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Fri Sep 19 17:49:41 SAST 2014

SA paragliders take on Mt Kilimanjaro

Claire Keeton | 13 September, 2011 00:38
The Times photographer Marianne Schwankhart and other South African adventurers will this week paraglide off Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa Picture: DESMOND THOMPSON/GALLO IMAGES

Nine South African adventurers, including The Times photographer Marianne Schwankhart, will attempt to be the first group to paraglide off the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro this week.

They started their ascent yesterday. The expedition, which has been joined by an American and a Namibian paraglider, is the first to get a permit to fly off Africa's highest mountain, the 5895m Kilimanjaro. It took 10 years to get the permit.

Extreme athlete and champion paraglider Pierre Carter, and world-class climber Schwan-khart, aim to ascend the highest peaks on every continent and paraglide off them.

This is the third peak in their "Seven Summits, Seven Flights" mission.

They have already flown off Mount Elbrus, in Russia, and off Aconcagua, in Argentina.

Carter said: "Paragliding off Kilimanjaro will be different to the other flights because we will have 11 paragliders in the air simultaneously - it will be fantastic. This is a once-off."

The team will donate equipment such as a mobile desk that stores water, that they are taking to the summit, to schools near their ascent route.

Track the team's progress on http://livetrack24.com.

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Fri Sep 19 17:49:41 SAST 2014 ::