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PeterProfessional endurance adventurer, keynote inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, bestselling author

Peter van Kets is one of South Africa’s top extreme adventurers who shares the lessons he’s learnt as an international keynote speaker. Globally known as a specialist around business’ ability to persevere in a turbulent and harsh economy, Peter has worked with major corporations across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the USA. Taking the lessons learnt from his expeditions, he inspires audiences with stories about survival, courage, perseverance, passion, loneliness, tenacity, grit, amazing teamwork and the will to win. His presentations take people on powerful, life-altering journeys, changing the way they think about themselves and their businesses.

A passionate conservationist and published author, Peterteaches people to seek out the extraordinary in every venture, which demands clear vision, dynamic strategy, precise planning and preparation, absolute honesty and integrity, uprightness of character and self-discipline. Accustomed to standing ovations after presentations, this humble, engaging, ever-reliable speaker is a favourite on the speaking circuit, both locally and internationally.

If anyone is equipped to share lessons on what it means to overcome adversity and persevere against the odds, it is Peter. Few people have endured the harsh realities of nature that he has, and triumphed.His inspirational keynotes, supported by thrilling images and videos of his expeditions, present real-life stories of grit and survival – ideal for today’s corporate audiences.

Peter has a way of pushing people out of their comfort zones and demonstrating how vision, passion and self-discipline can drive excellence. One of his core messages is Sir Edmund Hillary’s – it is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. In the business world, everyone is immersed in a real-life drama, says Peter – and his aim is to change the way people think about themselves and their circumstances. Calling himself a ‘normal guy’ who happens to do exceptional things, Peter leads employees and teams towards using planning, strategy, conflict management and other skills to get the most out of their lives.

A ‘master of endurance’, Peter always plans to win – and he shows corporates how they can do the same. Having made his name winning the Woodvale Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race together with friend Bill Godfrey, and being the first African to row unsupported across the Atlantic, Peter is a natural leader who drives audiences to be courageous and ambitious in their own lives. Whether addressing CEOs, sales teams or conference delegates, he crafts a message of tenacity and hope that everyone can relate to. Well-known keynotes include ‘Impossible is Nothing’, ‘Leaving a Legacy’, ‘The Power of Team’ and ‘The Success Factor – GRIT!’.



One of the world’s top endurance adventurers and speakers – has rowed across the Atlantic twice and trekked unsupported to the South Pole.

Has taken part in an epic dog sled expedition at 82degrees north. Joined forces with photographer, Jacques Marais and have completed 3 Beyond Expeditions focussing on southern and central Africa

Author of The Eighth Summit published in 2014

Adventurer of the Year 2011

Winner of the South African Premiers Award and Eastern Cape Sports Start of the Year in 2008.

Writes inspirational columns for a variety of magazines

Writes inspirational columns for business magazines


A few quotes from Peter’s SOCIAL MEDIA

“I truly believe that if we put the right processes in place in our lives, both personally and professionally, we can absolutely achieve the things we’ve considered impossible before.”

“A recent Harvard Business School study on success showed that the most significant predictor in a person’s ability to succeed is perseverance. It is the basis of all success. If we want to achieve and sustain true success, and fulfil our purpose, perseverance is a must.”

“Adventurers typically tell hard-core stories about how they nearly died on their expeditions – but this is not relevant to business people, who want more practical examples – for example, how do you cope when caught up in a storm?”

“I’m passionate about changing the way people think about themselves and their professional lives – that’s what I do. I enjoy seeing the difference I make in their lives and businesses.”

“I find my magic out of my comfort zone and I put a process in place to make sure that I am successful in it – that is the story that I tell. All my experiences are very real, but I relate them to others in a metaphorical way that makes sense to them.”

“Businesses are undergoing dramatic changes – I speak about the dramatic changes I have undergone on my expeditions and show how people can adapt and innovate for success.”

“I connect with audiences on a personal level – it is one of my gifts. I don’t say ‘come and listen to me speak’ – I interact. I am 100% comfortable with what I am saying and known that it will make sense to people and they will be able to use the information.”

“I’m not a big, brave, radical adventurer – I’m just a normal guy who’s put certain processes into place to do things. If I can do it, anyone can!”