Internet and Mobile Reception on Mt. Kilimanjaro


Are there WiFi and cell service on Kilimanjaro?

In August 2022, the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation achieved a significant feat by providing broadband connectivity for Kilimanjaro climbers up to an altitude of 3,720 meters (12,200 feet). This advancement brought internet access to one of Africa’s most iconic natural wonders. At present, this service operates along the Marangu route, offering WiFi at Mandara Hut, Horombo Hut, and Kibo Hut. These WiFi points are solar-powered, and although occasionally deactivated to conserve energy for lighting, the signal remains robust. During the climb, WiFi calls and even video calls were possible. The future plan involves extending WiFi coverage to Kilimanjaro’s summit, followed by laying cables along the Lemosho route. The ultimate aim is to establish WiFi service across all routes on Kilimanjaro.

Mobile Reception on Kilimanjaro

Reliable cell phone service isn’t guaranteed on Mt. Kilimanjaro due to its extreme conditions. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you’ll be cut off from your loved ones. During your Kilimanjaro climb, you should have at least one daily opportunity to communicate. To optimise communication chances, feel free to ask our friendly guides about signal hotspots. They’ll gladly identify these locations along the journey. Additionally, keep an eye out for local porters—when you spot them rushing uphill from camp, they’re likely heading to a signal zone! For efficient battery usage, consider switching your phone to airplane mode to prevent continuous signal searching. This conserves battery life, ensuring you don’t miss out on capturing unforgettable moments due to a dead phone.

Mobile Signal Challenges on the Mountain

Anticipate disruptions in mobile signals while ascending the mountain due to extreme climate conditions. Water vapor, especially during rainfall, snowfall, fog, and high humidity, can obstruct cellular signals. The conductivity of water affects radio waves, leading to signal disturbances.

Getting a Local SIM Card

Upon arriving in Tanzania, you can obtain a local SIM card by registering with your passport. However, this process can be time-consuming, making it advisable for stays over two weeks. Typically costing around TSh 1,000, equivalent to roughly US$0.41, obtaining a local SIM card is quite affordable!

Internet Providers in Tanzania

Tanzania boasts various internet service providers (ISPs) offering cellphone services. You can purchase a local SIM card in Arusha or Moshi Town. Notable ISPs include: Vodacom Tanzania: Leading among mobile network operators, Vodacom offers diverse cellphone internet services, including data plans and bundles. Airtel Tanzania: Another major telecom operator, Airtel provides internet services for cellphones, featuring an array of data plans and bundles. Tigo Tanzania: Known for its mobile network services, Tigo offers distinct data packages and plans for cellphone users. Halotel: This telecommunications company extends mobile and internet services, offering various cellphone internet plans. Zantel: A telecom operator, Zantel provides cellphone internet services through a range of data plans.

Charging Your Devices on the Mountain

Traditional charging spots aren’t available on the mountain, so alternative methods are necessary. These include:
  1. Power Banks: Carrying fully charged power banks allows you to charge phones and cameras via USB cable. Be mindful that certain airlines have restrictions on lithium batteries, so consider carrying power banks in your carry-on baggage.
  2. Solar Chargers: While solar chargers are often considered for remote charging, they aren’t particularly efficient on the mountain. They have limited power storage, are slow to charge, and can be bulky.
Ensuring your devices stay charged on Kilimanjaro requires prudent planning and preparation in light of the mountain’s unique conditions.