Pakistani cyclist becomes first woman to scale Africa’s highest mountain

By Sana Jamal, Correspondent

Samar Khan is also the first woman to have cycled on 4,500-metre-high Biafo glacier in Gilgit-Baltistan

Image Credit: Sana Jamal/Gulf News
Samar Khan at Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania the young Pakistani adventure athlete, Samar Khan, has become the first woman in the world to scale Africa’s highest mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro – on bicycle.

Islamabad: After conquering Pakistan’s mighty peaks, the young Pakistani adventure athlete Samar Khan has become the first woman in the world to scale Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, on bicycle.

The young Pakistani girl is being hailed as a daredevil at home after she climbed and cycled on Mount Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak, located in Tanzania.



“I wanted to take the green flag at a global level to show the world what Pakistanis are capable of,” Khan told Pakistani media. “And to show them that not just our boys but our girls are also risk-takers.”

She cycled on Africa’s snow-capped 5,895-metre Mount Kilimanjaro on December 7 and was awarded by Tanzania’s Tourism department.

The 27-year-old adventurer says Kilimanjaro being the highest peak in Africa was the appropriate choice for her to demonstrate her skills.

What inspired her challenging journey was the spirit to prove to the world that Pakistani women can achieve anything they want. She believed her journey would bring honour for the people of Pakistan. “With this aim I went on to achieve what no other girl in Pakistan has.”

The gigantic task of riding the bicycle on Africa’s highest peak was “made possible with the help of my supporters not only in Pakistan but also in Africa”, she said.

Samar was sponsored by Pakistan Army for her participation in the mountain cycling event in Tanzania. “I’m thankful to Pakistan Army (ISPR) for believing in me and sponsoring the event.”

“The sole purpose of my thrilling journey is to promote tourism and sports in Pakistan. I want to break stereotypes and set the trend of adventure sports in Pakistan for youngsters, particularly women,” Khan told Gulf News.

In 2016, she became the first woman to travel 800 kilometres on a bicycle from Islamabad to reach the Biafo Glacier in Gilgit Baltistan where she rode at a height of 4,500 metres on top of Biafo, the world’s third-longest glacier outside the polar regions.

Khan hails from Lower Dir, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, where women have few opportunities for education and employment. Her latest accomplishment is not only an inspiration for Pakistani women but also for anyone dreaming to achieve their goals.

She hoped her spirit would inspire many female athletes to venture into extreme sports.

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