media release: 09/12/15

Photography by Secret Compass

Media release: 09/12/15

16 adventure hotspots for 2016

Expedition company Secret Compass has just finalised its 2016 destinations list, with ambitious plans to take its teams beyond the headlines in some of the world’s wildest places.

New destinations include Gabon (in pack-rafts), Israel (on horseback) and Siberia’s remote Yamal Peninsula (on an epic reindeer migration).

Nenets imagery (c) Heather Gallo


Expedition Destinations

  1. NEW – Siberia (Mar): reindeer herding migration with the Yamal Peninsula’s Nenets nomads.
  2. Panama (Mar): jungle trek to seek petroglyphs in Panama’s notoriously wild Darien Gap.
  3. Iraqi Kurdistan (Apr): winter mountaineering trek to scale Kurdistan’s highest summits.
  4. NEW – Israel and the OPT (Apr): literary horseback journey in Mark Twain’s 1867 footsteps.
  5. Madagascar (Apr): peak-to-sea trek and raft through the jungles of ‘the 8th continent’.
  6. NEW – Mongolia (Jun): challenging three peaks expedition; a triple summit attempt trek.
  7. NEW – Gabon (Jun): ambitious, exploratory pack-raft and jungle trek across the Equator.
  8. Afghanistan (Jul): high-altitude trek in Afghanistan’s rugged Wakhan National Park.
  9. Armenia (Aug): exploration of a unique land and its remote, UNESCO-protected peaks.
  10. Kamchatka (Aug): wilderness trek among bears and Eurasia’s highest active volcanoes.
  11. Malawi (Aug): charitable expedition to scale the Mulanje range in aid of the AMECA trust.
  12. Kyrgyzstan (Sep): MTB/ bike-packing expedition to traverse the remote Talas Range.
  13. Sinai (Sep): minimalistic, camel-supported desert trek with the Bedouin.
  14. Ethiopia (Oct): MTB/ bike-packing expedition to summit and ride the Simiens’ highest peaks.
  15. Iran (Oct): arduous traverse of the Lut desert, home to the hottest point on earth.
  16. Burma (Oct): expedition into Burmese Nagaland to summit Saramati Peak.

Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “Our team members don’t seek to tick the usual boxes; their bucket-lists are more ambitious. They’ve challenged us to create some bold, inspiring and unique adventures for 2016, and here they are.”

Christine Amour-Levar, a returning expedition team member, said, “You don’t often come across a company that shares your own commitment to living outside your comfort zone, while pushing your limits and going beyond the ordinary. Secret Compass is that kind of company.”

Tracey Croke, former team member and travel writer, said, “I’ve created a new word for what Secret Compass offers; I call it ‘explorism’. Through them I’ve become the first woman to mountain bike Ethiopia’s highest mountain, and the first woman to traverse Kyrgyzstan’s Talas Mountains by bike.

“Put simply, Secret Compass lets ordinary people make history on their annual leave.”

Founded by ex-military commanders, Secret Compass focuses on exploratory expeditions in extreme climates and terrains. Journeys to post-conflict zones that may seem off-limits are made possible through their professionally run expeditions.

Bodkin said, “The reappearance of international visitors in former conflict or disaster-hit regions can benefit local small businesses economically, as well as creating optimism in local communities who realise that their country is once again perceived as safe to visit.”

Operations director, Tom McShane, added, “Many team members comment on our high attention to detail and our advanced contingency planning, for when itineraries need to change. Their recommendations bring others to our door, who seek to get beyond the headlines in some of the world’s wildest places.”

Expedition team places with Secret Compass are limited to 12. With very few other companies operating in many Secret Compass regions, teams often fill up rapidly so early application is advised.

For further press information contact Kerry O’Neill.
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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: