, a 30-year old event

known for attracting international

Michelin-starred chefs

to northern Germany between

September and March each year.

72 KER & DOWNEY


Asparagus and

white wine

Enjoying wine at

Weingeniesser

Chef Johannes

King of Söl'ring

Hof Sylt

Hessische Bergstrasse

wine region

Photos courtesy of GNTB/Deutsches Weininstitut, Jens Wegener


EASTERN & SOUTHERN

ALBANIA

GEORGIA

ROMANIA

EUROPE

ARMENIA

AZERBAIJAN

BOSNIA &

GREECE

HUNGARY

ITALY

RUSSIA

SERBIA

SLOVAKIA

HERZEGOVINA

MALTA

SLOVENIA

BULGARIA

MONTENEGRO

SPAIN

CROATIA

POLAND

TURKEY

CZECH REPUBLIC

PORTUGAL

UKRAINE

TURKEY

Take in a spellbinding whirling

dervish show in Cappadocia.

ROMANIA

View bears in the

Carpathian Forest,

home to over 45

percent of Europe’s

brown bears.

74 KER & DOWNEY


SPAIN

Get lost in the rhythm of flamenco at a

private masterclass and performance.

RUSSIA

Set sail on the Volga River to discover the lesserknown

villages that line its verdant banks.

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

ARMENIA

Stay in a medieval castle hidden

away in the Caucasus Mountains.

GREECE

Meet the resident beekeeper of Nafplio

and taste his award-winning honey.


El Alhambra in Granada


SPANISH

STEPS

Ker & Downey’s Rina Chandarana

journeys to Seville and Granada

and discovers the heart of

Andalusia, a vibrant fusion of

Spanish and Moorish cultures.

“keep going,” encouraged a determined

traveler, striding up the stairs

ahead of me. I looked back, panting and

saw the red-roofed city below.

There are easier ways to get to the imposing

13th century Alhambra, a Moorish

fortress, the jewel in Granada’s crown. I

chose the well-worn scenic route, which

was also a step back in time.

Starting in the year 711, the ruling North

African sultans referred to this area as

Al-Andalus and the Alhambra is their

greatest legacy. Stone walls adorned with

exquisite tiled patterns burst with color

and Arabic calligraphy. All the detailed

archways are perfectly symmetrical — a

mathematical masterpiece.

I wandered the manicured gardens, dotted

with shimmering reflective pools,

soaring palms and bubbling fountains.

The snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountains

lay in the distance. It’s no wonder

why the Moors wanted to stay.

KER & DOWNEY 77


T

he UNESCO World Heritage Site peeks between

the maze of slender cobblestone lanes that wind

up higher between white-washed homes, convents

and churches of the Albayzin neighborhood.

A Gitano musician strums on a guitar, his

raspy, passionate song wafting into the chilly air. Brooding

clouds add a moody magic. Spain cast its spell on me, and I

am totally enthralled.

That evening, I climbed another hill (there are many in

Granada) to get to Sacromonte, Granada's flamenco mecca.

When the Gitanos first arrived from India centuries ago

they carved out simple caves in the soft rock. The moonlit

Alhambra, a constant companion, shimmered across

the valley. The faint sound of music leads me into a cave.

Copper spoons and pots — a reminder that this was once

someone’s home — dangle from the ceiling.

Musicians bang on drums and sing. Dancers shout “Ole!”,

their frilly skirts morphing into a blur of color as they spin,

and feet are electric with clacking and stomping. Shiny

black hair is pinned with decorative combs, ruby red roses

and fans. The atmosphere is charged with a powerful and

infectious energy. One woman pulls me up and I attempt

to mimic her snapping fingers. I don’t even understand

Spanish, but I’m completely caught up in the moment.

A local flamenco

dancer performing

in Granada

White-washed

homes at sunset

78 KER & DOWNEY


View of Seville

from the Cathedral

Photos courtesy of iStock

A

lthough there’s no shortage

of architectural stunners

in Seville, its main

draw is the 10th century

Alcazar, a palace still inhabited

by the royal family. Southern

Spain is a Mudejar treasure trove,

Islamic and Christian architectural

styles merging in a beyond-beautiful

blend. Intricate plasterwork and

delicately painted azulejo tiles add

decorative flourishes.

Turn to any page of “The Arabian

Nights” and the Alcazar would fit

perfectly into its stories of princesses,

palaces and far-away lands. Thinking

of this I drifted into a fairytale garden,

my path interrupted by colorful,

proud peacocks.

The massive Seville Cathedral is the

city’s focal point and sits on the site

of a former mosque. Bright oranges

bulge from the inner courtyard’s

trees. This hallowed building houses

the remains of Christopher Columbus,

whose travels amassed overflowing

wealth for Seville. I repeatedly craned

my neck up to see an even more stirring

azulejo-tiled depiction of a tearful

Mary, the Esperanza de Triana.

After Granada’s leg workout, I sacrificed

myself again and jolted up the

35 ramps of the Giralda, the minaret

-turned-bell tower, to get a beautiful

view of Seville’s blue skies, church

domes and bright homes.

PRO

TIP!

Sevillanos linger alfresco over tapas.

Pale green olives burst in my mouth

with tangy delight. Cortado coffee, a

bold espresso, was far stronger and

tastier than anything back home.

Lightly spiced chickpeas tucked into

spinach, crispy toasts topped with

tomato marmalade and glasses of

red wine were the day’s fuel. I refuse

to admit just how many napolitana

de chocolate croissants I ate. Maybe

my legs were tired from exploring

so much of southern Spain, but my

senses and my taste buds were happy

as Andalusia softly sang to my heart.

Go during the weeks leading up

to Easter when large floats and

processions are being prepared

and the weather is just right.

- Rina Chandarana, Marketing and

Content Assistant

KER & DOWNEY 79


SOUTH

PACIFIC

AUSTRALIA

FIJI

FRENCH POLYNESIA

NEW ZEALAND

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy a private cruise of the

Marlborough Sounds aboard

the MV Tarquin.

NEW ZEALAND

Sample the wines of Valli Vineyards

in Central Otago, South Island.

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

80 KER & DOWNEY


AUSTRALIA

Explore Sydney Harbor from the waterfront

and the luxurious Park Hyatt.

NEW ZEALAND

Take a private technical lesson

with a golf pro on the greens at

Kauri Cliffs on North Island.

AUSTRALIA

Discover 50,000 years of indigenous

history through the stories depicted

in Aboriginal rock art.

KER & DOWNEY 81


Tahiti sunset

TAHITI

The biggest French Polynesian island delivers

surreal sunsets with silhouettes of swaying

palms and peaked islets against a pink and

purple-streaked sky. It may be a dot in the

vast Pacific, but its natural beauty and cultural

contributions are boundless. Enjoy a delicious

dinner with the sizzling sunset backdrop as

traditional Tahitian dancers shake their hips

in frilly skirts and elaborate headpieces. Their

coordinated dance performances are energetic

and accompanied by fast drum beats.


SOUTH PACIFIC

ESCAPES

It’s time you had some of the best island

experiences on earth. By Rina Chandarana

New Zealand, Hawaii, Easter Island, Tahiti and so many of

the South Pacific islands have offered inspiration and escape for

centuries. Brimming with natural beauty, the islands are home

to ancient cultures and a soulful way of life that is deeply connected

to the rhythms of the world’s vastest ocean. There are

plenty of reasons to lose yourself in these island idylls.

Marquesas Islands

MARQUESAS ISLANDS

The Marquesas are just about as far-flung as you can get with barely a footprint on their white

sand beaches, lush jungles and clear, calm lagoons. Once you arrive, you will feel like you have

discovered paradise. Jump into a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and explore the winding coast before

visiting an archaeological site in Puamau on the tip of Hiva Oa where unique Tiki statues were

unearthed. Takai is the tallest known Polynesian stone.

KER & DOWNEY 83


EASTER ISLAND

There aren’t many places that feel as

completely detached from the rest of

the planet as Easter Island, or Rapa

Nui, as it is known. The inhabited

island, with a population under

6,000 is one of the most isolated in

the world. The allure of seeing the

massive stone statues, called moai,

draws adventure seekers to this

remote spot. Some of the moai stand

32 feet tall, and there are at least 900

of them scattered around the island.

Explore the archaeological and anthropological

sites and enjoy a picnic

in the shadow of the looming figures.

PRO

TIP!

Plan ahead to go to Easter Island

in February when the Tapati

Festival recreates ancient royal

traditions. - Catherine Brown, Designer

Moai on

Easter island

84 KER & DOWNEY


Traditional

lei making in

Hawaii

HAWAII

When the Polynesians

arrived in Hawaii,

they brought their

food, medicines and

tradition of making

leis. Learn how to

make these wreaths

of flowers and vines

often given to visitors

as a symbol of peace

and greeting.

Te Puia, Rotorua

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

NEW ZEALAND

There’s a serene feeling among the lofty trees near Tane Mahuta, God of the Forest, a giant kauri tree estimated

to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old. Cape Regina, the northernmost tip of New Zealand’s North Island is

considered a spiritual place for the Maori who believe that it’s where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld.

Feel immersed in Maori culture in the Te Whakearewarewa Thermal Valley of Rotorua, a wonderland of

gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. Follow a Treetops Lodge & Estate

chef on a Maori food trail followed by a delicious lunch.

KER & DOWNEY 85


JOURNEYS

Ker & Downey's Top Itineraries

Rome, Italy

86 KER & DOWNEY


CULINARY JOURNEYS

ITINERARY

A TASTE OF ITALY

10DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

This is Ker & Downey’s quintessential Italy food and

wine tour, plating up the finest culinary delights and

bottled vintages from Tuscany, Rome and Sorrento.

With luxury villa accommodations, expert guides and

exclusive hands-on cooking classes, you will savor every

last drop of Italy’s delectable art, culture and cuisine.

SUGGESTED JOURNEY AT A GLANCE:

DAY 1-3: TUSCANY | VILLA SAN PAOLO

DAY 4-6: ROME | PARK HOTEL VILLA GRAZIOLI

DAY 7-10: SORRENTO | GRAND HOTEL DE LA VILLE

KER & DOWNEY 87


WELLNESS JOURNEYS

ITINERARY

KOREAN WELLNESS RETREAT

7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS

The legendary healing arts and beauty treatments of

Korea are yours to enjoy with Ker & Downey. Indulge

in treatments at the country’s best spas, soak in the

natural beauty of Jeju Island and go behind the scenes

with top beauty brands alongside your private guide.

SUGGESTED JOURNEY AT A GLANCE:

DAY 1: SEOUL | ORAKAI HOTEL

DAY 2-3: JEJU ISLAND | WE HOTEL

DAY 4-7: SEOUL | NOVOTEL AMBASSADOR

SEOUL YONGSANG

88 KER & DOWNEY


SOUTH KOREA

A Wonderful Land

of Contrasts

Photo of Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

Seoul is a thriving modern city that embraces its traditional past. It is amazing to walk through

this great 600 year old city and discover Buddhist Temples and Royal Palaces nestled among

sleek, high-rise buildings, creating serene oases in the midst of vibrant city life. The rest of

this country also has wonderful places to behold. From the mountains in PyeongChang, which

hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics, to the bustling beaches at Busan, to the quieter and naturally

lush UNESCO World Natural Heritage Jeju Island, Korea has something for everyone.

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include South Korea in your next custom journey.

+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


ROMANCE/HONEYMOON

ITINERARY

BALI LUXURY HONEYMOON

10DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

The Island of the Gods beckons on this 10-day

Bali luxury honeymoon, the ultimate romantic

escape. From the rice paddies of Ubud to the private

beaches of the Lombok Strait, Ker & Downey has

gathered all of Bali’s most breathtaking resorts and

secluded hideaways to create what you will no doubt

remember as the honeymoon of a lifetime.

SUGGESTED JOURNEY AT A GLANCE:

DAY 1-3: UBUD | VICEROY BALI

DAY 4-6: CANDIDASA | AMANKILA

DAY 7-10: JIMBARAN | AYANA RESORT

90 KER & DOWNEY


ESCAPE TO

Bali

Viceroy Bali is a family-owned

luxury hotel, featuring 25 stunning

private pool villas that offer

absolute privacy and unparalleled

jungle valley views. Located five

minutes from the center of Ubud,

the villas are complemented by

5-star facilities, including a worldclass

spa, fine dining restaurants

and private helipad.

V

Viceroy Bali

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include

Viceroy Bali in your next custom journey.

+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


ACTIVE/ADVENTURE

ITINERARY

ECUADOR:

THE AMAZON AND ANDES

10DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

The countryside of Ecuador comes to life on this

picturesque ten-day journey. Discover the rural

villages outside of Quito and the Amazon’s lush jungle,

and end at the doorstep of the Andean Highlands.

SUGGESTED JOURNEY AT A GLANCE:

DAY 1: QUITO | CASA GANGOTENA

DAY 2-4: OTAVALO | HACIENDA ZULETA

DAY 5-6: AMAZON | HAMADRYADE LODGE

DAY 7: QUITO | CASA GANGOTENA

DAY 8-10: COTOPAXI | HACIENDA SAN AGUSTIN DE CALLO

92 KER & DOWNEY


EXPLORE

QUITO

CASA GANGOTENA

There it awaits: a meticulously renovated colonial

mansion in the heart of Quito’s Historic Downtown.

Elegant. Stately. Grand. Reserved.

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include

Casa Gangotena in your next custom journey.

+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


LUXURY SAFARI

ITINERARY

A LUXURY KALAHARI SAFARI

13DAYS / 12NIGHTS

Exclusivity is the quintessential hallmark of this

stunning 13-day luxury Kalahari safari through

South Africa. Experience the finest boutique

accommodations and most coveted corners of natural

beauty from Cape Town and Hermanus in the south to

the Kalahari and Madikwe in the north.

SUGGESTED JOURNEY AT A GLANCE:

DAY 1-4: CAPE TOWN | ELLERMAN HOUSE

DAY 5-7: HERMANUS | GROOTBOS GARDEN LODGE

DAY 8-10: KALAHARI | TSWALU KALAHARI

DAY 11-13: MADIKWE GAME RESERVE |

MATEYA SAFARI LODGE

94 KER & DOWNEY


LUXURY SAFARI IN

SOUTH AFRICA

TSWALU KALAHARI

Tswalu guests are in search of rarity, adventure, privacy and inspirational travel.

This extraordinary property provides all of these and more.

With the emphasis on privacy and exclusivity, guests take pleasure in an authentic African wildlife

experience while they are exposed to the wonders of the Kalahari ecosystem and Tswalu’s conservation

vision. Expect to see some of Africa’s rarest and most extraordinary wildlife — including black-maned

lions, African wild dogs and pangolins — and to enjoy the flexibility of the safari experience with a

private vehicle, guide, and tracker.

A variety of game-viewing experiences includes game drives, guided bush walks, horseback safaris and

bird watching. Spend time with colonies of habituated meerkats; book a night under the Kalahari sky

at the Malori sleep-out deck; or indulge in some pampering at the Safari Spa. Visit the site of some of

the oldest Bushman rock engravings in Africa. Or take a helicopter flip to learn more about Tswalu’s

conservation efforts, and enjoy a private picnic on the peaks of the Korannaberg Mountains.

Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include

Tswalu Kalahari in your next custom journey.

+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM


THE

SHOT

ONE PICTURE, ONE MOMENT,

ONE MEMORY CAPTURED BY

PHOTOGRAPHER MARK

EDWARD HARRIS

I based myself in La Paz on Mexico’s

Baja Peninsula for an extended weekend

photographing gray whales and diving

with whale sharks. Both were incredible

experiences but for very different

reasons. One thing a still camera can’t

record is the sounds of the whales

blowing air out of their blowholes. At

times we were surrounded by whales,

and they put on a magnificent symphony.

Diving with whale sharks was

a very different (but just as intense)

experience. To be only a few feet away

from these magnificent 18- to 33-foot

creatures effortlessly gliding through

the water was humbling to say the least.

For this gray whale off the coast of Lopez

Mateo photograph, I used a Nikkor

300mm f/2.8 lens on my Nikon D850

set to 1/3200th of a second at f/10, ISO

200. Long lenses and fast shutter speeds

are the name of the game when photographing

most animals in the wild.

While in La Paz I made a pilgrimage to

Sorstis, my favorite restaurant in Baja.

One cannot live by photography alone.

Mark Edward Harris’ assignments have taken him to 98

countries on six continents. His editorial work has appeared

in publications such as Vanity Fair, Life, Time, GEO, Conde

Nast Traveler, AFAR, as well as all the major photography

and in-flight magazines. His commercial clients range from

The Gap to Coca-Cola to Mexicana Airlines. He is the recipient

of numerous awards including a CLIO, ACE, Aurora

Gold, and Photographer of the Year at the Black & White

Spider Awards. His books include Faces of the Twentieth

Century: Master Photographers and Their Work, The Way of

the Japanese Bath, Wanderlust, North Korea, South Korea,

and Inside Iran. www.MarkEdwardHarris.com

@MarkEdwardHarrisPhoto

96 KER & DOWNEY


MALARIA KILLS MORE THAN ONE MILLION PEOPLE EACH YEAR,

WITH 90% OF THEM OCCURRING IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA. 75%

OF THESE DEATHS OCCUR IN CHILDREN UNDER 5 .

OUR GOAL

TO PROVIDE 18,000 NETS TO COMMUNITIES TO HELP REDUCE THE

RISK OF LIFE-THREATENING DISEASES

DONATE

FOR EVERY NET PURCHASED KER & DOWNEY WILL DONATE A NET.

DONATE SECURELY ON OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.KERDOWNEY.COM AND

TYPE “NETS FOR AFRICA” UNDER ADD SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

TO THE SELLER.

TOGETHER WE CAN STOP THE STING OF MOSQUITO BITES


EXPERIENTIAL.

LUXURY.

TRAVEL.

Kingston treehouse at Lion Sands

Forget group tours, long lines or packaged experiences; with Ker & Downey, everything is a completely tailored

fit, and our artist’s signature is threaded throughout. Let us offer you the opportunity for something rare and

exotic, an exclusive journey that no one else can duplicate, and a one-of-a-kind adventure filled with the thrill

of experience and the luxury of privacy. This is Ker & Downey.

CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL OR VISIT US ON THE WEB AT

KERDOWNEY.COM | INFO@KERDOWNEY.COM | 800.423.4236

THE LUXURY MAGAZINE FOR WORLD TRAVELERS KERDOWNEY.COM

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