I have only discovered Simon Reeve in the last year or so – and I am now a dedicated fan. He is a world traveller and adventurer following in some ways the time-honoured style of Michael Palin, with epic journeys around the world. But what I really like about Simon’s intelligent, thought-provoking approach is that he really ‘gets under the skin’ of a country, not afraid to expose some of the secrets or underbelly that are often hidden. He is an investigative journalist with broad interests and a natural story teller, as well as being an intrepid adventurer who has “travelled extensively through more than 120 countries, across jungles, deserts, mountains and oceans, and to some of the most dangerous and remote regions of the world”.
The first of Simon’s documentaries that I saw was Indian Ocean, but when I searched online to find out more about him I discovered that he was quite a veteran presenter – not that he looks old enough to have done that (am I just showing my age?). To my delight most of his earlier documentaries are available on YouTube. He also has a website (with his photographer brother) called Shoot and Scribble with lots of interesting information about him and his adventures.
- Meet the Stans – exploring the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (2003).
- House of Saud – travelling across Saudi Arabia, from the cities of Riyadh and Jeddah, to the isolation of the Empty Quarter desert (2004).
- Places That Don’t Exist – a fascinating insight into a group of unrecognised nations: countries so obscure they don’t officially exist (2005).
- Equator – an epic journey through the centre of the Tropics – the region of the world with both the richest biodiversity, and perhaps the greatest concentration of human suffering (2006).
- Tropic of Capricorn – tracking the Tropic of Capricorn around the globe, heading east through Africa, Australia and South America, discovering breathtaking sights, strange rituals, desperate poverty and exotic wildlife (2008).
- Explore – Simon and a team of BBC presenters travel to some of the most exotic and extreme locations on earth, blending travel with current affairs to get under the skin of some fascinating countries (2009).
- Tropic of Cancer – circling the world following the line that marks the northern border of Earth’s tropical region. Starting on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, then circumnavigating the planet, heading east across the Caribbean, the Sahara, crossing borders in North Africa closed to foreigners for decades, and then on through the deserts of Arabia and the remote jungles of Asia, to finish in Hawaii (2010).
- Indian Ocean – travelling around the edge of the Indian Ocean from South Africa, heading up the east coast of Africa, around India and back down the western coast of Indonesia to Australia (2012 – NZ 2014).
- Cuba – understanding a fascinating country on the verge of change (2012).
- Australia – journey from the ‘red centre’ of the country south to the wine region, then west to Perth. Across the remote and wild north to the Great Barrier Reef. And then down the east coast to the magnificent cities of Sydney and Melbourne (2013).
- Pilgrimage – for centuries pilgrimage was one of the greatest adventures on earth, involving epic journeys across the country and around the world. Simon retraces some of these pilgrimages (2013).
According to his website, Simon has been working on more fabulous adventures with the BBC and I’m very much looking forward to viewing these:
- Wildfires 2014: Inside the Inferno – exploring wildfires in Australia (2014)
- Sacred Rivers – travelling from source to sea along the world’s longest river, the Nile, through three very different countries to try and answer the most important question facing this mighty river today: Who does its sacred waters belong to? (2014).
- The Tea Trail and The Coffee Trail (2014).
- Caribbean – travelling around the edge of the Caribbean Sea for a stunning new series that blends travel with wildlife, issues, adventure, and incredible insights into a glorious region of the world (2015).
Intrepid Travel (a range of different travel styles – see my post on travel styles)
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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