Dr Ian M. Packman
KCL Geography alumnus, biomedical researcher in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at King's College London, adventurer, writer and speaker
A quest for challenge has led Ian to summit Mount Kenya, and, by way of a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, the length of both Hadrian's Wall and Sri Lanka’s longest river. He completed his circumnavigation of Africa by public transport - the first solo and unassisted journey of its kind –in October 2012.
In his solo 25,000 mile by-any-means journey through 31 countries Ian travelled through Africa at its most raw and real. Attempting to complete the first solo and unassisted circumnavigation of Africa by public transport, equivalent to circling the Earth at the equator, Ian experienced life without schedules. He rode beaten-up bush taxis, flatbed trucks, dugout canoes, and a van delivering freshly-made meat pies in order to traverse the continent. Entirely reliant on local populations for more than 13 months, Ian fought off thieves in Senegal, was mistaken for an undercover UN official during Liberia's presidential election, refused entry into Congo, and while in Sudan became perhaps the only person teargassed trying to visit a museum. An honest and personal account of his journey, Encircle Africa: Around Africa by Public Transport acts as a powerful contrast to the perception of Earth's oldest and poorest continent.