Kari Herbert

Writing & Photojournalism

The first time I wrote my name (correctly) was in a caravan in northern Lapland. I was four years old. Even though both my parents urged me never to become a writer (both accomplished and beautiful yet underpaid writers themselves) I naturally ignored their good advice and followed in their footsteps. My first article was published in Traveller magazine in my early twenties and I never looked back.


As a travel photo-journalist, my articles and photographs have been featured in magazines and newspapers worldwide. I have acted as judge for the Guardian Travel Writing Competition three years running. Click here to see a portfolio of images and some articles.


My first book The Explorer’s Daughter was a travelogue-memoir about my return to Northwest Greenland where I 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, which makes me very proud.



My other published books include Heart of the Hero - which uncovers the moving and fascinating stories of the wives of some the world's most intrepid polar explorers - and In Search of the South Pole - a biography of this remote yet intriguing place.


My latest offering – Explorer’s Sketchbooks – co-authored with my husband Huw is about to be released by Thames & Hudson. It truly is a beautiful book.


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


I am currently working on another book for Thames & Hudson with Huw – a project too wonderful to share as it is in its early stages. I also have a large notebook filled with all sorts of stories for children... one day perhaps these will come to light...


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

Kari Herbert


Nelly and her Christmas cracker...

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