Travel Health Consultancy and Joanna Lumley

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When one thinks of the Nile first thoughts will undoubtedly centre around the great pyramids and temples of Egypt, or perhaps even the 19th Century explorers John Hanning Speke and Sir Richard Francis Burton. Unless one goes searching, little else is told of this great river and the lives and countries it flows through on its 4000 mile journey to the waters of the Mediterranean.

In May earlier this year ITV screened a four part programme entitled ‘Joanna Lumley’s Nile’, where this intrepid presenter travelled the length of this great river highlighting the many other great cultures, peoples and lands dependant on this special river.

Starting at the Nile Delta her journey took her down through Egypt, across Lake Nasser and into Sudan. At Khartoum the river swells as the Blue Nile, flowing down from the highlands of Ethiopia is joined by the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria.  After visiting the source of the Blue Nile, Joanna travelled down through Southern Sudan, into Uganda, stopping briefly at the majestic Murchison Falls. From here she journeyed up through the jungles of Rwanda, finally reaching the source of the Nile furthest from the Mediterranean.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well I was fortunate enough to be part of the small team of 7 who filmed this great adventure. As a travel and expedition health specialist, or expedition medic, my role was to keep the team healthy, or fix them should they break. Providing expedition medical support on such a journey was one of the most amazing experiences one could have. Being part of a film crew enabled us to get to locations seldom visited, meet people rarely seen by the outside world and gain more of an understanding of what this great river means to so many people.

As for working with Joanna Lumley – ‘is she as nice in real life as she appears on TV?’ – She’s nicer!

James

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