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In 1992 Mark spent six hours reviewing his life while swinging from the end of a fraying cable in the world's highest cable-car, in Venezuela. The psychological shock of this experience was enough to send him plummeting down the slippery slope into the shadowy world of freelance travel journalism.
He led the first expedition by foreigners into Central Borneo's 'valley of the spirit world,' (researching his book Fever Trees of Borneo) and has since returned to those unexplored valleys on several occasions. He grew up in Africa, and returned in 1999 to trek through northern Madagascar with a zebu pack-bull. The full story was told in Maverick in Madagascar (published by National Geographic). Although based in Spain he returns to Africa frequently, and says that his perfect assignment is any story that can only be covered with an expedition-prepared 4wd and at least 3 weeks in the bush.
He has travelled the world (and 20 African countries) on assignments for more than 80 titles, including BBC Wildlife, BBC Earth, Esquire, Geographical, The Guardian, CNN Traveller, Sunday Times, CNN Travel, BBC Travel and Travel Africa.
Undercover assignments have taken him from Zimbabwean farms to Bolivian prisons, but charging elephants and a randy Peruvian llama taught him the real importance of journalistic footwork.