Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Kai Botha achieves 'Everest' dream for Manx wildlife charity

Kai Botha Image copyright Kai Botha
Image caption Mr Botha spent just 15 minutes at Everest base camp due to the freezing temperatures

A South African now living on the Isle of Man said he has "fulfilled a dream" after successfully completing a charity trek to Everest base camp.

Kai Botha, 29, reached the 5,380m (17,600ft) camp in Nepal in temperatures as cold as -25C.

The marketing manager from Douglas walked for seven hours a day during the two-week expedition and said he had "never felt so alive".

Through doing the trek, Mr Botha raised £1,500 for the Manx Wildlife Trust.

Image copyright Kai Botha
Image caption In total the mission took 12 days to complete

"We are all so proud of Kai's achievement," said a spokesman for the charity.

"His love of nature and the environment is clear to see and he deserves a good break after such a great effort."

Mr Botha, who moved to the island in 2017, said: "Five months ago I was in a rut - it was raining outside and I was miserable.

"As I was sat watching something mindless on Netflix, I noticed an email with a link to an article by the New Yorker - titled 'The White Darkness'.

"It was a tale of a man's solitary journey across Antarctica - it was a profound read and in that moment, I resolved to make a change."

Image copyright Kai Botha
Image caption Mr Botha said the altitude sickness was "like the worst hangover of your life, times three"

After months of preparation, he embarked on his trek finally reaching Everest base camp after 12 days.

"It was all over in 15 minutes - we couldn't stay longer than that; it was just too cold."

He completed his mission with two other men, a guide and two Sherpas.

"In that moment, it was as if we were the only people in the world," he added.

"The iconic 'tented city' was gone and would only reappear at the start of the climbing season in March. There wasn't a soul in sight.

"During the walk, I was awestruck at my surroundings. I felt strong and confident apart from altitude sickness which was the most horrendous feeling.

"For the first time in a long time I felt truly happy."

Image copyright Kai Botha
Image caption The Manx Wildlife Trust will benefit from money raised by Mr Botha

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