Wings Of Kilimanjaro : The Adventure Of A Lifetime : Adventure Travel | Adventure Sports | Extreme Paragliding

LARGEST GROUP TO EVER SUMMIT KILIMANJARO – “WINGS OF KILIMANJARO”

Sydney, Australia – (March 1, 2013) – Wings of Kilimanjaro, a world first charity and paragliding event officially wrapped up last month in Arusha, Tanzania. A record 95 adventurers from 27 countries successfully reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on February 4, 2013, the largest group ever to reach the 19,341 ft peak. Wings of Kilimanjaro aimed to be first group to officially paraglide from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro while also raising US$1 million for its three charity partners active on the ground in Tanzania – WorldServe International, The One Foundation and Plant with Purpose. Severe weather at the summit prevented all but one pilot from launching. Sano Babu Sunuwar, the 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, launched on February 7 with his local Kilimanjaro Mountain guide Matthew Lyimo as his tandem passenger. The pair landed safely 90 minutes later at Kibosho Vocational Training Centre, near Near Umbwe Village at the foot of the Mountain. Wings of Kilimanjaro has so far raised $US550,000 for its three partner charities to support projects in education, clean water and deforestation in the Kilimanjaro region. Fundraising will continue through 2013.

The group reached the summit on February 4 after a 7 day climb. The 96 adventurers and support crew spent the next two nights sleeping on the crater rim waiting for an opening in the weather. Unfortunately the conditions at the summit were “far from ideal to launch a paraglider during the 3 day launch window” according to WOK Senior Safety Officer Pete Boywer, with severe weather precipitated by two consecutive tropical cyclones off the East African coast, TC-13S and TC Felleng. On February 6 the group descended on foot. Nepalese Pilot Sano Babu Sunuwar remained on the mountain with his guide Matthew Lyimo and on February 7 the pair launched from the summit, becoming the first official sanctioned people to paraglide from Mount Kilimanjaro. “Upon landing I was very happy and proud” said Mr Sunuwar. “I was the first Nepalese pilot to fly from Kilimanjaro and the first pilot to do so officially. This was also my second flight from one of the 7 summits. After landing more than 100 children came running up to me and were all smiling and congratulating me. All of the other Wings of Kilimanjaro pilots were also very happy for me and I enjoyed sharing my experience with them back at the hotel in the evening.” It was a fitting end to an extraordinary event and the Wings of Kilimanjaro organisers were delighted that Matthew Lyimo who has been a guide on Kilimanjaro for many years was part of this historic flight.

The Wings of Kilimanjaro charity partners – WorldServe International, The One Foundation and Plant with Purpose – work in the Kilimanjaro region with projects focused on education, accessibility to clean water and helping to reverse the efforts of deforestation in local farming communities. The Wings of Kilimanjaro pilots spent almost a year fundraising for the event and following the descent the group spent two days visiting the projects that their fundraising efforts are supporting. These projects included the construction of a new primary school and the drilling of bore water in the remote Maasai community of Loiborsoit, in the Siminjiro region. In addition the group have also started 12 Village Community Banks which focus on environmental restoration, small business development and tree planting through microfinance programmes.

The Wings of Kilimanjaro summit success was not without its difficulties, including a bout of Gastroenteritis that went through the team and as well as a porter revolt on the mountain. On Summit day, 7 guides (out of the almost 50 on the expedition) convinced over 120 porters to abandon the trip due to a dispute with the Tanzanian guiding company Top Of Africa Expeditions, leaving the group with minimal water supplies and support for the remainder of the expedition. Those crew that continued with the team to Crater camp melted snow and ice to keep the adventurers adequately hydrated.

A prime time documentary was aired on Australia’s 60 Minutes program on February 17 and feature length film on the expedition will be released later this year.

Wings of Kilimanjaro would especially like to thank all the porters and guides that made this incredible adventure possible as well as the following government departments for their support in the project:
TANAPA and its’ board of directors
The Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority
The Tanzanian Military
Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB)
Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Tanzania (MNRT)
Tanzanian President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United Republic of Tanzania. H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

Finally, Wings of Kilimanjaro would like to thank those who have given generously to the fundraising efforts. The group has raised over $US550,000 and will continue to work towards the goal of $US1 million to support the work of WorldServe International, The One Foundation and Plant with Purpose in the Kilimanjaro region. 100% of all money raised by Wings of Kilimanjaro goes directly to supporting these local charity projects. To make a donation or for more information, please visit

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Media Contact: paula@wingsofkilimanjaro.com