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Kilimanjaro Goes Online!


FILE - The peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro is seen from an aircraft in northeastern Tanzania,. Taken 10.31.2005

Tanzania has installed high-speed internet services on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, allowing anyone with a smartphone to tweet, Instagram or WhatsApp their ascent up Africa's highest mountain.

People who mount the ascent of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro will be able to send selfies, Whatzapp posts, and other social media messages via the internet.

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

"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-meter tall mountain would have internet connectivity by the end of the year.

"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.

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

Immortalized 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 wi-fi, power generators and smartphones that make it possible to share photos and make SOS calls in the event of an accident.

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