Ten Who Dared: Mary Kingsley (1977)

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At a time when such things weren't done, Mary Kingsley traveled alone to Africa, exploring remote parts of the continent, including regions rumored to be inhabited by cannibals. She became the first European to set foot in Gabon and the French Congo, and collected insects and fish samples for the British Museum. The book she wrote regarding her adventures was not well received, because she objected to the manner in which Europeans forced their viewpoints upon Africans. Kingsley didn't begin her travels until the age of 30, and by the time she reached 38, she died of typhoid fever.