The explorer, adventurer, writer and broadcaster discusses tribes, tough times… and Tim Peake

Greatest achievement –
“Crossing the Amazon Basin at its widest – because it involved walking about 100 miles through rainforest alone, and no-one is known to have done that.”

Toughest environment –
“While trying to cross the Bering Strait, between Russia and Alaska, I found myself in the ‘worst winter in living memory’ and there was always the thought that if the ice gives way, you’ll die in a minute in the freezing water!”

Lost tribes –
“The first couple of days with the Obini tribe in West Papua were fine – but then they began a sort of war dance, armed with increasing numbers of weapons – arrows, clubs, spears. We backed out very slowly and ran for two days to safe territory.”

Past and present adventurers
“Captain Cook I admire for his humanity – a man of the Enlightenment who saw indigenous peoples simply as people, not ‘savages’. In the present day I admire Tim Peake (Bitish astronaut) for his journey into space: there’s no beating the Final Frontier.”

Switching off –
“The whole point of adventure, in my mind, is to disconnect with your comforting friends and loved ones. It’s about being exposed mentally and physically.”

Best part of the UK to escape to –
“Don’t care: Forest of Dean, Peak District, Malverns,, North York Moors, Snowdonia, Cairngorms, I love ’em all!”

You can read the full interview in the February issue of The Great Outdoors.

Benedict will be at the Adventure Travel Show at London’s Olympia on Saturday 23 January – CLICK HERE for tickets and more info.