Famous German Explorers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite German Explorers

 1 
Alfred Wegener
(Polar Researcher)

Alfred Wegener
5
Birthdate: November 1, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: November 1, 1930

In the early 1900s, meteorologist Alfred Wegener did not find too many takers for his theory that all the continents of the world had initially been a single mass named Pangaea and that continental drift had caused them to split apart. Wegener died on his fourth expedition in Greenland.

 2 
Laura Dekker
(Dutch sailor who became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly.)

Laura Dekker
5
Birthdate: September 20, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Whangarei, New Zealand

 3 
Hermann Detzner
(Explorer)

Hermann Detzner
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Speyer, Bavarian Palatinate, German Empire
Died: December 1, 1970
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 4 
Hans Staden
(Former German soldier and explorer who voyaged to South America in the middle of the sixteenth century)

Hans Staden
2
Birthdate: 1525 AD
Birthplace: Homberg, Germany
Died: July 30, 1576

 5 
Carl Peters
(Explorer)

Carl Peters
2
Birthdate: September 27, 1856
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Neuhaus an der Elbe, Germany
Died: September 10, 1918

 6 
Martin Behaim
(Geographer and navigator)

Martin Behaim
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1459
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nürnberg, Germany
Died: July 29, 1507

Martin Behaim was a German cartographer and textile merchant best remembered for producing the oldest surviving terrestrial globe, the Erdapfel. Behaim was an adviser to John II of Portugal who consulted him in matters of navigation. Martin Behaim also took part in an expedition to West Africa.

 7 

Georg Wilhelm Steller
2
Birthdate: March 10, 1709
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bad Windsheim, Germany
Died: November 14, 1746

German-born zoologist and botanist Georg Wilhelm Steller traveled to Russia on a troop ship. He was later part of the Great Northern Expedition, aboard the St. Peter, aimed at locating a sea route from Russia to North America. The Steller’s sea cow, discovered by him, went extinct later.

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 8 
Engelbert Kaempfer
(Naturalist)

Engelbert Kaempfer
2
Birthdate: September 16, 1651
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lemgo, Germany
Died: November 2, 1716

Seventeenth-century German physician and traveler Engelbert Kaempfer had been on trade missions across the world, including places such as Russia, Iran, Java, and Japan. His written experiences about his stay in Japan became a valuable source of information on the flora and fauna of the country.

 9 
Ferdinand von Richthofen
(Geographer, Traveler)

Ferdinand von Richthofen
2
Birthdate: May 5, 1833
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pokój, Poland
Died: October 6, 1905

Ferdinand von Richthofen, also known as Baron von Richthofen, was a German geographer who discovered quite a few places in and around China, thus contributing to his book China, the Results of My Travels and the Studies Based Thereon. He worked on chorography and chorology and also developed geomorphology.

 10 

Ferdinand von Wrangel
1
Birthdate: January 9, 1797
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pskov, Russia
Died: June 6, 1870

 11 

Otto von Kotzebue
1
Birthdate: December 30, 1787
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tallinn, Estonia
Died: February 15, 1846

 12 
Heinrich Barth
(Explorer)

Heinrich Barth
2
Birthdate: February 16, 1821
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: November 25, 1865

 13 
Thomas Orde-Lees
(Explorer, Mountaineer)

Thomas Orde-Lees
0
Birthdate: May 23, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aachen, Germany
Died: December 1, 1958

 14 
Carsten Niebuhr
(Mathematician)

Carsten Niebuhr
1
Birthdate: March 17, 1733
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ludingworth, Germany
Died: April 26, 1815

 15 
Theodore of Corsica
(King of Corsica)

Theodore of Corsica
1
Birthdate: August 25, 1694
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: December 11, 1756

Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius
1
Birthdate: April 17, 1794
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Erlangen, Germany
Died: December 13, 1868

Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied
1
Birthdate: September 23, 1782
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Neuwied, Germany
Died: February 3, 1867

 18 
Gustav Adolf von Götzen
(Explorer, Diplomat)

Gustav Adolf von Götzen
0
Birthdate: May 12, 1866
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sarny Palace, Ścinawka Górna, Poland
Died: December 2, 1910

 19 
Gustav Nachtigal
(German explorer)

Gustav Nachtigal
1
Birthdate: February 23, 1834
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eichstedt, Germany
Died: April 20, 1885

 20 

Hermann Wissmann
1
Birthdate: September 4, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany
Died: June 15, 1905

 21 

Erich von Drygalski
1
Birthdate: February 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Königsberg, Russia
Died: January 10, 1949

Erich von Drygalski was a German geographer, polar scientist, and geophysicist. He is best remembered for leading two expeditions to explore the unexplored area of Antarctica in the early 1890s with the help of the Society for Geoscience of Berlin. Erich von Drygalski also served as a professor of geophysics and geography in Berlin.

 22 
Karl Mauch
(Explorer)

Karl Mauch
1
Birthdate: May 7, 1837
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kernen, Germany
Died: April 4, 1875

 23 

Wilhelm Filchner
1
Birthdate: September 13, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: May 7, 1957

 24 
Curt von François
(Explorer, Military personnel)

Curt von François
0
Birthdate: October 2, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Died: December 28, 1931

 25 
Philipp von Hutten
(Adventurer)

Philipp von Hutten
1
Birthdate: December 18, 1505
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Konigshofen, Germany
Died: May 17, 1546

 26 
Eduard Rüppell
(Naturalist)

Eduard Rüppell
1
Birthdate: November 20, 1794
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: December 10, 1884

 27 
Karl Weyprecht
(Explorer)

Karl Weyprecht
1
Birthdate: September 8, 1838
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Germany
Died: March 29, 1881

Robert Hermann Schomburgk
0
Birthdate: June 5, 1804
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Freyburg, Germany
Died: March 11, 1865

 29 
Julius Klaproth
(Linguist)

Julius Klaproth
0
Birthdate: October 11, 1783
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 28, 1835

 30 
Gerhard Rohlfs
(Explorer)

Gerhard Rohlfs
0
Birthdate: April 14, 1831
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vegesack, Germany
Died: June 2, 1896

Being the son of a physician, geographer Gerhard Rohlfs was expected to take up medicine but was more interested in exploring uncharted territories and thus joined the French Foreign Legion. Best known for his journeys across North Africa, he had initially learned Arabic to travel to Morocco disguised as an Arab.

Karl Klaus von der Decken
0
Birthdate: August 8, 1833
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kotzen, Germany
Died: October 2, 1865

 32 
Johannes Rebmann
(Missionary)

Johannes Rebmann
1
Birthdate: January 16, 1820
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gerlingen, Germany
Died: October 4, 1876

German missionary Johannes Rebmann became the first person to explore Africa from the continent’s Indian Ocean coast and also the first European to discover Mt. Kilimanjaro. Along with his associate Johann Ludwig Krapf, he also stumbled upon Mt. Kenya. His diary later revealed a lot about his experiences in Africa.

 33 

Eduard Robert Flegel
0
Birthdate: October 13, 1855
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vilnius, Lithuania
Died: September 11, 1886

 34 

Friedrich Hornemann
0
Birthdate: September 15, 1772
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hildesheim, Germany
Died: January 31, 1801