Tanzania installs internet on Mt Kilimanjaro so climbers can Instagram

Tanzania installs high-speed internet on Mount Kilimanjaro so climbers can post Instagram shots from 19,000ft summit

  • High-speed internet now on Mount Kilimanjaro so climbers can Instagram
  • Tanzania called the installation on Africa’s highest mountain ‘historic’ 
  • 35,000 people attempt to climb Mt Kilimanjaro each year with ten deaths
  • The peak is an important source of tourism revenue in Tanzania and Kenya

Tanzania has installed high-speed internet services on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro so that climbers can instantly beam their summit selfies to their Instagram followers.

State-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation set up the broadband network on Tuesday at an altitude of 3,720 metres (12,200 feet), with Information Minister Nape Nnauye calling the event historic.

‘Previously, it was a bit dangerous for visitors and porters who had to operate without internet,’ Nnauye said at the launch of the service, flanked by government officials and tourists.

Immortalised in Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’, the UNESCO World Heritage site has had high-speed internet services installed on the slopes

A team of climbers celebrate reaching the peak of Kilimanjaro – now they will be able to broadcast their pictures over Instagram immediately 

‘All visitors will get connected… (up to) this point of the mountain,’ he said at the Horombo Huts, one of the camps en route to the peak.

He said the summit of the 5,895-metre (19,300-foot) mountain would have internet connectivity by the end of the year.

Last year, the Tanzanian government announced plans to build a cable car on the southern side of Kilimanjaro, triggering uproar among climbers, expedition companies and environmentalists.

Mount Kilimanjaro is an important source of tourism revenue in Tanzania and neighbouring Kenya, with around 35,000 people attempting to summit it each year with an average of ten people dying.

Immortalised in Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’, the mountain is part of a national park as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Technology has increasingly infiltrated the world of mountaineering, with climbers on Mount Everest enjoying easy access to wifi, power generators and smartphones that make it possible to share photos and make SOS calls in the event of an accident.

In contrast, when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of the world’s tallest mountain on May 29, 1953, the news didn’t reach the outside world until June 2, just in time for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

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