Benedict Allen Twickenham, UK
- One of Britain’s most prominent explorers
- Pioneering TV adventurer
- Trustee of the Royal Geographical Society
Benedict Allen is a British writer, traveller and adventurer, known for his technique of immersion among indigenous peoples from whom he acquires skills for hazardous journeys through unfamiliar terrain.
Benedict has accomplished many ‘firsts’ in the adventuring world, including a 1000 mile lone crossing of the Gobi Desert; completing the only known crossing of the Amazon Basin at its widest point – a 3,600 mile journey of seven and half months; crossing the Central Mountain Range of Papua New Guinea, then continuing by canoe to Australia; and being the only Outsider to have gone through a ceremony to make him into a “man as strong as crocodile” – arguably the harshest male initiation ceremony in the world.
He is also credited with being the first TV adventurer, when he pioneered the use of a hand-held video camera on expeditions, which for the first time allowed viewers to witness genuine adventures unfolding as they really happened. His approach has since been widely imitated, adapted and adopted. Benedict has recorded six TV series for the BBC to document his adventures, either alone or with partial or total use of camera crews, and has published ten books, including the Faber Book of Exploration (Faber & Faber, 2002), which he edited.