Women Explorers

Vote for Your Favourite Women Explorers

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 1 
Nellie Bly
(Journalist and Writer Known for Her Record-Breaking Trip Around the World in 72 Days)
Nellie Bly
11
Birthdate: May 5, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cochrans Mills, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 27, 1922

Nellie Bly was an American industrialist, journalist, inventor, and charity worker. She is remembered for her circumnavigation of the world in 72 days. She is also known for pioneering a new kind of investigative journalism as she worked undercover from within a mental institution to report on the institution. Nellie Bly’s life and work have inspired several works of art.

 2 
Sacagawea
(Interpreter)
Sacagawea
13
Birthdate: 1788 AD
Birthplace: Salmon
Died: 1812 AD
Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman, became a significant part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, helping its members connect with the Native Americans along the trail. The National American Woman Suffrage Association later honored her by erecting several statues in her memory. She finds mention in many books and films.
 3 
Aloha Wanderwell
(Explorer)
Aloha Wanderwell
5
Birthdate: October 13, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada
Died: June 4, 1996

Aloha Wanderwell was a Canadian-American explorer, aviator, author, and filmmaker. In 1927, she became the first woman to travel around the world in a Ford 1918 Model T, at the age of 21. When she was 16, she undertook a journey, in which she traveled across 80 countries. Wanderwell is also remembered for making films like My Hawaii. 

 4 
Sylvia Earle
(The First Female Chief Scientist of the ‘U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’)
Sylvia Earle
17
Birthdate: August 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gibbstown, Greenwich Township, New Jersey, United States
Sylvia Earle is known for her research on marine algae and she was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earle held the world record for the deepest untethered dive and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet, in 1998. She also featured in Netflix Original documentary Seaspiracy.
 5 
Laura Dekker
(New Zealand-Born Dutch Sailor Who Completed the First Solo Circumnavigation of the World)
Laura Dekker
9
Birthdate: September 20, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Whangarei, New Zealand

New Zealand-born Dutch sailor Laura Dekker was 14 when she began her path-breaking solo journey around the world aboard a ketch named Guppy. At 16, she reached the Caribbean and thus became the youngest person to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world. She later published a book on her experiences.

 6 
Ellen MacArthur
(Sailor)
Ellen MacArthur
7
Birthdate: July 8, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whatstandwell, England
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 7 
Junko Tabei
(Explorer, Mountaineer)
Junko Tabei
5
Birthdate: September 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Miharu
Died: October 20, 2016
 8 
Freydís Eiríksdóttir
(Explorer)
Freydís Eiríksdóttir
4
Birthdate: 0970 AD
Birthplace: Iceland
 9 
Alexandra David-Néel
(Belgian–French Explorer, Anarchist, Spiritualist, and Writer)
Alexandra David-Néel
5
Birthdate: October 24, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Mandé, France
Died: September 8, 1969

Alexandra David-Néel was a Belgian–French explorer, anarchist, spiritualist, Buddhist, writer, and opera singer. She is best remembered for traveling to important spiritual centers, including Lhasa, Tibet in 1924, when foreigners were forbidden from entering Lhasa. Alexandra David-Néel wrote more than 30 books and her teachings influenced people like Allen Ginsberg, Benjamin Crème, Jack Kerouac, Ram Dass, and Alan Watts.   

 10 
Isabelle Eberhardt
(Explorer)
Isabelle Eberhardt
4
Birthdate: February 17, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: October 21, 1904
 11 
Freya Stark
(British-Italian Explorer and Travel Writer)
Freya Stark
5
Birthdate: January 31, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 9, 1993

Freya Stark was an Anglo-Italian travel writer and explorer. One of the first non-Arabs to explore the southern Arabian Desert, Stark penned down over 24 books on her travels in Afghanistan and the Middle East. She also wrote many essays and autobiographical works. In 1968, Freya Stark embarked on her last expedition to Afghanistan at the age of 75.

 12 
Ann Bancroft
(American Author, Adventurer and the First Woman to Finish a Number of Expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic)
Ann Bancroft
6
Birthdate: September 29, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mendota Heights, Minnesota, United States

Ann Bancroft grew up with a learning disability but later became a physical education teacher. She eventually quit her job and scripted history by becoming the first woman to reach the North Pole. She also led the first women’s group that reached the South Pole on skis.

 13 
Jeanne Baré
(The First Woman to Circumnavigated the Globe Through Maritime-Transport)
Jeanne Baré
5

Jeanne Baret is recognized as the first woman who circumnavigated the globe through maritime-transport. She did so disguised as a man called Jean Baret and joining expedition of French admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville, according to whose account Baret was an expert botanist. She enlisted herself as valet and assistant of French naturalist Philibert Commerson for the expedition.     

 14 
Mary Kingsley
(British Ethnographer, Scientific Writer and Explorer Known for Her Travels and Writings on West Africa)
Mary Kingsley
3
Birthdate: October 13, 1862
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Islington, London, England
Died: June 3, 1900

English ethnographer and traveler Mary Kingsley was the daughter of renowned physician and traveler George Kingsley and the niece of Charles Kingsley. Unlike girls of her era, she was well-educated and later ventured on an exploratory trip to West Africa, becoming the first European to enter remote areas such as Gabon.

 15 
Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir
(Explorer)
Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir
2
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Birthplace: Snæfellsnes, Iceland
Died: 1019 AD
 16 
Osa Johnson
(Filmmaker)
Osa Johnson
4
Birthdate: March 14, 1894
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chanute, Kansas, United States
Died: January 7, 1953
 17 
Aud the Deep-Minded
(Explorer)
Aud the Deep-Minded
2
Birthdate: 0834 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0900 AD
 18 
Naomi James
(New Zealand Sailor)
Naomi James
1
Birthdate: March 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New Zealand
 19 
Jane Dieulafoy
(Archaeologist)
Jane Dieulafoy
2
Birthdate: June 29, 1851
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toulouse, France
Died: May 25, 1916
 20 
Antoinette Bourignon
(Mystic)
Antoinette Bourignon
1
Birthdate: January 13, 1616
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: October 30, 1680
 21 
Alexandrine Tinné
(Explorer)
Alexandrine Tinné
2
Birthdate: October 17, 1835
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
Died: August 1, 1869

Alexandrine Tinné was a Dutch explorer and photographer. Tinné, who was among the first group of women from Europe to reach Gondokoro in Africa, also became the first European woman to make an earnest attempt to cross the Sahara. An early photographer, Alexandrine Tinné worked with many commercial photographers like Francis Frith and Robert Jefferson Bingham.

 22 
Isabel Godin des Odonais
(Journeyer)
Isabel Godin des Odonais
2
Birthdate: January 16, 1728
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riobamba, Ecuador
Died: September 28, 1792
 23 
Christina Dodwell
(Explorer)
Christina Dodwell
0
Birthdate: February 1, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nigeria
 24 
Arnarulunnguaq
(Was a key member of Knud Rasmussen's Fifth Thule Expedition)
Arnarulunnguaq
0
Birthdate: 1896 AD
Birthplace: Qaanaaq, Greenland
Died: October 2, 1933
 25 
Matilda Coxe Stevenson
(US Ethnologist and Pioneering Female Figure in Science)
Matilda Coxe Stevenson
2
Birthdate: May 12, 1849
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Augustine, Texas, United States
Died: June 24, 1915

US ethnologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson was a pioneering female figure in the scientific world. She was also the first woman to work for the Bureau of American Ethnology. She was known for her research on the indigenous Zuni community. She also helped establish the Women's Anthropological Society in Washington DC.

 26 
Elham Al Qasim
(Explorer)
Elham Al Qasim
0
Birthdate: 1982
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dubai, United Arab Emirates