Desert exploration

Desert exploration is the deliberate and scientific exploration of deserts, the arid regions of the earth. It is only incidentally concerned with the culture and livelihood of native desert dwellers.

The nature of deserts ensures that the story of their exploration is filled with tragedy. Many expedition members met their deaths due to the harsh conditions. Unlike earlier naval exploration and later space exploration, there was little hope of financial reward, and desert expeditions were generally undertaken for scientific purposes, in search of earlier explorers who had vanished, or for the challenge alone.

The following sections list deserts around the world, and their explorers. Expeditions are listed by their leaders; details of other expedition members may be found via the links.




  • Gobi Desert
    • Ripley Davenport Desert explorer who crossed the Mongolian Gobi Desert, on two separate occasions, one, in 2010, on foot hauling 250kg of supplies on a specially made fabricated wheeled trailer and the most recent, a 1000 mile trek in 2011, with a caravan of bactrian camels and paying clients. Also along in the employ of Davenport were a local bi-lingual guide, a cook, a camel handler and a 4wd van which met the group with meals at lunch and dinner.
  • Karakum Desert
    • Ripley Davenport desert explorer crossed the Karakum Desert, Covering much of present day Turkmenistan, from South to North in 1998
  • Rub' al Khali or the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula:


North America

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