Explorer Lev Wood enthrals Bow School pupils with tales of Walking the Nile

Intrepid explorer Lev Wood explains his 'Walking the Nile' adventure to Bow School pupils [photo: To

Intrepid explorer Lev Wood explains his 'Walking the Nile' adventure to Bow School pupils [photo: Tony Hussey] - Credit: TH Business Partnership

Lev Wood found his way to London’s East End after his epic ‘Walking the Nile’ venture when he was invited to talk to pupils at Bow School.

The star of Channel 4’s Walking the Nile documentary series described the highlights and low points of his 4,000-mile journey through six countries, following the world’s longest river from Rwanda to Egypt and the Mediterranean.

“Anyone can be an explorer,” Lev told the Year 7 and 8 youngsters. “I set myself a goal. Nobody had ever walked the length of the Nile before.”

The intepid writer and photographer overcame encounters with elephants, snakes, crocodiles and hippos, surviving painful blisters, furnace-like temperatures and having to eat bush rat and maggots, the pupils heard.

He was almost lost and running out of water supplies in the Sahara in Sudan — it was only luck that his Sudanese guide managed to find a watering hole.

He was also bitten on his foot by a chigger mite larva which laid its eggs under his toenail and had to have part of the toe cut off.

Lev witnessed civil war in South Sudan, then reached Egypt where he saw how revolutions and political uncertainty have caused the tourist industry to dwindle.

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“Three million people watched the documentary,” he added. “Now they know where South Sudan is on a map.”

His visit to Bow was arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which runs a financial literacy programme with the school, organised through Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership.

Lev’s parting words to his enraptured audience was to encourage them when they get the chance to “go and see the world.”