Don't just visit...Explore!


In this exciting new series, Simon Reeve, author and TV traveller (Tropic of Capricorn, Equator), leads a team of reporters in journeys of discovery to some of the most exotic and extreme locations on earth.

Explore blends travel with current affairs to get under the skin of some fascinating countries. Don’t just visit…Explore!

Programme One - EXPLORE: PATAGONIA TO THE PAMPAS – January 25th 9pm BBC2
In the first episode Simon and the team embark on a journey across Argentina, from the foothills of the Andes in Patagonia, through the exotic capital Buenos Aires to the wide open plains of the Pampas.
The team encounters a country in constant economic flux, with massive inequalities, and a recent history of brutal dictatorship. In the stunning wilderness of Patagonia in the south, Simon investigates an historic land dispute between the indigenous Mapuche Indians and the country’s biggest land owner – Italian fashion giants Benetton. Tanya Datta visits the Glaciers National Park and within the awe inspiring ice fields encounters apparently conflicting evidence of climate change. In Buenos Aires Adil Ray enters a notorious shanty town where residents are holding out against rapacious property developers in South America’s most European Capital.
In the lush green Pampas the traditional Gaucho way of life is facing extinction in a farming revolution which is seeing huge tracts of land turned over to the production of Soy for export to China. It’s part of a global phenomenon that has forced up food prices, particularly effecting the world’s poor.
On the way we witness the excitement and tension of one of the world’s great football matches, and a bizarre tale of intrigue among the penguin colonies of the South Atlantic. It’s a portrait of a country that reflects many of the social and political issues facing South America as well as the colour and humour of this vibrant region.

Programme Two - EXPLORE: AFRICA’S RIFT VALLEY – February 1st 9pm BBC2
Simon embarks on an epic journey down the ancient Rift Valley of East Africa, from the little known red sea enclave of Djibouti, through Ethiopia to the wide open plains of Kenya, accompanied by fellow presenters Tanya Datta and Emeka Onono.
Theey encounter landscapes of great beauty and some of the world’s most extraordinary wildlife. Simon discovers that sleepy Djibouti has got some powerful friends as he visits camp Lemonia, America’s only military base in Africa and HQ of Africom – a new front in the war on terror. Tanya visits the mountains of Ethiopia to investigate the boom ing trade in Khat – a narcotic leaf widely chewed in this part of the World. Ethiopia is infamous for one thing – hunger – and even in the fertile Rift Valley in the South, amid farms exporting broccoli to the West, Simon encounters a Medicine Sans Frontier hospital treating hundreds of of malnourished children, victims of the so called green famine. In Kenya, Emeka investigates the aftermath of last years election violence and discovers that the fragile peace in only skin deep.
On the way we visit conservation projects – where crocodiles are farmed for skin and lions are tracked by Masai warriors – and an inspiring project in Nairobi’s slums.

To learn more about the extraordinary work of Julius Mwelu and the Nairobi slum photographic project, click here:
The Mwelu Foundation.

Programme Three - EXPLORE: ISTANBUL TO ANATOLIA – February 8th 9pm BBC2
The team Explores a country which marks the border between East and West, where Islam comes up against the European Union. This is a country of rich culture and great beauty, but a place of huge contradictions. From the metropolitan centre of Istanbul to the border with Iraq Turkey almost defies description.
Simon investigates how a country which cherishes religious freedom in its constitution still crushes freedom of speech through the notorious Article 301, and how the Kurdish region is still locked in tension with government. British Muslim Adil Ray embarks on an unlikely pastime – Wild Boar hunting – and discovers a liberal attitude to Islam unfamiliar in many countries. But is this all changing with the openly Islamic Government in power? Jenny Kleeman Visits the awe inspiring ancient ruins of the Mediterranean coast, but finds that archaeologists are battling against tomb robbers who sell treasures abroad.
Along the way we search for the bears that are threatening Turkey’s huge honey industry and a woman who wears a wig to get round the ban on head scarves in university. And from the ‘fairy chimneys’ of Cappadocia to the vast valley of the Tigris this is a country of richly diverse landscapes.

Programme Four - EXPLORE: MANILA TO MINDANAO – February 15th 9pm BBC2
A vast archipelago of more than 7,000 Islands, this week the Explore team visits the Philippines. The only Christian country in Asia, behind the beautiful rice terraces, the lush jungle and the tropical beaches, this is a country on the edge.
Simon sets off from the North of the Islands, in the spectacular rice terraces of Banaue, a Unesco World Heritage which is threatened by climate change and giant worms and asks why the country is the world’s largest importer of rice. Seyi Rhodes sets out to discover the fate of the Sea Gypsies, nomadic fishermen who have been forced onto land by piracy, and also uncovers the furious debate over contraception in a Catholic country with a rocketing population. Katya Adler visits the volatile island of Mindanao in the south of the country where a Muslim separatist movement is locked in conflict with the Philippines Army.
On the way we uncover Manila, a sprawling and growing metropolis with a passion for cock fighting and nightlife. Here the military has a terrible reputation for disposing with its enemies and Simon meets a man whose life is under threat, as well as a former General, known as ‘The Butcher’ accused of being behind the extra judicial killings.
Vast and vibrant, the Philippines are an exciting backdrop for a journey into some of the problems that plague developing countries around the world.


Simon Reeve is a broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author who has travelled to scores of countries and been around the world twice for the BBC series Equator and Tropic of Capricorn.

Tanya Datta - formerly a producer and reporter on Radio 4’s Crossing Continents and BBC2’s This World, Tanya brings a wide experience of reporting the world to Explore.

Emeka Onono
- a presenter and film maker with a strong track record, Emeka has made films on subjects as diverse as Robert Kilroy-Silk and Robert Mugabe.

Adil Ray - a DJ on the BBC’s Asian Network, Adil has made many films for the BBC2 strand Desi DNA.

Seyi Rhodes - an exciting young journalist of great promise Seyi has made films abroad for both the BBC and Channel 4.

Katya Adler
- a BBC correspondent in Jerusalem, Katya has reported on foreign affairs issues around the world.

Jenny Kleeman
- Jenny is a reporter and film maker who has made films for the BBC and Channel 4 and written for the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph.

Reviews of the series:

Daily Mail: "Highlight of the Week...very good...As ever, Reeve is not content with spectacular landscapes and local colour; he and his team dig deep to come up with real stories"

Daily Telegraph: "Simon Reeve established himself in shows such as Equator as the most interesting of a new generation of politically aware TV travellers. In the first of an eye-opening new series he leads a team of reporters on a spectacular 2,000-mile journey. Travelling through Argentina Reeve explores a range of landscapes and issues, from how the ice-fields of the Andes are informing the climate change debate to how a Chinese thirst for soy is threatening the gaucho way of life on the Pampas"

Sunday Times – Martin James: “Pick of the Week…Encompassing landscape, environment, human interest, football and politics, the team presents a rounded, vibrant and original picture.”

Daily Telegraph: " More intelligent travel from Simon Reeve and friends…astounding landscapes, glorious wildlife and fascinating insights into local politics, economics and history.”

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see the award-winning photography of James Reeve, Simon's brother, here


Disclaimer: The information on this website was as accurate as possible when it was written, but situations change. We accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information. You should conduct your own research before traveling abroad and check for the latest information on critical issues such as security, visas, health and safety, customs, and transportation with the relevant authorities before you leave.