Wonderlust’s Top 100 – 2019: We’re always honored when our selection is included. (No. 50)
Travel with Purpose – So called Voluntourism is much more than a hot travel trend, it’s incredibly fulfilling.
Chenin Blanc – Rebirth of the Cool by Darren Humphreys
Meet Mala Mala’s Superstar – Michael Pillay – aka Mikey Cocktail – Interview by Darren Humphreys
Darren shares how luxury travel has evolved. He states, “Discerning luxury travelers have developed a collective conscience. They no longer covet luxury for luxury’s sake. Key for them is to travel in a purposeful, sustainable and mindful way and engage in hands-on experiences.”
Darren offers insight into adding the educational experience of Nelson Mandela to trips to South Africa.
“For adults this is an opportunity to understand the life and times of a global icon who was likely leading one of the most significant struggles during their lifetimes. For children this is a chance to learn lessons of forgiveness, humility and nation building,”
“Darren and Caitlin were fortunate to spend time with journalist Todd Pitock in Botswana while he researched this important article.”
The “Great Migration” is a spectacular sight, there’s no denying that. But with the herds of animals come waves of khaki-clad, snap-happy tourists. And many people are so hooked on the idea of getting a front-row seat to Africa’s greatest wildlife show that they don’t realize that the post-migration period is just as good—if not better.
Boston Globe: His tours of Africa feature plenty of rhinos and wine
South Africans love to declare Elon Musk one of their own. But the Tesla chief apparently has little love for his homeland. South African Darren Humphreys, now of Duxbury, feels differently. For him, the country’s poverty, corruption, high unemployment, and continuing social inequality — while serious endemic issues — don’t overwhelm the innate richness of South Africa. Humphreys is founder of Travel Sommelier — a custom travel agency that curates luxury safari and wine tours — and he believes tourism can help generate economic growth in South Africa. The former investment banker and bond trader supports wineries run by black — or “coloured” — business people, and encourages visits to both the disadvantaged Cape Flats as well as the wine land of Franschhoek.
Duxbury residents Darren and Caitlin Humphreys, owners of the luxury travel concierge company Travel Sommelier, spend their days coordinating elaborate vacations for VIP clients. We sat down with Darren to learn more about his love for wildlife safaris, South African wines and his new role at the Duxbury Food & Wine Festival.
Father’s Day Boston Globe: Botswana with a Purpose
Has dad ever mentioned going on a safari? Duxbury-based Travel Sommelier, a high-end travel company, offers custom trips that combine safaris with conservation efforts — including a new experience that allows guests to not only get close to a variety of wildlife but go on a mission with the country’s national rhinoceros coordinator to assist efforts to thwart rhinoceros poaching. Guests will partake in a hands-on expedition as they track, tranquilize, and equip the rhino with electronic monitoring devices to protect against poachers. The next rhino-focused excursion is Nov. 9-18. Cost is $9,525 per person (includes a $500 donation to the Wilderness Wildlife Trust for the Rhino Relocation Project) for the one-week excursion/conservation effort.
Dentist’s Money Digest: Tag and Track Rhinos in Africa
You and dad can help conserve the endangered white or black rhino on a heart-thumping adventure through the bush. After tracking the prehistoric-looking animal, you assist rangers and a veterinarian in tranquilizing the rhino, taking blood samples and inserting a microchip into his horn. If that horn ends up with poachers, the chip proves their guilt. Before the massive animal awakes, run your hands across his thick folds of skin. At select times of the year, several African lodges offer tracking and tagging safaris such, as Kwandwe, a private game reserve in South Africa and certain & Beyond lodges. Add this adventure to your safari in Africa. Contact Travel Sommelier.
Darren and Emeril Lagasse Join Forces.
Darren and Emeril Lagasse build a bridge joining their mutual focus on food, wine and giving back. Travel Sommelier has teamed up with Emeril in New Orleans and Destin, Florida to help underprivileged children learn cooking skills both to use at home and as a professional vocation. Darren and Emeril enjoyed some good barbecue along the way!
Travel Sommelier featured in the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s Donor Spotlight
Darren and Caitlin Humphreys live and work in Duxbury when they’re not traveling the world as part of their business, Travel Sommelier, a consultant destination firm focusing on luxury non-hunting safaris and bespoke wine and food tourism. Darren Humphreys, 49, a South African native, founded the business in 2011 with his wife, an attorney; she came into it full time in 2015, and they relocated the business from Connecticut to her hometown of Duxbury in December.
Travel Sommelier offers travel expertise to those who want to travel in style
A Magical Evening with Rwanda’s Silverback Mountain Gorillas
In partnership with our inspired client Elaine Falkenberg, Travel Sommelier hosted a night at the Stamford Yacht Club dedicated to Rwanda and its treasured gorillas. Titled “A Magical Evening with Rwanda’s Silverback Mountain Gorillas”, the event lived up to its name. Guests were inspired by Elaine’s personal video documenting her visit to Rwanda https://vimeo.com/188806007 and by speaker Edwin Sabuhoro, a native of Rwanda who is currently a PhD candidate at Clemson University. Edwin emphasized the importance of giving Rwandan poachers alternative means to support their families. The turnout was incredible and we thank everyone who attended!
Carnivale du Vin
Travel Sommelier was proud to be a VIP sponsor of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s 2016 Carnival du Vin in New Orleans. Emeril Lagasse is not onlyan extraordinary chef and entertainer, he has a heart of gold. We witnessed this first-hand in New Orleans the weekend of November 8. Emeril and his wife Alden humbly (sans press) threw an incredible fundraiser to benefit extraordinary causes focused on helping children and offering trade and lifestyle skills through cooking. The children at St. Michael’s school melted our hearts and the company throughout the weekend was top-notch. Travel Sommelier auctioned off not one, but two, African Safaris at the Gala fundraiser! We send out a big thank you to Emeril and his dedicated crew.
Men’s Fitness profiles Travel Sommelier’s Rhino Tagging Safari in their Travel for Good: Voluntourism Safaris
On this adrenaline-pumping rhino encounter drive through the plains of Kwandwe, a 54,000-acre private game reserve on South Africa’s Eastern Cape. With the aid of helicopter surveillance, you, the game manager, and a veterinarian, track the endangered animal, temporarily disabling him with a tranquilizer gun. Once he’s down, your team has 20-minutes to implant a tracking microchip on his rump and to drill into his horn (not painful) to insert another chip that will incriminate poachers if caught carrying that horn. Before the 5,100-pound behemoth awakes, glide your hands across his thick skin and stroke his soft muzzle. Then climb aboard a helicopter to follow your rhino by air as he lumbers to his feet and dashes away. Explore the reserve on five more game drives, spotting bushbuck, elephant, giraffe and other animals.
Boston Medical Center raises over $4 million dollars at its 20th Anniversary Gala, featuring a trip donated by Travel Sommelier as a premium auction item!
On Saturday, May 14, Boston Medical Center held its annual Gala at the Seaport World Trade Center. Travel Sommelier was proud to donate a stellar safari/wine/beach trip to Southern Africa, which contributed to record setting night of fundraising in Boston. The mission of BMC is to provide exceptional care without to the people of Greater Boston. It is a special institution that is run and supported by a truly impressive group of individuals!
Travel Sommelier donates a luxury wine, food and safari trip to Boston’s Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.
The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, the theatrein residence at Babson College, held its annual gala at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston on Saturday, April 16. The theme for 2016 was Love on the Rocks and performances by CSC artists did not disappoint. Travel Sommelier was proud to donate a trip as a feature auction item in orderto support CSC’s outreach and education programs, such as its free Shakespeare on the Common summer productions, that bring the arts to all of Boston regardless of financial barriers.
Travel Sommelier Celebrates our 5th Anniversary!
Thank you to so many of our loyal clients and friends who joined us on Saturday night, April 2nd, to wish Travel Sommelier Happy Birthday! We celebrated in style with champagne and wine from the Moreson Winery, South African samoosas and other savory treats, and most importantly, animated conversationand cheer. We look forward to celebrating with youall again in another five years time!
Travel Sommelier hosts Map Ives, acclaimed rhinoceros conservationist.
On February 13, 2016, Map Ives, here all the way from Botswana to Connecticut, addressed Travel Sommelier clients regarding the war he is waging against poachers to save the rhinoceros. Map is pioneering the relocation of black and white rhinos at danger in areas of Southern Africa to a safer haven in Botswana. Guests were deeply moved by Map’s discussion and fired-up to aid in rhino conservation. We hope that all will spread the word and become ambassadors for Map’s efforts. Thank you to Map and Wilderness Safaris for the privilege of hosting this meaningful discussion.
Travel Sommelier donates a trip to benefit the Frankie Lemmon School at the Triangle Wine Experience in Raleigh-Durham, NC.
Darren took the stage on February 6, 2016 at the always impressive Triangle Wine Experience Gala to benefit a local development center for children with special needs. At the live auction, Travel Sommelier raised an impressive donation for the school by gifting a wine and safari trip to Southern Africa. Babylonstoren, one of our favorite vineyards in the Cape Winelands, joined an impressive collection of wineries pouring top-shelf bottles at the event.
Darren takes guests on “A Journey Through Southern Africa” in New York City.
Travel Sommelier’s loyal clients and friends, in addition to many new faces, joined us at the Scandinavia House in New York City on January 14, 2016. Guests tasted unique South African wines poured by Dane Friedman from the Moreson Winery, located in the Franschhoek region of South Africa. Darren gave a spectacular presentation discussing the character and allure of five countries in Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. Thank you to all of our guests for the fabulous turn-out and conversation.
Darren sits on the “Focus onCulinary Tourism” panel at the New York Times Travel Show.
On January 8, 2016, Darren served on a panel at The New York Times Travel Show dedicated to culinary tourism. Darren spoke about the latest trends and hot destinations for wine and lifestyle travel in 2016. Travel Sommelier thanks Chef Douglas Duda for recognizing Darren’s expertise in food and wine tourism and asking him to sit on the panel.
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