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May 2019

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Shenzhen by Range Rover Sport PHEV | A first drive in the new Range Rover Evoque | Mid-century modernist architecture in Germany | George Bamford on what makes true luxury | Meet moon-walker Charlie Duke | Carnival subculture in Brazil


P SURVIVE THIS WILD ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS Alan McSmith, a safari guide at South Africa’s Kruger National Park, stars in a now-viral social media video, where he stands his ground against a charging bull elephant. We speak to him to understand what it took. “You cannot figure out the intelligence and complexity of an elephant at a cursory glance. You have to spend time with them, track them on foot. This particular encounter was quite unique. But it’s not about standing up to an elephant in some Rambo style of guiding. I would be hesitant about using the video in any educational sense. “It was a walk without rifles, which is fairly unusual. As the encounter occurred and the elephant got closer, there was no script. There was no storyboard. You can look at it through the science of body language: the eyes, the trunk, the ears and the tail, the noise he’s making, how he’s moving. Then you can possibly deduce what the animal is going to do, judging on what the textbooks say. However, I’ve never seen an elephant reading a book. “It’s human instinct to want to take control of the situation, especially if you’re a guide leading clients. But with wild animals, that can be the wrong thing to do, because your idea and sense of timing often doesn’t agree with that of the wild animal. So if you can let those moments go right to the boundary, and possibly even across to the other side, then you’ve got more chance of diffusing the situation. “You stand your ground. You let the elephant decide what to do, as opposed to you suggesting. In this encounter, I had no outcome envisaged. What the elephant did, I accepted. He moved sideways, I moved sideways. He moved forward, I moved back. If you look at the video carefully, it’s almost a choreographed dance. “This intuitive understanding between an elephant and a man diffused the situation. There was absolutely no panic. Even the people who were behind me couldn’t believe how calm they were. This encounter crossed the line between what is logical and what is intuitive. Sometimes you have to break down the barriers – that’s invariably where you find the meaningful encounters.” Watch the video at Left: How would you react to six tonnes of elephant storming towards you? IMAGERY: YOUTUBE “ALAN MCSMITH ELEPHANT ENCOUNTER1“, SHUTTERSTOCK/KENTOH, SHUTTERSTOCK/FRIMUFILMS Do not approach elephants on foot or in a vehicle. Always travel with an experienced guide. 16

When pretty much everywhere has been visited, what’s next? Enter new scientific frontiers to shake things up. DNA self-testing kits have made family trees cool, spawning a trend for booking a trip in search of your roots. New World tourism in search of Old World roots isn’t new of course, but the emergence of easy-to-use DNA self-testing kits – just a saliva sample will do – has made it possible for anyone to find out where their ancestry lies, and go in search of the old country. According to the MIT Technology Review, some 12 million people had done such tests by the start of 2018. The test measures your results against databases of samples from current TRENDSPOTTER DNA TOURISM global populations, looking for common genetic variations to match your DNA to, and gives you a probability. It’s a percentages game, not a black and white answer. Some 40 companies currently offer this service, and will produce a detailed report of your geographical DNA strands, plus maternal and paternal haplogroups, which are your ancestral paths to specific common ancestors. There may be no such thing as a final truth in science, but the thrill of self-discovery mixed with wanderlust is an irresistible cocktail. P TRAVEL SECRET GRAPE EXPECTATIONS Picture this: 112,000 hectares of vineyards planted with 30 grape varietals, a 5,000-year winemaking tradition, the world’s largest wine cellar, wines that have been enjoyed by kings, queens and presidents. Where in the world? The rolling countryside of Codru, Ştefan-Vodă and Valul lui Traian in Moldova: a terroir suited to the production of high quality reds, sparkling wines and brandies. And it has pedigree – the Negru de Purcari won a gold medal at the 1878 Paris Expo and became a favourite of the Russian Tsars. Must-see pitstop: The Cricova winery with that world-beating cellar. “Their labyrinth of underground chalk cellars is larger than all of the cellars of Champagne,” reveals US oenologist and Master of Wine, Christy Canterbury. “They have stop lights and street signs down there.” Epically Soviet scale of industrial wine production aside, it’s the sheer quality of Moldovan wines that impresses outsiders; the cellars at Cricova and elsewhere age local wines for numerous international dignitaries and celebrities. Pick of the lot? The local tradition of natural in-bottle fermentation (the Champagne method) means all Moldovan sparkling is aged for at least nine months and up to five years. Time to raise a glass. 17

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In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.

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