Mungo Park Biography
Birthday: September 11, 1771 (Virgo)
Born In: Selkirkshire, Scotland
Mungo Park was a Scottish explorer who attempted to explore the true course of the Niger River. He is believed to have been the first Westerner to travel to the central portion of the Niger River. Famous for his adventures on the hazardous explorations he undertook, he lost his life in his attempt to find the source of the Niger River. Born as the son of a wealthy farmer in Selkirkshire, Scotland, his parents initially wanted him to pursue a religious career. However, life had other plans for him and he went on to study medicine at University of Edinburgh and became a trained medical surgeon. He was then appointed as assistant surgeon on board the East India Company's ship Worcester, and travelled to Benkulen in Sumatra. He studied the plant and animal life in Sumatra and gained valuable experience. Subsequently he was appointed by the African Association to explore the true course of the Niger River and set off on his first exploration in 1795. He had several exciting albeit dangerous experiences on this trip but he was unable to find the source of the Niger. He embarked on another expedition to Africa after a few years but perished on the trip along with all the other members of his party.