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Around Africa on my Bicycle Paperback – September 30, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

RIAAN MANSER was born in 1973 in Pretoria. He grew up in Zululand and attended John Ross College. After studying HR Management, he worked in the medical industry. He has been a lifesaver, a surfer and a rugby player.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 716 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishing (September 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1868423514
  • ISBN-13: 978-1868423514
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The back flap reads:

"In a world first, almost incredibly, Riaan Manser rode a bicycle right around the continent of Africa. It took him two years, two months and fifteen days. He rode 36,500 km (22,500 miles) through 34 different countries.

In [this book] Manser tells the story of this epic journey. It is a story of blood sweat, toil and tears. It is a story of triumph and occasional disaster. Of nights out under the stars, of searing heat and rain, of endless miles of Africa and of pressing on and never surrendering whatever the odds.

Mostly however it is the story of one man's courage and determination to escape the mundane and see the continent he loves and feels so much of a part of. It is the story of the human warmth he encounters, and occasionally human wrath and hostility as he crosses troubled countries and borders."

The man that wrote the forward for this book (John Robbie) really said it well. He said, "There's always reason to put off the dream, isn't there? Too busy, too poor, too lazy. For most people, me included, it's really a case of being too scared. That's why for the majority, these fantasies remain daydreams rather than fulfilled ambitions or even attempted ones. Then we get old and regret the fact that we never went for it".

I read that and knew I would like this book. He is right. We all put off things that we want to do because we make excuses. Because of this, we tend to admire, and envy, people who do what we think is an exciting or adventurous thing. I knew I would admire and be a little bit jealous of Riaan and his round Africa journey. So, the premise was a go.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
.At first I thought Riaan was a bit of a self-promoter. But as his story unfolded it was obvious that he needed every bit of promotion, courage, charm, toughness, luck and spirit to accomplish a near impossible bicycle journey, circumnavigating a continent riven by corruption and suspicion of ones neighbors. At times the book seemed like an endless loop of getting to a border, being turned back, and finding a way forward again. It is true he was helped along the way by many fellow expatriate South Africans, but it was also many ordinary Africans who lifted their hand in kindness to Riaan as well.

Good for you, Riaan, and an adventure of the body and spirit well worth reading!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating and astounding story of perseverance under serious threat of violence, physical discomfort and privation, delays, inconveniences and aggravations.

I would have turned around and gone home very shortly into the trip or at 10 other points along the way. The author treated this "voyage" as if he had no choice.... as if he was on the ship to find India and there was no turning back. He is truly heroic (or crazy) in the same way as those explorers of previous centuries.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This guy has guts and courage that you don't see often. His tale of traveling around Africa on a bicycle is an amazing adventure. I am a world traveler myself and really enjoyed this well-written tale.
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Format: Paperback
Around Africa On My Bicycle by Riaan Manser is undoubtedly an amazing read. This South African young man decided to journey all over Africa on his bicycle and he spent over two years pedaling through 34 different countries! His stories are of courage and endurance against some inhuman odds, illness, all kinds of weather, and events that would frighten most people away from unsettled countries. You'll be astounded at how he handles everything from flu on the road, to falling into open sewers, to sleeping under the stars all alone, to winging his way through getting visas rapidly in places that normally take days. His experiences in embassies, hospitals, homes, rural places and cities will thrill and apall you. I couldn't help thinking he must be crazy to put himself through such an ordeal, day after day, week after week, and yet I envied him the opportunities and experiences he shares with his readers. This is a wonderful book and Manser made a world first in doing this marvelous feat. You won't be able to put the book down!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good read in terms of geography refresh.. But lacking in detail, content and structure. The story becomes rather repetitive to the point where the reader starts skipping and jumping forward. Disapointing to the extent that I will not pursue reading the further escapades - Madagascar etc.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I grew up in the Africa that Riaan Manser grew up in - quite a few years before he did. I rode the byways of South Africa on a bicycle long before cyclists were ten a penny on the roads. I thought my first bike tour was a story of the intrepid traveler with over 1,000 kms covered in a space of 10 days. I thought my first bike ride across Australia in 2002 was an intrepid adventure when I departed Perth and arrived in Melbourne some 5 weeks later - so intrepid was it that I have ridden 5 more such trips in differing directions. As intrepid as riding a bicycle on sealed roads for thousands of miles over several weeks can be, Riaan Manser chose to go into the unknown - where no man has gone; where there are few sealed roads; across a multitude of cultures and languages and through pestilence and storm and heat and war and wet and cold and officialdom and bribery.

His story is told without bravado. His story is told with humour. His story is told with a strong love for Africa. And what is fantastic is his story is told with awe. We should all read his story with awe for it captures the essence of adventure against the backdrop of an African canvas - for me still a compelling canvas. Read and enjoy and dream about your own journeys into the unknown - I know my first attempt at riding 1,000 kms in 10 days was the unknown for me - now it is old hat.

[...]
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