Elkaim Gilles (France)

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Elkaim Gilles

Elkaim Gilles

© Elkaim Gilles

French explorer Gilles Elkaim is a physicist by training. In 1984, he leaves the confort of civilization for a year's stay in Greenland, integrating himself into the Inuit community, hunting and fishing to feed his 8 sled dogs. His most famous feat : crossing with kayak and sledge, the Eurasian Continent, from Cape North in Norway to Bering Strait. His ambition was to relivethe great migrations of the peoples of the Siberian Arctic. He spent three years on this field.

Gilles Elkaim has been always fascinated by distant cultures and marvels at their adaptability to often hostile environments. Cold as well as hot deserts soon become his preferred terrain. His taste for effort associated with his passion for exploration, photography and ethnography leads him quite naturally towards the most marginal peoples of the planet. In order to integrate himself as fully as possible into these communities, he does not hesitate to learn their language and share their life style.

Acustomed to the externe conditions of filming and unconditional physical commitment, he seeks to present an intimate character to his reports. His audiovisual productions have been compensated by the Photographic Federation of France and have gained him numerous prizes at festivals. He is the author of the book "The Steppes Nomads" printed by Boussole and publishes his reports in leading magazines.

Gilles ELKAIM personal information:

  • Date of birth : 9 June 1960
  • French national
  • Master's degree in Physics
  • Nuclear Physics DEA in 1983 · Physics teacher : in Australia (1985/87), in France (1989/92)
  • Professional conference speaker since 1992
  • Photographer (collaboration with Sipa-Press agency)
  • Speleologist, Diver, Canoe-kayak instructor, Yachtmaster
  • Languages spoken : English, Russian, Kalaallissut (language spoken in West Greenland)

List of major accomplishments

  • EAST-CANADA, June - August 1998. 4000 km by bicycle, crossing Labrador Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick.
  • MONGOLIA, July-August 1995, June-July 1996, February 1997. Journey by bicycle (2500 km), on horseback with the Tsaatan and theKazakhs and by camel in the Gobi desert. Report.
  • SIBERIA, 1992/95. Six trips making a total of over one and a half years stay. Lake Baïkal, winter expedition in Yakoutie and with the Evènese of mount Verkhoïansk, horseback riding and transhumance with the Evènes of Kamtchatka, Kimandorskiye Island in the Bering Sea.
  • WEST AFRICA, October 1990 to April 1991. St-Malo-Niamey(Niger) on bicycle, 6000 km, including crossing the Sahara desert. Solojourney by camel: 1200 km, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso.
  • GREENLAND, June to September 1990. Raid solitaire en kayak, Sondre-Stromfjord-Ilulissat.
  • NEPAL-INDIA, February to July 1988. 6000 km on foot and by bicycle. Annapurna, Gange plain.
  • NEW-ZEALAND, November 1987 to January 1988. North Island, South Island and Steward Island crossed on foot and by bicycle.
  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA, September - October 1987. Trek on foot : Kokoda trail and ascent of Mount Wilhelm (4510 m) Solo descent of Sépik river in a dugout.
  • AUSTRALIA, October 1985 to August 1987. Teacher at Sydney. Several trips through the country. Navigation from Cairns to Darwin by yacht.
  • GREENLAND, 1984/85. A year in a small Inuit village on the West coast. Learning of thelanguage and eskimo techniques, seal hunting, kayak, wintering, dogtraining, fishing in ice fields, solo trek with dog sled.
  • ICELAND, July and August 1983. North-South solo crossing on foot of central desert.
  • FRANCE, 1982-84, speleology, skiing, mountaineering. Underground exploration of the Berger chasm right up to the coast -1100m

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