Travel Journal: Geoffrey Kent

Geoffrey Kent

Geoffrey Kent

Name: Geoffrey Kent
Occupation: Founder, chairman, and CEO of international luxury travel company, Abercrombie & Kent

What is the first trip you remember taking?

At 16, I was kicked out of school in Nairobi for owning a motorbike, so I took it and rode all the way to Cape Town. I sold my story to a newspaper and got paid enough to sail first-class back to Kenya.

Where do you consider as home? I live in Monaco, but Kenya is where I grew up and return to again and again.

How would you describe your packing style? Ruthless. One suitcase, that’s it.

What do you never travel without? My satellite phone and Louis Vuitton briefcase, a 1972 Président Classeur. I use it as a substitute for weights with exercises every morning.

What is your preferred mode of transportation? Private jet—lie-flat seats, a crew who knows your preferences, and the freedom to go anywhere.

What has been your biggest travel mishap? I was on safari in the Masai Mara with Richard Burton when I heard a roar. Four lions were killing a buffalo in our campfire. I upended the table, sending china and crystal flying, and gathered everyone behind it as a barricade. Burton thought I had planned the whole thing and wanted to do it again the next day.

Do you have a favorite place you’ve visited? Anywhere in Africa. It seeps under your skin.

Who is your ideal travel companion? My wife Otavia, who’s as adventurous as I am.

What is your biggest travel pet peeve? Over packing.

And favorite
 souvenir? An African kikoi, or cotton wrap, that can be used as a pillow, pajamas, a blanket, a towel…

How many countries have you visited? 170.

Which destination surprised you the most? The Pantanal in Brazil. It has more jaguars than anywhere else on earth.

Where do you want to go next? Palau, to dive with schools of jellyfish that don’t sting, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to see bonobos.

What lessons have you learned from traveling? If more of the world’s decision makers traveled, there would be less conflict.

No matter where you are, what makes you feel at home? A good espresso. 
—As told to Gabrielle Lipton

Masai Mara Sunrise Safari

A sunrise safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara

This article originally appeared in the June/July print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Journal: Geoffrey Kent”).

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