Guildford Travel Club Presents

To Eritrea and Ethiopia: Retracing a Victorian Expedition

1st October 2019

John Pilkington

Portrait of Arab man and camel

In 1868 Queen Victoria’s government mounted an extraordinary bid to rescue a small clutch of European hostages in the Abyssinian highlands. They built a Red Sea port, then a railway across the coastal plain, and
finally brought in 44 Indian elephants and took on 26,000 local people to serve the soldiers and carry their heavy guns into the heart of Africa.

A hundred and fifty years later, John followed their route, partly on foot with a donkey, and compared Eritrea and Ethiopia then and now. He found today’s people spirited and energetic, living in dramatic and extremely challenging lands.

It was history and adventure combined!

Past Club President, John has been called “one of Britain’s greatest tellers of travellers’ tales”. He has given talks to over 1,000 audiences in five countries, and holds the Royal Geographical Society’s Ness Award for popularising geography and the wider understanding of the world. His stunning photos and inspiring commentary will make this an evening not to be missed.

John's website can be found here.

Portrait of two young women seated on the ground
Line-up of traditionally dressed women
Colourful Smiles
Portait of an older man wearing strong spectacles
Strong Prescription
Woman playing large traditional harp-like stringed instrument
Portrait of two young women with matching haorstyles
Matching hairstyles