Kari Herbert

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Writing & Illustration

The first time Kari wrote her name (correctly) was in a caravan in northern Lapland. She was four years old. Even though her parents urged her never to become a writer (both accomplished writers themselves) she naturally ignored their advice and followed in their footsteps. Her first article was published in Traveller magazine in her early twenties and she never looked back.


As a travel writer, Kari's articles and photographs have been featured in magazines and newspapers worldwide. She has acted as judge for the Guardian Travel Writing Competition three years running. Click here to see a portfolio of images and some articles.


Her first book The Explorer’s Daughter was a travelogue-memoir about her return to Northwest Greenland where she lived as a child with a small tribe of Inuit hunters. It was published by Penguin and chosen by BBC Radio 4 as their ‘Book of the Week’, with excerpts read daily by Emelia Fox. It is currently featured on the Edexcel school curriculum.



Her other books include Heart of the Hero - which uncovers the stories of the women behind some the world's most intrepid polar explorers; In Search of the South Pole - a biography of this remote, intriguing place; and the international bestseller Explorer’s Sketchbooks – co-authored with her husband Huw.


All these books have been translated into several languages. some are available as signed copies here in the online shop - they make marvellous presents and every home should have them.


We Are Artists, Kari's first children's book was released last year. Illustrated and written by Kari, it features the fascinating life stories of fifteen exceptional women artists. A brilliant book for readers aged 8 to 100! We Are Explorers will be out in April.


some kind words ...

‘With the insight of someone who has the land in her blood, Herbert portrays the frozen north in all its strange beauty and devastation. The Explorer’s Daughter is a rare thing – a tale of the Arctic that actually makes the reader want to go there. It is an impressive book, slow-cooked and richly imagined.’

The Independent

‘Herbert pinpoints transitional moments with a harpoonist’s skill…Whether standing back to watch the narwhal hunters spread in their kayaks across the glittering kingdom of the fjord or homing in on the jewelled minutiae of the summer tundra, Herbert applies a photographer’s eye and an eloquent pen to the beauty of the Arctic landscape, the sumptuous backdrop to her tale.’

Daily Telegraph

'In Heart of the Hero Kari Herbert has written far more than a book about female heroes of polar history, it's an adventure book about men and women, the golden age of polar exploration, necessities and freedom, and about profound love and passion.’

Sueddeutsche Zeitung

‘In The Explorer’s Daughter [Kari Herbert] paints a vivid portrait. Full of tenderness, Kari Herbert is a most likeable narrator and companion… a visceral emotion sets it apart from the standard anthropological tract.’

Literary Review 

'A beautifully told and compassionate portrait of an extraordinary part of the world. Few people are able to tell this story and Kari Herbert has done it with rare sensitivity and insight'.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

‘…engagingly frank and absorbing’


‘…compelling and instructive. Kari Herbert’s descriptions are frequently lyrical, tersely poetic. The pleasure, so palpable in the writing, seems to stem from her desire to re-inhabit the sensory past as in a trance of transportation. That she succeeds, yet keeps her feet implanted firmly in the snow, makes her book an accessible delight.’

Scotland on Sunday


Nelly and her Christmas cracker...