Graham Hughes - A British man who visited all 201 countries without flying

Graham Hughes, a British adventurer from Liverpool, has been recognised by Guinness World Record in February 2014 for being the first person to visit every country in the world without flying and appeared in the 2016 edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Graham Hughes holding Guinness World Record certificate

Graham began his epic journey on January 1, 2009 in Uruguay, covered 160,000 miles, took 1,426 days(4 year 31 days), used 4 passport books and finally he completed the feat on November 26, 2012 after entering South Sudan. During his journey, Graham visited all 201 countries including 193 members of the United Nations plus Taiwan, Vatican City, Palestine, Kosovo, Western Sahara and the four home nations of The United Kingdom.

Graham Hughes in Juba, capital of South Sudan

Setting himself a budget of £100 a week, during his journey he “watched one of the last space shuttles take off, ran the US blockade to get into Cuba, joined a Bwiti tribe in Gabon, was helped by Maoist rebels in Nepal, danced with the Highlanders of Papua New Guinea, swam in the famous jellyfish lake of Palau, climbed to the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza, got arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo after he was accused of being a spy.”

In terms of logistics, he said the Seychelles was the “hardest, hardest, hardest” place for him to get to because it was both an island and “slap-bang in the middle of the high-risk area for Somali pirates”, meaning no one would take him.

Graham's route: Beginning in Uruguay and ending in South Sudan

Before embarking on the journey, Hughes contacted Guinness World Records to agree in advance the rules of his unique journey. They were: no flying, no driving his own transport, only taking "scheduled ground transport" and stepping foot on dry land to qualify as a visiting a country.

During record verification process, Guinness World Records were reportedly unhappy with his entry into Russia as it was the only country he entered without passing an official border post. In January 2013 Hughes returned to Russia again with an official visa. Officials at Guinness World Records said it was the biggest validation process that it has to go through 192 pages of passport stamps, 400 hours of video footage, more than 10,000 photos and over one million GPS data points.

Graham also set another Guinness World Record by visiting "133 countries in one year by scheduled ground transport" during the first year of his four-year journey.


Graham Hughes - A British man who visited all 201 countries without flying Graham Hughes - A British man who visited all 201 countries without flying Reviewed by Vasanthakumar Saravanan on March 03, 2017 Rating: 5