First black African woman to summit Mount Everest heads home

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Saray Khumalo (@GovernmentZA - Twitter)
Saray Khumalo (@GovernmentZA - Twitter)

The first black woman from Africa to summit Mount Everest returns to South African soil on Monday morning. 

Saray Khumalo, a business executive, made history when she reached the summit in the early hours of Thursday, May 16. It was her fourth attempt to summit the mountain. 

It hasn't been an easy trip for Khumalo.

An Irish professor - who was part of the party that summited with Khumalo - slipped on the way down on the Friday, News24 reported. 

Seamus Lawless, 39, was part of an eight-member expedition and was one of three Irish climbers to reach the summit, Newstalk reported. 

It is reportedly believed he slipped on the balcony area of the mountain while attempting to descend to Camp 4, below the peak.

The death toll for this season for the climb is 10, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday. 

Khumalo along with her expedition leader Noel Hanna, will land at OR Tambo International Airport at 09:30 where they will hold a media briefing to outline their journey. 

In her previous attempt in May 2017, Khumalo was rescued from Mount Everest by helicopter after she was injured during inclement weather, Netwerk24 reported.

READ: Saray Khumalo becomes first black SA woman to conquer Mount Everest

Khumalo was born in Zambia and has South African citizenship. She has been climbing mountains for seven years, having reached, among others, the summits of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2013 and Mera Peak in Nepal in 2014.

The Summits with a Purpose Facebook page posted that it was Hanna's 9th Mount Everest summit.

"This has never been attempted since he completed it 10 years ago. In 2018 he won the Outdoor Magazine Man of the Year for his ascent of K2," the statement reads.

To learn more about Khumalo also read5 things to know about Saray Khumalo, the first black SA woman to reach top of Mount Everest

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