As one of the world’s leading explorers, Riaan has captivated thousands of people through his bestselling books and motivational talks; worldwide.
Riaan rose to prominence by becoming the first person to cycle around the perimeter of Africa. It took him exactly two years, two months and fifteen days, alone and unaided. This achievement earned him the title “Out There Adventurer of the Year 2006” and his first book, “Around Africa on my Bicycle”, became a bestseller. As if cycling the perimeter of the African continent wasn’t enough, he also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and descended to Lake Assal, the highest and lowest points in Africa and met Mr Nelson Mandela.
In 2009, Riaan became the first person to circumnavigate Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, by kayak – also alone and unaided. For this Riaan received 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.
March 2011 saw Riaan take on mystical Iceland and her arctic waters accompanied by a handicapped friend, who suffers from cerebral palsy. “Around Iceland on Inspiration” saw the two paddle 2 300 kilometres (1 429 miles) to circumnavigate Iceland in a double sea-kayak over a five month period.
In 2016, with his new wife Vasti, the pair embarked on a history-making Pacific Ocean row, breaking the Guinness World Record for fastest row in history from California to Hawaii, a record previously held by a 4-man team.
He has set up a charity organisation called No Food for Lazy Man whose aim is to provide disadvantaged children with a sporting chance at a brighter future. The No Food for Lazy Man trust identifies schools throughout the Province that are in dire need of assistance and supplies them with basic sporting equipment to ensure all our children receive the recreational stimulation necessary to build confidence, character and instill teamwork.