Peregrinations: Burton's Travels

Richard Burton was, above all other things, a traveler; there are in fact many who consider him more “traveler” than “explorer,” especially in the years after the great Central African expedition.

Nor is traveler a pejorative here. There are few of his era who visited so many locations on Earth, which is unsurprising because there are few of any era who spent so much of their lives traveling. If Burton stayed more than two years in any place, the record fails to show it. Even from Trieste, his nominal home for the last seventeen years of his life, he made frequent and often long journeys to other locales.

Perhaps no area of Burton studies is more interesting and in need of thorough review than these extensive travels and explorations. So, too, his travel reports and journals, which form such a large portion of his writings, cry out for modern examination and comment.

This section will catalog Burton's many travels and expeditions — his ceaseless peregrinations — and begin the task of listing all writings and commentary about each, as well as all available third-party information about the region, peoples and relevant natural history, both as they were understood in Burton's day and from a present-day perspective. I have included his major stays in England and his early travels with his family.

A graphic representation of these travels, in the form of an interactive map, is a project under development.

This version is a bare sketch of what is to come. A great deal more detail of dates will be added first, with subsidiary pages and links to follow.

1821-1825: England

1825-1832: Tours, France

1832-1833: Richmond, England

1833-?: Blois, France


1840-1842: Oxford, England

1842-1845: India



10 December 1844 - February 1845: canal survey mission



el-Medina and Mecca

Harar, Somalia




Somalia, East Africa, Lakes Tanganyika & Victoria

USA (Utah to San Francisco)

Fernando Po (consular station)

West Africa (multiple trips)

Santos, Brazil (consular station)

Brazil, Peru

Damascus, Syria (consular station)


Summer 1872: Scotland, Iceland

Ultima Thule, or, a Summer in Iceland (1875)

December 1872-October 1890: Trieste, Austria [now Italy] (consular station)

Via Gibraltar and Venice





Page Updated 2008-07-23


All material on this site is from and in the public domain unless specifically credited. Complete copyright information can be found on the About page. All original material including content, design, organization & layout ©2008 James D. Gifford.