Microsoft’s ‘Mungo Park’ has 20-year Anniversary

I can’t believe it, but it’s the 20th anniversary of Mungo Park! What’s Mungo Park you ask? A bit of history for you and a look at how far travel journalism has come…With the explosion of the Internet in the mid-1990s, Microsoft launched its own version of “virtual expeditions on the World Wide Web.” The software company created an online magazine devoted to adventure travel in life and literature. For two exciting and innovative years, had quite a run.

We covered a return descent of Ethiopia’s Tekezé River, complete with online interviews of Ziggy Marley and the President of Ethiopia; we went into orbit with Tom Clancy the Space Shuttle Columbia, visited Cuba with Mariel Hemingway in search of her grandfather’s Nobel, and revisited Vietnam with Robert Scheer; fled to the Islands of Love with Dr. Ruth, rode down Chile with Lyle Lovett and visited Newfoundland with Martha Stewart, among other adventures. And those were only the in-field productions.

We also published original writing by such as Tom Robbins, Depak Chopra, George Plimpton, Nelson DeMille, Bill Broyles, David Rains Wallace, Redmond O’Hanlon, Barry Lopez, Tama Janowitz, Martin Cruz Smith, Jean Auel and T.C. Boyle. It was Slate when it when still blank, the New Yorker with an e-passport, the Huffington Post of its day. In a word, it was cool. And ahead of its time: we folded the big tent after only two years. Take a peek at what travel journalism looked like back then…

Mungo Park