Martin Parnell - TED Talk - Life is a Relay

TED Talk by Untamed Borders guest, Martin Parnell

In 2016 Martin Parnell joined us for the 2nd ever Marathon of Afghanistan, inspired by a newspaper article he spotted in 2015 about the marathon and the first ever female Afghan to run it.  Martin had been hospitalised in early 2015 with a massive blood clot on his brain.  He became determined to participate in the marathon the following year and help support the women participating in the 2016 Marathon of Afghanistan.

On arrival at the Marathon, Martin became aware of a female runner being supported by an NGO, ‘Free to Run’, who work with women and girls in communities affected by war.

Martin has run over 330 marathons, 250 of which were in the space of one year.  Something for which he holds a Guinness World Record.  In fact, he has set 5 world records.

We are proud to be a part of Martin’s journey, his TED talk is certainly worth a watch…just be prepared to be inspired!

If you are interested in joining our package to the Marathon of Afghanistan, you can view more details here.

Elephant Rock Madain Saleh - Saudi Arabia

Join us in Saudi Arabia

In February 2018 we will be guiding a small group through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, taking in the sights and sounds of Jeddah, Abha, Riyadh and Al Ula. Witness ancient architecture, visit art museums and the local arts and crafts markets, traverse Mount Suda in a cable car and check out an abandoned village of Habala set into a cliff face.

You can view further details of the trip here. If you have questions or would like to book, please contact us.


Somaliland: leader in cashless payments?

Somalia is always full of surprises. None more so than the fact that more people make cashless payments there than anywhere else on earth. Check out this BBC article to see why and how.

Somaliland, featured in the article is also the location of the inaugural Somaliland Marathon in early 2018. We will be running packages for the event, you can view the itinerary here.

If you are keen to sign up then please contact us:


Nancy Hatch Dupree

RIP Nancy Hatch Dupree – ‘Grandmother of Afghanistan’

Nancy Hatch Dupree, affectionately known as the ‘Grandmother of Afghanistan’, passed away on Sunday 10th September at the age of 89.

Sharing a kebab and a cup of green tea with Nancy was always a highlight of a visit to Afghanistan. Always illuminating us with talks of her travels around the country. A personal hero of our founders James and Kausar, she was always very supportive of what we were doing in Afghanistan. That has always meant a lot to us.

Rest in Peace Nancy.



Visiting Socotra

In May we guided a small group to the island of Socotra off the coast of Yemen. Described as the Galapagos of the middle east, the island is home to 700 plants endemic to the island.
Despite Yemen being in the middle of a tragic civil war, Socotra has escaped the violence.

You can see a few of their photos here

Pamir Mountain Lakes

Paul Salopek’s 21,000 mile, 10 year walking project

We are very proud to say that, in a very small way, we have been able to contribute as a consultant to Paul Salopek’s epic 21,000 mile, 10 year walking project following mankind’s migration route from the Rift Valley in Africa to Tierra del Fuego.

We were able to provide him and his team information about how to navigate the peaks of the Hindu Kush and Pamirs as he crosses from Central Asia to the subcontinent.

Runners at the Marathon of Afghanistan

One space available – Marathon of Afghanistan package

The Marathon of Afghanistan 2017 will take place this October. We only have one space left on our package to take part in Afghanistan’s only mixed gender sporting event. Get in touch with us at for more information and to sign up.

The rest is simple: run 26 miles and then celebrate your success in the shadow of the Great Buddha niche.

There is more information about the package we offer here.

Film: Adventure Not War

Earlier this year we guided a group of US veterans in Iraq who completed a successful first ski descent of Iraq’s highest peak, Mt. Halgurd. A full length film is currently in post-production by the team. However a short version was recently released and produced by Max Lowe Media and The North Face. Check it out below!

Untamed Borders Job Vacancy

Ever thought about making adventure travel a full-time job?

We are currently looking for a full-time member of staff to join our small team. If you or someone you know is passionate about finding your own amazing travel experiences and will work hard to give others the same kind of buzz you get when you travel, then send us an email and we will reply with further information.

The closing date is end of June 2017.