Meet the River Gambia Expedition Team


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Jason Florio, FRGS (Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, London) - River Gambia Expedition co-leader and multi award-winning photojournalist. Jason co-led, with Helen Jones-Florio, the 2009 ‘A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey’ West African expedition. He works around the globe, from Afghanistan to Suriname, focusing on under-reported stories on people living on the margins of society and in places of conflict – . He photographs and writes for publications including: New York Times, Newsweek, The Independent on Sunday, Virginia Quarterly Review, Men’s Journal, GQ, Backpacker, Afar, Outside.

Jason’s photography has been solo exhibited, won numerous international awards, and has been acquired by a number of museums – including The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY, Haggerty Museum, MI, and The Photography Museum of Art, Huai’an, China.

He has traveled yearly to The Gambia, since 1997, to work on a long-term project about the people who live and work around the sacred forest of ‘Makasutu’ – the resulting book of this work can be viewed here : Blurb Books

Watch Florio on Vimeo as he explains about the River Gambia Expedition. Also, Florio on Real Exposures - B&H Photo, NYC – talks about his career as a photojournalist

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Helen Jones-Florio – Expedition & photography producer and writer.

River Gambia Expedition co-leader, Helen, has been traveling to West Africa for over 15 years. She has produced assignments in West Africa, DR Congo, Kenya, USA, Mexico, and UK. She co-led, with Jason, their 2009 expedition in The Gambia – ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey’ and recently finished a book about this expedition; based around her blog entries and from her personal journal entries.Jason and Helen are currently collaborating on the book about their recent expedition – ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1000km source-sea African odyssey’.

Published work includes – writing and photography: Adventure Travel Magazine (UK), ‘Wings’ (Arik Airlines in-flight magazine), Travel Africa Magazine (UK), Resource Magazine (USA), Amazing Travel Stories (USA), Gambia Experience Magazine (UK), Stellazine (USA), African World Heritage Annual Report.


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Robert Young Pelton – Expedition Advisor. Award-winning author, (‘The Worlds Most Dangerous Places’, ‘Come Back Alive’, Licensed to Kill – Hired Guns and the War on Terror’) film-maker, journalist, adventurer and geopolitical pundit. He has made numerous expeditions and covered most of the world’s conflicts for the past 20 years. Founder of DPx Gear – ‘equipment for hostile and deadly environments’ and Somalia

Abdou 'you talkin' to me?' Ndong

Abdou ‘you talkin’ to me?’ Ndong

Abdou Ndong – Team member, skilled River Gambia boatman. Abdou speaks a number of the local West African languages, such as Wolof, Mandinka and Serer – some of the languages the team will encounter. Abdou has worked with Jason as his local guide and liaison for the past 14 years in The Gambia, while he photographed for his book – ‘Makasutu – mecca in the forest’


Ebou 'do I look good in this colour?' Jarju

Ebou ‘do I look good in this colour?’ Jarju


Ibu Jarju – The youngest team member, translator and skilled River Gambia boatman. Ebou has worked with Abdou for many years, fishing the waters of the River Gambia. Ebou speaks a number of the local West Africa languages, such as Wolof, Mandinka and Serer.


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