Hiking is an integral part of Cape Town culture for young and old alike. One Capetonian is taking his love for the outdoors to the next level, as he aims to become the youngest South African to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Nine-year-old Guillaume Olivier from Fish Hoek plans to make the great trek up Africa’s highest mountain and one of the world’s most iconic peaks in August 2020. This brave boy also hopes to take the journey in honour of the firefighters in South Africa and the world over who bravely risk their lives every day.
Guillaume has always been a lover of the great outdoors. Last year, a school theme of ‘Great Explorers’ sparked a deeper interest in Mount Everest climbers.
“The dream to climb Kili actually started in church,” Guillaume’s mother Zené explains. “He mentioned to his dad that this is what he wanted to do, with dad always saying “If you can dream it, you can do it”, this journey started.”
To prepare for the trek, Guillaume partakes in school sport as well as additional strength training. His weekends are spent out in the mountains with his father, and they plan to complete Higher Altitude training in the Drakensberg / Lesotho mountains in the upcoming months.
Here’s a video of him preparing for the climb:
The minimum age to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is 10-years-old, so Guillaume had to write a letter of motivation to receive special permission. Luckily, the National Park Board at Kilimanjaro has agreed and Guillaume will take to the mountains from August 21-30, 2020.
The youngest person in the world to climb Kilimanjaro is Coaltan Tanner, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who reached the summit aged just 6 years, 1 month and 4 days on October 22, 2018. Retshegofaditswe ‘Tshego’ Hatang from Little Falls in the West Rand is the youngest recorded South African to reach the summit at 10-year-old, conquering the mountain back in 2018.
We wish Guillaume all the best in his endeavours!
Picture: Facebook / Live Your Dream GO