By Tim Korso
Many of Mount Kilimanjaro’s roughly 50,000 visitors a year will now be able to post photos of their hike on social media, live stream their ascent and even cry for help or call 911 without having to descend.
Tanzanian authorities have announced the launch of a project that looks to deliver high-speed internet connectivity to the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest peak in Africa at almost 5,900 meters.
The internet connection will be organized and delivered by the country’s telecommunications firm. Currently, only a limited area of the mountain is covered, but Information Minister Nape Nnauye vowed that tourists will soon be able to communicate with the rest of the world up to Uhuru peak and the mountain’s summit as of October this year.
Tanzania’s officials showed off the work of the mountainous network as they announced the launch of the project, highlighting the event by posting photos on Twitter.
Previously, the close-to 50,000 tourists and hikers that visit the mountain each year had practically no chance of accessing an internet connection or even calling 911 while on Kilimanjaro, with cell networks becoming unavailable somewhere around the 1,860 meters mark.
Kilimanjaro remains one of the key attractions in Tanzania, which generates around 18% of its GDP, or $1.4 billion, from tourism.