A COVID Catch-up with Peter van Kets

Peter van Kets is one of the world’s top professional endurance adventurers, a conservationist, an international keynote- and inspirational speaker, a husband and a father. 

He is also a CITW Ambassador, raising awareness for CITW to the various audiences he addresses around the world.

Last week Programme Manager Janet Wilkinson organised for Peter to host a Zoom video session with all our regional Programme Coordinators. It was a tremendous morale-booster at this difficult time, and we will long remember his uplifting insights!

Did you know? Peter’s adventurous exploits include rowing unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean – twice. Peter spent 76 days alone in a 7-metre rowing boat, crossing this perilous ocean. His epic 5 438 km unsupported row across the Atlantic was a first for any African.

More recently Peter completed an unsupported race across Antarctica to the South Pole, commemorating the race between explorers Scott and Amundsen to the Pole 100 years ago.

With our other CITW Ambassador, the irrepressible Jacques Marais, they are completing a series of extreme adventures around Africa.   Wilderness Safaris has been involved in logistics around their Beyond the Desert Edge expedition in Namibia, where they met with Agnes, Lena and others, and their Beyond the Rift Valley expedition in Rwanda, where they met with Ingrid and her teams, and participated in CITW Eco-Club tree planting activities at Bisate Lodge.

Peter has also participated in a number of Nedbank Tour de Tuli events.

He has a great affinity with the planet’s oceans and seas, having spent most of his life either in, on or near the sea. He has rowed across the Atlantic twice – experiences that have made him passionate about the conservation of our oceans. His motto is DOT. Do One Thing! He understands that on his own he can have little impact on the total conservation of our seas, but collectively, if we could each just do-one-thing we could have a dramatic effect and save our oceans.

So who better to chat to us in this unprecedented times of COVID-19?  In Peter’s words, “This is a massive storm and it will end, but our behaviour and actions will determine how it ends for most of us”.

Some of the points Janet noted from Peter’s talk:

  • It’s in our hands. 
  • Be more formidable. 
  • Take personal advantage of the storm. 
  • Go harder than ever now. 
  • Be relentless. 
  • Take courage, be disciplined and have humility.

And here she has the last word: “Thank you so much for giving up your time to talk to our CITW team, Peter, and for everyone to get to know you a little better.   We truly appreciate it!”

Online links to Peter’s sites:




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Read Jacques’s overview of their life-changing Beyond the Rift Valley expedition on Pg 67 of our latest Eco-Stars here.

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