If the journey to Africa is a tad too far flung, book the also-exclusive yet closer to home alternative: the $150,000 so-called West Coast Safari, courtesy of private jet charter company Latitude 33 Aviation. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a frequent traveler on their luxury fleet, in part because of the crew and pilots’ professionalism. “I always feel like there’s a personal touch right when we arrive,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s been first class from the top down every time we fly with them.”
So what exactly is involved in a Bombardier Challenger 350 adventure that stretches from SoCal up to British Columbia, down to Los Cabos and back again? For one, a handful of elite five-star hotels. There may not be the proliferation of opulent tents as on an African savanna, but the itinerary includes some of the finest properties in the west. Think a forested bungalow at John Legend’s Napa go-to Meadowood, a cliffside ocean-view suite at Cabo’s Resort at Pedregal (where Jared Leto, Lady Gaga and Nicole Kidman have bedded down) and Jackson Hole’s intimate new Caldera House, which recently hosted Olivia Culpo and Gigi Hadid.
It wouldn’t be a quote-unquote safari without some wildlife sightings, and accordingly, there is a chance to spot whales from a float plane en route to a remote hot spring in Tofino, on Vancouver Island (the spectacular stay there is Hollywood-loved Wickaninnish Inn), as well as a black bear-watching boat tour.
In Cabo San Lucas, swim with whale sharks and supper along with sea lions. Other leisure activities include a luxury sailboat trip in Santa Barbara, a private tour of Hearst Castle, watercolor painting lessons in Big Sur, a hot air balloon flight over wine country, a horse-whispering demo, fly-fishing, brunch at sea, and golf at Torrey Pines.
Plenty of culinary experiences and pampering are on the docket, too, thanks to properties such as Rancho Valencia Resort Spa — popular with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Bill Gates — where tequila tasting and dinner take place in a hidden wine cave after an afternoon at the spa.
The trip is fully customizable and stops can be added or subtracted (Kauai is an additional leg option beginning in 2020), but the starting point is a 16-day itinerary for four (the jet holds up to nine passengers), starting at a breezy $150,000.