Riaan Manser is an adventurer who had a crazy idea. To kayak around Madagascar unaided. And he acted on it. You know, the world’s 4th largest island, off the east African coast? Yeah, THAT ONE. Some may call him brave, most who he encountered on his journey, called him crazy instead. This true story comes after a casual 2 years spent circumnavigating the African continent. On a fucking bicycle! (which is also a book which I need to go find now)
The story follows him as he sets off on his solo adventure from Tamatave, after a rough start with getting his most important asset from Cape Town to Johannesburg, then across the waters to Madagascar.
The people he meets along the way up the east coast are characters, mainly expat South Africans, which he finds comforting as homesickness kicks in every now and again. But as he goes further up the coast, it’s the Malagasey (local Madagascar people) and the culture that challenges him.
Riaan’s writing isn’t the best but it descriptive (especially when describes all the gory details about the parasites beneath his toenail) it did what it was meant to, keep the reader reading and living the adventure on the kayak with him. I think the photos helped too.
The majority of the book is focused on the first part of the journey from Tamatave to Mahajanga (up to Chapter 29) but I think it was because the most significant and challenging moments. Like the ones with having to catch his own dinner or the cyclone. You know, not much.
Overall, a crazy story, an excellent read with a load of information I am going to use on my trip to Madagascar next year.