Inside Africa

Africa's highest peak gets fast internet

Nimi Princewill, CNNUpdated 18th August 2022
Masai giraffe, Maasai giraffe, or Kilimanjaro giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi, with Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Mawenzi, in Tanzania, on the left from Satao Elerai Conservancy, Near Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
(CNN) — Climbers ascending Mount Kilimanjaro can now document their ascents in real-time on Instagram, following a recent move by Tanzanian authorities to install high-speed internet around the mountain's slopes.
Mount Kilimanjaro is in northern Tanzania and is Africa's highest peak standing at over 19,000 feet (nearly 5,900 meters).
The broadband service was set up by the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation and launched Tuesday, the information ministry said.
"Today Up on Mount Kilimanjaro: I am hoisting high-speed INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS (BROADBAND) on the ROOF OF AFRICA. Tourists can now communicate worldwide from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. WE ARE GOING TO UHURU PEAK 5880 Meters Above Sea Level!" tweeted Nape Moses Nnauye, Tanzania's minister of information, communication and information technology, .
Nnauye said it was unsafe for tourists to navigate the mountain without an internet connection.
Technology now plays a huge role in mountaineering.
Beyond the thrill of uploading ascents on social media in real-time, experts have found internet connectivity to be useful in improving the awareness of climbers and helping to guide their climbs.
Climbers on Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, already have wi-fi services at base camp.
"Previously, it was a bit dangerous for visitors and porters who had to operate without internet" on Mount Kilimanjaro, Nnauye said at the Tuesday launch, adding that internet service will be extended to the summit of the mountain by the end of the year, AFP reported
Kilimanjaro National Park, which houses the huge peak, is a protected UNESCO World Heritage site and provides a part of Tanzania's tourism revenue.
Thousands of adventurers climb Kilimanjaro every year with many attempting to reach the summit, according to a popular guide service.
The deployment of internet services on Mount Kilimanjaro was hailed by Chinese ambassador to Tanzania Chen Mingjian.
China is jointly financing efforts by the Tanzanian government to provide wider access to ICT infrastructure.