Does Kilimanjaro have cellphone reception and internet?

We understand that staying in contact with your friends and family while on Kilimanjaro is important. Many people ask us if there is internet on the mountain where they can access social media or email to stay in touch with their loved ones.

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As of August 2022, climbers on the mountain are able to connect to the internet on their phones up to 12,200 feet. The connectivity and broadband network were installed by Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation.

Using the Internet On Mt. Kilimanjaro

If you want to use your phone to have an internet signal on the mountain, you will either need to use a local SIM card or set up your phone for international data usage before traveling.

For the latter, make sure you contact your network’s customer service team before leaving your home country. They will be able to get you an international data plan or show you how to set up your phone to use your current service abroad.

Local SIM Cards

Many of our climbers also buy local SIM cards to use while on the mountain and traveling through Tanzania. They are cheap to buy and you can preload data onto it so you can use it while climbing.

Local SIM cards can be bought in Arusha Town, just a short drive from the hotel included in your climbing price. You will stay here the night before the climb and can head into town when you have free time.

Keep in mind that the internet signal can still be spotty even with the network installed on the mountain. So, don’t be surprised or discouraged if you find that the internet is slow or nonexistent in some parts of the mountain.

Contacting People on Kilimanjaro

During the climb and at some of the camps, you will have internet service where you can send quick messages to people back home. You can also use this chance to post things to social media if you’d like.

Once you get to altitudes above 12,200 feet though, the internet service will not work whether you are using local SIM cards or your network from back home.

Don’t worry though, our guides have satellite phones and other measures where they can contact Kilimanjaro National Park authorities in the event of an emergency.

Can I Use My Phone While Climbing Kilimanjaro?

If you have a local SIM card or have international data set up on your phone, you can use your phone on Kilimanjaro, but not all the way to the summit.

There is not yet network coverage at the top of the mountain, so don’t count on being able to use your phone at the summit.

If you want to stay in contact with your loved ones, make sure to let them know you will not have service the entire climb. This way they will not get worried if they stop hearing from you for a few days as you prepare for the summit.

Improved Safety on the Mountain

One of the reasons the Tanzanian government chose to put internet service and network on the mountain is to help people stay safe while climbing. It allows guides and climbers to contact people as well as enjoy access to social media and weather reports.

Many climbers feel more comfortable climbing knowing they can use the internet to contact those back home.

What is the best network for Kilimanjaro?

The best local network providers are:

  • Vodacom.
  • Airtel.
  • Zantel.
  • Tigo.
  • Halotel.

Our Tips for Using the Internet on the Mountain

While having internet on the mountain allows everyone to enjoy staying in touch with loved ones, it can also distract you from your climb.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is no easy feat so you want to make sure you are focused and have your mind on reaching the summit.

Here are some tips for using the internet on the mountain while also staying present in the moment:

  • Don’t allow the internet to keep you from getting to know your fellow climbers
  • Only use the internet when you want to send a quick message or make a quick post about your climb
  • Let your relatives and friends know you will be out of reach so they aren’t sending you distracting messages
  • Let your job and office know you will be climbing so you aren’t expected to answer work calls or emails
  • Make sure your relatives know the name of our company and our email address so they can contact us in the case of an emergency
  • Consider giving yourself a certain time of day when you check your phone and answer messages so you won’t be tempted to be on the phone too much
  • Take photos on a camera rather than your phone if you think having your phone with the internet will be too distracting

We also ask for emergency contacts as part of our booking process, so we can always contact your family back home if you need us to.

While you’re free to use the internet whenever you want while on the mountain, we always encourage climbers to live in the moment and really enjoy their climb!

Get Ready to Summit with Climbing Kilimanjaro

If you’re ready to book your adventure on Mt. Kilimanjaro, contact us today with any questions you may have!