Mungo Park was the African Association’s most well-known explorer. However, while his journeys might have fed the “imperialistic” desires of his patrons, Park seemed to be more concerned with enhancing his personal image .
This is shown through a statement Mungo Park made when asked about leaving things out of his narrative:
Whatever I have had to tell where the information contained appeared of importance to the public, I have told it boldly; leaving it to my readers to give it such faith as they may be disposed to bestow. But I will not shock their credulity, or render my travels more marvellous, by producing anecdotes which however true, can only relate to my own personal escapes and adventures 
However, Park’s words cannot be accepted as the whole story. As shown in the section about politicians, Mungo Park and the other explorers of the African Association were controlled by their patrons who were deeply entangled with British politics. Politician William Wilberforce asserts that Park’s account was edited and censored to support the political sentiments (in this case, concerning the the abolition of the slave trade) of his patrons.
 Tim Fulford and Debbie Lee, “Mental Travelers: Joseph Banks, Mungo Park, and the Romantic Imagination,” Nineteenth Century Contexts 24, no. 2 (2002), 127-8
 Mungo Park,Borders Council Archives, MSS Sc/5/56, f. 10–11 quoted in Charles Withers, “Memory and the History of Geographical Knowledge: the Commemoration of Mungo Park, African Explorer,” Journal of Historical Geography 30 (2004), 321.
 William Wilberforce A Letter on the Abolition of the Slave Trade: Addressed to the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of Yorkshire (London: Luke Hansard & Sons, 1807), 17, 20.