News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Kiwis Approach Halfway Mark In All Nations Quest

Media Release November 12, 2002

Kiwi Duo Approach Halfway Mark In All Nations Quest

Two New Zealanders trying to visit every country in the world in 160 days are approaching the halfway stage of their epic and at times perilous journey in Africa.

John Bougen and his cousin James Irving have ticked off more than 87 countries in 75 days.

They are seeking to set a world record of entering all 193 recognised nations in 160 days. They are expected back in New Zealand in February.

``As we approach the half way mark of the Quest, we are right in the territory where Save the Children do most of their good work.

``If anyone in Australasia feels that their life is tough, then they should spend five minutes in the streets of Conakry, to realize just how lucky we all are.

``Here the system is simple. If you don’t work you die and even if you work the chances of death are high.’’

Bougen said the queue at the front of the main hospital in Conakry was as big as the crowd at the rear who were waiting for the release of their relatives from the morgue.

The Kiwi pair are on track to complete the halfway point largely as planned. Their 96th nation should be Togo.

By then they will have been in 92 different airports, over 38 different types of planes, over 47 different airlines, been in the air in excess of 11 days and nights on 105 flights, stayed in 58 different hotels having travelled over 100,000km.

Bougen said they would like to have spent more time in the ancient city of city of Morocco but never wanted to go back to the country of Cape Verde.

Their future worries are considerable. Today they are in Guinea.

Peace in Cote d’Ivoire has deteriorated on account of the death in Abidjan rebel leader’s brother. Iraq of course continues to be a concern.

Their biggest recent disappointment was wasting a day in Casablanca to sort out our air tickets, thereby missing out on walking and touring the famous city.

The intrepid duo are supporting Save the Children charity as they attempt to travel 200,000km, spend 400 hours in the air and move in and out of 200 different airports.

Their route is South America, through North America across Iceland to Europe and eventually through Africa and Asia.

They plan to arrive back in New Zealand on February 1.

Mr Irving was born in Christchurch and his home is in Brisbane. Mr Bougen was born in Timaru but has spent most of his life in Auckland.


Media Advisory: In the photos John Bougen is the taller of the two men

Kip Brook, Word of Mouth Media NZ , 03 374 5426

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland