Richard Burton (1821-1890) was not only a great explorer but also a great scholar (he produced the first unabridged translation of The Thousand Nights and a Night). His most famous exploit is probably his dressing as an Arab and visiting the holy city of Mecca (in 1853) which non-Muslims are forbidden to enter. In 1857, he and John Hanning Speke set off from the east coast of Africa (Tanzania) to find the source of the Nile. At Lake Tanganyika Burton fell seriously ill, leaving Speke to travel on alone.
Later in life, Burton became British Consul to Fernando Po (now the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea), then Santos (in Brazil) and finally Damascus. Burton died of a heart attack on the morning of 20 October 1890.