cell phone coverage and or internet

Immerse yourself in the rich, cultural tapestry that makes this continent so vibrant and colourful. Experience the natural highlights and get face to face with the real Africa.

Moderators: sinecure, TravelFun, ballu, jimshu, JaliscoJudy

cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby lorne » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:55 pm

Hi,

We are doing most of Eastern Africa in the fall. In a perfect world I could go and leave my cell phone and computer at home. Unfortunately my job is such that I need to check in every few days to make sure things are ok. It is not an option! Is there many chances to check emails? Doing Windhoek to Vic Falls and then Vic Falls to Zanzibar and up to Nairobi. Is there cell phone coverage. It would be easiest if I just call in every few days. (will be no calls in to me). And if there is coverage do the cell phones from North America (Rogers) still work over there.

Thanks,
lorne
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: BC Canada

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby ballu » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:24 am

I don't know what roaming charges would be...but I'm guessing expensive. If your work is paying for it, no worries! If not, you might want to buy a phone there. I bought one in Uganda for $25USD, the sim card was $2 and from there it was just pay as you go. You may end up needing a couple different sim cards. My Uganda one worked in Kenya and Tanzania, but not in Malawi or Zambia. There was cell coverage in the middle of the Serengeti, so you should be fine in most places.

If you're doing an overland tour, every few days you'll stop in a city to restock food and supplies, they'll all likely have internet cafes...painfully slow, but usable.
EMBRACE THE BIZARRE
http://www.gadventures.com/about-us/gadventures/

I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list

If you never get lost, you never get found


Image
User avatar
ballu
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2781
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby RichieRich » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:50 am

Have your work (or yourself if it's a personal plan) look into a roaming plan. It's especially useful if your phonecalls are quick. As ballu mentioned, internet cafes are very slow and I couldn't be bothered after several attempts.

As for coverage, I think I had better coverage in the middle of the serengeti than I do anywhere in Toronto.
User avatar
RichieRich
User Rank: Nomad
User Rank: Nomad
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:54 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby coqui14 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:33 am

Hello, most of the hotels we stay had WiFi available, and overall my iPhone had coverage almost everywhere. I was out of range in few places, but otherwise, I had no problem. You need to contact your provider and make sure you have an international plan. You can also get an "unlock" phone and just get a SIM card in every place, but I don't think that is necessary anymore. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
coqui14
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:23 pm

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby kateyb » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:30 pm

Can't comment on cell phone coverage, but I brought my ipad with me and most places had wifi. I only did the Windhoek to Vic Falls portion though.
kateyb
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:09 am

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby silverback » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:26 am

The cell phone coverage is much better in Africa than in Australia,
There was coverage in the Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest in Uganda.
silverback
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:55 am

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:13 am

Buying a SIM card there is the cheapest option for the amount of calls you'll be making but you need to be sure your phone is 1) GSM compatible and 2) unlocked. Many carriers in North America lock the phones out of their stores so they can only be used with their SIM cards (locking you into their network and/or their roaming charges).

Sad to say, there was fairly extensive cell phone coverage from Vic Falls to Nairobi. I had my cell phone completely turned off except for the mandatory mid-trip call home but we had people on our trek who were calling home regularly. Of course, we were generally on major highways -- or what qualifies for major highways in Africa. In addition, you can rent Internet access at many of the overnight stopovers: Vic Falls, Lusaka, Zanzibar, etc.
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
Travelog: http://gadget-travels.net/travelog
Travel photos: http://gadget-travels.net/photos
Image
User avatar
ExplorerWannaBe
User Rank: Road Warrior
User Rank: Road Warrior
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Colorado, USA

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby jolene_ » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:57 am

I did Vic Falls to Nairobi last year, and if I can say one thing
Don't trust the internet :roll:
At most of the stops it didn't work, or worked reeeeeaally slow!
Cellphone might work, but not necessary. For me it was hard to switch on an other operator.
In October I go back to Kenya and Uganda, and my plan is to buy an simcard over there.
jolene_
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:56 am
Location: Belgium

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby collywobbles » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:13 pm

jolene_ wrote:I did Vic Falls to Nairobi last year, and if I can say one thing
Don't trust the internet :roll:
At most of the stops it didn't work, or worked reeeeeaally slow!
Cellphone might work, but not necessary. For me it was hard to switch on an other operator.
In October I go back to Kenya and Uganda, and my plan is to buy an simcard over there.


hiya
i did capetown to vic fall last year and have to say internet coverage at cafes was very sporadic somedays it worked sometimes it did not it was pot luck my phone did not work over there could only recieve txt and not send any so had to rely on times when internet worked haha might be better buying a sim card :?
collywobbles
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:04 pm
Location: ireland

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby damianc » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:05 pm

I bought a sim card and put it in an unlocked GSM phone. It worked all the way up to the top of Kili for voice and txt. I couldn't get data to work on that sim, but perhaps I didn't load it up with enough money. In either case, there were enough places with internet cafes even though the connectivity was questionable. I usually leave the laptop behind, but with our upcoming trip, I'm planning to bring an ipad.
damianc
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: cell phone coverage and or internet

Postby georginal » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:11 am

I wouldn't worry about it too much. The general rule of thumb is to make sure that when you leave your phone is unlocked and you've followed the procedure to get International Roaming on it when you arrive. Probably worth checking if your employer will accept texts as well as calls as its cheaper, and easier and less stressful if you do end up having trouble with the signal. Any more than 2 or 3 calls then it will probably be worth considering the SIM card route as thats when it'll become cost effective to do it.

Then theres always local phone cards & boxes if you really are having a lot of trouble getting through, but it shouldn't come to that! Plus when you do get internet access that works - make sure you make good use of it.

Enjoy East Africa.
georginal
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
 
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:26 am
Location: London, UK


Return to Africa and Middle East

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest