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Hans Dignum played a key-role in the Dutch survey after unlooted tombs of the distinguished pre-Colombian Chachapoyas-culture. After harsh explorations and disappointing discoveries of the disrespectful work of ‘tombraiders’, the expedition-team finally found the world’s first complete intact burial site of this unknown culture. This site is officially guarded until today, and impossible to visit. A two-hour documentary was made for the Dutch television.
Since 1985 Hans Dignum has been travelling all-over South America, as an explorer, scientist and program-developer for television formats. He lives in Villa de Leyva - Colombia, a colonial gem and magnet for bohemiens and people who’d like to escape the hectic life of Bogota.
Hans Dignum discovered South America in his own special way. In the eighties of the last century as a member of serious outdoor expeditions in Peru, later as the leader and creative force behind scientific biological expeditions in Colombia and finally as, again, creative force behind format-programs like Peking Express and Expedition Robinson. More serious he is, again as a biologist, involved with nature preservation in South America for the UNESCO and the Chacha Coffee Project in Los Chilchos - Peru. As the leader of a biological field-survey in 2009, Hans re-discovered a rare colony of endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkeys in north-east Peru. Reason for the Dutch Zoo ‘Apenheul’ to support a ‘coffee-for-cloudforest’ project in this specific zone. Click Durable Nature Conservation Peru for more information.
Inia Expedition 1994
Research after the population and environment of the fresh water dolphin Inia Geoffrensis, on the Rio Caqueta. Hans Dignum was both initiator and expedition-leader.
Biological Survey Peru 2009
Biologist Hans Dignum and his team discovered a rare colony of almost distinct yellow-tailed woolly monkeys in the cloud-forest on the eastern Andes-slopes in north-east Peru.
Hans Dignum climbed the summit of the Wallunaraju (first Dutch climb) in the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca and reached the remote and unique archeological ruins of El Gran Pajaten (as first non-American).
Hans Dignum rafted down the Rio Maranon (considered to be one of the world’s deepest and longest canyons) and explored the archeological sites of Gran Vilaya in north-east Peru.