Press Release, 21/12/2018


After walking and swimming nearly 4,000km in three years, British builder Duncan Casey crosses the border from Brazil to Peru.

TABATINGA, AMAZONAS, BRAZIL, 21st December 2018.  Londoner Duncan Casey started out from the easternmost point of Marajó island in November 2015, and has now covered nearly 4,000km (2,500 miles) walking and swimming the length of the Brazilian Amazon. He sold his home and all his possessions to finance the attempt to ascend the Amazon from sea to source, and estimates he has a further 2,500km (1,500 miles) to go. He is already believed to be the first person to ascend the Brazilian Amazon using human power alone (walking and swimming only), and when he eventually reaches the Pacific coast, he will add two more human power firsts – first to ascend from sea to source, and first to cross the continent at its widest part from east to west.

Duncan’s route has followed the banks of the Amazon River, extending north or south as required to follow the contours of the floodplain from dry to wet season. He has swum across countless streams and larger tributaries, and crossed the Amazon itself near the jungle city of Manaus. He is often in the company of river dolphin, manatee, caiman and water snakes, although apart from serious bites from bats and a venomous spider, he has been lucky in his encounters with the rainforest’s unique flora and fauna.

“Ascent of the Amazon is not just about covering the ground. It’s about understanding.”

– Duncan Casey

He has twice been imprisoned, often threatened with death, and has been robbed and cheated at various points along the way. Three years’ jungle trekking has taken its toll on Duncan’s health, equipment and finances, and various problems have conspired to delay him again and again. In spite of this, he remains positive, and is looking forward to the challenges of the Peruvian section of the expedition, which will see him climb slowly out of the river basin to reach heights of almost 6,000m (20,000ft) above sea level, and extreme weather conditions.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, including images and further quotes, or to contact Duncan, please either email him at (or use the contact form), or call/Whatsapp Clive Maguire at +55 92 99128 9366 ( Please note that Emails/submissions to the Ascent of the Amazon website can be answered by Duncan himself only when he has access to a connection. 

You can also follow Duncan on Twitter @AmazonAscent