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.
ROYAL AIR MAROC
SOUTH AFRICAN 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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 KER & DOWNEY
LATEST TRAVELS AND EXPERIENCES
FROM OUR DESIGNERS
Where were you last?
What was your most amazing
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.
Where were you last?
What was your most amazing
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Travel that gives back
across the globe
Openings, revamps and
the latest travel news
Insider secrets of
One memory captured
Mark Edward Harris
Top itineraries from
Ker & Downey
NORTH AFRICA &
EDITOR IN CHIEF
MARK EDWARD HARRIS
ON THE COVER:
Swimming in a waterfall
pool in Lihue, Kauai
Credit: Hawaii Tourism
Authority (HTA) /
NORTHERN & WESTERN
EASTERN & SOUTHERN
SALT OF THE EARTH
SOUTH PACIFIC ESCAPES
TAHITI, MARQUESAS ISLANDS,
NEW ZEALAND, EASTER
ISLAND AND HAWAII
ON THE WEB
KER & DOWNEY 7
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.
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.
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
Photos courtesy of Mara Elephant Project | Galo Plaza Lasso
Foundation | AboutAsia Schools | David Marek | Grootbos
Private Nature Reserve
8 KER & DOWNEY
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.
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.
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
KER & DOWNEY 9
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
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.
Eat a traditional meal
with a Rwandan family,
pick out colorful fabrics
in the market or spend
time with a farmer. This
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
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.
There are very few places
left on earth that feel as
pristine and untouched
by mankind as these
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
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
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
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
Photos courtesy of Bairro Alto Hotel | COMO Hotels and Resorts | Infinity Luxury Yacht | Six Senses | iStock | St. Regis
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
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
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
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
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
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.
along the river
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
Insider Secrets of Luxury Travel
18 KER & DOWNEY
BY MARTINE BURY
Photos courtesy of Mark Edward Harris
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
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
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
How do you capture an emotional
quality in an up-close animal
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
Is capturing a great moment luck
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
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
KER & DOWNEY 19
What tips do you have for shooting
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
The World of Ker & Downey
KER & DOWNEY 23
Embark on a photographic safari
with a wildlife photography expert.
Volunteer with local
hospitals, schools or a
24 KER & DOWNEY
Photos courtesy of iStock | Little Chem Chem | Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp | Nyungwe House, a partner hotel of One&Only | Ol Jogi
Interact with the Mursi, Hamer and Karo peoples
in Omo Valley, home to eighteen diverse tribes.
Take a private helicopter tour of lakes
Turkana and Logipi, Mount Kenya and
the highlands of Aberdare National Park.
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.
Trek under the canopy in Nyungwe
Forest National Park, home to 25
percent of Africa’s primate species.
Gorilla trekking at
Gorilla Forest Camp
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
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
Falls by boat.
Photos courtesy of Gorilla Forest Camp | Baker's Lodge | Ishasha Wilderness Camp | iStock
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
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.
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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.
plunge pool is a
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
A mother and
her child in
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.
Pack light-weight, quickdrying
that can be tucked into
sturdy hiking boots.
- Cherie Tann, Designer
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
Sail the Indian ocean in an
authentic Arabian dhow.
Take in the marvel of the Okavango
Delta on a private helicopter tour.
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Hike the coastal Oystercatcher Trail
to spot rare birds and sea life.
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
View the famous red dunes and dramatic desert
landscapes of Sossusvlei from a hot air balloon.
See the mighty Victoria Falls
on a sundowner cruise.
KER & DOWNEY 31
Guests on a walking safari at
Victoria Falls River Lodge
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
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
Park; Right: A
stunning suite at
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
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.
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A mother elephant
with her young
at Greater Mana
Falls at sunset;
suite at Victoria
Falls River Lodge
Of course, you can’t travel
to Zimbabwe without visiting
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
KER & DOWNEY 35
await at Singita
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.
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Luxury African Safari
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
& MIDDLE EAST
Hop on board a luxury yacht
from Muscat’s marina.
Shop in a Tel Aviv
market and learn to
cook the ingredients
with a local chef.
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Explore the desert canyon
Learn how to
extract argan oil,
an important family
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Share a meal with an expert on Arab
and Emirati culture.
Photos courtesy of iStock | Jordan Tourism Board | Ker & Downey
Find out how the Sphinx
was carved from a single
mass of limestone from
a leading Egyptologist.
The spa at Lazib Inn
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
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.
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
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
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
in Siwa Oasis
See pristine coral reefs, swim with
dolphins, dive among Taka Makassar’s
Manta Rays or trek Komodo Island.
Dive the deep with
whale sharks, the
ocean’s gentle giants.
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Take a helicopter ride
over Phang Nga Bay
to a private beach for
canoeing and snorkeling.
Experience a warm welcome from traditional
dancers followed by dinner and live music at
a French villa in Ho Chi Minh City.
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.
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
homes in Kanazawa
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
1639, Araya Totoan
has been owned by
the Maeda family
for 18 generations.
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
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
tradition at Palace
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
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
Chinatown and enjoy
a performance at the
ARTS at Marks Garage.
50 KER & DOWNEY
See a pizzaiolo spin a pie
from scratch in Brooklyn.
Learn more about the
origins of the Declaration
of Independence in the
city of Philadelphia.
KER & DOWNEY 51
Hall Band in
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
KER & DOWNEY 53
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.
Jr. in 1964
Take time to watch the resident
ducks walk the red carpet at
the Peabody Hotel — a longstanding
-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.
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
peforming at The
Grand Ole Opry
KER & DOWNEY 55
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
Glamp on the beaches of
Isla Espiritu Santo in the
Gulf of California.
56 KER & DOWNEY
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
Venture out on a horseback ride to spot the
endangered wildlife of the lush Ibera Wetlands.
Surround yourself in the beautiful Andean
landscape aboard the new 360° Machu
Enjoy a traditional picnic lunch on the
shores of Lake Titicaca’s Sun Island.
KER & DOWNEY 57
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
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
KER & DOWNEY 59
The Arco de
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
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
up the sky at
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
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.
a giant kite
for Dia de los
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
Discover the surreal song of the planet’s
driest desert in vast, enchanting Chile.
By Elizabeth Frels
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
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
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
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 Rapa Nui
explora Valle Sagrado
TRAVESIAS, NOMADIC JOURNEYS
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
include the Explora in your next custom journey.
+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
NORTHERN & WESTERN
Visit an Inuit settlement to learn
about traditional fishing techniques.
Embrace the national dress
with a bespoke kilt fitting.
66 KER & DOWNEY
Enjoy a family-friendly treasure
hunt inside the Louvre.
Photos courtesy of iStock | Royal Fingal Yacht
Drive through Salzburg’s idyllic
countryside in a vintage Rolls Royce.
Shop for weird and wonderful trinkets
at the Soviet Flea Market in Tallin.
Sip on local beer on an
artisanal brewery tour.
KER & DOWNEY 67
A sprawling, birdseye
view of Berlin
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
at Berlin's East
" IF YOU DIVE
DEEPER BEYOND THE
STEREOTYPES AND ONE-
YOU MIGHT JUST FIND
YOURSELF LIKE ME
— WITH SHATTERED
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
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
There is also an immense respect for seafood I never
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.
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
KER & DOWNEY 71
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
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
Delve deeper into Germany with Ker &
Downey’s quintessential food-lovers guide
and explore every corner of the country.
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.
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
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.
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
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).
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.
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 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.
Follow the German Wine Route
from the famous Dürkheim
Barrel in Bad Dürkheim to the
German Wine Gate of Schweigen-Rechtenbach.
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.
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
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.
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
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
to northern Germany between
September and March each year.
72 KER & DOWNEY
Enjoying wine at
King of Söl'ring
Photos courtesy of GNTB/Deutsches Weininstitut, Jens Wegener
EASTERN & SOUTHERN
Take in a spellbinding whirling
dervish show in Cappadocia.
View bears in the
home to over 45
percent of Europe’s
74 KER & DOWNEY
Get lost in the rhythm of flamenco at a
private masterclass and performance.
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
Stay in a medieval castle hidden
away in the Caucasus Mountains.
Meet the resident beekeeper of Nafplio
and taste his award-winning honey.
El Alhambra in Granada
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
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
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
homes at sunset
78 KER & DOWNEY
View of Seville
from the Cathedral
Photos courtesy of iStock
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
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,
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.
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
KER & DOWNEY 79
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Enjoy a private cruise of the
Marlborough Sounds aboard
the MV Tarquin.
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
Explore Sydney Harbor from the waterfront
and the luxurious Park Hyatt.
Take a private technical lesson
with a golf pro on the greens at
Kauri Cliffs on North Island.
Discover 50,000 years of indigenous
history through the stories depicted
in Aboriginal rock art.
KER & DOWNEY 81
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.
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.
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
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.
Plan ahead to go to Easter Island
in February when the Tapati
Festival recreates ancient royal
traditions. - Catherine Brown, Designer
84 KER & DOWNEY
lei making in
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
Te Puia, Rotorua
Photos courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme | New Zealand Tourism, Julian-Apse | iStock
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
Ker & Downey's Top Itineraries
86 KER & DOWNEY
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
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
88 KER & DOWNEY
A Wonderful Land
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
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
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.
Contact Ker & Downey or your travel specialist to include
Viceroy Bali in your next custom journey.
+1 800-423-4236 | KERDOWNEY.COM
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
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
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
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
ONE PICTURE, ONE MOMENT,
ONE MEMORY CAPTURED BY
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
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 .
TO PROVIDE 18,000 NETS TO COMMUNITIES TO HELP REDUCE THE
RISK OF LIFE-THREATENING DISEASES
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
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