Riding Africa

Riding Africa

By Michael Howard-Kyan

Format: Hardback

(3 customer reviews)

Publication Date: 28 May 2021


Out of Stock

Categories: Transport, Travel, Autobiography

ISBN: 9781913551865


Michael Howard-Kyan’s family loved travelling and he was fortunate to enjoy many holidays as a child, which sparked his own love for travel. Now in his twenties as a newly qualified surveyor, Michael decides that it’s a good moment to take a sabbatical and have a crack at his own adventure. He had loved motorcycling since his father bought him a motorcycle for use as a student run around, so it was a natural idea for him to combine motorcycling and travel together.

Excitement built day-by-day as he planned and then executed an idea, never really anticipating that he would actually succeed in crossing Africa. His bailout plan was a rucksack and a long hitchhike should the bike fail, but it never did. His biggest challenges were the Sahara and the Congo, where luck and endurance overcame fear and mechanical failure on many occasions. But he would never abandon the trip. Riding Africa charts Michael’s rich experience of the road; from the places he visited to the wonderful people he met, to poor roads, thrown rocks, spy accusations and a police detention cell.

Michael Howard-Kyan was born in 1955 and was raised in Bath. As a newly qualified surveyor in the late 70s, Michael put his career aside to embark on a motorcycle trip from Bath to Cape Town, South Africa. He worked there for four years before returning to the UK and setting up his own property development business from which he has now retired. He shipped his bike back from Cape Town and it spent the next thirty or so years in various garden sheds and crates until he was able to restore it to full working order in 2017. Riding Africa is an adventurous travelogue charting Michael’s unique journey.


Janet Read (Guest Review) - 14 May, 2021

This book is a great read. With a few well chosen words the author conjours up vivid and evocative descriptions of the countries he travelled through, the people he met and the meals he ate - some more appetising than others! Travelling through jungles, villages or big cities, sometimes sleeping under the stars, sometimes with friends he made on the way and sometimes in very much less salubrious accomodation, everything was an exciting and interesting adventure.
I was impressed by his resourcefulness at keeping his bike on the road in often challenging conditions. It is good to know that after all these years the bike is back on the road again

Peter Downey (Guest Review) - 17 May, 2021

I first read the South Africa chapter as I had been there many times and had to cancel our last trip. The writing took me back there, gave me the feeling of the country and being there. I then started from the beginning. It was enthralling, had difficulty putting it down.
I was sorry when I finished!!
For anyone who has been to Africa it is a must. For others a great introduction

Steve Bailey (Guest Review) - 19 May, 2021

I really enjoyed reading this book and felt I was on the journey too - even though I don't ride a motorbike! The book flowed comfortably and naturally, with lots of detail given without going overboard, and, because the book was broken down into bite size chunks by country, it was easy to read. My enjoyment was enhanced by the many photographs that are included. The book gives a look back to Africa as it was 40 odd years ago - well worth reading if you are interested in adventure, Africa or motorcycling.

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