emergency contacts/internet access


Oct 30th, 2004, 03:36 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 137
emergency contacts/internet access

I'm a bit worried about being gone with no way for family (or, I confess, work) to contact me for emergencies while in Kenya/Tanzania.

I of course assume we'll have no problem with internet access in Nairobi, Mombasa, Arusha, but has anyone had any experience with access while in Amboseli, Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Serengeti or Masai Mara? Do the Serena lodges have any access? I assume phones aren't a problem, or are they???

Steve007NY is offline  
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Oct 31st, 2004, 04:02 AM
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Steve - You should be provided, from your tour outfitter, a list of all your accommodations with phone and fax numbers and email addresses. Be aware that many of these do not necessarily go direct to the 'camp/lodge' but to their headquarters locations - Nairobi, Arusha - where two-way radios are still used to convey the messages.

As to cellphones, only recently did a friend see one guest attempting to use one at the Ngorongoro Crater area, which at 7,000' assumed could get reception, but there just happens to be a tower nearby. What success was had, can't say. Yes, cellphones are used but service if often only available when in city-centers - you just won't see towers out on the savannah. Some travelers have chosen satellite phones for this purpose and seem to have better success with these.

But do remember, your vehicle is equiped with a two-way radio to their headquarters office, again, Nairobi or Arusha or other.
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Oct 31st, 2004, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 250
I seem to remember that when we recently checked into the Serenas at Ngorongoro and Serengeti, we were told that we could arrange e-mail and internet services through reception.
RuthieC is offline  
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Oct 31st, 2004, 05:46 AM
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Steve. We were in Tanzania & Kenya 5 months ago.We had somebody sick in the family and wanted to be sure that we can be in touch. It's one of the reasons why we took good lodges assuming they will have a better contact. Well, They do have internet and phones, and my mobile was soup[osed to have reception but... Most of the time the office were the computer is , is closed and they only opened it 2 hours guring linch time and 3 hours in the evening(Serengeti Serena). When they finally opened the office, it was difficult to gewt access , but we did managed to send emeil through the front desk just to say we are ok. it was much easier to get us. Since you are going to be in the lodges, you can leave a phone list, and your family can try reach you. Mine was at least most of the time succesful. It has , though, to be when the front desk is open. My mobile phone did work in Arusha,Mgorongoro. The biggest problem of communication is in the Serengeti.Don't expect too much because it can really spoil your trip!(dealling with the phones all the time)
hamitzer is offline  
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Oct 31st, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Steve- Just one more thing. You should leave at home the phone no of the local travel agent. In case of emergency the family can call them and they will always have radio communication with the driver/guide(if you have one). We asked the driver to contact the office in Arusha by the radio, and ask them to call the no in the States and say we are ok, and we paid for the call.
hamitzer is offline  
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Oct 31st, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Steve, are you working through a tour operator to make your arrangements, or are you booking everything directly with the lodges yourself?

If the former, as Sandi said, they should provide you with all that info. And, their own phone/fax numbers should be offered as emergency access numbers.

If the latter, it is your own responsibility to determine which lodges have land lines, cellular, satellite or radio access. You should be able to get that by asking whomever you dealt with.
NoFlyZone is offline  
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