Saray Khumalo - Zambia-born South African explorer and mountaineer. In May 2019, she became the first Black African woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.


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Saray is the first black African woman to ski to the South Pole and summit Mt Everest 66 years after the mountain was first summited in 1953. Saray is an award-winning mountaineer and a business executive with over 18 years’ experience in industry leading blue-chip companies which drive innovation and change both locally and internationally. Through mountaineering and @summitswithapurpose, she has raised over R1.5 million towards literacy and education in Africa. As a Mandela Libraries ambassador and a social entrepreneur Saray continues to push boundaries both professionally and in mountaineering. You can listen to Saray on the Tough Girl Podcast, new episodes are every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Show notes
  • Who is Saray
  • What life was like growing up
  • Being 1 of 7 girls
  • Her passion for education
  • The sky is the limit
  • Being a tomboy
  • Being part of a community
  • Why education is so important
  • Why the world is a global village
  • Losing her older sister
  • Wanting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Making the decision to climb the 7 summits (the 7 highest mountains on every continent)
  • How it evolved into the Explorers Grand Slam
  • Summits with a Purpose
  • Encouraging other people to get outdoors
  • Finding a mentor
  • Needing to train differently for every adventure
  • Her first Mt Everest summit attempt in 2014
  • Struggling to find sponsorship and self funding the adventure
  • Making the decision to go back Mt Everest in 2015
  • Becoming more committed
  • Being in an earthquake in 2015 on Mt Everest
  • Going to pray
  • Almost dying in 2016 after a mountain biking accident put her in a coma for 3 weeks
  • Recognising and celebrating the small wins
  • Getting 100m from the summit
  • Being left to die in the dead zone on Mt Everest
  • Starting to question everything
  • Risk versus reward
  • Figure out the why
  • Figure out what you can do differently and go back
  • Deciding to go back in 2019
  • Feeling invincible and ready to take on anything
  • Failing forward
  • Leaning how to ski at the South Pole
  • Only being able to trust her compass
  • Mental resilience and determination during challenges
  • Coping with Covid
Social Media Website Facebook @saraykhumaloSpeaker Instagram @saraykhumalo Twitter @saraykhumalo

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