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Wednesday, 12 Sep 2018
Complimentary Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Talk 7.30 pm
Jardine Penthouse, 48/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Road, Central
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With his usual zest and humour, famous explorer, adventurer and television presenter Benedict Allen shares the story of his recent expedition to the remotest forests of PNG, a daring journey to locate remote jungle peoples who befriended him 35 years ago - and which made headlines around the world when he lost contact with the outside world, became gravely ill, missed his RGS talk in Hong Kong and then was rescued by a tabloid newspaper.
Dubbed “Television’s Most Fearless Man”, he tells of the astonishing highlights of his trip, recalling his inspiring uphill battle against the odds and hardships, as well as the jaw dropping beauty of the New Guinean jungle. Early in his extraordinary life as an adventurer, at just 25, Benedict had already made his first expedition into the jungles of Papua New Guinea. There, he endured a secret and brutal Nyaura six-week initiation ceremony on the Sepik and was able to make first contact with the previously uncontacted Yaifo tribe. Then in 2017, alone and without the aid of even GPS or a phone, he set off into the rainforest once again on a month long expedition with hopes to reconnect with his elusive tribal friends. On this expedition, the natural elements and other tribes conspired against him and the Yaifo tribe was more hidden than ever before in the New Guinean rainforest. Having to simultaneously fight against the forced detours caused by storms, tribal wars, malfunctioning equipment and deadly disease, he got lost in almost impenetrable jungle – until his dramatic rescue. "To me exploration isn't about conquering natural obstacles, planting flags... It's not about going where no one's gone before in order to leave your mark, but about the opposite of that - about making yourself vulnerable, opening yourself up to whatever's there and letting the place leave its mark on you." Hailing from the United Kingdom, Benedict Allen studied Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia. A professional explorer since his early 20s, he now lives in London. When he is not on expeditions, he is a well-known author, television presenter, filmmaker and public speaker. On his expeditions, he is best known for travelling with no support, phones or GPS. His journeys are well-documented in his nine bestselling books and five major television series, all major hits. Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$250 for RGS Members and HK$300 for guests and others including a complimentary drinks reception at the Jardine Penthouse.