Zambian-born Saray Khumalo climbs highest point on the planet

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47-year-old South African, Saray Khumalo, has reached the highest point on the planet. She is the first black African woman to scale Mount Everest to its peak point.

Khumalo, a business executive, was born in Zambia to Rwandan parents. She reportedly reached the summit in the early hours of Thursday, May 16. This was her fourth attempt at climbing Mount Everest.

Khumalo is not climbing the mountains for fun, on this expedition, she is supporting the Dr. Thandi Ndlovu Foundation.

According to South African eNCA, Khumalo reached at the peak of Mount Everest around 05:30 Hours Zambian time.

In 2012, khumalo summited Mount Kilimanjaro and in the process, raised funds for the Lunchbox Fund. The mountaineering passion took hold and she embarked on a journey to climb the highest peak on each continent, not for herself but the education of African children. She summited Mount Elbrus in 2014 and Mount Aconcagua in 2015.

She became a Nelson Mandela Libraries ambassador and raised nearly R1 million for school libraries. After being on Everest during both the Serac fall (2014) and the earthquake (2015), she reached the south summit in 2017. Through perseverance, and courage she decided to return to Mount Everest in 2019.

In a previous attempt in May 2017, Khumalo had to be rescued from Mount Everest by helicopter. She had been injured during inclement weather while trying to reach the summit, Netwerk24 reported.

Her previous attempts had been scuppered by an earthquake in Nepal and an avalanche. Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain at its official elevation of 8 848m above sea level.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay were the first people to reach the mountain’s summit on May 29, 1953.

Since then, around 800 people attempted to climb Mount Everest annually. More than 296 people have died trying to climb it.

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