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Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

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Re: Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Unread post by bustergirl » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:39 pm

Here's what I did, coming from America.

I have a iphone 4s.
I made sure it was unlocked by my US carrier (Verizon).
I emailed the Vodacom store at the JNB airport, and they sent a link to order a data SIM card.
I picked up the SIM card after arriving.
The guy at Vodacom said my phone wasn't unlocked and that it wouldn't work.
This was really frustrating to me.

But when I got to Berg en Dal, my husband looked at my phone.
It was registered with Vodacom and worked just fine as a hot spot.
It was super slow compared to at home, but worked ok for checking email and posting on Facebook.

So if the Vodacom store tells you that your phone isn't unlocked - and you think it is - don't give up.
I think it is helpful to turn your phone off and then back on to get it to recognize the Vodacom SIM card.

Good luck!

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Re: Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Unread post by Elsa » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:47 am

+27 11 3903362Fax: +27 86 554 9580email:
Vodashop: O R Tambo Intl. Airport
Main Arrivals Hall
Tel: +27 11 394 8834Fax: +27 11 390 2020email:
OR Tambo Domestic Arrivals
2nd floor Main International Arrivals Terminal
Tel: +27 11 390 3287Fax: +27 11 390 1834email:

Not sure if any of those would help Safarigirl.

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Re: Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Unread post by normana53 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:24 am

I used a web service that has a way you can reserve and pay in advance, I did this on our last trip and it worked very well. Walked into the Vodafone store at OR Tambo, showed them my identification, they handed me my SIM card and dongle, and I was off in less than 10 minutes! The site is
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Re: Best place to get Mobile phone simcard

Unread post by Graham_5000 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:20 pm

In my experience, the mobile phone shops in OR Tambo are used to dealing with this request from non-residents.. I am guessing you are flying to Kruger Mpumalanga from Jo-burg? If you have time before leaving, visit one of the mobile shops in the main hall of the airport. Vodacom gave me a sim immediately last time!

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Unread post by silvia » Wed May 29, 2013 4:47 pm

Hi all,
last year (august) I bought an MTN sim card, anyone can tell me if the sim cards expire in one year and one must make a top-up before the expiry date for keep it valid? In that case is it possible to do at the airport?
Thank you very much.

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Unread post by Jen » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:42 pm

Hi Silvia
I am not sure about MTN but Vodacom expires after one year if it is not used.
I used to keep a Vodacom sim for my trip to SA but to keep it valid I had to at least send one SMS every 2 months otherwise they expire.
Good luck.
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Unread post by JeanniR » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:15 pm

As far as I know MTN sim cards expire if you have not made a chargeable call or sms in 3 months... And if you only use the sim card for data it does not count towards a "chargeable call".
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Re: 3G Internet signal strength at camps - info needed pleas

Unread post by Shushin » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:07 pm

We stayed at Lower Sabi, Satara, Croc Bridge 3 weeks ago. We had a sim with data. The signal was ok I was able to upload pictures nearly every night for my trip report to FB. Some nights it was a little slow but on the whole it was fine. One more thing the signal is not 3g it is only E well was for be on vodaphone
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Re: 3G Internet signal strength at camps - info needed pleas

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:00 pm

Hi Janine

We are staying at Punda Maria, Bateleur, Mopani, Letaba, Satara and Berg en Dal. We will have a Vodacom dongle (modem).

I have found much the same as Val. Do not rely on a good strong and fast signal. You will be able to connect at all the camps (except Bateleur) but the signal seems to drop very often, and can be very slow. I have a notebook with a built in modem that takes a sim card, my SO used a Vodacom dongel - the dongel seemed to be much better.

Mopani offers internet at the camp, so maybe you can work around that option.
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Re: 3G Internet signal strength at camps - info needed pleas

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:56 pm

We were quite amused while staying at Shimuwini recently when seeing a bench under a Jackalberry tree near the hide with a sign on it indicating this is the only place where one can receive cell signal. 8)
and even then it was pretty scratchy! :wink:

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Unread post by arks » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:58 pm

Riverrat wrote:All Pay-as-you-go sim cards, registered with RICA or not, expire after 3 months and any airtime loaded and unused is lost.

This is definitely NOT true for Vodacom pay as you go SIM cards, Riverrat. I have had a Vodacom SIM card for some years now and am able to keep it 'alive' (whilst I am away from SA) so long as I send an SMS to a friend every month or two (I usually do this once a month just to be certain). So far, I have not had any problems; I also generally maintain a blance of R100 or more. Of course, when I leave SA, I have to set my phone/SIM to 'roamon' (only allows SMSes from overseas) and when I return, I must remember to set it to 'roamoff' -- but it works just fine! :dance: Viva Vodacom!
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Re: Wifi in parks

Unread post by 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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Re: Wireless dongle.... Internet access in the park..., help

Unread post by 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 post by 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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Unread post by Riverrat » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:20 am

@ arks.. I agree with your point. I think you have mis-understood me: If any service providers prepaid card is NOT USED at least once in a three-month window, the card is blocked and the number re-cycled. Service providers do not have an infinite stack of telephone numbers. Two of my old numbers are now in use by other parties.
This use has to be in the form of : 1. make a call, or 2. send an SMS, 3. log on for data, or 4. load airtime, (and some other actions.)
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