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Arabia: a 5,000-mile Journey Through the Heart of the Middle East with Explorer Levison Wood

Levison Wood is one of the world’s most well-known explorers, TV presenters and authors. Join him for a 5,000-mile journey through the heart of the Middle East, from the front lines of Iraq and Syria through the Empty Quarter desert to Yemen, the West Bank and beyond. 13 countries in five months, his most complicated and dangerous expedition yet.

Following in the footsteps of great explorers such as Lawrence of Arabia and Wilfred Thesiger, we will pass through some of the most devastated and war-torn areas on the planet, but also some of the most fascinating and historic too. We will peel back our preconceptions and discover a hidden side to the Middle East, beyond the headlines and politics. This is the real Arabia, a mosaic of the best and worst of humanity, a quest to better understand the region and, perhaps, ourselves.

Highlights include:

· Hear how one totally random chance event changed his life and led him to become one of the world’s most famous explorers

· Hitchhiking to Baghdad during the Gulf war – hear the story of Levison’s first and craziest adventure as a young university student

· Follow him to the front line, as he embeds with Kurdish fighters in Iraq, liberating ISIS held cities

· Discover the Mesopotamian Marshes, the jewel of southern Iraq, where one of the most ancient cultures in the world is slowly rebuilding their lives

· Cross the Empty Quarter desert on foot, 10-days through one of the harshest environments on the planet

· Sneak into Yemen and cross over into Somalia by fishing boat, through the most pirate infested waters on Earth

· Explore Jerusalem, and the West Bank, joining a demonstration that turns into a riot

“This is a story of my own wanderings set against a backdrop of interesting times. I have tried to challenge the prevailing winds where possible and contest stereotypes, hopefully smashing a few myths along the way.”

- Levison Wood

Who’s the Guest?

Levison Wood is a British explorer, writer and photographer. He's written seven best-selling books, presented and produced some of the best travel and adventure documentaries out there, and done some quite simply incredible expeditions. Highlights include, walking the 4,250-mile length of the Nile River, trekking 1,700-miles across the Himalayas, and following in the footsteps of the annual migration of African elephants through Botswana, in order to raise awareness of the plight of these critically endangered animals. His latest book is Encounters, a beautiful hardback photography book which documents the last 15 years of his adventures.

Instagram:@levison.wood / Facebook: @levisonwoodofficial / Twitter: @levisonwood

Find out details of his autumn 2021 tour of the UK and more at:


I no longer have an affiliate programme with Amazon, so no referral fees just click the link below to be linked to all seven of Levison's best-selling books.

Gallery (all images (c) Levison Wood)


Below is a selection of videos that provide some background to the episode.

This is the trailer for the documentary series and gives you a good idea of many of the places we visit in the episode

Here's the scenes from Yemen, where he has to flee from a drone strike

Some scenes from Saudi Arabia, including those crazy boy racers who drive on two-wheels

Here's a scene from his latest series/book Walking with Giants where he gets close to some very dangerous wildlife

Finally, Levison references the Captain Phillips movie in relation to the boarding of his ship by Somali gunmen. If you haven't you seen it, here's a scene that gives you an idea of what's going through his head


Levison is an ambassador for UNICEF. If you're interested in helping the people of Yemen, Syria and Iraq suffering the devastating effects of war, malnutrition and disease, click here:

Yemen -

Syria -

Iraq -

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