safety and communication in kenya

Jan 7th, 2006, 02:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 7
safety and communication in kenya

Dear readers,
I already feel better about my daughter's upcoming summer trip to the Kenya area after readiing the exciting messages about visiting Kenya. I am a little apprehensive about her trip, I must confess. She is doing community service, and staying in a tented area, and not visiting safaris and hotels. Is there any known international cell phone service from Kenya to the US or do I have to just trust that she will be okay? Are there internet cafes in Nairobi? Does anyone else worry about the health risks? Thanks for the support and info.
misspiggy47256 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,490
Dear Elyse

Cell phones: depends where she is - it doesn't cover the whole country.
Check this Safaricom coverage map:

Kenya has GSM roaming
Companies: Safaricom KenCell
# Check a possibility of using a local pre-paid sim card
found 4u:
# one can call US from boothphones using local phone-card, by using callback american code card
# in Nairobi there r places u can call from very cheap
* Nairobi of course has internet cafes - some of the cheapest in the world costing 1KSh per minute (less than 2c)...
I would not worry
she's gonna have a lifetime experience
aby is offline  
Jan 9th, 2006, 02:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 391
She should get a Sim Card when she arrives. Make sure the phone is unlocked. Failing that she could buy a mobile phone at the airport. Text messaging is a great way to keep in touch. There are LOADS of internet cafes in Nairobi.... and at most of the hotels in Nairobi... but these are much more expensive. Where will she be based?

Health risks are anywhere in the world. She just needs to be careful with things like drinking water... but not paranoid. She'll have a great time. She'll meet some amazing people. She'll have a life changing experience.
Pumbavu is offline  
Jan 9th, 2006, 02:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 391
I think Safaricom still have the best coverage.
Pumbavu is offline  
Jan 9th, 2006, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,846
Where will she be? The major cellular companies are Safaricom and Celtel (formerly KenCell). I've used both but not extensively enough to have a preference.

Both carriers have a booth/shop at Nairobi airport that stay open for late arriving flights where she can pick up a SIM for 300 shillings upon landing. It's definitely cheaper than pre-ordering one from a company like Telestial, but if you'd like for her to have one in advance prior to leaving the US, you can order from them.

The SIM itself doesn't come with airtime credit so she would also need to buy a top up card. You can purchase these in various prepaid amounts and use them until they run out. Additional top up cards can be purchased almost anywhere (actually the last time I purchased Safaricom credit, they didn't even issue a scratch card, just a receipt). Cost of cellular calls from Kenya to the US are approx 80-110 shillings per minute depending on the carrier, calling plan, and time/day. Incoming calls are free.

Very important - she will need an unlocked GSM phone that operates on 900 Mhz frequency as one of its bands. Kenya does NOT have any other frequencies.

Check this site for coverage maps -

Internet cafes are plentiful and very cheap in Nairobi.
Patty is offline  

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