Twigger was educated at Balliol College, Oxford University. He first began to study engineering, but after six weeks switched to politics, philosophy and economics. His attendance record was poor, and he left university with a pass degree. His extracurricular activities at Oxford were more successful; he won a Newdigate Prize for poetry and staged a film festival for student films, as well as directing two films himself.
Following university, he worked in the publicity department of a record company and taught English and studied martial arts in Japan for three years.
Twigger has written fiction and non-fiction books, as well as articles for newspapers and magazines such as the Daily Telegraph, Maxim and Esquire.
Angry White Pyjamas: An Oxford Poet Trains With The Tokyo Riot Police (1998), a book recounting Twigger's experience as an uchi-deshi learning Aikido in Japan, won both the Somerset Maugham Award for literature and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. It was also voted best sports books of the past 25 years by Waterstone's booksellers in 2007.
Big Snake: The Hunt for the World's Longest Python (1999) describes Twigger's failed attempt to capture a record-breaking 30-foot snake for a $50,000 prize being offered by a New York zoo.
The Extinction Club (2001) is an account of Twigger's research into the Milu, a species of deer which was thought to have become extinct.
Being a Man (in the lousy modern world) (2002) describes Twigger's thoughts and observations on the nature of masculinity and its current state at the beginning of the 21st century.
Voyageur — Across the Rocky Mountains in a Birchbark Canoe (2006) recounts the story of Twigger's three-year, two thousand-mile journey across North West Canada in the wake of eighteenth-century explorer and trapper Alexander Mackenzie.
Lost Oasis: A Desert Adventure: In Search Of Paradise (2007) is a desert adventure modelled on explorers such as Theodore Almasy (the inspiration for The English Patient).
Real Men Eat Puffer Fish (2008) contains humorous advice for men.
Dr Ragab's Universal Language (2009) is a novel set in 1920's Cairo and Germany.
Twigger has also published several poetry collections, including one in 2003 with Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing.
In 1997 Twigger's expedition to North Borneo and Kalimantan discovered a line of Menhirs stretching across a vast stretch of jungle never before recorded.
In 2004 Twigger took part in an expedition that completed a three-season, two-thousand-mile journey across North West Canada in the wake of eighteenth-century explorer and trapper Alexander Mackenzie. The team were the first to successfully complete this route in a birchbark canoe since 1793.
In 2005 Twigger and Steve Mann made the first exploration of the Western Desert using a hand hauled wheeled trolley during which they discovered the tracks of László Almásy's baby Ford expedition of the 1930s.
Since 2006 Twigger has made regular desert journeys with the expedition group "The Explorer School". In 2009—2010 he became the first person to walk the entire 700km of the Egyptian Great Sand Sea, following the route of German explorer Gerhard Rolhfs across the Egyptian Sahara.