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On October 15, 2010, American polar explorer Eric Larsen wrote the first message on twitter from the top of Everest thanks to a satellite connection. The following May 5, British mountaineer Kenton Cool celebrated his ninth time of summiting the same mountain with a tweet shared for the first time thanks to a 3G network.
By the end of the year, even people who reach the 5,895-meter peak of Kilimanjaro in north-eastern Tanzania could start sharing Twitter posts, WhatsApp messages, photos and videos on Instagram: the highest mountain on the African continent has also started doing so to equip itself with an internet service that, according to the country’s authorities, will help make the route safer for hikers and their companions, but also attract more and more visitors.
On Tuesday, Tanzania’s national telecommunications company activated an internet connection in the area of Horombo Huts, a refuge at 3,720 meters above sea level on Mount Kilimanjaro, part of the national park of the same name and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
The launch of the service has been defined as historic by Communications Minister Nape Nnauye: it is part of a wider project that plans to improve digitization processes and aims to extend coverage to the top of the mountain by next October.
– Neck Moses Nnauye (@Nnauye_Nape) August 16, 2022
So far, the internet on Kilimanjaro was only available up to about 1,860 meters above sea level. Introducing the new network at Horombo Huts, the minister said that thanks to the internet, tourists can not only make emergency calls more easily, but also share photos and videos on social networks.
According to Nnauye, the service will bring greater visibility to Mount Kilimanjaro, one of Tanzania’s top tourist destinations, attracting around 50,000 visitors each year.
– Also read: Nepal wants to move Everest base camp