South African tourist dies while climbing Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro

South African racing car driver Gugu Zulu has died on Monday while climbing the Africa's roof, Mount Kilimanjaro, authorities confirmed on Monday.


Pascal Shelutete, spokesperson for the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), said in a statement that the death of the 38-year-old South African national was caused by altitude sickness.

TANAPA and other Tanzania’s government agencies were working on the logistics to transport the body of the victim to South Africa,” the official said.

He said that Zulu started climbing the mountain on July 14, this year in a trip dubbed; ‘Trek4Mandela initiative’ that saw prominent South Africans try to summit the mountain for Mandela Day.

“It was the second time for tourists from South Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as part of honoring Mandela, the late and former South African President,” he said.

Reports said that Zulu was on the mountain with his wife, Letshego Zulu, and other well-known South Africans and he experienced problems breathing last night.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Neeran Naidoo said, “We spoke to two members this morning and we understand he had problems breathing last night. The medical team on the site put him onto a drip and brought him down from the mountain. They tried everything possible to save his life but unfortunately we lost Gugu this morning.”

Zulu was a celebrated and well-established racing driver for Volkswagen.

In a statement by the foundation a short while ago, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Sello Hatang said, “I am devastated. I knew him well. I recruited him to climb Kilimanjaro. The last thing he said to me at the airport before he left last week was that he wanted to speak about doing other Mandela Day projects. I feel a huge sense of loss.”

Climbing Kilimanjaro is probably one of the most dangerous things you will ever do. Every year, approximately 1,000 people are evacuated from the mountain, and approximately 10 deaths are reported. The actual number of deaths is believed to be two to three times higher. The main cause of death is altitude sickness. Everyone climbing Mount Kilimanjaro should be familiar with the symptoms of altitude sickness. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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