Explorer, Expedition Leader & Survival Guide, Chaz Powell FRGS, supports the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Chaz is part of our BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK
After exploring and hiking the globe for over 18 years, Chaz now lives his life as an Explorer, Expedition Leader and Survival Guide. His ongoing project ‘The Wildest Journey’ is all about his wildest journeys by foot along Africa's wildest rivers with an aim to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and anti-poaching. In 2016/17, Chaz spent 137 days walking over 3000km from source to sea along the Zambezi River, and in 2019, spent 47 days walking 1120km from source to sea along the Gambia river and 29 days walking 800km from east to west across Madagascar whilst walking source to sea along the country's longest river, The Mangoky. Having returned to the UK from Zambia in earlier this year, Chaz has been delivering Expedition Training opportunities throughout 2021. He has also been completing more treks over the past year, including the length of the UK’s National Parks and the length of Scotland’s River Spey.
Chaz was awarded the Honorary Title of Explorer of the Year 2021 by the Scientific Exploration Society.
“Good mental health and fitness are vital for our wellbeing. When I was younger, life was challenging and not going the way I wanted it to. Although I completed a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at school, it wasn’t until my early twenties that I knew that sometimes I just need to get away and be on my own. Exploring the outdoors has enabled me to fulfil my ambition to support conservation, travel throughout the world and live a life of adventure, contentment and happiness. As an Expedition Leader and Survival Guide, it is fulfilling to see more young adults explore the outdoors, challenge themselves and improve their mental health and fitness by setting out on their own journeys of exploration.
This past year has been a tough time for everyone; especially young adults. As restrictions are lifted, and we are able to venture into the outdoors, I am excited to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family and help to improve young adult mental health and fitness in Scotland by encouraging more colleges to take on the annual BRIT Challenge. In addition to their relationships with universities and colleges throughout Scotland, It is great to BRIT have forged relationships with Universities Scotland (through Universities UK), Colleges Scotland, sportscotland, Scottish Student Sport.
BRIT’s collaborative approach resonates with me and it’s great to see they are inviting every team taking part in the BRIT Challenge to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities.
I hope fellow Explorers and Adventurers will join me as BRIT Ambassadors and champion the BRIT Challenge. Along with Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities, together we can encourage our chosen universities and colleges to take on the annual BRIT Challenge and support the mental health and fitness of students and young adults throughout the UK.
With the North of Scotland being my new home, I would be thrilled to support students and staff at the North Highland, Orkney and Shetland Colleges, University of the Highlands and Islands, should they take on the BRIT Challenge.”
Chaz Powell FRGS
Explorer, Expedition Leader and Survival Guide
Chaz has spent almost twenty years on expeditions and adventurers. In addition to his international trekking, mountaineering and travelling, he has embraced and experienced the beauty of the UK. Chaz has walked the length of Britain’s 1st, 2nd & 5th longest rivers, The Severn, The Thames & The Wye, Snowdonia National Park over 7 days whilst summiting it’s 40 highest mountains, the Lake District National Park whilst following the course of it’s great lakes, the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to London and several different UK national trails, including Hadrian’s Wall, Offa’s Dyke Path, The West Highland Way and the Pembrokeshire Coastal path.
In 2016, Chaz walking and hitchhiked to the northern most point of mainland Europe (Nordkapp) on a £100 budget to film and admire the Northern Lights. That same year, he walked the length of the worlds steepest island, La Palma in the Canaries.
During 2016/17 Chaz walked from source to sea along the Zambezi River for a combined duration of 137 days, covering over 3000km by foot whilst walking the length of Africa’s wildest river.
From January to March 2019, Chaz and friend Tim Roberts walked from source to sea along the Gambia River in Western Africa. For 47 days they covered around 1200km by foot whilst walking through Guinea Conakry, Senegal and The Gambia. Becoming the first people in known history to do so.
From August to September 2019, Chaz led a small team for 800km walking east to west across Madagascar whilst following the course of the country’s longest river, ‘The Mangoky’ from source to sea. Alongside Ecologist Emilie Gorse, and Videographer Justin True, they became the first people in known history to walk The Mangoky.
Chaz returned to the UK from Zambia, where he was able to spend some quality time in tranquil African based environments with an aim to write about his 2019 Madagascar Crossing/Mangoky River source to sea expedition.
Throughout 2021, Chaz has been delivering Expedition Training opportunities. He has also been completing more treks over the past year including the length of the UK’s National Parks and the length of Scotland’s River Spey.
Chaz will be returning to Zambia in early 2022 and then coming back to the UK in late March, when he will be running various UK based expeditions and challenges; mainly consisting of island crossings by foot while teaching expedition and survival skills. He is also planning another African river expedition for 2022.
We are delighted that Chaz’s many achievements have been recognised and thrilled that he was awarded the honorary title of Explorer of the Year 2021 by the Scientific Exploration Society.