My First Wild Island Adventure




In July 2009, Manser set another world first when he became the first person to circumnavigate the world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar, by kayak – also alone and unaided. This colossal journey, which saw him paddle 5000km in eleven months, was, he said, considerably more demanding, both physically and mentally. Conquering
extreme loneliness whilst enduring treacherous conditions like pounding seas, cyclones and an unrelenting sun which, combined with salt water, almost pickled him alive.

During his circumnavigation he had many memorable close encounters with Madagascar’s marine life – humpback whales breaching metres away from his kayak, giant leatherback turtles gliding alongside him and even having his boat rammed by a shark. Riaan travelled around Madagascar during a period of extreme political turmoil & he landed up in prison 5 times, the last time being 3 nights on suspicion of carrying out mercenary activities.

In April 2010, Manser’s efforts were rewarded with his second accolade, “Out There Adventurer of the Year 2009” and “Around Madagascar on my Kayak”, his book recounting his amazing feat, also received acclaim.


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