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Around Iceland on Inspiration  |  Friday 25 November 2011 08:48

Around Iceland on Inspiration


ON: Sundays
AT: 18:00 on SABC3
GENRE: Local Documentary


Founder and Executive Producer of Cooked in Africa Films, Justin Bonello, partnered with extreme adventurer, Riaan Manser, to produce a 13-part reality TV documentary entitled Around Iceland on Inspiration capturing Riaan’s daring kayak around the 5000km circumference of Iceland earlier this year.

Justin, who has produced and presented several successful international lifestyle television series, is excited about the Series, which will premiere on SABC3 on Sunday, 4 December at 6pm.

“While Riaan’s adventures have been documented in the past, this was the first time he was accompanied by a professional TV crew. Each team member is featured in the Series, providing an entertaining back-story to the expedition’s significant physical challenges,” says Justin.

Specialising in the production of branded entertainment and original content – mostly reality documentaries - for television, Cooked in Africa, has produced eleven international and local television series since its launch in 2003.                                      

In addition to setting new benchmarks in adventure travel, Riaan has also authored two best selling books about his adventures entitled Around Africa On My Bicycle and Around Madagascar on My Kayak.  The Iceland trip, which represents Riaan’s third expedition, saw him mentoring and supporting an unlikely partner: 30-year-old University of Cape Town law student and Cerebral Palsy sufferer, Daniel Skinstad. Youngest brother of South African rugby player, Bob Skinstad, Dan was searching for ways in which to challenge himself physically and mentally when he met Manser a few years ago.

Riaan and Dan completed their excursion on 4 September; becoming the first African’s to circumnavigate Iceland in a kayak.

Their journey, which included a production crew of five, started around the north-east point of Iceland - the edge of the Arctic Circle – in March, before turning south down the east coast: a magical region of glaciers, forests, bird cliffs, vast deserts and narrow fjords; encompassing a diverse variety of wildlife that includes the arctic fox, Icelandic horse, killer whale, and dozens of birds that occupy the cliff faces around the Island.

Cooked in Africa Films Cameraman Darren Illet, who has filmed over 40 episodes across a number of Cooked in Africa’s reality TV series, was quick to point out the logistical challenges that often plagued the production team. “While Iceland remains one of the most visually exciting places in the world,” he says, “the expedition started at the tail end of winter, which was particularly cold and required us to film in temperatures ranging from -5 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius. While we’ve shot in these conditions in Lesotho before, we’d never been exposed to those temperature extremes for months at a time. However, using a combination of Sony Prosumer and consumer cameras, including cameras from the EX range and Sony HD Handicams, we weren’t disappointed, as they stood up to the challenges of the environment and our gruelling schedule.”                                                                                                         
Meet the Adventurers:

Riaan Manser is a well-known personality, both in South Africa, and internationally. He was the first person to cycle around the entire perimeter of Africa, and he then went on to circumnavigate the entire island of Madagascar by Kayak. These incredible feats of determination won him the title of Adventurer of The Year in 2006 and 2009. They also won him an immense amount of public admiration and support, and he has become a widely recognized role model and an icon of courage and triumph. As a result, his books - Around Africa On My Bicycle and Around Madagascar on My Kayak became instant bestsellers.

Law student and younger brother to well known South African rugby player Bob Skinstad, Dan suffers from Cerebral Palsy. HIs decision to join Riaan’s expedition to Iceland was part of a personal mission to test his mental and physical limits, and become an inspiration to people afflicted by physical limitations, or those with a poor self-image. In addition to Dan’s goal to take on the Iceland journey as part of a personal mission was his desire to tell a story that could reach, and positively impact, countless others.  

Issued by: SABC3 Publicity Tel: 011 714 6269/ Email: /


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