A rollercoaster ride, swimming with sharks or going on a holiday to a foreign country alone. We would say these are pretty adventurous activities to do. Not so for pionner explorer Riaan Manser. Any adventure needs two things: butterflies in the stomach and a decent dose of naivety. Armed with both, Riaan took to the world!
His take on the ultimate in adventures?
Around Africa on a bicycle
The monotony of his 9-5 job frustrated his adventerous spirit. He thought to himself that he should do what no one else has ever done before. He travelled along Africa’s magnificent, and sometimes dangerous coastline- on a bike! Two years and two months after riding off, he returned to Cape Town having travelled through 34 countries and over 39 000km. The first man to circum-naviagate Africa.
Taking to sea on a kayak
He took to the sea on his next adventure. This time, going around Madagascar’s 5000km coastline, in a kayak. With endless water surrounding him for hours on end, this jouney proved to be more phyiscally and mentally gruelling than anticipated. But he made it. After 11 months, he achieved another world first!
Ice ice baby!
His third adventure would see him drop his solo approach- and take a partner. The destination? Icy Iceland. You could do it alone but theres nothing better than sharing something with someone else who shares the same passion as you. Dan Skinstad was the chosen partner for this particular adventure. Faced with unpredicatable weather condition, unstabel and gale force winds, the pair endured. Six months and 2000km later, they became the first two men in the world to circum-navigate Iceland.
In December 2013, he took his partner of 14 years, Vasti Geldenhuys on a trip like no other. They rowed from Morocco all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City. 10 000km and four months after setting off, they became the first African trans-atlantic rowers to make the trip.
Riaan Manser broke the boundaries of just how adventurous one can be. He beleives “boundaries can be smashed down if you really want to achieve something”, and boy did he achieve! In life, you always want to exceed what you have done before. For Riaan, there is still a lot of world to discover!