Mungo Park (1771-1806) was a Scottish explorer of the African continent. He completed his medical education in January 1793 by passing an oral examination at the College of Surgeons in London. Through a recommendation by Sir Joseph Banks, he then obtained the post of assistant surgeon on board the East Indiaman Worcester ship. The Worcester sailed to Benkulen in Sumatra in February 1793. In 1794 Park offered his services to the African Association, then looking out for a successor to Major Daniel Houghton, who had been sent out in 1790 to discover the course of the Niger and had died in the Sahara. Supported by Sir Joseph Banks, Park was selected. On June 21, 1795 he reached the Gambia River and ascended the river 200 miles to a British trading station named Pisania. Eventually he reached Pisania again on June 10, 1797, returning to Scotland by way of America on December 22. He had been thought dead, and his return home with the news of the discovery of the Niger evoked great public enthusiasm. An account of his journey, Travels in the Interior of Africa, appeared in 1799. It was extremely popular, and has remained in print ever since.