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Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
VicDD
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Re: Wifi in parks

Unread postby VicDD » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:40 pm

I just returned from a week-long stay at Kruger with my sister and brother-in-law. We were at Skukuza, Lower Sabie, and Berg-en-Dal. The internet cafe at Skukuza has shut down, and no wifi was to be found at the other camps either. I regret a bit that I didn't purchase a data sim card for my iPad, but the positive is that I had a good excuse to not deal with work email. :lol:

We did spend an hour at an internet cafe in Malelane, which is about 30 minutes from B-en-Dal. I think Koomospoort (sp?) near Crocodile Bridge also has an internet cafe, I'm not sure.

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Skukuza August 22-24, 2013
Lower Sabie August 25-27
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cptphotographer
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Re: Wireless dongle.... Internet access in the park..., help

Unread postby cptphotographer » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:01 pm

Hi Travelstory,

I attempt to use my 3G dongle virtually every day I am in the park. Most camps have reasonable reception and it is usually fine for a low amount of data up/download, I normally retrieve my e-mails, you do inevitably have a few days when for some or another reason no connection is available, only happens when you urgently need to send or receive a doc for your perusal though. :tongue:

Always keep in mind though that you are in fact in the middle of the African bush, and having any connection whatsoever is more or less a bonus. Upon your arrival you could purchase a prepaid 3G dongle from any of the local cellular service providers, usually a matter of plugging in and hey presto. Always ask for a demo on your computer prior to leaving the shop though. In general you can remain in fairly good contact throughout your trip provided you visit the main camps. Cannot thin kof a better place to write and blog that our beloved Kruger. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Unread postby Crested Val » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:50 am

I have had a prepaid Vodacom 3G dongle (USB modem) for the last 6 years, and it works fine in the park, at the camps that have reasonable reception.

I get 3G (which is quite efficient) at some camps, and 2G (which is very slow and often cuts out) at others.

We have never stayed at Bushcamps but I believe there is no reception at these.

Basically, if you are there for 3 weeks, I would say (depending on where you are staying) you will have access to the internet most days, but with limited function sometimes.

If you want to email and do basic things you will be fine.

Hope you have a wonderful trip. :thumbs_up:
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Re: WiFi in Camps?

Unread postby Shutterbug » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:09 am

Hi Sandybabe,

There is no WiFi in any of the camps but as DinkyBird said there are two internet cafe's in Kruger, one in Lower Sabie and one in Skukuza although they are not always operational, my suggestion (if you are a little computer savvy) would be to take an unlocked GSM MiFi or smartphone and go to the MTN store in Johannesburg airport and get a data card and that way you could Skype/email to keep in contact. I think there are other alternatives from MTN (like something called a FastLink) but I have never used them.
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Re: WiFi in Camps?

Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:24 am

I think you can also hire a suitable (smart) phone at the airport and then buy a sim card that you can buy data and airtime on it as Shutterbug suggests. Then you can use whatsapp or Skype.

Just a point to keep in mind, although one can get a data connection in the bigger camps, it is not always stable or very fast, so Skype might be limited to texting, video call could be very difficult.
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Re: WiFi in Camps?

Unread postby melissal » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:10 pm

Hi - not sure about Lower Sabie, but the internet cafe at Skukuza was closed down when I was there last week. Looked pretty permanent to me, but I guess they may re-open. I bought an international data package on my phone before I went, but the only place I got a decent signal H+ in Skukuza was actually inside the shop for some reason! Berg-en-Dal and Mopani seemed to have a good signal, and Satara was good around the reception / shop area as well.
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Re: WiFi in Camps?

Unread postby AndreaB » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:12 pm

We bought a gizmo that we put a South African card in and we have wifi in our room so the SO and I can both check out the news or use Skype to call home. It works brilliantly and we had reception in all the camps we stayed in Satara, L.Sabie and even Biyamiti. Will get more details if you are interested.
8-12 Feb Sabie Sands
12 Feb - Satara
13-15 Feb Shingwedzi
15-17 Feb Tamboti
17-21 Feb Biyamiti
21-24 Feb Satara

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Re: Best Cell coverage

Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu May 08, 2014 6:51 pm

Hi Adam
1) I need to access the internet (for work) at least a couple times while in Kruger. I read Skukuza has wifi (somewhere), will a standard wifi enabled device work (iPad, iPhone, ...)? Is it reliable?
Skukuza, or anywhere else in KNP, does not have wifi in the sense I think you mean; that you can log onto a local wifi connection and use that to access internet and emails etc.

You will need to purchase a sim card for your device and load prepaid data onto the sim and use that to connect to the internet via one of the cellphone companies. Both you mention are as good as each other. I use Vodacom, and have had good days and some not so good days, and some days with no signal at all.
2) We are planning to pre-purchase a nano sim card for our iPhones (so our phone is available as soon as we land). Which cell provider has better coverage in ZA (Vodaphone, MTN or ?)? Is there coverage throughout Kruger?
Partly answered above, but regarding the coverage, all main camps have reasonable coverage (but do not expect great speed) and the coverage reaches about 7km radius outside the camps.

Smaller camps have very little to no coverage, even for calls. Biyamiti and Tamboti for eg.

And I also noticed the internet cafe at Skukuza was closed in Feb/March, so do not rely on that. (see link posted by Matthys)
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Re: Best Cell coverage

Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu May 08, 2014 8:25 pm

Hi again Adam

Assuming you are from US, I checked with my son who lives there:
A nano sim is good - its the one that fits the iPhone 5.

Most US phones are locked to a network though so you can't use them on another mobile network, so check if this is the case. There are two kinds of mobile networks: GSM and CDMA. S.A.'s are all GSM, but US has some GSM and some CDMA and some devices can only work on one and not the other. So if you are on CDMA here (US) it might not work in SA.


You might be well aware of the above, if not, I hope it is helpful.
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Cell phone signal at Byamiti

Unread postby Safari Gal » Mon May 26, 2014 11:43 am

Is there cell phone signal at Byamiti?
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Re: Cell phone signal at Byamiti

Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon May 26, 2014 12:24 pm

A bit, and very intermittent. You cannot access internet from my experience, but can move around to get signal for sms/whats app and calls.

We stayed in # 10 and had very little signal, we needed to walk to the bottom fence (river) and managed a bit of a connection. But I do know other folk have had good enough signal elsewhere in the camp to even access internet.
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Re: Cell phone signal at Byamiti

Unread postby barryels » Mon May 26, 2014 12:32 pm

DinkyBird, you are quite correct. We stayed in no's 3,4 and 5 during our visits and had internet access as well :thumbs_up: .
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Re: Cell phone signal at Byamiti

Unread postby hilda » Mon May 26, 2014 2:59 pm

.... but definitely NOT in no. 10! :wink: We stayed in no. 10 during October 2013! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Tethering to Get Internet?

Unread postby cheetahlady » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:15 am

Hi kbf1kbf1

There is a topic that covers this

viewtopic.php?f=67&t=21442

If the link doesn't work, then look under the board index for Kruger Park for wireless and 3G signal (camp topics).

I am not sure about Shingwedzi, but we had a decent 3G signal at Satara using a Vodacom USB modem. I did not find it hugely expensive. I purchased through B4iGO, and picked it up at the airport. My son was doing a course and had to submit coursework. Managed without a problem.

Just make sure to have enough data as you may not be able to purchase data in the park.

Enjoy,
Janine
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Mopani, Balule, Tamboti, Satara, Skukuza, Croc Bridge

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Re: Tethering to Get Internet?

Unread postby Crested Val » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:16 am

Satara is fine, but you won't get much joy at Shingwedzi.

I have a Vodacom 3G dongle, and it mostly behaves itself when we are in Kruger, but definitely not in Shingwedzi or Punda Maria. You can sometimes get GPRS there, but it is mega slow, and keeps cutting out.

As far as I know none of the camps have wifi (unless it has happened recently) but my dongle worked well at Croc Bridge, Malelane, Lower Sabie, Skukuza, Satara and Letaba . It was not so good either at Olfants or Mopani.
(Haven't been to Pretoriuskop lately.)

Hope you have a wonderful trip kbf1kbf1. :dance:
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