Alice Morrison

Author of: Dodging Elephants

About Alice

Alice Morrison, 53, is a Scottish Adventurer, based in Morocco. After a childhood spent running around the African Bush, she was sent to boarding school in Edinburgh where she learned  Latin but no decorum. She studied Arabic and Turkish at University which has led to a long love affair with the Middle East.

She worked in the media for many years, with holidays and weekends spent in the outdoors doing things just slightly harder than she wanted them to be. Everyone thought she was crazy to pay good money for mud and  tents in far-flung places rather than sun, sand and five star hotels.

In 2011, redundancy loomed, and she made a positive out of a negative and entered the longest bike race on earth, the Tour D’Afrique, from Cairo to Cape Town. 8000 miles and a very sore bottom later, she knew that she wanted to keep adventuring.

Since then, she has gone on to climb lots of mountains, including a world first trek from the highest point of North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean; run (slowly) across many miles of desert in the Marathon des Sables, the toughest race on earth; and has just finished working on a major adventure for a BBC2 Series due out in May.

Alice Morrison was born in 1963 in the Edinburgh Infirmary. Six weeks later, just after her mother had successfully taken her law exams, her parents Jim and Fredi  boarded a ship and sailed to Africa. For the first 8 years of her life, Alice got to run free in the African Bush, roaming around the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda, hunting tadpoles and running away from snakes.

At the age of 11, by now the family was living in Ghana, it was back to Scotland to St Denis and Cranley Academy for Young Ladies, where she had to wear two sets of knickers – under and over – and a velour hat to church.

At Edinburgh University, she studied Arabic and Turkish and discovered the joys of the Poetry Society and the Socialist Worker’s club – both joined because she fancied the guy that ran them. Six memorable months were spent living in Damascus, where she faced down the secret police and survived on a diet of bread, condensed milk and jam because she was a terrible cook.

After university she spent two years teaching English in Cairo and exploring the country. Hitchhiking lifts on military trucks across the Western Desert and spending afternoons sleeping with the stray dogs in the shade of the Pharaonic temples of the Luxor.

Moving to London, she pursued a career in journalism which had started in Dubai at “What’s on in Dubai” and worked at Technical Review Middle East (there is nothing she doesn’t know about concrete decay) in London. From there to Middle East Broadcasting, the first Arabic Satellite News Station and then BBC World TV, BBC Arabic TV and the BBC News Channel where she became Editor of the daytime hours.

For the new millennium she moved North to Manchester and onto the internet with and started to break out into mini adventures squeezed into the holidays: the Snowdon Challenge, crossing Costa Rica coast to coast, Kilimanjaro, ice climbing in the Andes, climbing the Ruwenzoris....

After 9 years as CEO of Vision+Media, a quango dedicated to growing the creative industries in the Northwest, she was flung off the corporate hamster wheel by the Tory government cuts. She cast off her pinstripes and donned lycra.

It was a turning point as she entered the Tour D’Afrique and raced her bike from Cairo to Cape Town. Bitten with the adventure bug, she went on to run the Marathon Des Sables, the Nomad’s ultra – which she won by default as she was the only woman to enter – and various other ultras in Africa.

Smitten by Morocco, she is currently based there, and in 2015 did her first “world first” with the Atlas to Atlantic Trek. She and her expedition guide, Rachid Aitelmahjoub, became the first people ever to hike from the highest point in North Africa, Mount Toubkal (4167m) to the Atlantic Ocean (Agadir) straight across the Atlas Mountains.

She has just finished filming a Series for BBC2, an adventure which takes her through the mountains and the deserts to the furtherest place on earth.

She has published her first book, Dodging Elephants,

For more :

TED Talk:

Alices' Blogs on Whereabouts:

From Morocco to Timbuktu

Walking in Tenerife

Why you should choose a walking holiday this year

Capturing the perfect travel photo

Guide to packing for a long hiking trip 

Get fit on holiday!

Why everYone needs adventure in their life

Advice for solo travellers

Travelling alone as a woman