Saray Khumalo

Saray Khumalo (born 1972) is a Zambia-born explorer and mountaineer. In May 2019, she became the first black African woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.[1][2][3][4][5]

Personal lifeEdit

With a Rwandan bloodline but now resident in South Africa, Khumalo was born in Zambia.[6] She works as an e-commerce business executive.[1][3] She is a mother of two children.[7]

Mountain climbingEdit

Prior to her 2019 success, she had attempted several times to conquer Mount Everest. Her first attempt was in 2014, when she was halted after an avalanche that killed 16 guides on the slope. She tried again in 2015, but was halted again by an earthquake in Nepal. Her final try, before her success, was in 2017 where she was forced to turn back because of the terrible weather.[6][8][4][7][5]

She is also known to have summited five mountains, including Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Elbrus in Russia.[9][8]

Mountaineering summitEdit


Khumalo is a Nelson Mandela Libraries ambassador who raises funds through her mountain climbing to support several projects including the Lunch Box Fund and the Mandela Library project in Thembisa, Johannesburg.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b "Meet the first black African woman to conquer Everest". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ "First black African woman, others scale Mt Everest; summit success on Lhotse, Makalu". The Himalayan Times. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Standing tall: First black African woman scales Everest". The Japan Times Online. 17 May 2019. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Saray Khumalo becomes first black African woman to reach summit of Mount Everest". SowetanLIVE. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Saray Khumalo becomes first black African woman to summit Everest". Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Saray Khumalo: What it takes to make it to the top of the world's highest mountain". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b "The three other occasions Saray Khumalo braved Mount Everest". The South African. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Saray Khumalo wants Africans to pick up Mount Everest challenge | IOL News". Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Saray Khumalo becomes first black SA woman to conquer Mount Everest". News24. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Saray Khumalo is an example of "Madiba exemplified": Foundation CE – Nelson Mandela Foundation". Retrieved 27 October 2019.