The Greatest Adventure & Exploration Books that will inspire you to travel the world:
Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard
Martin Dugard tells a story of the Welsh-American journalist Henry Morton Stanley (“Doctor Livingstone I presume?”) and his famous African expedition in search for missionary and explorer Dr. David Livingston.
Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook by Martin Dugard
An adventurer himself, Dugard tells the riveting tale of the legendary Captain James Cook. Farther than any Man is a well researched account of CaptainCook’s life, discoveries and glob-trotting expeditions during the latter half of the 18th century.
Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart by Tim Butcher
An incredible book by former Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher about his 2004 overland journey through Congo. Determined to re-create the famous 1874 expedition of Henry Morten Stanley (” Dr. Livingstone I presume? “) Butcher not only tells the story of his own journey but also the remarkable story of the Congo.
Step by step: The life in my journeys by Simon Reeve
A fascinating memoir by British TV presenter and traveller. Reeve recounts his many travels around the world as well as personal journey from young depressed teenager to respected travel documentary journalist. An inspirational autobiography and travel book. The audiobook version is narrated by the author himself.
Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux
40 years after he volunteering for Peace Corps in Malawi and teaching in Uganda, Paul Theroux returns to Africa to travel across the continent by road and rail from Cairo to Cape Town. In his memoir, Theroux offers a very personal and eye opening assessment of contemporary Africa.
Jungle of Stone: The Extraordinary Journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya by William Carlsen.
William Carlsen tells the story of 1839 expedition to Central America that introduced the Western world to the ancient Maya Civilization. English architect and explorer Frederick Catherwood and a writer John Lloyd Stephens travels though Yucatán Peninsula visiting and detailing the ancient ruins.
The Expedition Trilogy: Dark Waters, The Seed Buried Deep, To the Brink: True Story of the First Human-Powered Circumnavigation of the Earth by Jason Lewis
In 1994, a 26-year-old Jason Lewis sets out on an epic expedition around the globe using only human power. It took him 13 years and 46 thousand miles of paddling, cycling, walking, and roller-blading across 37 countries to complete the journey and got his name in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival by Joe Simpson
A 1988 book by Joe Simpson about his and Simon Yates disastrous climb of the Siula Grande summit in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
In 1925, British explorer Percy Fawcett and his son Jack disappeared in the Amazon jungle while searching for a fabled ancient city: the Lost City of Z. In 2005, New Yorker David Grann decides to follow Fawcett’s route in hope to discover what had happened to the expedition nearly a century ago.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams
A travel editor Mark Adams traces back Hiram Bingham’s 1911 expedition and his controversial discovery of the Incas most sacred city of Machu Picchu. The book follows Adams journey to the famous Inca sites of Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Vitcos, Vilcabamba, Choquequirao, Llactatpata and of course Machu Picchu and covers the history of the Inca Empire, as well as investigates the allegations against the famous explorer.
Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon
A gripping memoir by a naturalist and conservationist Paul Rosolie about his adventures and wildlife exploration of the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon basin.
Walking the Amazon by Ed Stafford
In 2008 British explorer and adventurer Ed Stafford sets on an extraordinary journey with the aim to become the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon river from its source to sea on foot.
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
Candice Millard, a former editor for National Geographic recounts Theodor’s Roosevelt 1913-14 expedition down the uncharted Amazon river. Classified as non-fiction, The River of Doubt is a fascinating tale of survival and adventure.
Lost in the Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Adventure and Survival by Yossi Ghinsberg
The book is based on true events that took place in 1981 and tells a story of Yossi Ghinsberg, a young man who just finished his army service. Yossi was traveling around South America when he met three other backpackers and decided to seek adventure in Bolivian Amazon jungle. The trip quickly becomes a fight for survival.
Into the Heart of Borneo by Redmond O’Hanlon
In 1981, British naturalist O’Hanlon and his friend, a poet James Fenton, along with three Iban guides, set off on a two months journey into the deep jungle of Sarawak, northwest Borneo Island.
The Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
In 1947, Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl sailed 8000 km across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to French Polynesia on a primitive raft in order to prove his theory that South Americans could have made long sea voyages and were the first people who settled Polynesia.
Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson
In 1977, a courageous 27-year-old Robyn Davidson sets off on an epic, nine month long journey across the hostile Australian desert with only a dog and four camels for company. In her memoir, Davidson shares her observations on the 1970’s Australian society and the treatment of indigenous population. It is also an inspiring story of a journey to self-discovery and transformation.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
One of the most popular books to read while travelling. It follows the true story of young man Christopher McCandless. After graduating in 1990, inspired by the novels of Jack London, Chris gave away his college fund to charity, ceased all communication with his family and began travelling across Western and North America. The journey lasted almost two years and ended with his demise in Alaska. Writing it, Krakauer relied on eye-witness accounts, letters Chris sent to friends and his journals, which he kept for the greater part of his journey.
Walking the Nile by Levison Wood
A companion book to the TV documentary by the same title. Explorer, writer and photographer Levison Wood undertakes a huge challenge to walk the length of the Nile river. In the book Wood describes his experiences and observations, people he met and countries he visited.
Arabia: A Journey through the Heart of the Middle East by Levison Wood
An explorer and adventure lover Levison Wood decides to circumnavigate the Arabian Peninsula. Following in the footsteps of Wilfred Thesiger, T.E. Lawrence, Wood seamlessly combines historical facts with personal experiences and observations of the troubled region. The audiobook version is narrated by the author himself.
Cold: Extreme Adventures at the Lowest Temperatures on Earth by Ranulph Fiennes
Considered the greatest living Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes recounts his remarkable polar expeditions. The book covers also the history of the region’s exploration.