Cell phone service? Am I dreaming?

Dec 25th, 2007, 06:52 PM
  #1  
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Cell phone service? Am I dreaming?

I really need to have cell phone service for my East African trip (Rwanda, Zanzibar, and Kenya). Anyone have any recommendations? I don't mind getting a new cell phone to do this given that I really need to be in contact with patients over the two week period.
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 05:32 AM
  #2  
 
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Do a search on this forum for details. You need an unblocked GSM phone with the right frequencies that will accept a simcard. Go to ebay. Can buy Celtel simcard at Nairobi airport. Safaricom is other provider in Kenya. Coverage pretty good most places for one or the other. Celtel in Mara Safaricom in Samburu for example.

Kevin from California
stakerk is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Hello doc,

I am not sure about rwanda, but kenya and zanzibar, you should have good coverage, you just need to buy a sim card at the airport, also another option is to contact safaricom or celtel via e-mail given on thier website(I did that), mention your need and the places you are staying they will get back to you immediately(I found them very helpful)whether the park/area is covered in thier network,
Happy journey

Sonali
sonali74 is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 06:42 AM
  #4  
 
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Alternatively, you could just use your current phone if you have a plan with one of the U.S. phone companies that use GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile). You will probably have to sign up for international roaming, and it's not cheap, but it works.
Gritty is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 03:19 PM
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If I buy the Celtel's simcard in Kenya, do I still have the signal in Tanzania? Does the coverage area can cover these two countries?
cssuen is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Celtel apparently now has no roaming charges in many countries in East Africa:

http://www.celtel.com/en/news/press-...e59/index.html
stakerk is offline  
Dec 26th, 2007, 10:02 PM
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stakerk, thank you for the news. It's great to hear about it!
cssuen is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 05:54 AM
  #8  
 
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In addition to the good advice above, you might also want to ask your safari provider for specifics. We rented a cell phone though out AA Advantage Card (It was free but had big usage charges). We never used it because when we arrived in Kenya, our operator lent us one of his phones and all we needed was to buy were pre paid usage.
kenyatraveler is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 02:20 PM
  #9  
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WOW! This is helpful. I will definitely investigate this. Thanks again...
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 03:11 PM
  #10  
 
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If all else fails, you can buy LD cards at most of the lodges & camps, and then ask your guide if you can use his cell phone. On last year's trip we had a lady that needed to be in daily contact with her office. Her office would try to call the lodges/camps we were at, but couldn't get through. In the end our guide suggested this route, and each night she would check with her office, as it was the day back at home.
LyndaS is offline  
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