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Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Internet in parks

Unread post by kstone » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:18 pm

I would like to know if there is Internet access (WiFi or plug-in) in the Parks, as it would be very useful to post and check for sightings. Thanks!

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Re: Internet in parks

Unread post by Klystron » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:58 pm

Hi kstone,
Firstly welcome to the Forum and on to your query.

KNP has Internet cafes at Skukuza, Lower Sabie and Berg and Dal. I connect to them via WiFi but you can use a plug in line. The easiest method is to use a cell phone as a modem and connect to it via WiFi unless you have a phone that is also a computer such as the Blackberry or HTC. The South African cell services have all the modern connection methods (3G etc.) so can be fairly fast.

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Re: Vodacom 3G signal in KNP?

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:04 am

I used 3G in Lower Sabie a few weeks ago. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Vodacom 3G signal in KNP?

Unread post by Katja » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:42 pm

I had a Vodacom 3G modem during my Kruger stay in September, and it worked at almost every camp I went to (Punda Maria, Shingwedzi, Olifants, Letaba, Satara, Tamboti, Lower Sabie and Skukuza) but the signal was only 3G in Lower Sabie and Skukuza. At the other camps it was a different signal (forgot what it was called) which meant a slower internet connection but it still worked OK.
The only camp where I didn't get any signal at all was Biyamiti. I didn't go to BnD.
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Re: Vodacom 3G signal in KNP?

Unread post by Charming1 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:17 pm

Berg en Dal has very strong signal. Was there a month ago. Only camp I had a problem was at Tsendze.

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Re: Internet in Kruger.

Unread post by Boorgatspook » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:16 pm

When I bought my dongle from Vodacom about 2 years ago it cost about R1500. (It was for the dongle plus sim card on pay as you go). Have used it at Crocodile Bridge, Lower Sabie, Skukuza, Satara, Olifants without problems. Just don't count on a fast connection though :wink:

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Re: Internet in Kruger.

Unread post by nighthawk2 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:22 am

When you exit the arrival area at OR Tambo airport, to your right are a Vodacom & MTN kiosks.
You can rent a USB modem for about 19 Rand per day plus useage. They'll set you up, takes about 10 minutes. I was able to get reasonable connection up to Olifants. Letaba - poor signal, could have been the location of the camp.
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Re: Internet in Kruger.

Unread post by Bundi » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:02 pm

Your current USB modem you are using in the UK will work here too, but you just need to change the Sim. Alternatively you can rent or buy one here. The price has gone down a bit and is around R1000 now.

The download speed varies from camp to camp though. I doubt there will be any HSDPA signal in the Park. The best for now will be 3G in Skukuza and BnD. In Satara you will only be able to get GPRS or Edge, which is the same for the other camps.

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Re: Internet in Kruger.

Unread post by richardharris » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:34 am

It all depends on what you want to do and how much your UK provider will charge for roaming in SA. If you only want to do e-mails, using Outlook, Outlook express, or similar software, and use text based e-mails - and ask your contacts to do the same! - then Internet usage can be quite small and economical.

However, web-based e-mail systems, Facebook, uploading pictures, and including photos in e-mails etc etc use megabytes and megabytes and the costs escalate.

On my last visit (over a year ago - role on Jan 29th!) gprs was available in all the camps. 3G as mentioned only rarely. This makes anything other than basic e-mail a bit slow. In some camps (eg Shingwedzi) the signal is a bit patchy but I have always found a spot with good connection.

In the past I have used my UK SIM and stuck to e-mails for daily reports and keping in touch. I have tried 'International SIMs' but they were no good for internet - but not checked this recently. Are good for cheap phone calls though.

This time I have a day around Jo'burg so will look at a SA SIM - but make sure you get one with data included! And that it will work with your laptop. Buying a new dongle will probably be too expensive overall but the rental system mentioned might be worth looking at.


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Re: Internet in Kruger.

Unread post by arks » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:15 pm

The Vodacom modem (dongle?) that I bought last September uses a separate SIM card from the one that I have for my phone. The SIM card for the modem needs to be "converted" for data.
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Re: Cell reception in Kruger

Unread post by Crested Val » Thu May 19, 2011 3:41 pm

I get 3G in Skukuza and Edge (GPRS) - both slower than other areas in SA - in all other camps with my Vodacom dongle.
Sorry no info for the others!! :redface: :redface:
I long each day for my beloved Kruger!!!! :thumbs_up:

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Re: SIM Cards

Unread post by Crested Val » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:07 am

If you get a South African SIM you will not be charged to receive calls (it's not like roaming)

You will of course be charged for phoning Internationally, but that I'm sure will still be cheaper than roaming.

There are also schemes available, where you can make cheap International calls from SA.
You just phone a certain number (which I'm sorry I don't know) and then you can get cheaper International calls.
Maybe a South African forum member can help you here.
I only SMS home when on holiday, and those rates are quite reasonable.

I bought mine SIM before the RICA laws came in, but I enquired in a Vodacom shop, in case I ever need to buy a new one, and was told that I only need to show my passport when purchasing.

Vodacom is only one of several phone companies in SA. There is MTN Cell C, and there may even be othere I don't know about.

Hope this helps, and hope you have a wonderful visit. :thumbs_up:
I long each day for my beloved Kruger!!!! :thumbs_up:

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Re: SIM Cards

Unread post by majura » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:40 am

Thanks vgstephens.
I'll try at the airport and see how it goes. If all else fails I will just have to keep my own SIM card and use international roaming. The SMS rates are not too bad.

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Re: Lower Sabie 3G

Unread post by Stark » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:54 am

DinkyBird wrote:A reply from Laura:

If the client has a 3g, then they can get the wi-fi internet connection. This is possible only at rest camps where cellular phone reception is available.

Kind regards

Laura Mukwevho
Media Relations

So, one needs to have a 3G card/cell connection, and where that signal is not available, connect with a slower connection via a cellphone.

DB is this still the case? I know I'm spoiled with WiFi hot spots in the States, and would love to be able to connect online without having to use cell service.
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Re: Lower Sabie 3G

Unread post by Crested Val » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:24 pm

DinkyBird wrote:Stark, I am not totally 'up' on all the different types of connections, so will tell you what I experienced in Nov.

I used my notebook to connect, but it has a sim card in it which one has to get from the cell phone companies (with a data bundle). So one still needs to connect via a cellphone company connection. And my smart phone obviously has the same.

I managed to connect to internet with my notebook at each camp we stayed in during Nov, but Lower Sabie was one of the slowest connections I experienced. I could not load pics. I do not know if this was due to a problem with the service at the time because I also battled to have a cell phone conversation. Calls were dropped constantly. As was the internet connection.

Croc Bridge - very slow too.
Satara - very slow.
Letaba - ok, could load pics.
Shingwedzi - cannot report, did not try to connect.
Punda Maria - .... has the fastest connection in the entire park!!!

So, Stark, when you go online, I suggest you set up, open a cold one, and accept it is going to take time .... :wink: It gives you plenty of time to enjoy the camp around you while you wait for pages to open. And I turn off pics to try aid the loading time.

Stark......DB is quite right, only Skukuza has 3G which is a fairly quick internet connection, all the other camps only have 2G, which is very slow, but at least you can access internet to email and keep up with the forums etc!!

Most times you can't upload photos to Flickr/Tinypic etc in order to post on the forums, as the signal is too weak.

I have a Vodacom USB modem (R399) which has a SIM. You put credit on the SIM, then buy a data bundle for how many mega/gigabytes you think you will need.
2 Gig costs R400 ish.
(You probably know all that!!)

Anyway.....yes, you can get connected in the park, but with a slow connection most of the time!! :thumbs_up:
I long each day for my beloved Kruger!!!! :thumbs_up:

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