The Modern Explorers

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Robert Twigger


This book profiles thirty-nine modern explorers who have disproved the idea that there is nowhere left to discover and explore. Some are greatly experienced and are celebrated worldwide, while others are young or less well known and just starting to make their mark.

Here are challenging and extraordinary expeditions to the remotest parts of the world by explorers from the United States, Australia, China, France, and beyond. Eight thematic sections cover all terrains: Polar, Desert, Rainforest, Mountain, Ocean, River, Under Sea, Under Land, and Lost Worlds. Written mainly by the explorers themselves, the accounts provide a unique insight into what it is actually like to join an expedition, from being dragged through the top of the rainforest canopy in an inflatable raft suspended from a balloon to pedaling a boat across the Pacific to standing on the edge of an erupting volcano. Their stories are supplemented with dramatic expedition photographs, many capturing the moment of discovery or danger.


Numerous black-and-white archival photos and dramatic color images illustrate these remarkable contemporary journeys in search of river sources, remote populations, and an experience of a lifetime.

— School Library Journal

The 39 essays include a gem by Karen Darke, who at 21 was paralyzed from the chest down in a climbing accident on a Scottish sea cliff, and who realized a lifelong dream in adaptive-climbing El Cap.

— Rock and Ice

A great book on modern adventures in extreme environments.

— The San Francisco Chronicle

Perfect for the armchair daredevil in all of us.

— Woman Around Town

provide[s] a tantalizing taste of adventure…to sow the seeds of interest in like-minded individuals.

— The Underground Movement


Robin Hanbury-Tenison


Robin Hanbury-Tenison is president of Survival International and has led expeditions in South America and Borneo. His previous books include The Seventy Great Journeys in History and The Modern Explorers, both published by Thames & Hudson.

Robert Twigger


Robert Twigger, the first person to cross the Egyptian Great Sand Sea on foot, is the author of Voyageur and Angry White Pyjamas. He lives in Cairo.