Founder, Mountain Travel-Sobek

Often called the father of modern adventure travel, Richard Bangs has spent decades as an explorer and communicator, pioneering “virtual expeditions” on the internet, and leading the first descents of 35 rivers around the world, including the Yangtze in China and the Zambezi in Southern Africa. He also founded Sobek Expeditions, the first multinational river-running company, and the pioneering outfitter for active wilderness travel. Bangs has published 19 books and more than 1,000 magazine articles. He’s also produced a score of documentaries and all manner of digital media. He has lectured at the Smithsonian, the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club, and other notable venues. He writes a semi-regular feature for, freelances for other print and online publications, and produces and hosts Richard Bangs’ Adventures with Purpose, as seen on National Public Television.

In the early 1990s, Sobek merged with Mountain Travel to become Mountain Travel-Sobek, a leader in international adventure and eco-travel. Bangs also began TerraQuest, one of the first online travel projects, and was part of the founding executive team of He also served as president of Outward Bound; created the “Well Traveled” series for, and was the founding editor and executive producer of MSNBC’s “Great Escapes.” He lives in Venice, California, with his family.