Laurens Van der Post (click on this link for reading more about him)
He was an author, explorer, anthropologist, linguist and philosopher. Van der Post was an opponent to apartheid in South Africa. His books are a unique contribution to understand the Bushmen's life and culture.
Henry Morton Stanley
American journalist and adventurer, who took New York Herald's mission "to go and find Livingstone". He travelled 700 miles in 236 days before he found the ailing Scottish missionary-explorer David Livingstone on the island of Ujiji. After completing his manhunt he uttered his famous greeting: "Doctor Livingstone, I presume!"
Stanley was the most effective of explorer of his day, who solved the problems of the Nile and Congo in 1874-77. He helped create Léopold's Congo Free State and British possessions on the upper Nile in the 1880s. He also found the source of the Nile.
David Livingstone from Scotland trekked extensively in central and southern Africa from 1840 and fought to destroy the slave trade. He combined geographical, religious, commercial, and humanitarian goals in his exploration journeys.
Reinhold Mesner First man to climb Everest without oxygen, then solo without oxygen. He was the first man to climb all high peaks. Probably the greatest mountaineer. Sir Ernest Shackleton He was a great British explorer and probably the greatest explorer in terms of looking after his teams and his ideas of the future of exploration. An Edwardian hero who tried to cross Antarctica. The greatest leader of men in that kind of environment.
Borge Ousland (see photo)
The Norwegian was the first to get to the North Pole unsupported. Then solo and unsupported. He crossed the whole of the Antarctica solo and unsupported. Jacques Cousteau He was a great innovator of the aqualung, which allowed a diver to stay underwater for several hours. He brought the sea and the environment to millions of people through his books and films.
Brian Jones was the co-pilot in the first ever round-the-world voyage in a hot air balloon. He was born and educated in Bristol, learning to fly at the age of 16 and spending 13 years in the Royal Air force. He discovered ballooning in 1986 and soon gained a commercial balloon-flying license.
A great Norwegian explorer. He was the first to think of the Arctic as a sea and in 1888 he was the first man to cross the Greenland ice cap on skis. He came closer to the North Pole than anyone before and was the inspiration of future explorers. The father of polar travel.
He was the first person to complete the Grand Slam of reaching four poles, magnetic and geographic, and to climb the highest mountains in seven continents. It was a total of 11 expeditions. It had been a quest for more than a decade since he first became interested in exploration through the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Mr Hempleman-Adams is an all-round adventurer, with several world records to his name. He was one of the first to walk solo and unsupported to the magnetic North Pole. In December 1998 he made a record-breaking solo trip across the Andes in a hot air balloon, flying from Chile to Argentina in four hours.
The former Manchester Polytechnic student heads a company specialising in Arctic tourism. His book Walking on Thin Ice was published in paperback in June. He was awarded the MBE in 1996 and the OBE in 1998.
After all these great persons and explorations, who will bring adventure to the world in the future? You may have other ideas about who are the greatest explorers this millennium. Who is your favourite explorer? Do you know any great female explorers? We like to hear from you who you consider to be the greatest and why (you are welcome to join our FORUMS).
Stein Morten Lund, 5 August 2000
Read more about great explorers on our website.
They are heroes and idols for other travellers. They give inspirations and show way out to the unexplored world. They make the world bigger and they make it more interesting to live!