Who Are These Women Adventurers?

Here is my current list of women adventurers, in alphabetical order. Those with links have articles written about them. 

Harriett Chalmers Adams – 1875-1937  – American writer, photographer. Explored South  America, Haiti, Gobi Desert

Louisa Catherine Adams – 1775 – 1852. English wife of U.S. President John Quincy Adams. Traveled in winter through Europe in 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic wars.

Gertrude Bell – 1868-1926 – English explorer, mapped much of the Middle East, hung out with T.E. Lawrence, called “Queen of the Desert”

Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey -1863-1948 – American ornithologist, did field work in the American West

Isabella Bird – 1841-1904 – English explorer, writer, naturalist. traveled by herself through Asia and North America

Jeanne Baret – 1740-1807 – French naturalist, First woman to circumnavigate the world (disguised as a man)

Louise Arner Boyd – 1887-1972. American who explored Greenland and the Antarctic.

Mary Edith Durham – 1863 – 1944). British traveler, artist, writer, famous for anthropological accounts of life in Albania.

Isabelle Eberhard – 1877-1904. Swiss explorer, traveled to Algeria, converted to Islam, dressed as a man

Helga Etsby – 1860-1942 -American who walked across the U.S. in 1896 to win a prize. She won!

Mary Kingsley – 1862-1908 – English ethnographer and explorer in West Africa

Annie Londonderry – 1870-1947 – American, 1st woman to bicycle around the world

Beryl Markham – 1902-1986 – British/Kenyan aviator

Marie of the Incarnation – 1599 – 1672 – Ursuline nun who traveled to the New World to convert the inhabitants

Kate Marsden – 1859-1931 – British missionary, explorer, writer – traveled to Siberia to find leprosy cure

Martha Maxwell – 1831 – 1881 – American naturalist and taxidermist – traveled in the Rockies.

Inez Mexia –  1870-1938 – Mexican botanist and adventurer – began her career at age 55!

Maria Sibylla Merian – 1647-1717 – German/ botanist – traveled to Dutch Surinam to study metamorphosis

Dervla Murphy – 1931-present – Irish cyclist, travel writer. Traveled through the Himalayas on a bicycle!

Alexandra David-Neel  – 1868-1969 – French writer and Buddhist scholar, traveled to India, China, Tibet.

Marianne North – 1830-1890 – English biologist, botanical artist, traveled alone around the world

Annie Smith Peck – 1850-1935 – American adventurer, mountain climber, suffragist

Ida Laura Pfeiffer – 1797-1856 – Austrian who traveled to Iceland, Europe, Egypt, S America, and around the world

May French Sheldon – 1847-1936  -American publisher, traveled alone in Africa

Hester Stanhope – 1776-1839 – British traveler, archeologist in the Holy Land

Freya Stark – 1893-1993 – British-Italian, traveled within and wrote about the Middle East

Annie Royle Taylor -1855-1922 – English explorer missionary to China – 1st western women to visit Tibet attempted to reach Lhasa

Helen Thayer – 1937-present. New Zealand explorer, first woman explorer to travel to the magnetic North Pole (by sled) (at 50!)

Alexandrine Tinne 1835-1869 – Dutch explorer in Africa, crossed the Sahara

Vivienne de Watteville – 1900-1957 – British travel writer and big game hunter, traveled to the Congo, Uganda.

Narcissa Whitman – 1808 – 1847. American missionary. One of the first women to travel across the Rocky Mountains.

Jane Elliott Wulsin -1894–1963 – American, explored China, Tibet, Outer Mongolia

Fanny Bullock Workman – 1859-1925 – American cartographer, travel writer, explorer / climbed with husband in the Himalayas / in a skirt!


Plus Some Other Courageous Women Adventurers

Vera Brittain – 1893 – 1970. British war nurse, pacifist, writer. Wrote Testament of Youth about her experiences in World War I.

Anne Spoerry. 1918-1999. French resistance during World War II, in Ravensbruk concentration camp. Lived and worked as a doctor in Kenya.

Aung San Suu Kyi – 1945 to present. Burman civil rights protestor, kept under house arrest for 20 years. Won Nobel Peace Prize.