Priced at £125,975, this globe-spanning private jet safari with Abercrombie & Kent promises epic encounters with rare and endangered wildlife. Olivia Palamountain reports
Luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) is taking bookings for what can only be described as the “trip of a lifetime” – a global wildlife safari from the privacy and glamour of a private jet.
Taking place from February 3 to 26, 2022, Wildlife Safari: Around the World by Private Jet will be a 24-day multi-destination adventure in search of the world’s most amazing wildlife.
The trip circles the globe by chartered private jet to experience one rewarding wildlife encounter after another: from Madagascar’s playful lemurs and the placid whale sharks of the Philippines to endangered mountain gorillas and the iconic Big Five.A&K has curated each of these up-close wildlife experiences and combined them into one remarkable journey. At a cost of £125,975 per person, the price tag is pretty remarkable too.
Tapping into the trend for extreme luxury adventures, the world’s high-net-worth individuals will also be tempted by the privacy and safety angle here. In a post-Covid world, their priorities will be different.
“Space and privacy will be at a premium, so it’s easy to see how journeys will change…” PC Agency CEO Paul Charles writes for Globetrender. “There’s pent-up demand to travel in style again, especially for the 60 plus demographic, as missing out on a year of travel is a major deal.”As Henry Cookson of Cookson Adventures tells Globetrender: “These people don’t just want to go on holiday – they want to truly explore. That’s why the concept of ‘world firsts’ is so important – the unique nature of doing something that has never been done before appeals to our clients’ curious side.
“They have busy lives and are already well-travelled, which is why they come to us; to explore places they’ve never been, go where no human has gone and come away from their travels having learned something new.”
Every stop on the A&K tour provides an opportunity to encounter iconic and often critically endangered animals in their natural habitats and meet with leading conservation experts, including a gorilla doctor, the founder of the Bornean Sunbear Conservation Centre and the president of the Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates de Madagascar.A dedicated “Photo Enrichment Coach” will be on hand to help make the most of every wildlife encounter, with tips and advice for capturing animals in the wild.
Further activities and personalised experiences are included too, from active outdoor excursions and enriching cultural encounters to relaxing wellness experiences.
While in Cebu, for example, guests can swim with whale sharks or enjoy 18 holes of golf. In Japan they can enjoy an evening with geishas. In India, they can tour the historic Ranthambore Fort, savour the spices of Indian cuisine during a private cooking lesson or check in for a pampering session at a luxury spa.One of A&K’s most experienced tour directors orchestrates the journey from start to finish, with assistance on the ground from tour managers and local guides who entertain guests in small groups of no more than 16. An onboard physician will also travel with the party throughout the journey.Deluxe accommodation throughout the trip includes stays at the Peninsula Tokyo and the Oberoi Vanyavilas in Ranthambhore, as well as under-the-radar gems such as Angama Mara, overlooking the Masai Mara, and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest and Bisate Lodge in Rwanda, reserved exclusively for A&K private jet guests.
Prior to departure, guests can save time and hassle with A&K’s “White Glove Visa” and “Passport Handling”, a concierge service that expedites visa and passport applications.
Onboard A&K’s chartered Boeing 757 guests can expect custom-designed Italian leather seats that open to fully lie-flat beds, an open bar with fine wine and spirits and a suitably luxurious meal service, served by cabin crew with a crew-to-guest ratio of 1:6.
Amenities include noise-cancelling headphones and curated entertainment selected to complement the itinerary.
Another company tempting tourists with the promise of socially-distanced private jet adventures in Africa is SkySafari. Re-launching in May 2021 (after having postponed operations in 2020), Sky Safari’s latest itinerary encompasses the highlights of East Africa and extended schedules for Kenya and Tanzania, from the comfort of a Cessna Caravan private plane.
Direct flights meet top-class guides and luxurious camps and lodges in a 13-day trip that combines two African safari giants in one seamless journey. All-inclusive journeys starting from US$9,900 (£7,279) per person.
Before the pandemic, private jets were often shunned due to their carbon footprint but with a new focus on personal health, Globetrender predicts usage will rocket.
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