Annual RGS Lecture Evening – From Ice to Spice

When: – 16th November 2017

Where: – Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London

When: – Doors open at 6pm for a 7pm start

Tickets: – £30 (main hall) or £10 (audio visual relay in the ‘Overflow room’)

IMPORTANT: Tickets are non-refundable

To order tickets online via Paypal please click here Buy tickets for Transglobe Expedition Trust

Or if you prefer, please send a cheque made payable to Transglobe Expedition Trust with your name and contact telephone number on the back together with a stamped addressed envelope to:

Transglobe Expedition Trust, Walnut Tree Farm, Benhall, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 1JB

All enquiries – tel: 01728 604434 or e-mail:

Refreshments can be bought both before and after the talks.

Now in our 11th year, the Transglobe Expedition Trust (TET) evening has become a popular part of the Royal Geographical Society calendar. We aim to bring you lectures which are both entertaining and inspiring. Among our distinguished speakers each year we include at least one who has recently benefitted from a TET grant. This year is no exception. And we are delighted to have Sacha Dench with us following the very successful “Flight of the Swans” which was supported by TET in 2016. As always, we are extremely grateful to the RGS and the speakers who, with the trustees, and our generous supporter, Berghaus, look forward to welcoming you to another great evening.

Joanna Lumley Joanna was born in Kashmir in 1946 but left before she was one at the time of Partition. Following the flag of her father’s Gurkha regiment,she was educated in HongKong, Malaysia and Sussex.  A brief spell as a model in the sixties allowed her to slink across into the acting profession. She has appeared in all kinds of films, from Dracula to Bond and the Wolf of Wall Street; and her many television and theatre roles have included Purdey, Hedda Gabler and Patsy. For the last 25 years she has been working in documentaries, and has travelled widely, seeing the Northern Lights and tracking the Nile to its source: relocating giraffe and releasing orang-utans; crossing Russia and Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian Railway and examining Japan from north to south. Her most recent trip has been to India, land of her birth.

Monty Halls – Monty is a former Royal Marines Officer who worked on the peace process in South Africa under Nelson Mandela.  He has led a number of demanding expeditions globally, for which he was awarded the Bish Medal for services to exploration. He has presented television series for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and Discovery, and has written eight books covering his travels. In 2017, Monty has filmed two series for Channel 4, the first of which is due to be broadcast in Autumn 2017. For the last two decades he has worked with companies, teams and organisations as an advisor on group dynamics and leadership, with his latest initiative being a venture to empower and encourage organisations to efficiently deliver leadership training to their own personnel. The resultant system – Leaderbox – reflects the constantly changing dynamic in the modern workplace and the ever- fluctuating modern business environment.  Monty lives in South Devon with his wife and two young daughters.

Mike Stroud – Mike is a hospital Consultant, a Professor of Clinical Nutrition and a world authority on human endurance in environmental extremes. He qualified as a doctor in 1979 and then spent ten years in a variety of hospital posts before moving to full-time research on endurance, nutrition and survival under extreme conditions. This was undertaken between 1990 and 1995, initially at the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, then the Army Personnel Research Establishment and then as Chief Physiologist at the UK Centre for Human Sciences. In 1995, he returned to hospital medicine and university work becoming a Consultant Gastroenterologist in Southampton. In addition to his professional career, Mike has always undertaken far reaching travel, expeditions and endurance events including numerous polar ventures with Sir Ranulph Fiennes especially the first unsupported walk across the Antarctic continent. Mike’s presentation will cover the science of endurance and survival illustrated by his own expedition and endurance experiences.

Sacha Dench – Sacha’s childhood spanned the big waves and reefs off Sydney, the remote Australian bush, a large manor in Suffolk and villages in France and Switzerland. A tomboy with endless hours to herself in wild places, she developed a passion for wildlife and hatching outrageous plans. She also learnt that she could hold her breath long enough to scare people.  Bored by organised sports at school, whilst studying her Masters degree in the UK she discovered freediving. Just weeks later she was competing for the UK, and later led the Australian freediving team.  Beating the world record for breath hold (6 minutes 22 seconds) in a training session one day led to recognition and some unusual professional jobs including a dead body, an underwater bad guy in ‘Home and Away’ and a human dolphin for a whisky brand. Whilst stunt work was a lot of fun, Sacha also put her skills towards good causes and co-founded volunteer group ‘Eco Divers’, a group of divers using their bare hands and cameras to save sea life in distress. She has worked in conservation communication, including film and photography, ever since.  When invited to set up a film unit for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in the UK, Sacha knew she had to get herself and her camera airborne. But to do that she would need to tackle her debilitating fear of flying head on… In her talk she will share how she went on to become the ‘human swan’ migrating from Russia to the UK in winter, dangling 1000s of feet in the air from a piece of fabric


Current Grant Winners

  • Sarah Outen’s expedition London to London via the World. After setting out from London on 1st April 2011, Sarah has been kayaking, rowing and cycling her way around the world   Although a solo expedition, this is to be a shared adventure – bringing the expedition to classrooms, offices and homes right around the world.
  • In October 2016 Olly Hicks intends to complete his original goal and will set out from Tasmania to row solo around the world. Follow his preparations and epic journey here at

Previous Grant Winners: –

  • 5000 Mile Project – Katharine and David Lowrie completed an epic expedition to run the length of South America in a year for the continent’s wild lands and wildlife. They ran without support, whilst pulling a trailer they made from recycled materials.  As well as running, the 5000mileproject helped to connect people from around the world to South America’s precious remaining wildernesses, to illustrate how daily choices affect these areas and how with small steps everyone can conserve them. They have created the “Big Toe Classroom”, which is full of information on the continent and provides a real-life expedition for schools in the UK and around the world to get involved in. In between arduous running sessions, they present to schools in South America about the project, the local habitats and importance of functioning ecosystems. They also carry out a daily bird census and collect data on the wildlife and habitats they pass, reporting their findings to local and international conservationists.
  • Huautla Expedition  – In 2012, Chris Jewell and his team of Cavers and Cave Divers began a two year project to explore further than anyone has before in the Huautla Cave System in Mexico.  Using state of the art technology the team spent many weeks underground, diving through flooded cave passages, camping in the dry passage beyond and exploring the unknown cave. An expedition like this is a fantastic example of ingenuity, perseverance, determination, team-work and triumph over physical elements.
  • Kaspersky One Trans-Antarctic Expedition – Felicity Aston embarked on a 1700km, 70-day ski in order to become the first woman in the world to cross Antarctica alone. By completing the journey Felicity also became the first British woman to traverse Antarctica. Felicity set out from her start point on the Ronne Ice Shelf on 12th November 2011 and arrived on the Ross Ice Shelf (via the Pole) on 31st January 2012. Follow her story here
  • Stewart McPherson’s project, Conservation in Britain’s most remote Overseas Territories, aims to raise public awareness of Britain’s Overseas Territories (initially Montserrat, Ascension Island, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha and the Falkland Islands) and through detailed investigations, provide management solutions for the unique conservation challenges they face today. The findings of this research have identified conservation priorities and common strategies for local governing bodies to help secure a sustainable future.
  • The Trans-Papua Expedition went to explore the historic inter-tribal trade connection between the Papuan interior and its coastlines. In the first complete crossing of Papua’s width – from the River Noordoost to the mighty Mamberamo River – the 2 man team travelled on-foot and by kayak. They will map and uncover the sources of the island’s greatest rivers and answer one of Papua’s enduring mysteries: How, long before European exploration, did Papuan products make it out of the highland interior to mainland Asia?
  • The Derewo Descent – a kayaking expedition with a primary aim of exploring previously unvisited upland gorges of Papua’s remote river system. The 3 man team descended the rivers in an expedition that tested both physical skill and determination while encountering new landscapes and people.
  • The Wild Camel Protection Foundation for survey of the critically endangered Bactrian Camel and their 2011 expedition to the Taklamakan Desert, Xinjiang Province, China. John Hare and Chinese scientists went in search of these elusive animals which were previously not known to exist in this region.
  • Adrian McCallum,Tristam Kaye and Hugh Bowring for their parts in assisting in the organisation and operations of The Coldest Journey, the first attempt at crossing the Antarctic continent during the southern winter.
  • Endure Greenland Crossing – Ben Thackwray and Ian Couch’s attempt at a record-breaking ultra-lightweight crossing of Greenland on skis.
  • Walking The Amazon Ed Stafford’s remarkable 2 year expedition to walk from the Peruvian Pacific coast, over the Andes and along a tributary to the Amazon estuary and the Atlantic coast.

The Scientific Exploration Society for a biodiversity research expedition in Ethopia to the Beschillo and Blue Nile gorges which included the first descent of the Beschillo River.