Mungo Park Achieves Furthest Goal

Mungo Park Achieves Furthest Goal

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 2, 1998 — The Mungo Park
™( pioneering adventure travel webzine, published by the Microsoft® Expedia
.com travel service, concludes its ongoing publication under the Microsoft brand with an expedition to Antarctica, the last of the seven continents it has explored. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard leads the expedition as guest correspondent, joining the ranks of previous Mungo Park correspondents (including Tom Clancy and Martha Stewart) who have taken virtual explorers with them to seven continents on 14 interactive expeditions.

Since it began, Mungo Park has been a media property like none before, optimizing the awesome potential of the World Wide Web. Building on great writing and photography, every month Mungo Park explored the boundaries of Internet publishing with compelling video, audio, graphics, 360-degree panoramas and live Internet chats from a series of remote locations around the world. This ambitious agenda has allowed cyber-travelers to join true exploration in progress through the portal of their computer screens and to interact in real time with the Mungo Park field team. Virtual explorers can visit any of the 14 Mungo Park adventures at ( or from the Resources section of the travel planning service at ( .

Antarctic Expedition and Exclusive Interview With Annie Dillard

The final Mungo Park adventure takes Annie Dillard (author of “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” “An American Childhood” and other works) to Antarctica, the seventh and final continent in the webzine’s geographic explorations. Cyber-explorers have been following Dillard’s travels, which come to an end Feb. 2. Along the way, she has braved raging seas, subzero temperatures, and battalions of penguins in her quest to interpret the least-known land on the planet. Dillard will discuss her Antarctic adventures from the land where elephant seals outnumber humans in her first-ever online interview on Feb. 3.

Mungo Park – A Legacy of “Firsts”

“Mungo Park has been the most extraordinary adventure of my career,” said renowned adventurer Richard Bangs, the magazine’s founder and editor in chief. “It was named after the 18th-century Scottish explorer who opened up a part of the world never before seen by outsiders. I think we’ve done the same, and we’re all proud of our pioneering. We’ve truly broken the tyranny of geography, put a foot firmly into the next century, and helped define a new medium.”

In the 16 months of its existence, the webzine achieved a series of Internet “firsts” and made groundbreaking efforts requiring the creative application of technology, the ingenuity of the field teams, and the insights of expedition correspondents. Virtual explorers have experienced these innovations on a series of Mungo Park adventures, including the following:

  • The first Internet broadcasts from the space shuttle Atlantis and the Mir space station

  • The first live, interactive video and audio broadcast from underwater, with Jean-Michel Cousteau in Fiji

  • The first participatory live coverage of Spain’s Running with the Bulls in Pamplona

  • The first descent of Ethiopia’s Tekeze River with live daily reports via satellite transmission from the deepest gorge in Africa

Among its many other groundbreaking efforts, Mungo Park reported on Mariel Hemingway’s first visit to Cuba; carried a live, interactive Celtic rock concert from Newfoundland; took an Internet eco-tour with the president of Costa Rica; rode along on a motorcycle trek through Chile with Lyle Lovett; and presented interactive 360-degree panoramas from the Sahara Desert near Timbuktu, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Torres del Paine in Patagonia, and Earth orbit aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.

Mungo Park has also showcased original work from some of the world’s finest authors and artists – Tom Clancy, Martha Stewart, Tom Robbins, Oliver Stone, Lyle Lovett, Jon Krakauer, Deepak Chopra, Jean Auel, Art Wolfe, Thor Heyerdahl, George Plimpton, Mariel Hemingway, Nathan Myhrvold, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Barry Lopez, Robert Scheer, Nelson DeMille, Stefanie Powers, Tim Cahill, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Shari Belafonte,Tama Janowitz and many others.

A Litany of Acclaim

The quality of the editorial content on Mungo Park and its innovative use of the online medium has received numerous awards and critical praise:

“Staying online through hell and high water, Richard Bangs takes Net users on a surfin’ safari.” – People magazine, Sept. 22, 1997

“Mungo Park is into adventure stuff. They hit it right with a compelling retrospective on the Vietnam War years. Visuals and writing give you a true flashback.” – USA Today, June 16, 1997

“… beautifully designed and written travel ‘zine.” – Entertainment Weekly, Nov. 29, 1996

“… a remarkable site that uses every available cutting-edge Web technology including audio, video and surround video to let you tag along on a monthly expedition to some far and exotic corner of the world. This is compelling content that’s presented with great style.” – “Top 100 Web Sites,” PC Magazine,
Feb. 10, 1998

Mungo Park’s all-star team also includes interactive editor Christian Kallen, a longtime collaborator with Richard Bangs on travel books, videos and interactive media; senior editor Kim Brown, formerly of Travel & Leisure; features editor Trish Reynales, formerly of Islands magazine; Cathryn Buchanan, formerly of National Geographic; and several other media and high-tech veterans.

“Mungo Park is definitely media ahead of its time. You’ll be able to come to this site in a year or even five, and still find something new to explore.” – Christian Kallen

“Mungo Park has always taken advantage of the best aspects of the Internet – making it possible for people worldwide to explore new places in new ways. The highlight for me was our live chat from space; the planet felt very small that day.” – Kim Brown

“Mungo Park was able to create these magical moments. Like the time a little girl online in California asked Jean-Michel Cousteau a question about sharks. She could hear and watch him answer her question live as he scuba-dived amid Fiji’s reefs.” – Trish Reynales

Mungo Park is accessible free (connect-time charges may apply) on the Internet and on The Microsoft Network. To see Mungo Park, users need World Wide Web access; a 28.8Kbps or faster modem is recommended. Mungo Park is best experienced with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or higher, or Netscape Navigator 3.0 or higher. Both the Macintosh platform and the Windows® operating system are supported.

The Microsoft online travel planning service ( is part of the Microsoft Expedia family of travel and mapping products and services. These include the Microsoft Expedia Streets 98, Expedia Streets Deluxe 98 and Trip Planner 98 CD-ROMs and Mungo Park, an online magazine dedicated to the spirit of adventure in travel ( .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and

personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Mungo Park, Expedia and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: Mungo Park Team members referenced above are available for interviews. If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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