Herbert was an explorer, pioneer and advocate for whitewater as well as paddlesports in general.
As an author, his first big success was a book about his solo journey down the Amazon, Ganz allein zum Amazonas. His travels took him to rivers in China, Japan, Australia, and Greece, South America and Africa, paddling both whitewater and flatwater. His writings about those travels brought him considerable fame beyond his own country’s borders, serving as an early advocate for all paddlesports.
• First descent of rivers in Kurdistan (Turkey) and Romania (1932-1933)
• First descent (solo) of the Amazon in South America from the Andes to the ocean (1936-1937)
• Descent of the Blue Nile in Africa (1953)
• First descent of rivers in Mexico and Guatemala including the Azul (1958)
• Uncounted other first descents around the world
• Author of Neue Schule des Kanusports, the new school of paddling (1950)
• Novelist and photographer