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Author Profile: Riaan Manser



Riaan Manser, Image Courtesy of Jonathan Ball PublishersRiaan Manser was born in 1973 in Pretoria.  He grew up in Zululand and attended John Ross College in Richards Bay.  After studying Human Resource Management he took a job in the medical industry.  He has been a lifesaver, a surfer and a rugby player.  When he took his bicycle to ride around Africa it was as a commitment to do something entirely extraordinary with his life. [1]

Manser rose to prominence on becoming the first person to cycle around the perimeter of Africa. For over two years, alone and unaided, he pedalled a staggering 37,000 km through 34 countries, some of which rank as the most dangerous countries on Earth. Riaan’s achievement earned him the title “OutThere Adventurer of the Year 2006” and his book, Around Africa on my Bicycle, became a bestseller.

During Manser’s journey he was imprisoned in Equatorial Guinea and was held captive by drugged teenage rebels in Liberia. He has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and has descended to Lake Assal, the highest and lowest points in Africa.

On seeing Manser’s story on television, Nelson Mandela personally requested a meeting with Manser, saying it was “a performance that will inspire the youth of the continent”.

In July 2009, Manser set another world first when he became the first person to circumnavigate Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, by kayak – also alone and unaided.

In April 2010, Manser was rewarded with his second accolade, “OutThere Adventurer of the Year 2009” and published his book Around Madagascar on my Kayak in 2011.

In March 2011  Manser took on the mystical Iceland and her arctic waters with a partner, Dan Skinstad, who had mild cerebral palsy. Around Iceland on Inspiration saw the two paddle 2300km to circumnavigate Iceland in a double sea-kayak over a five month period. [2]






1. Riaan Manser, Jonathan Ball Publishers. Retrieved 22 November 2012

2. Riaan Manser Biography, Retrieved 22 Novemeber 2012

Image Courtesy of Jonathan Ball Publishers

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