And finally… Tanzania unveils cable car plan for Mount Kilimanjaro
Tanzania has announced plans to install a cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro to attract more visitors and boost tourism numbers.
The cable car would be aimed primarily at facilitating visits among older tourists, who may not be physically fit enough to climb Africa’s highest mountain which, at its peak, stands 5,895 metres tall.
Deputy minister for tourism Constantine Kanyasu said a cable car could increase tourist numbers by 50% and revealed he is in talks about the project with a Chinese and a Western company.
The length of the route has not been finalised, with various options under consideration depending on cost and engineering issues, the minister said. An environmental impact assessment would also be carried out, he said.
But an online petition has been launched against the plans, pointing out the economic impact to local porters who rely on tourist activity for their income.
“The introduction of a cable car on the mountain, that would no longer require the assistance of porters, would destroy this source of income,” writes Mark Gale, who launched the petition on Change.org.
He added: “I climbed last month at 53 years old and it was an amazing experience putting one foot in front of the other and living on the mountain, there is no thrill in taking a taxi to the top of a mountain.”