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Benedict Allen


A trustee and fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, Benedict Allen is a British adventurer, author and BBC presenter. He has pioneered an immersive approach to exploration, learning from indigenous peoples and travelling alone without a film crew. The Daily Telegraph listed him as one of the top ten British explorers of all time, placing him alongside fellow Wexas Honorary President Ranulph Fiennes as the only two living explorers on the list. He is also the editor of the Faber Book of Exploration.

Allen has had an interest in adventure from an early age, when his father, a test pilot who taught Price Philip to fly, would bring him back exotic artefacts. And, from fossil hunting on England’s Jurassic Coast as a child to joining and then leading scientific expeditions as an undergraduate, his interest in the world’s remotes quickly developed.

On leaving university, he embarked on his own independent expeditions. He was the first to establish contact with the Obini and Yaifo peoples in New Guinea, he’s survived three-and-a-half months in the Namib Desert, and he’s navigated the Amazon basin at its widest point, travelling 600 miles by foot and dugout canoe. In each instance, Allen has sought the input and assistance of the local peoples, whether learning desert survival techniques from Namibia’s Himba people or participating in six-week-long initiation ceremonies with remote tribes.

Throughout, not only has Allen written extensively on his adventures, but he’s developed a self-filmed reporting style, leading to former Director General of the BBC Mark Thompson to describe him as “Part of the History of Television”. A selection of his work is featured below.

Benedict Allen is the author of:

• Mad White Giant

• Into the Crocodile's Nest: Journey Inside New Guinea

• Hunting the Gugu: In Search of the Lost Ape-Men of Sumatra

• The Proving Grounds: A Journey Through the Interior of New Guinea and Australia

• Through Jaguar Eyes: Crossing the Amazon Basin

• The Skeleton Coast

• The Edge of Blue Heaven

• Last of the Medicine Men

• Into the Abyss

Benedict Allen has presented:

• The Skeleton Coast

• The Edge of Blue Heaven

• The Bones of Colonel Fawcett

• Last of the Medicine Men

• Ice Dogs

• Travvellers’ Century

• Unbreakable Five

• Expedition Africa

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