media release 01/01/10

Photography by Secret Compass

Media release: 19/10/16

The 2017 adventure hotlist from Secret Compass

New adventures are out there, as this 2017 Adventure Hotlist from expedition company Secret Compass proves.

“We’ve got several adventurous world-firsts lined up for 2017 and are introducing new expedition destinations from Argentina to northern Mongolia,” said Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass.

“Our expedition teams achieve the extraordinary in some of the world’s wildest places. Our teammates often think they’ve been everywhere…then come to us and have to think again!” concluded Bodkin.

Former teammate and travel writer Tracey Croke said, “I had to coin a new term when writing about my expeditions with Secret Compass: explorism.

“Its international teams are full of adventurous travellers, going to incredible places to make history on their annual leave. It’s as close to being a real explorer as it’s possible to get.”

The 2017 Adventure Hotlist

Brand new for 2017

  1. Bhutan: make a first ascent on a 5,400m mountain in this Buddhist Kingdom
  2. Argentina: live like a true gaucho on a self-sufficient, 100,000 acre estancia
  3. Chad: explore the Tibesti plateau and Emi Koussi, its highest volcanic peak
  4. Georgia: learn Alpine skills then practice them in the Caucasus mountains
  5. Iran: build up to a trekking ascent of Damavand, Iran’s highest peak (5,610m)
  6. Mongolia: experience authentic cross-country skiing in the frozen, wild north
  7. Mozambique: raft 250km of the Niassa Reserve’s wildlife-filled Lugenda river

Pioneering 2017 destinations

  1.  Afghanistan: forge a route between the Wakhan’s great Pamir mountains
  2. Armenia: follow the contours of the Caucasus en route to Tatev monastery
  3. Burma: climb SE Asia’s most prominent peak in mythical Nagaland
  4. DRC: explore Virunga National Park and discover the peaks of the Rwenzoris
  5. Gabon: packraft the equator in the Ivindo National Park
  6. Iran: traverse the epic Lut desert, home to the world’s hottest spot
  7. Iraqi Kurdistan: scale Mt Halgurd (3,607m) and the Zagros ranges’ high peaks
  8. Kamchatka: explore Eurasia’s high volcanoes on this bear-packed peninsula
  9. Madagascar: adventure from peak to sea on this raft and trek challenge
  10. North Korea: discover the national parks of this very secretive state
  11. Panama: conquer one of the world’s most notorious jungles – the Darien Gap
  12. Siberia: join the nomadic Nenets reindeer herders on an epic race for survival
  13. Sinai: join the nomadic Bedouin on an authentic, minimalist desert traverse

UK Weekends: expedition tasters

“Many people would love to cram more adventure into their lives but time, work and family restraints get in the way,” said Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass.

“Our new UK mini-expedition weekends in Wales’s Brecon Beacons National Parks are perfect for busy people who just have 48 hours to spare. Our first two weekends were a hit with four more planned for 2017.”

Unusual destinations

“Many adventure companies offer itineraries in established regions that are well supported by local infrastructure and staff,” explained Kerry O’Neill, communications director with Secret Compass.

“Our expeditions differ. Rather than offering tick-box touristic experiences such as Everest, we strive to create entirely new ones and to do them in expeditionary style.

“Examples are packrafting Gabon’s Ivindo National Park, scaling southern Armenia’s highest trekking peaks, undertaking a peak to sea challenge in Madagascar or camping out in North Korea.

“It’s hard to compare some of our expeditions with others as, frequently, no-one else offers anything like it! While working in new destinations is challenging, being the only people on the mountain is an incredible feeling our teammates love.”

“While Secret Compass is diversifying into some more traditional adventure challenges for 2017 – to be announced shortly – they will retain our goal-driven, self-sufficient and team-centred ethos.”

Press Factsheet download

View or download our Factsheet (one-page PDF) outlining 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: