media release: 27/02/17

Photography by Secret Compass

Media release: 27/02/17

The Dirty Dozen: 12 new Secret Compass expeditions for 2017

Secret Compass’s new website features 12 brand new expedition destinations for 2017 alongside classic locations from Afghanistan to Panama’s Darien Gap. With 30 expedition teams now open for applications, more adventure travellers than ever can achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places with UK-based Secret Compass in 2017.

12 NEW 2017 destinations

  1. Bhutan: reach a remote and unclimbed Himalayan summit (5400m).
  2. Chad: explore the Sahara’s highest peak, Emi Koussi in Tibesti (3445m).
  3. Georgia: learn Alpine Skills and climb Mount Kazbek (5033m).
  4. Iceland: acquire expedition skills on the Laugavegur trek.
  5. Iran: climb Iran’s highest peak, Mount Damavand (5610m).
  6. Kilimanjaro: trek to summit Africa’s highest peak (5895m).
  7. Mozambique: raft the remote and wildlife-filled Lugenda river.
  8. Namibia: become a tracker at the San Bushmen’s ‘Barefoot Academy’.
  9. Nepal: join the Dolpo Pa on their epic Himalayan yak migration.
  10. Papua New Guinea: gain whitewater rafting skills on the Watut river.
  11. Patagonia: live like a gaucho on a vast Argentinian ranch.
  12. Venezuela: abseil the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls.

Four NEW approaches to adventure

Secret Compass expeditions now fall under four umbrella themes or ‘approaches to adventure’ to help travellers find their ultimate adventure more easily. With Epics, Classics Revisited, Cultural Immersion and Adventure Academy-focused expeditions, achieving the extraordinary on an adventurous expedition is easier than ever.

Epic Expeditions

Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “From world-first adventure challenges to seriously ambitious expeditions and treks, our ‘Epic Expeditions’ take teams of adventure travellers to some of the world’s wildest places.”

  • Afghanistan: high-altitude trek in the Wakhan Corridor National Park.
  • Armenia: trek exploration of the fabled southern Caucasus.
  • Bhutan: scale a 5000m+ peak in this mystical Himalayan Kingdom.
  • Burma: summit SE Asia’s most prominent peak in remote Nagaland.
  • Chad: explore the Sahara’s volcanic heartland and highest peak, Emi Koussi.
  • DRC: Jungle, volcanic peak and gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park.
  • Gabon: ambitious packraft and trek over the Equator through Ivindo Park.
  • Iran: traverse the Lut Desert, home to the world’s hottest spot.
  • Kamchatka: explore Eurasia’s highest active volcanoes.
  • Madagascar: epic peak-to-sea trek and raft adventure across the isle.
  • North Korea: remote National Park exploration in this secretive state.
  • Panama: delve into the notorious Darien Gap jungle on this epic trek.

Classics Expeditions: Revisited

Doing just what it says on the tin, ‘Classics: Revisited’ expeditions take bucket-list adventure challenges or well-known physical feats and put a slightly different spin on them such as “don’t trek it, abseil it” or “don’t follow the crowds, follow a lesser-known route. ‘Classics: Revisited’ expeditions for 2017 include:

  • Venezuela: don’t trek it, abseil the world’s highest waterfall – Angel Falls.
  • Iran: climb Iran’s highest peak, Mount Damavand (5610m), by a lesser-used route.
  • Kilimanjaro: trek to summit Africa’s highest peak (5895m).

Cultural Immersion expeditions

Taking live-like-a-local to a new level, Secret Compass’s ‘Cultural Immersion’ expeditions get people beyond the headlines to experience life with some of the world’s most fascinating communities, while undertaking challenging journeys in remote locations and extreme climates.

  • Nepal: join the Dolpo Pa on their epic Himalayan yak migration.
  • Patagonia: live like a true gaucho (cowboy) on an estancia adventure.
  • Siberia: migrate reindeer across Arctic tundra and frozen gulfs with Nenets nomads.
  • Sinai: traverse Egypt’s Sinai desert with the Bedouin on this camel-supported trek.

Adventure Academy expeditions

Life’s too short – why just take a holiday when it’s possible to learn incredible new skills in an adventurous, expeditionary setting? The Secret Compass Adventure Academy launches this year with four expeditions designed to teach adventure travellers new skills in truly awesome locations.

  • Iceland: acquire vital expedition skills on the iconic Laugavegur Trail.
  • Georgia: gain Alpine Skills and summit Mt Kazbek in the Caucasus.
  • Namibia: become a tracked at the San Bushmen’s Barefoot Academy
  • PNG: learn whitewater skills on Papua New Guinea’s epic Watut river.
  • UK: four challenging expedition weekends in Wales’s Brecons Beacons.

Teammate Testimonials

David joined the Gabon team in 2016. He said, “The expedition experience far exceeded my expectations. I had no idea it would be so wild, so far from any human contact, and really did not expect to see an elephant, gorillas, or a leopard from my hammock.”

Kirsten has explored Kurdistan, Siberia and more with Secret Compass. She said, “I don’t think I could have ever anticipated how often I would draw upon moments from my Secret Compass expeditions in my everyday life. Thank you.”

Roy made a successful first ascent in Mongolia with Secret Compass. He said, “I have been with numerous expedition companies over the years on high altitude trips, and I have been impressed with most of them. But it has too be said that Secret Compass has impressed me the most.”

For further press information contact communications director Kerry O’Neill on 0207 096 8428 or via email info@secretcompass.com

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Press Factsheet download

View or download our Factsheet (PDF) from our Press page which outlines Secret Compass and its upcoming expeditions.

Notes for editors

Secret Compass redefines what is possible by creating pioneering projects in the world’s wildest places. Secret Compass is built around a team of trusted experts who combine a passion for exploration with industry-leading professionalism. Secret Compass reignites your primal need for adventure, providing the catalyst for you to come alive and achieve the extraordinary. Meet Secret Compass HQ staff and a selection of its expedition professionals.

Expedition Types include Epic, Cultural Immersion, Adventure Academy and Classics Redefined. Expedition styles include mixed-terrain trekking, jungle trekking and minimalist desert traverses, to mountain-biking, rafting and horseback expeditions. Secret Compass welcomes applications from anyone with a good level of fitness who’s keen to achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places.

Secret Compass destinations

View current expeditions filtered by region here. Past, current and upcoming destinations include Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Bhutan, Burma/ Myanmar, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt’s southern Sinai desert, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Greenland, the Himalayas, Iceland, India (Arunachal Pradesh), Iran (Mount Damavand and the Lut Desert), Iraqi Kurdistan, Kamchatka, Kilimanjaro, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, North Korea, Panama, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Siberia, Socotra, South Sudan, Sudan (the Bayuda desert), Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and more.

Secret Compass TV and Film

Secret Compass TV and Film is trusted by production companies and brands to capture the extraordinary in remote and wild regions thanks to its unrivalled location and risk-management expertise. Credits include location-managing Channel 4’s Walking the Nile/ Himalayas and Americas series with Levison Wood, alongside projects for the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel and more.

Secret Compass Brand Projects

Secret Compass Brand Projects works with brands on projects designed to create the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Unique branded content and other projects have to date been staged in destinations from South Sudan and the DRC to Greenland and Finnish Lapland. Clients to date include Mitsubishi, Sony, Nespresso, Giro, Xbox and Jagermeister.


For further information concerning Secret Compass bespoke and team expeditions, TV and Film, or Branded Projects: