Made famous by the film, the English Patient, which showed a romanticised version of the story of the early explorer Count Laslo Almasy, this area has long attracted intrepid visitors. Almasy was by no means the first to reach the Gilf Kebir, Prince Kamal al-Din mapped its location back in 1926. He was followed rapidly by an aerial survey team which both Almasy and P.A Clayton were part of and which discovered several wadis rich in vegetation. Early discoveries of rock art encouraged an archaeological expedition led by Frobenius to visit the area, again Almasy was present. Bagnold spent a month surveying the area around the Gilf in 1938 funded by the Royal Geographical Society. Despite more recent visits the remoteness meant that mapping was only completed in the 1970s.