Explorer Benedict Allen Rescued in Papua New Guinea


Electrical storms, malaria and tribal warfare. Benedict Allen is airlifted out of Papua New Guinea.

British explorer Benedict Allen was due to fly from Port Moresby to Hong Kong on the 12th of November, 3 weeks after setting off to find and document the “uncontacted” Yaifo tribe. When he failed to show for the flight his family raised the alarm and a rescue mission was dispatched.

A few days later Allen was rescued from the Papua New Guinea jungle by helicopter and flown to a hospital where he was treated for Malaria, the sixth time he has contracted the disease.

Allen has claimed that, while he did not need rescuing, the expedition had been fraught with bad luck from the start. “I always knew exactly where I was, things just began to go wrong” he explained in an interview with the BBC.

Allen was first hampered by a massive electrical storm which made progress in to the remote Central Range inhabited by the Yaifo particularly slow. Soon after he began to feel malaria symptoms.

Aware that he needed medical attention, Allen had planned to make his way to the nearest airstrip, however he says that a tribal war broke out ahead of him and he was stranded in the jungle. With no phone or GPS he had been preparing to attempt to walk out of the jungle. He claims he was surprised by the arrival of the rescue party, but that when it came he thought “for the sake of my family – I’ve got to do this.”

Benedict Allen is now recovering back in the UK.


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Allen attempts total immersion when travelling opting to leave without a GPS or phone Source:Benedict Allen

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About the Author

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam.

A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon.

He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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