Geoffrey J.W. Kent

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"As the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies, Geoffrey Kent brings a truly extraordinary lifetime of experience, innovation and genuine passion to the world's most exclusive luxury adventure travel corporation. A pioneer of the modern luxury safari, Mr Kent has taken his company -- and his clients -- from heretofore undiscovered areas of the African continent to the furthermost reaches of the globe. Under the visionary direction of Mr Kent, Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) offers 350 tours and expeditions in more than 100 countries across seven continents. As the company has been fashioned, the common denominator among all of A&K's unforgettable journeys is an unwavering commitment to service -- to the unquestioned best in expert guides, luxurious accommodations, safety standards, commodious and unique transportation and an assiduously crafted schedule of amenities and activities that will brook no equal.

"Geoffrey Kent's life began, really, much as he lives it today -- amid excitement and adventure in an exotic location. He was born in 1942 while his parents, Colonel John and Valerie Kent, were on safari in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Growing up on the family farm in the Aberdare Highlands of Kenya, Kent's eventful childhood was spend in the splendour and drama of untamed Africa. He attended the then-new Duke of York School in Nairobi, which would ultimately produce many of Kenya's business and science leaders.

"At the tender age of 16, the fearless Kent undertook an initial solitary exploration of the African continent that would in many ways define the course of his life. On this momentous two-month trek, Kent became the first individual to travel by motorbike the 5,000 often treacherous miles between Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa.

"After attending the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Kent saw service in the British Army in such far-flung countries as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Cyprus, Libya and Malta. His distinguished armed forces career was cut relatively short as a result of hearing damage from years spent in heavy tanks.

"Back in Kenya, the irrepressibly energetic Kent joined his parents in founding Abercrombie & Kent as a luxury safari operation. By 1967, the elder Kent retired and the younger son moved full bore into turning A&K into the internationally renowned luxury travel powerhouse that it is today.

"With the innate skill of a consummate businessman and the relentless curiosity of a born explorer, Kent created a company that enables travelers to literally discover the world around them -- and to do it in a uniquely stylish manner. Africa, Antarctica, Australia and the South Pacific. The Orient, India, Europe, Egypt and the Middle East. South America, Central America and the United States. With A&K, Geoffrey Kent makes the most faraway points on the world map seem somehow more accessible and more fascinating. In effect, they draw charts for previously uncharted territories.

"Kent, and A&K, offers clients unrivaled service; from an initial travel consultation to transportation to accommodations to the ride home, A&K goes the distance. Furthermore, the company owns all of the products it uses to create these unforgettable voyages. With a fleet of these luxury products around the world, such as the four Sun Boats cruising the Nile, and A&K's own adventure cruise ship, M/S Explorer II, the A&K Hotel Group (Sanctuary Lodges) literally transports passengers to the most beautiful spots on earth. A thoroughly modern, "new millennium" approach to travel ensures state-of-the-art techniques and tours based on the clients' wandering whims and destination desires.

"The Kent formula of providing a "luxury cocoon" from which to explore the world has attracted more than 200,000 clients. A host of prominent personalities have gone away with A&K; Robert De Niro, Kim Basinger, Henry Kissinger, Diane Sawyer, President Jimmy Carter, Bill Gates and First Lady Hillary Clinton are among the literally thousands of well-known people who have journeyed to the wildest and most remote corners of the globe.

"A keen and abiding passion for wildlife preservation has marked both the career and personal life of Geoffrey Kent. Together with Jorie Butler Kent he founded the Friends of Conservation and the Abercrombie & Kent Global Foundation, both highly regarded, award-winning international organizations that seek to preserve the endangered natural environment. The two organisations do not merely impose solutions on local populations, but marshals local support to find rational, workable answers to ecological problems.

"Geoffrey Kent continues to travel the world in search of exotic destinations. In between these expeditions and forays, he became a world-known polo player; he was captain of the A&K team in the US for more than 20 years and won the US Open, the US Gold Cup and the World Cup. He served as captain and patron of the Windsor Park polo team, on which he played with HRH The Prince of Wales. He is a founder of Windsor, Vero Beach, one of Florida's most exclusive real estate developments, designed by the renowned New Urbanist town planners and architects André Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. He is also President of the Prince of Wales Foundation in the US, for which he evaluates projects of interest to the Prince Charles. Kent is a founding member of the World Travel & Tourism Council and sits on its Executive Committee. He has appeared frequently on television." [1]

In an interview he noted that his "Most decadent holiday?" "I took Sting and Trudi Styler on a private tented safari in northern Kenya. We used a Eurocopter, the quietest helicopter in the world, which minimises disturbance to wildlife and gives you a range of 300 miles." [1]

An article from 1991 notes: "The 46-year-old Kenyan is a polo player, a one-time British Army officer and a former big game hunter... The company brochures boast that Prince Charles, who met Mr. Kent through polo, is on the group's board; the Prince is a well-known conservationist." [2]

"Geoffrey is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies. Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) operates over 50 global offices, offering 350 tours and expeditions in more than 100 countries across seven continents. Geoffrey has an extraordinary lifetime of experience, innovation and passion for luxury adventure travel and a deep understanding of the travel industry in Africa. "[2]

In answer to the question "How did you get into Uganda so early?" He responds: "When [Ugandan President Yoweri] Museveni was coming into power, I went in with a bunch of SAS guys, who called me and said, “Hey, Geoff, do you want come and to do a little trip into Uganda?” We got on this little plane and when we arrived we found Museveni, who was still in his fatigues, like he was running a revolution. I said to him, “Listen, if you ever get in, I know there are a lot of gorillas down in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.” (I was one of the first to find them — in fact long before [American zoologist] Dian Fossey ever found them.)" [3]

In 2010 he was the president of the Prince of Wales Foundation (USA). ("The company run by the controversial boss of Prince Charles’s U.S. charity has agreed a multi-million-pound payout to hundreds of people who invested in a timeshare scheme.") [4]

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References

  1. Geoffrey J.W. Kent, World Travel and Tourism Council, accessed June 21, 2010.
  2. Stop Ivory Panel of Advisors, organizational web page, accessed March 10, 2019.