Ed Stafford

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For other people of the same name, see Edward Stafford (disambiguation).
Ed Stafford
Ed Stafford December 2008 Walking the Amazon.jpg
Born (1975-12-26) 26 December 1975 (age 39)
Peterborough, England
Occupation Explorer

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 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. 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 is due to be released in the USA (Penguin Books) in September 2014.[needs update]

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]

In October 2015 Stafford got engaged to fellow British Explorer Laura Bingham on top of a mountain in the Northern Territory Australia.

Prince's Rainforests Project[edit]

In August 2009 Stafford started writing a biweekly blog for the Prince's Rainforests Project.[17] Unlike his own website this blog was aimed specifically at children and schools.


External links[edit]