10 most famous travelers and their discoveries

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Today we know almost everything about our planet, any corner of the Earth was thoroughly investigated, described, photographed and found its place in geographic textbooks. And thanks to the active development of tourism, you can visit any exotic country yourself or even take a cruise to the shores of Antarctica. But a few centuries ago the only reliable source of knowledge about distant countries and territories were brave travelers who made an invaluable contribution in the development of our planet. Their names and discoveries will forever remain in stories. Below we suggest you learn about the ten most famous travelers.

Rating of the most famous travelers and their discoveries

Nomination a place Traveler fame rating
10 most famous travelers and their discoveries 10 Roald Amundsen 4.1
9 David Livingston 4.2
8 Nikolay Miklukho-Maclay 4.3
7 James Cook 4.4
6 Leif Ericsson 4.5
5 Fernan Magellan 4.6
4 Vasco da Gama 4.7
3 Amerigo Vespucci 4.8
2 Christopher Columbus 4.9
1 Marco Polo 5.0

Roald Amundsen

Rating: 4.1

Roald Amundsen

The famous Norwegian traveler, known primarily thanks to its polar expeditions. Roald Amundsen since childhood dreamed of becoming a navigator, he was inspired by the example of Rear Admiral John Franklin To the harsh life of a sailor and explorer, he began get ready since adolescence, doing physical exercising, skiing, and generally driving Spartan Lifestyle. Amundsen also attended lectures of polar explorer Eivin Astrup, which finally strengthened young man’s determination to devote his life to polar research. But, trying to become a member of the expedition to Earth Franz Josef faced rejection due to absence experience.

However, Amundsen did not give up, and in 1986, receiving the title navigator, went as part of Adrien de Gerlach’s group Antarctic expedition. During this campaign he became the first in the world by the person who made the ski trip on the island of Tu Hammock. Together with the team he had to spend thirteen months in the ice of the Southern Ocean, after which they had to return, never reaching the goal. A turning point in the life of Amundsen was 1901, when he bought the Yoa yacht and began to re-prepare for Travel to the South Pole. Together with the team at the converted fishing yacht they reached the shores of Antarctica and in the middle December reached their goal, ahead of the captain by several weeks Robert Scott.

Almost the entire life of Royal Amundsen took place in various expeditions. In 1928, his plane crashed when he set off in search of his colleague, Umberto Nobile. Myself Rescuers could not be found.

David Livingston

Rating: 4.2

David Livingston

David Livingston is a Scottish missionary who researched Africa and introduced the world to its culture and customs. Upon graduation doctors, he turned to the London Missionary Society, and so ended up on the African continent, starting his journey from its southern part. Livingston lived in the country for the first seven years Bechuan, on the territory of modern Botswana. Then he had the idea of ​​exploring South African rivers to explore new ways deep into Africa. In 1849, he explored the Kalahari desert and discovered Lake Ngami, then went on a trip along the Zambezi River. David Livingston became the first European to cross African continent. In 1855, he accomplished one of his greatest discoveries – discovered a huge waterfall 120 meters high, located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Livingston called him Victoria Falls, in honor of the Queen of England.

A year later, the missionary returned home and published a book there, in which described in detail his studies and travels. Also he was awarded a gold medal from the Royal Geographical society. Going back to Africa, Livingston continued his traveling, mainly researching large rivers. They also discovered the lakes of Bangweulu and Mvelu. In 1873 during searching for the origins of the Nile, he died of malaria near the village of Chitambo (Zambia). During his lifetime, Livingston gained fame of the indefatigable traveler and received from the locals the nickname “Great lion “, and after death left behind a lot of invaluable information about Africa.

Nikolay Miklukho-Maclay

Rating: 4.3

Nikolay Miklouho-Maclay

The famous Russian traveler and scientist who made a huge contribution to the study of indigenous peoples of Oceania, Australia and South-East Asia. In his youth, Miklouho-Maclay was educated in Germany, was an assistant to the naturalist Ernst Haeckel. By returning to Russia he managed to convince the Russian geographical society in need of exploration of the Pacific territories, and in the fall of 1870 on the military ship “Vityaz” he went to New Guinea. Miklouho-Maclay explained his choice of location by the fact that on these the islands of primitive society represents exceptional ethnographic and anthropological value, since less everything was influenced by civilization.

Russian researcher lived among the Papuans for more than a year, getting acquainted with their customs, daily life and religious ceremonies. In 1872, Miklouho-Maclay went around the clipper “Emerald” Philippine and several other Pacific islands. Two years later he returned to New Guinea and for some time lived in its western parts, and since 1876 went to study Western Micronesia and islands of melanesia. Miklouho-Maclay was known not only as scientist, but also as a humanist, public figure, fighter for the rights of the natives and the adversary of slavery. The last years of his life he spent in St. Petersburg.

James Cook

Rating: 4.4

James Cook

Mariner known for their three circumnavigations travels during which new territories were discovered and detailed maps of the islands of the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, as well as the coast of Newfoundland, Australia and New Zealand. James Cook was born and raised in a farmer’s family, but contrary to the will of his father, he decided to become a sailor. From the age of 18 he worked as a young man, then promoted to officer, took part in the Seven Year the war.

In 1768, the British government decided to send scientific expedition to explore the Pacific. This is not easy the task was assigned to an experienced seafarer by that time James Cook He became captain of the three-masted ship Endeavor and received an order to head for the islands of Tahiti in order to observe the passage of Venus through the solar disk, which would allow to calculate distance from the earth to the sun. Also in the mission, in addition to astronomical, there was another goal – to find the southern mainland. In Cook discovered New Zealand during this voyage and explored East coast of Australia. A few years later took place the second expedition, which was accompanied by a series of discoveries: the island Norfolk, Caledonia, South Sandwich Islands. Followed by the third, during which Hawaii was discovered. In hawaii an armed skirmish occurred between members of the ship and the local population resulting in the death of Cook. During his voyages the captain managed to create maps so accurate and detailed that they remained relevant until the middle of the XIX century.

Leif Ericsson

Rating: 4.5


The legendary Scandinavian seafarer is considered the first in stories of a european stepping ashore on a north american continent. Leif Ericsson, nicknamed “happy” grew up in the family Viking Eric Red, the discoverer of Greenland. About 1000 year AD he met the Norwegian Bjarni Heryulfson, from whom I heard a story about unknown western lands. Burning with desire make a discovery and find new territories to settle their fellow tribesmen, Ericsson acquired a ship, assembled a team and hit the road.

During this trip, he discovered three regions of Canada. The first shore that met the sailors was Baffin’s Land, which the Scandinavians called Helluland (stone). Next was the Labrador Peninsula, named after them Markland, which means “forest land”. And finally, the third, most attractive beach Newfoundland, which Ericsson and his people called Vinland, that is, “fertile land.” There they founded a small settlement and stayed for the winter. After returning to his homeland, Leif instructed to his sibling, Torvald, to continue exploring Vinland. However, the second expedition of the descendants of the Vikings to the North American shores crashed as they had to retreat after fierce skirmishes with a Canadian tribe of Indians.

Fernan Magellan

Rating: 4.6


The first researcher in the world to make a trip around the world travel and made a number of important discoveries. Magellan born in Portugal in a noble family. His first marine the expedition occurred in 1505 when he went to India in the squadron Francisco di Almeida. Magellan soon appeared plan to embark on a voyage to the Molucco Islands in the hope of finding them western way. Unable to get the consent of the Portuguese monarch, he made the same request to the king of Spain and eventually received in five ships. In 1519, the expedition of Magellan left the harbor.

After a year of sailing, Fernand Magellan with his flotilla reached coast of South America, where he was forced to stop at the harbor on wintering. In the same year he discovered the strait, later called it name, and went into the ocean. For almost four months of sailing in the travelers have never caught the storm therefore, they decided to call this Pacific Ocean. Expedition reached Mariana archipelago, then the Philippine Islands were discovered. This item became the ultimate in Magellan’s voyage as it was killed during the battle with the Mactan Island tribe. To Spain only one ship returned that brought news of the great discoveries.

Vasco da Gama

Rating: 4.7

Vasco da Gama

Portuguese navigator, discoverer of the sea route in India, and the first European to set foot on Indian soil. Vasco yes Gama grew up in a noble family and was educated, still young went to the fleet. He established himself in battles with French corsairs and managed to earn the king’s favor Manuel the First, who instructed him to lead an expedition to India. For the trip, three ships and more than 170 people were involved. crew. Vasco da Gama sailed in 1497, by December that year they managed to reach the shores of South Africa, and six months later, the ships approached the Indian coast. Although the plans Travelers to establish trade with local residents were not successful, they were greeted with honor at home, and yes Gama was appointed Admiral of the Indian Ocean.

During his life, Vasco da Gama made two more voyages to India. The purpose of the second expedition was to establish in new territories Portuguese trading posts. The third time he went there in 1502 to strengthen the power of the Government of Portugal and combat corruption in the colonial administration. Their last years navigator spent in India.

Amerigo Vespucci

Rating: 4.8


Florentine navigator and merchant, who first advanced the theory, that the part of the world discovered by Christopher Columbus is a new one, previously unknown continent. In his youth Amerigo Vespucci graduated prestigious university, subsequently worked in commercial banking Medici’s house. In 1499, he joined the crew of the ship under command of the Spanish admiral Alonso de Ojeda. Expedition goal was a study of the lands of the New World.

During this voyage, Vespucci served as navigator, geographer and cartographer. He described everything in detail details regarding the terrain, flora and fauna new lands, meetings with the natives, and also made a stellar map the sky. He subsequently took part in another expedition, 1503 year, during which he commanded a small ship. Vespucci was the first researcher to study a large part of Brazilian the coast.

Christopher Columbus

Rating: 4.9

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus is best known as a discoverer America, although during his life he made other important discoveries. He grew up in a poor family, but received a good education. In 1470 years participated in marine shipping expeditions. Main dream Columbus was to find the sea route to India via the Atlantic. is he repeatedly appealed to European monarchs for help in organization and financing of the expedition, but only in 1492 received Consent from the Spanish Queen Isabella.

Having got three ships at his disposal and collecting a team from volunteers, Christopher Columbus set sail. He opened Bahamas, Cuba and Haiti. Then followed the second expedition, during which Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Small Antilles and Virgin Islands. In 1498, Columbus went to third trip, which resulted in an exploration of the island Trinidad Finally, in 1502, he managed to obtain permission King of Spain on the fourth expedition, during which the ships Columbus reached the shores of Central America. All subsequent life Christopher Columbus was sure that the land he discovered was connected to Asia and he still found the sea route to India.

Marco Polo

Rating: 5.0

Marco Polo

One of the most famous travelers who inspired many discoverers, including Christopher Columbus. Marco Polo grew up in the family of a Venetian merchant and from an early age got used to accompany him on trips, while searching for new shopping ways. In 1271, the Pope sent them to China, appointing them official representatives. After a five year expedition, running through Asia Minor, Persia and Kashmir, the Polo family reached the residence of Kublai Khan, the ruler of the Mongolian state of Yuan, part of which at that time was China. Young and brave Marco Khan immediately liked, so he decided to leave travelers in their courtyard where they spent the next 17 years old.

In 1291, Khubilai instructed the Polo family to accompany the flotilla that transported the Mongol princess to Persia, where she was to become the wife of the Persian Shah. But during the journey came the news of the death of the Shah, after which Polo took decision to return to Venice. Shortly after Marco’s return home took part in the war with Genoa and was captured by the Genoese. Being in conclusion, he met the Italian writer Rusticello, who recorded a detailed story about his amazing adventures and life in China.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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