The seven wildest circumnavigations of the world

Going around the world is one thing – doing it the way these people did is something else entirely.
World tour
By Will Gray

Countless people have travelled around the world, in countless ways – but there's some people who have managed to do it with just a little bit more panache.

Around the world - twice!
Who: Angelo Wilkie-Page
Nationality: South African
Distance: 115,000km
Time: Begins this month, aiming to take between seven and eight years

Angelo Wilkie-Page plans to become the first to circumnavigate the globe twice under human power, from East to West then Pole to Pole. The journey, done in stages, will visit over 48 countries and cross four oceans, nine seas and six deserts.

“I am just an average bloke going after a dream. Some say it’s overly ambitious, but it’s just one leg at a time...”

Follow his trip here.

Angelo Wilkie-Page taking his bike where few go © Angelo Wilkie-Page

The world by bike
Who: Lee Fancourt
Nationality: British
Distance: 29,000km
Time: 103 days, 23 hours, 15 minutes

Lee Fancourt cycled around the world almost three days quicker than record holder Alan Bate in 2010 – but because he grabbed a cab to get food for his crew and didn’t return to where he left, his time was not recognised. He plans to go for it again next year.

“The most challenging country was India, because there were no rules on the roads. There were also vehicles coming straight towards you.”

Arktos – around the Arctic Circle
Who: Mike Horn
Nationality: South African / Swiss
Distance: 20,000km
Time: Two years and three months

Alone in the planet’s icy north, Horn sailed, trekked and skied around the Arctic Circle. His boat got stuck in ice in Baffin Bay, polar bears joined him trekking in Canada, he sailed the world’s stormiest ocean, Bearing Straight, and he was under surveillance in Russia after entering a restricted area.

“The Arctic is possibly one of Mother Nature’s harshest and rawest shows of strength. It’s not really designed for human survival.”

Follow all of Mike's adventures here.

Mike Horn sailed around the Arctic Circle © Dmitry Sharomov/Mike Horn

Speed sailing
Who: Loïck Peyron
Nationality: French
Distance: 46,674km
Time: 45 days, 15 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds

Peyron claimed the Jules Verne Trophy – the fastest global circumnavigation by boat - in 2012. Sailing the purpose-built 40m-long trimaran Banque Populaire V, his crew beat the previous record by almost three days and averaged 19.75kts.

“Respect is a huge part of the game - we need to respect the boat, the people, the sea, the wind, ourselves.”

Check out Loïck's website.

Loïck Peyron's world-record breaking boat © Philippe PETIT/PARISMATCH/SCOOP

Around the world via human power
Who: Jason Lewis
Nationality: British
Distance: 74,408km
Time: 13 years, two months, 23 days, 11 hours

In one of the longest endurance feats in history, Lewis completed the first solo crossing of the USA on rollerblades and was the first to pedal a boat across the Pacific. He also had to push a 70kg-laden bike through sand dunes in 50-degrees, was run over by a car, attacked by a crocodile, capsized his boat, contracted septicaemia and malaria twice and was charged with espionage on the Sudan-Egypt border.

“To be honest I didn't know it was going to happen. There were many times in the trip where it should have failed.”

Catch up with Jason here.

Jason Lewis kayaks across the Singapore straits © Jason Lewis

Sailing via the sun
Who: Raphael Domjan
Nationality: Swiss
Distance: 60,023km
Time: One year, six months and seven days

Domjan skippered PlanetSolar on the first sun-powered circumnavigation of the world, crossing the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Gulf of Aden before ending in the Mediterranean. Not content with that, he now plans to take SolarStratos to the edge of space.

“PlanetSolar went around the world with only the power of one scooter. We had a very efficient boat - we only used 30hp.”

Read about PlanetSolar here.

Around the world, via the power of the sun © PlanetSolar

Sailing a 6-meter boat
Áron Méder
Nationality: Hungarian
Distance: 55,000km
Time: Three years, five months and 25 days

Being from a landlocked nation didn’t stop Meder ‘the mad Hungarian’ from sailing around the world – in a 19-foot sailboat called Carina. He almost sank when he had to carry six ‘guides’ to get through the Panama Canal and was left drifting for 10 hours between Tonga and Fiji when his engine died.

“I do my best and I really like my boat. We have a very good and deep relation. She likes me.”

Áron's trip is documented here.

This is one tiny boat to call home! © Áron Méder

Riding a motorcycle around the world
Who: Nick Sanders
Nationality: British
Distance: More than 650,000km
Time: More than 30 years

Sanders has spent much of his life riding around the world, completing seven circumnavigations – first by bike then by motorbike. His fastest, in 1997, averaged around 1,600km per day, but he has now slowed down to guide expert tours in smaller sections of the world.

“I’ve never ever had a motorcycle accident in 400,000 miles, a lot of those in dark, cold conditions in unfamiliar countries with animals on the road.”

Join Nick Sanders as he puts together incredible moto trips worldwide.

Nick Dalton, two (powered) wheels around the world © Nick Dalton

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