This New Luxury Travel Company Features Carbon-neutral Trips to the Dolomites, Victoria Falls, Amazon, and More

Written by on April 9, 2024

Brit Sarah Dusek and her American husband Jacob Dusek have always viewed the world through a lens of possibilities. The couple met in Taipei, Taiwan, nearly two decades ago and started out raising their two sons in Montana — all while they launched what has become one of the preeminent glamping companies in the country, Under Canvas. It disrupted the old standards of rustic camping and replaced it with chic, eco-friendly safari-style tents against the background of some of the most iconic U.S. destinations.

Now they’ve taken that same mindful model of meaningful outdoor experiences into the luxury travel space, debuting a new brand last month: Few & Far. It’s a sustainable company dedicated to carbon-neutral exploration. “The heart of all of it is the magical connection there is when people connect with nature in extraordinary ways,” Sarah Dusek told Travel + Leisure.

Each of the 30 itineraries available on the site right now are ones that someone from the Dusek family has experienced first-hand, providing a personal level of curation and paired with a focus on putting sustainability first.

Among her favorite trips offered are the Rwanda Gorilla Trek and Masai Mara Wildlife Adventure, a 12-day itinerary with visits to Kigali and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Masai Mara in Kenya, and Zanzibar in Tanzania. She took a group of female CEOs on the journey last October, saying that “it was absolutely mind-blowing and extraordinary” and that “every single woman on the trip said it was by far the most incredible trip she’s been on.”

Another highlight is the five-day San Juan Islands Tented Camp Experience, a tailored group trip with accommodations set up specifically for each group. On Sarah Dusek’s own visit, she took about eight female CEOs there for a “boutique, five-star tented experience under the stars on a farm,” where they arrived by seaplane and then sea kayaked, hiked, and enjoyed outdoor farm-to-table dinners. The best part: every person could rest assured that their stay used 70 percent less water consumption than staying at an average hotel.

Her own family traveled last Christmas inspired the Enchanting Southern Africa itinerary, a 12-day getaway from Cape Town up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, before heading to a houseboat on the Chobe River in Botswana. “It was so special because you could be right on the water watching the wildlife morning, noon, and night,” she said. “The boys could fish and we could traverse up and down the Zambezi, experiencing a different view each day.”

After that, the trip boards the luxurious Rovos Rail through Hwange National Park in Bulawayo to Pretoria, before ending in Johannesburg.

Having test-driven every single one of the itineraries on her own is what makes Few & Far’s curation so special. “All of these are very personal to us,” Sarah Dusek said. “They’re an expression of who we are — and we love to share them.”

Launching a new travel company was never the intention, with the Duseks selling off Under Canvas in 2019 and moving their family to Cape Town, where they worked as venture capitalists helping empower and fund female entrepreneurs. But they continued to be avid travelers, committed to exposing their sons, now 12 and 15, to as many cultures and perspectives as possible.

During a trip to the Forgotten Mountain’s remote region in northern South Africa’s Limpopo province along the Zimbabwe border, they knew they had stumbled upon something special in UNESCO’s Vhembe Biosphere Reserve. Soon, they had bought a 10,000-acre space, where they’re now set to debut as the 60-room Few & Far Luvhondo eco-lodge at the end of this year. Inspired by weaver bird nests, the site will include a solar-powered aerial experience with a cable car system featuring a 40-kilometer (about a 25-mile) track to provide a uniquely immersive way to explore the African bush and its wildlife.

“We hadn’t planned on coming back to the commercial travel space again, but are still so passionate about travel and we still love curating extraordinary experiences,” Sarah Dusek said. “We kept thinking about the safari experience and how to reimagine it for our children and how we could incorporate conservation and travel.”

That forward-thinking eco-first philosophy is what drives all of the Duseks’ efforts. “Outdoor tourism can do so much good,” Sarah Dusek said. “There can be so much harmony with creating an economy, stimulating jobs, preserving wildlife, making sure that our habitats are protected, and that we don’t lose biodiversity.”

In fact, through a combination of conservation efforts — largely from tree planting, as well as wetlands management, rewilding, and restoring — the eco-lodge should be on track to sequester as much as 100,000 more tons of carbon a year than it currently does. That’s especially meaningful since the 10,000 acres they own have more biodiversity than in all of Europe.

Additionally, she started looking at the possibilities of helping the rural people, many of whom live in poverty and are generating a revenue stream through tourism. “You start educating people about the difference of what happens when we conserve and protect the land and start investing in the people and then you start to ripple effects in so many levels,” she said.

Ultimately, what drives Sarah Dusek is her own dedication to instilling these values in her kids. “I want to show my kids how extraordinary our planet is and I want them to fall in love with it,” she said. “When you’re out in it, magic happens and the chances of falling in love with the planet are infinitely greater.”

All of those facets come together in each of the trips through Few & Far — and she hopes that every traveler will be taken by the impact of their adventures. “Travel changes us and has the power to change a belief pattern,” she said. “It shows us that the way we live is not the way everyone lives and maybe not the right way to live.”

In particular that happens the most when she’s out on the great outdoors. “The more time I have spent in the natural world, the more I learn about the people, behaviors, patterns, and cultures in our world,” she said. “That makes us richer and gives us all a chance to realize gosh, all the little things matter.”


Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current track