Ed Stafford

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Ed Stafford
Ed Stafford December 2008 Walking the Amazon.jpg
Born (1975-12-26) 26 December 1975 (age 41)
Peterborough, England
Occupation Explorer

Edward James Stafford, known as Ed Stafford (born 26 December 1975), is an English explorer. He holds the Guinness World Record for being the first human ever to walk the length of the Amazon River.[1] Stafford now hosts shows on Discovery Channel.


Stafford was born in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England and raised in Leicestershire. He was adopted as a baby by Barbara and Jeremy Stafford, who were both solicitors in Leicestershire. Stafford joined the British Army in 1998, serving as an infantry officer in the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. After completing an operational tour of Northern Ireland in 2000, Stafford left the Army as a captain in 2002. It was after his expedition to the Amazon in 2010 that Stafford began a search for his biological parents, whom he managed to track with the help of his sister, Janie. Says Stafford upon the reason for searching for his biological family; “There had always been this background intrigue. I looked for my birth family, not because I needed new parents in my life, but because it’s just inherent to want to know.” From his biological family, he has two younger brothers.[2] Ed was educated at Uppingham and was a Cub and a Scout in Leicestershire as a boy and considers it a key component in his upbringing that led him to a life as an expedition leader.[3]

On 9 August 2010, he became the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon River,[4] documented in the 2011 TV series Walking the Amazon on Channel 5. Stafford's expedition began with a friend, Luke Collyer, on 2 April 2008, on the southern coast of Peru. Collyer left after three months, and Stafford completed the journey with Gadiel “Cho” Sánchez Rivera. He undertook the attempt for several charities.[5][6]

In May 2009 Stafford appeared on the cover of the Royal Geographical Society's Geographical magazine.[7]

Amazon route

In April 2010 Stafford passed the two-year barrier, having been walking since 2 April 2008.[8] In May that year Stafford was made Diane Sawyer's ABC News "Person of the Week".[9]

Stafford's accomplishment of walking the Amazon river has been described by Sir Ranulph Fiennes as being "truly extraordinary...in the top league of expeditions past and present".[10]

Stafford was announced as one of National Geographic Adventurers of the Year 2010 and then in March 2011 he was awarded European Adventurer of the Year[11] in a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 2011 Guinness World Records formally recognised Stafford's achievement[12] and he appears in the 2012 Guinness Book of Records.

Also in 2011, Stafford was awarded the Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in recognition of outstanding contributions to geographical knowledge through exploration. He was not presented the award until 2014 at an event in Perth Scotland.

Commissioned by Discovery Communications, in August 2012 Stafford filmed a three-part survival experiment for Discovery Channel where he was dropped on the uninhabited tropical island of Olorua (18°36′19″S 178°45′15″W / 18.60528°S 178.75417°W / -18.60528; -178.75417) in the Pacific for 60 days with no food or equipment to help him survive.[13] "Ed Stafford: Naked and Marooned" [14] was aired on Discovery Channel in the UK in March 2013 and "Naked Castaway" (US version) aired in the USA in April of the same year. Stafford's book of the 60 days in isolation was released in the UK (Virgin Books) in June 2014 and was released in the USA (Penguin Books) in September 2014.

Stafford is now an established face of Discovery Channel and has his own self-filmed series Marooned with Ed Stafford that is a joint Europe and US Discovery Channel commission. [15] He is due to start shooting his next project for Keo Films, entitled Ed Stafford: Into The Unknown, which will follow Stafford on his travels to remote locations to investigate strange and inexplicable markings which have baffled scientists. The program will air on Discovery Channel UK and its international subsidiaries in the latter part of 2015.[16]

Ed and his wife, Laura Bingham, were married on September 4th, 2016, after she returned from her own adventure – cycling 7000 kilometers across South America. An explorer herself, she's an expert in survival techniques, archery, knife-throwing and fire-starting.

They met when she contacted him to ask advice about her cycling trip.

Ed proposed on top of a mountain in Australia's Northern Territory[citation needed]. The wedding was held in Hallaton, where they plan to set up home.

On December 7th, 2016, Ed and Laura revealed through social media that they are expecting their first child together.[17]

Prince's Rainforests Project[edit]

In August 2009 Stafford started writing a biweekly blog for the Prince's Rainforests Project.[18] Unlike his own website this blog was aimed specifically at children and schools.


  1. ^ "First person to walk the length of the Amazon River". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  2. ^ McPhee, Rod (2015-01-12). "TV survival expert Ed Stafford on birth parents search: I don’t think explorers are at peace with themselves - Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  5. ^ "ME Association". ME Association. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  6. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times" (PDF). Extras.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  8. ^ Barrowcliffe, Mark (5 December 2009). "The REAL king of the jungle". Mail Online. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Weir, Bill (2010-05-21). "Bill Weir Is Inspired by Man Walking Length of Amazon River - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  10. ^ Jackson, Peter (9 August 2010). "Amazon adventure: Ed Stafford's trek from source to sea". BBC News. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Amazon explorer Ed Stafford given adventurer award". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  12. ^ "First person to walk the length of the Amazon River". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  13. ^ Leadbeater, Chris (2013-03-14). "Explorer Ed Stafford talks being naked and marooned on a South Pacific desert island | Daily Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  14. ^ "Ed Stafford: Naked and Marooned". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  15. ^ James Sullivan (2014-05-07). "Ed Stafford 'Marooned' Pits the Amazon Explorer Against the Elements". Mensjournal.com. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  16. ^ White, Peter (2015-02-27). "Ed Stafford ties with Keo for Discovery adventure | News | Broadcast". Broadcastnow.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  17. ^ Laura Bingham (December 7, 2016). Laura Bingham and Ed Stafford are having a baby :). 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 

External links[edit]