Duncan Milligan: "I make adventures happen"

World leading expert in adventure logistics Duncan Milligan reveals all about his life in travel

3 mins

Mountain/desert/jungle/ocean which are you?


First travel experience?

Moving to Bahrain in the Middle East aged five years.

Favourite journey?

Driving along the beach between Nouadhibou and Nouakchott in Mauritania. Wait for the tide to go out and make a run for it before it comes back in again!

Top five places worldwide?

Dogon Escarpment, Mali; El Chalten, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Djety Oguz, Kyrgzstan; Darwasa Gas Crater, Turkmenistan.

Special place to stay?

Malealea Lodge, Lesotho.

Three items you always pack?

Torch, boots and rain jacket.

Passport stamp you're proudest of?

Saudi Arabia. They don’t issue tourist visas, but I got one!

Passport stamp most like to have?

North Korea.

Guilty travel pleasure?

A full English breakfast.

Window or aisle?


Who is your ideal travelling companion?

Stephen Fry.

Best meal on the road? Worst?

Best: Any steak in Argentina.

Worst: Sausage sandwich at the bottom of ‘death road’ Bolivia, it gave me Salmonella.

Most surprising place?

Taskurgan, China – all the women dress like 1960s airline stewardesses.

Most disappointing? 


Where do you NOT want to go?

On a cruise.

Who/what inspired you to travel? Any travel heroes?

My family moving abroad when I was five years old. This meant that ‘home’ has always been where they currently live, rather than one particular place (my folks haven’t lived in the UK for the last 33 years).

What do you listen to on the road? Any song take you back to a particular time or place?

"Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads –  “And you may find yourself in another part of the world... and you may ask yourself, how did I get here?”

What do you read?

Travel writing. Currently Wilfred Thesiger, what a legend!

Is there a person you met while travelling who reaffirmed your faith in humanity?

An illegal immigrant taxi driver in Nouakchott who, when I paid him, said I had given him too much and insisted on giving some back. I hired him everyday for the next week.

What's the most impressive / useful phrase you know in a foreign language?

It’s not a phrase. It’s a smile.

What is your worst habit as a traveller?

Logging on to the internet too much.

Snowbound in a tent in Antarctica, how would you entertain your companions?

Tell stories.

When and where in your travels have you been happiest?

Drinking cold beer, eating fried beetles while watching a local football match in Siem Riep, Cambodia in 1994.

What smell most says 'travel' to you?

Blocked drains.

Given a choice, which era would you travel in?


If you could combine three cities to make your perfect metropolis, what would they be?

Cape Town, Buenos Aires and Bamako.

Tour De ForceDuncan Mulligan is the driving force behind Tour De Force, and adventure logistics company. "You give us the adventure, we’ll supply the expertise and experience to make it happen. The more outlandish and challenging the project – the more we can offer."

Duncan will be appearing at the Telegraph Adventure Travel Show, Olympia, London.

Tickets cost £10 on the door; under 16s go free. Wanderlust readers can buy tickets for just £5 when purchasing in advance, simply quote 'WANDERLUST' when you book. Find out more here.

Related Articles