Anthropologist, television host, former NFL cheerleader, National Geographic Emerging Explorer . . . Mireya Mayor is many things. A homebody isn’t one of them. In the past year, she has led expeditions to Madagascar (where, in 2003, she discovered the smallest primate on Earth, the mouse lemur) and helped set up a program to protect lowland gorillas in Congo (“Have you ever had a 300-pound silverback run at you?” she asks. No. No, we have not). Oh, and she also squeezed in a trek from Zanzibar across Tanzania, re-creating Henry Morton Stanley’s 1871 quest for David Livingstone while filming a new History Channel show produced by Survivor’s Mark Burnett. The making of Expedition Africa: Stanley and Livingstone (which premieres on Sunday) will be particularly grueling: Mayor and her three traveling companions were given nothing but a compass, a few maps, and Stanley’s journals from the original trip to guide them. Someone almost died, she tells us, but you’ll have to watch to find out who.
- Nat Geo Expeditions