Nils Mathsson (also Matson, Matsson) Kioping (also Kjoping, Koping) was the son of a clergyman and the earliest Swede who showed an interest in the fauna and flora of the Cape Colony. He was employed by the Dutch East India Company and while in their service made extensive journeys to the East Indies (now Indonesia), China and other countries during the years 1647 to 1656. An account of his travels was published (in Swedish) in 1667, with several later editions to 1790. The title can be translated as Description of travel through Asia, Africa and many other heathen countries. He spent three weeks at the Cape in 1656 and in his book briefly described some of its geographical features, animals, and the physical appearance of the Hottentots. He also collected some animals and plants, which eventuallly went to the University of Uppsala.
Upon his return to Sweden in 1656 Kioping became a lieutenant in the Swedish navy and participated in naval warfare during the next four years. He drowned in Stockholm at the age of 59.