Yes, there is mobile signal on Kilimanjaro – pretty much all the way to the summit, although there are a few black spots.
Where there is a signal, you should always be able to make a voice call or send a text message. Whether the signal will be good enough for data streaming so you can catch up with all the latest news on Facebook and post live updates as you head up the mountain is questionable!
Then there is the problem with keeping your power-hungry phone charged.
Sadly there are no convenient electric points on Kilimanjaro, and the cold weather conditions will sap the power quicker than when it’s sat in your kitchen.
Solar chargers have improved over recent years and we have found the POWERADD™ APOLLO 7200MAH to be up to the job, keeping gadgets charged while coping with the knocks and dust that are part and parcel of a Kilimanjaro climb.
Don’t forget the cost though. There are many stories in the news of people who have managed to run up horrendous phone charges when abroad, usually from data charges.
Check with your phone operator before you go to find out what your roaming charges will be in Tanzania.
If you need to use the phone frequently, it may be worth investing in a local SIM card to keep the costs down – there are shops in Moshi and Arusha where you can buy a pay as you go SIM to see you through your time in Tanzania.
Go cold turkey!
But maybe the question you should be asking yourself is, do I REALLY need to have my phone with me?
For some it is a need to be contactable by family back home, but how serious would the emergency have to be for you to give up your dream and descend early from the mountain?
Is there anything that couldn’t wait until you are back at your hotel?
For some it is the desire to continue living their life on social media – live selfies direct from the climb! To let all their friends know the instant they have reached the summit. But you’ll be back at your hotel the next day – can it wait until then?
Climbing Kilimanjaro is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So leave the phone (and the outside world) behind and immerse yourself in your surroundings.
It’s your climb – LIVE IT!