More About Geoffrey Kent
Apr 01, 2009
As head 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 and co-owner, Jorie Butler Kent, Abercrombie & Kent offers small group escorted journeys in more than 100 countries across seven continents. As they have fashioned their company, 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, unique and proprietary transportation modes and an assiduously-crafted schedule of amenities and insider access experiences.
Geoffrey Kent's life began, really, much as he lives it today-amid excitement and adventure in an exotic location. He was born 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 spent in the splendor 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 such far-flung countries as Bahrain, Kuwait and Malta. His distinguished armed forces career was cut relatively short as a result of hearing damage from years spent in heavy artillery 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.
In the 1970s, Geoffrey Kent, who by then had long been the Managing Director of the company, entered into partnership with Jorie Ford Butler of Oak Brook, Illinois to run A&K. To this day, they travel the world in search of the kinds of adventures that will surprise and thrill their clients. Under their passionate and visionary guidance -- Geoffrey Kent serves as Executive Chairman, Jorie Butler Kent as Vice Chairman -- Abercrombie & Kent represents the uncompromising best at every turn in the road.
A&K guides explorations to such regions of the world as Africa, Antarctica, Australia, the South Pacific, the Orient, India, Europe, Egypt, the Middle East, South America, Central America and the United States. A&K makes the most faraway points in the world more accessible.
Geoffrey Kent, and A&K, offer clients unrivaled service. From an initial consultation to transportation, accommodations, and the ride home, A&K goes the distance. The company owns many of the products it uses to create its unforgettable holidays and has introduced many experiences now considered the best in travel. This luxury portfolio includes Sanctuary Lodges & Camps in Africa, three Sun Boats on the Nile, the world-famous Royal Scotsman train, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express trains and river cruisers in Europe and Asia. A "new millennium" approach to travel promotes cultural understanding and insures privileged access for guests on both small group escorted and tailor made programs.
The Kent formula of providing a "luxury cocoon" from which to explore the world attracts prominent guests as diverse as James Brolin, Kristin Davis, Bill Gates, John Grisham, Tom Hanks, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Goldie Hawn, Lauren Hutton, Sharon Lawrence, Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson, Rachael Ray, Diane Sawyer, Jane Seymour, Barbara Walters, Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey. These high-profile travelers are among the literally thousands of well-known people who have journeyed to the wildest and most remote corners of the globe with A&K.
A keen and abiding passion for wildlife preservation has been the centerpiece of the careers and personal lives of Geoffrey Kent and Jorie Butler Kent. In 1982 they founded Friends of Conservation, a highly regarded, award-winning international organization that seeks to preserve endangered wildlife and habitats in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Today A&K’s worldwide conservation efforts are coordinated by Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy. The organization facilitates A&K’s commitment to socially and ecologically responsible travel worldwide, as well as helping our guests to become actively involved in these efforts. Additional details on these efforts can be found at www.akphilanthropy.org.
The two principals continue to travel the world in search of exotic destinations. In between these expeditions and forays, Geoffrey Kent became a world-renowned polo player; he was captain of the A&K team in the US for more than 20 years and twice 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. He is President of The Prince of Wales Foundation in the US. He is also a Governor of the Aviation, Travel and Tourism Sector of the World Economic Forum. Kent was recently elected Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies comprises 62 offices around the world employing more than 2,300 travel professionals.