Story of Courage, Adventure and Awe as 21 Year-Old Woman Raises Tanzania Flag on Seven Highest Mountains on Earth

Rawan Dakik

By Jaston Binala.

The name Rawan Dakik should be fresh on every Tanzanian mind. Rawan is the young woman  who has recently raised the Tanzania flag on each of the highest mountains on the world’s seven continents. The awesome feat  was part of a rare mountaineering feat by an African woman–of whom she is.

“We are very proud of the achievements that our daughter Rawan Dakik has accomplished,” the mountaineer’s father Abdulrahim Dakik told TZ Business News. “Her hard work and dedication over the many years is admirable. Raising the Tanzanian flag on seven out of seven highest peaks in each continent, and becoming the youngest Tanzanian and African at the age of 21 to accomplish this record brings pride to us as a family and to many Tanzanians.”

Euphoria in Tanzania became louder for the first time in May 2021, when Rawan raised her nation’s flag on top of the world’s tallest mountain–Mount Everest. She was received back home in Tanzania a hero.  The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism awarded her the title of Tourism Ambassador to promote Tanzania in the world of tourism—to promote especially Mount Kilimanjaro where she practiced scaling unforgiving mountains on earth.

This honor sent a message to her family the Government and peoples of Tanzania love Rawan:

“Its a great honour and  I am proud for one of my kids to take such responsibility [of Tourism Ambassador] and she is capable; I know she has a lot of ideas from the experience she has  had during her expedition journey that she will be able to share with the ministry of Tourism in the near future”, Rawan’s father said. “She was my daughter prior to her achievement but today she is the daughter of all Tanzanians.”

Rawan’s mountaineering feat was part of a project professional mountaineers call the ‘Seven Summit Project’. During this project a mountaineer attempts to reach the summit of each one of the highest mountains on the world’s seven continents.

Pascal Shelutete, Head of Corporate Communications at the Tanzania National Parks told TZ Business News  Rawan started her Seven Summit Project at Mount Kilimanjaro, which is one of Tanzania’s numerous national parks. This is where she prepared herself for what was to come.

The Seven Summit Project climber has to scale the Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus in the western Caucasus mountain chain, Mount Kosciuszko, the highest mountain on the Australian continent,  Mount Aconcagua in Argentina—which is the highest mountain in South America, and  Mount Denali in the US State of Alaska– the highest mountain in North America.

The accomplished mountain climber also has to scale  Mount Vinson Massif,  the highest mountain of  the Antarctica, Mount Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia,  and  Mount Everest in China and Nepal. By 2021 Rawan had climbed the Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus in Russia, Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Vinson Massif in the Antarctica,  Mount Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia and Mount Everest.

Pascal Shelutete announced on July 2, 2022 Tanzania’s mountaineering ‘Super Woman’ had conquered all the world’s highest mountains. Starting her mission with Kilimanjaro in 2014 Rawan concluded with America’s Mount Denali  in 2022.

The Tanzanian climber broke her own record  in the last week June, 2022 after summiting Mount Denali in North America, to make a total of world’s seven highest peaks found in all seven continents of the world, Shelutete said. In  mid last year, Rawan became the second Tanzanian but first Tanzanian woman and the youngest African to reach the summit of  Mount Everest at the height of 8,848 metres. It was after this feat that she was named Tanzania’s Tourism Ambassador

Rawan in Maasai atire back home in Tanzania

 Before conquring Mount Denali Rawan had already summited all the other six mountain peaks of the world and she had remained with only Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, in North America, which commands a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level.

Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak on Earth, after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U.S. state of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

The other six summits and the year she summited include Mount Everest in China and Nepal at the height of 8,848 metres above mean sea level in 2021; Aconcagua, Argentina (6,962m) in 2018; Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (5,895) in 2014; Elbrus, Russia (5,642m) in 2016; Vinson Massif, Antartica (4,892) in 2019 and Puncak Jaya, Indonesia, (4,880) in 2017

Rawan with her Father, Mr. Abdulrahim Dakik

Rawan’s father, Mr. Abdulrahim Dakik, discussed her daughter’s courage and the financing of  the awesome project. He said there were times when he looked at pictures of dangerous places Rawan was passing and said to himself: “Where am I taking my daughter? She is a hero!”

The project was funded by family and friends, Dakik said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank all the family and friends that supported our daughter Rawan Dakik through this journey; without this [support] Rawan’s success would not be the same. At last, this achievement comes at the right time in support of our president Mama Samia Suluhu Hassan efforts to advertise tourism of the wonder land Tanzania.”

Resting in a tent…