Saray Khumalo the First Black African Woman to Summit Everest

Early morning news from Nepal arrived in South Africa at 5:15 am that Saray Khumalo had just reached the top of the world, becoming the first black African woman to reach the Everest summit.

The latest update reveals the challenges the brave campaigner is yet to face:- Although Khumalo is now on her way down the South summit, she is still firmly in the so-called ‘Death Zone’, cautiously traversing her way to C4 over the next few hours, with another two full days of treacherous decent before she arrives at Base Camp.   

An African of continental acclaim owing to her Zambian birth and Rwandan family lineage – South Africa’s Saray N’kusi Khumalo will exhausted at the harsh conditions aggravated by the ultra-high altitude, and she will be focussed on getting down to celebrate her remarkable achievement on her return from the iconic 8,848m peak. 

Her dream was shaped when she summited Mt Kilimanjaro in 2012 to raise funds for the Lunchbox Fund, and the mountaineering bug bit hard, taking her on a journey to climb the highest peak on each continent with the dream of supporting the education of African children.  

Having achieved the peak after three earlier attempts in 2014, 2015 and 2017 – when she reached the south summit, she finally achieved her dream with the support of the Dr Thandi Ndlovu Foundation.


All information in this piece has been sourced from posts at the Summits with a Purpose Facebook Group


Photo 1 caption: She did it! South Africa’s Saray Khumalo has become the first black African woman to reach the Everest summit. Photo: Summits with a Purpose Facebook Group

Photo 2 caption: Saray Khumalo pictured receiving the Ministerial Recognition Award from Sports and Recreation Minister, Tokozile Xasa, at the 2018 gsport Awards, in Johannesburg on 31 August, 2018. Photo: Summits with a Purpose Facebook Group

Photo 3 caption: Proud South African trekkers fly the flag with Saray Khumalo, along the daunting journey to the top. Photo: Summits with a Purpose Facebook Group

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Launched in 2006, gsport exists to enhance the commercial prospects of our women athletes, and other women in sport, by telling the inspiring story of SA women in sport. Thank you for your contribution!

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