Managing Director

Marley Burns

man crouching and posing for picture on the silk road

Marley is the MD of Silk Road Adventures, keeping the books balanced and the show on the road. We’re a small company so it’s likely you’ll hear from him when you make contact.

Marley has been researching and reading about the history of the greater Silk Road network for many years and has travelled along many of its strands. He’s also fascinated by the route’s many sub-plots, including the Great Game era and travellers such as Marco Polo, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. Combined with a natural curiosity about language and a desire to explore anything quirky or off the map, the lands of the Silk Road are his idea of heaven.

Passionate about off-beat travel, Marley has travelled extensively in the Middle East, South East Asia and Central Asia.  In ‘Life Before Silk’ he lived and worked as a renewable energy consultant in Nepal, ran some large renewable energy companies, dragged two tonnes of mobile sauna around eastern Europe several times (in the name of fun) and circumnavigated the Black Sea on a 90-cc moped with Antonia after winning the 2010 Wilderness Awards.

Travel featured early in his career with a stint at well-respected publisher Sawdays, writing about special places to stay. Marley still delights in finding the most characterful, comfortable and welcoming accommodation in each country he visits.

Marley is an extremely experienced road and off-road motorcycle rider and has been leading our motorcycle expeditions for five years. If you book a motorcycle trip with us, odds are that he’ll be leading you on the paths less ridden.

As the principle Silk Road Adventures doctor, Marley has been trained in First Aid and Trauma Medicine by the excellent team at Crux Medical, and is exceptionally good at dealing with medical problems and crises. On an expedition he is rarely far from our satellite phone and medical kit.

Marley speaks once-fluent French and German and is in the process of learning Russian too.

An experienced public speaker, Marley has spoken at numerous travel and adventure shows, and is also a regular contributor to Overland magazine.


Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

smiling tourist with sunglasses on the silk road

Antonia – often known as Ants – is a record-breaking traveller, writer, public speaker and broadcaster with a background in setting up extreme and complex expeditions all over the world. She has worked and travelled in over 50 countries. You can read Antonia’s Wikipedia entry here.

Her penchant for extreme travel began in 2006, when she drove a pink tuk tuk 12,500-miles from Bangkok to Brighton with her friend Jo. They set the world record for the longest journey ever by auto rickshaw, wrote a best-selling travel book “Tuk Tuk to the Road” and won Cosmopolitan Magazine’s “Fun, Fearless Female award.”

During four years at The Adventurists, Antonia was a founding director of the Mongol Derby, the world’s longest multi-horse race, organised the Africa Rally from London to Cameron and nearly froze to death attempting to drive a Ural to the Russian Arctic in mid Winter.

She’s written three books, including: A Short Ride in the Jungle, about her solo exploration of the remains of Indochina’s Ho Chi Minh Trail, and Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains, about her travels across the remote and little-known Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The latter was runner-up Adventure Travel Book of the Year in the 2018 Stanford’s Travel Writing Awards. 

Antonia was formerly a TV producer. Among her credits are BBC2’s Worlds’ Most Dangerous Roads, ITV’s Tom Hardy’s Poaching Wars, Joanna Lumley’s India and Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road.

She’s spoken at The Royal Geographical Society, the Adventure Travel Show, The Financial Times Festival and many more, and writes for numerous publications, including The Guardian, The Telegraph and Radio 4’s From our Own Correspondent. Her first radio documentary, about conservation in Nagaland, was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2020.

Antonia is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and  was the recipient of the 2019 Neville Shulman Challenge Award, using the grant to fund a two-month solo expedition across the Naga Hills.

To find out more about Antonia see her website The Itinerant or find her on Twitter and Instagram @AntsBK.

Bombyx Mori – the Silk Moth

This humble creature has for centuries been at the heart of sericulture, the industry of silk production.

The cocoons are the raw silk which is then washed and spun to make the threads that created the flow and flux of trades and people on what became the Silk Road, from China to Rome and beyond.

We have chosen the outline of the silk moth to be our logo and it reminds us of the roots of the roads we travel. To find our more about the Silk Road, have a look here.

red and gray silk moth logo
long red silk road adventures logo

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