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Summary Profile

Solo Adventurer & Motivational Speaker In the past nine years Riaan Manser has re-written the definition of tenacity and become the epitome of determination. Riaan rose to prominence when he became the first person to cycle around the entire perimeter of Africa. For over two years, he pedaled a mammoth 37,000kms through 34 countries, some of which rank as the most dangerous places on Earth. It was a feat that earned him the title Adventurer of the Year 2006 and made his resulting book, 'Around Africa on my bicycle', a best-seller. Riaan's mammoth journey saw him imprisoned in Equatorial Guinea and being held captive by drugged teenage rebels in Liberia; on both occasions securing his own release through his amicable charm and exceptional powers of persuasion. To survive his journey Riaan also ate exotic dishes such as monkey, bat, camel and rat. And as if the cycling wasn't enough he climbed Kilimanjaro and descended to the lowest point on the continent at Lake Assal. Having watched Riaan's story on television, Nelson Mandela personally requested a one-on-one meeting with Riaan, later saying it was 'a performance that will inspire the youth of the continent.' Since then thousands of people, from blue-chip companies to community projects and from schools to non-government organisations, have been emotionally moved by Riaan's extraordinary, and often hilarious, tales of perseverance and unrelenting resolve. The Explorer's Club in New York ' whose members include the first man to reach the North Pole, the first to reach the South Pole, the top of Everest, the deepest point in the ocean and the first man on the moon ' extended a special invitation to Riaan to speak before its illustrious organisation. In July 2009 Riaan again set another world first when he became the first person to circumnavigate the world's fourth largest island of Madagascar by kayak; another expedition achieved alone and unaided. This colossal journey, 5000kms in eleven months, was considerably more demanding, both physically and mentally. Daily, Riaan had to conquer extreme loneliness whilst ploughing through treacherous conditions such as cyclones, pounding surf and an unrelenting sun that, combined with up to ten hours in salt water, was literally pickling his body. The perseverance, of course, brought memorable close encounters with Madagascar's marine life ' humpback whales breaching meters away from his kayak, giant leatherback turtles gliding alongside him and even having his boat rammed by sharks. Riaan travelled around Madagascar during a period of the country's most significant political turmoil, which gave him unrivalled insight into the exotic island's psyche and even earned him two nights in prison on suspicion of carrying out mercenary activities. In April 2010, Riaan's efforts were rewarded with his second accolade, Adventurer of the year 2009. His second book recounting this amazing feat, 'Around Madagascar on my Kayak', was again received with tremendous acclaim. Now Riaan has taken on mystical Iceland and her arctic waters, this time with a partner, Dan Skinstad. Another special journey that sees Riaan conquering new worlds while his partner conquers his own physical disabilities. Manser's dream started as a personal inspiration story and 9 years later he now believes this "AROUND ICELAND ON INSPIRATION" journey, with its characters and challenges, will call millions to task, raising the question: 'How have you personally committed to making your life even more meaningful?' With an extended portfolio of engaging stories, photographs and video and soon, nearing the end of his amazing journey of inspiration around Iceland, Riaan is perfectly positioned to offer fresh and unique motivational talks at a time when the world is clamoring for inspiration. Riaan speaks passionately and humorously about his adventures, receiving accolades from all who attend his presentations.

Riaan Manser


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