Abercrombie & Kent began in East Africa, where Geoffrey Kent was born while his parents, Valerie and Colonel John Kent, were on safari. Though British by birth, the Kents were drawn to the freedom and beauty of life in Africa, qualities that made a powerful impression on Geoffrey, who lived on the continent for most of his childhood. In 1962, he and his parents founded Abercrombie & Kent to allow visitors to experience Africa without compromise to either comfort or authenticity. The company's beginnings were modest; as Geoffrey Kent fondly remembers; their first safaris were conducted with little more than "a Bedford truck and my mother's sterling silver ice bucket."
In 1967, Colonel and Mrs. John Kent retired from active participation in the company, leaving their son to become Managing Director. Recognizing the tremendous business opportunity in international travel, Geoffrey Kent decided to expand A&K's signature style of travel. In 1969, he began opening additional companies in Africa; in 1971 he met Jorie Ford Butler of Oak Brook, Illinois. She became a partner in the business and together they expanded A&K beyond the African continent. Abercrombie & Kent became a worldwide group of companies, first opening an office in London, then in Oak Brook, Illinois, followed by Melbourne, Australia.