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.