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Quick Poll: How many of you bring/are bringing a cell phone on safari?

Quick Poll: How many of you bring/are bringing a cell phone on safari?

Jul 29th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,064
Momliz -- exactly my thoughts!
nyama is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
I did take my quad-band Razr phone to SA last year and signed on for international service (Cingular now AT&T). I turned it on every day or two to check to see if there were any messages. I don't use it as my primary phone so only a few people have the number.

I did need to stay in touch, and I did have to call home to address a semi-emergency.

I did not bring it to chat or to do business. Just had it in case of emergency and it all worked out well for me.

It was convinient on our stopover in London and, like Kavey, upon arrival back home.

cw is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I would love to leave all electronics at home but with now leaving a child here and elderly parents, I don't think I could/would go without some way of staying in touch-no chatting, just an "is everything ok."
moremiles is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 07:32 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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if you did get an emergency call, how long would it take to get back home? if you're at a remote camp without daily flights or full flights going out, then to JNB or Nairobi etc. and waiting for a seat on a plane could take days. might as well finish your safari and get the bad news when you get home.
matnikstym is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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My family always gets an accurate list of all the camps including schedule, phone numbers and email adresses of the operators - in case of emergencies they can reach me anytime. That worked in the past, and will work in the future.

Buffalo Springs, Kenya - up the hill, we saw wonderful oryx - and suddenly: daadeedoodooo... we reached cell phone coverage and one of these id*** had forgotten to switch his cell phone off... a moment I will never forget. THE DAY WAS SPOILED.
nyama is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I agree with Dennis. What good am I in an emergency when I'm 36 hours away at the soonest? The problem/situation will just have to be dealt with as best as possible by those present. If I can't risk that then I should not be that far away to begin with. Stuff happens, life goes on.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Yes, I am taking my blackberry with me but leaving it off. It proved to be very valuable last year when one of my family members got sick. It would have been impossible for those at the hospital to communicate with those at the hotel (and home) without it. Even having it just to help rework our return flights was well worth it.

If people need to get ahold of me for a real emergency (not work), they know to call my assistant. She'll have all the contact information to get in touch with me. Obviously, I can't do anything from Africa. Not to be morbid, but if there was a death in the family, I'd want to know immediately so I could make it back for the funeral.
hills27 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 01:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
As above, we have one with us more for before we leave UK and after we return to the UK than for use in Africa.

I do appreciate that some with elderly parents or young children might want more contact with their families but I assume that anyone who is a primary carer to someone has ensured that those left at home are absolutely empowered to make any decisions necessary when it comes to caring for those individuals.

Infact, before our 9 week trip in 2004, we had some serious discussions with husband's siblings as his father had been seriously ill for some time. We decided in advance, given the nature of the trip (including a wedding renewal ceremony), the relationship between my husband and his father, the number of other siblings still in UK to offer any necessary support to mum, that should he pass away whilst we were gone we would like to receive the news but would not come home early. This is what came to pass, less than a week before we were due home anyway. Given where we were it was 2 days after his death that the news got through to us and we didn't go home early. We missed the funeral service but went to visit the rest of the family, and also his grave, when we got home.

Not being there for the service didn't make my husband a bad or callous son/ person, didn't deprive anyone of much needed support, didn't change anything at all.

Having a satellite phone would not have changed our decisions.

What I have NEVER understood is those folk who are convinced that they are so indispensable at work that they absolutely must be in contact during their hard earned holiday time! Bizaare! In managers particularly, I find it a sign either of poor management - a good manager should be able to put a strong enough team in place that they can manage in his/ her absence for a couple of weeks or a paranoid manager who is scared to delegate real responsibility to their team because they fear that they will be deemed redundant by their own managers!!! Arrogance, inefficiency or paranoia - take your pick!!!!

Kavey is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Kavey, keep in mind that some of us are actually working when we are in Africa, and work for ourselves. My wife's 'work', our 17 month old son, increases when I am away, and she is less able to field my emails for me while I am gone.

As much as I hate checking emails daily, I do so because I am a personal service company that tries my best to not leave my customers with unanswered questions each day. Since my typical Africa trip is usually around three weeks, I like to call my wife often to keep the normal communication going. I also have the ability to call the florist back home once a week.

andybiggs is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Like hills, if we had a death in the family, I'd want to come home immediately and if my teenage son was hospitalized or had some serious problem at his college, I'd want to come home immediately.
moremiles is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Let me clarify my post, my family member that got sick was with me on vacation in Peru. The blackberry helped us in Peru communicate with each other and delay our return flights.
hills27 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 07:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 429
I am considering taking a cell to let my family know I am ok while away for 3 weeks - also, I am thinking it will be helpful in the event of an emergency. Although, in the event of an emergency, I guess our guide could use his satellite to reach whoever needed. Unless HE is the one with the emergency!!
lmavolio is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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calling the florist at home while away is the only reason that I would have a phone on
Momliz is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Trust me. It goes a *long* way. Being in Africa about 9 or 10 weeks each year is hard on a family, so sending flowers is the least I can do to show her that I appreciate her.
andybiggs is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 794
Took my quad-band Razr with me in Tanzania. Had good reception all over the Northern Circuit, and even at certain campsites on Kilimanjaro.

It came in useful when coordinating our group. I went early to climb Kilimanjaro, my parents were coming later from San Francisco, and my aunt was coming from Cleveland. My aunt's flight got cancelled, so she had to re-route, but was going to be delayed.

I had a message waiting for me at my hotel when I got back from Kilimanjaro, and was able to use the phone to figure out what was going on. Of course, I could of just used the hotel's phone, so the cell phone wasn't essential, but it was nice to have.
lifelist is offline  
Jul 30th, 2007, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We take ours wherever we go, and have decided to go with a global roaming plan rather than switching phone nos. every time we buy a local SIM.

Have had okay coverage in most of SA and parts of Botswana, bupkis in Zimbabwe, never tried in Zambia. Can't speak to Kenya/Tanzania.
Gardyloo is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 06:14 PM
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This is a horror I never thought of. Tell me, are people's cell phones ringing while on safari?
April is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 06:18 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,448
I took my cell phone on the trip and dialed my wife's family on the road headed to look Manyara. I think I turned it on in the Mara just to see if it got reception. I think it did.

but there was no way I would keep a cell phone on while on safari.

can you imagine how annoying it would be to be gorilla tracking and hear some ($&%^%^ with a cell phone?

waynehazle is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,844
>>>Don't own one, don't bring one. Totally unconnected when I leave the office or home! >>>>

I'm with you, Sandi. NO WAY!
panecott is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 08:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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waynehazle, I guess other people already find it very annoying on the road to Manyara.
nyama is offline  

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