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Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Rooikat
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Re: Cell (mobile) phone SIM cards

Unread post by Rooikat » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:12 pm

Have any international visitors bought a SIM card with their passports (and no proof for RICA law) lately?
Any advice or comments?
KRUGER TRIP 2016/17

29/12 - 30/12 Skukuza
30/12 - 1/1 Olifants
1/1 - 3/1 Letaba
3/1 - 6/1 Satara
6/1 - 8/1 Skukuza
8/1 - 10/1 Lower Sabie

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Crested Val
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Re: Cell (mobile) phone SIM cards

Unread post by Crested Val » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:25 pm

Yes, I bought a SIM for my new cell, and a SIM for my USB dongle in Komatipoort in March this year.
I was just asked for my passport, and then the shop assistant registered me for RICA there and then with just a phone call.

Hope that helps. :thumbs_up:

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Shutterbug
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Re: WiFi in Camps?

Unread post by 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.
https://www.mtn.co.za
The earth has a circumference of 40 075 km and I have to travel 17 141 km to get to the Kruger, that's just not right :tongue:

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DinkyBird
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Re: WiFi in Camps?

Unread post by 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.
- Dalene

melissal
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Re: WiFi in Camps?

Unread post by 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.
Next trip: Berg-en-Dal Dec 21-22; Bateleur Dec 23-26; Mopani Dec 26-30; Skukuza Dec 30 - Jan 1

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Re: WiFi in Camps?

Unread post by 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.

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DinkyBird
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Re: Best Cell coverage

Unread post by 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)
- Dalene

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Re: Best Cell coverage

Unread post by 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.
- Dalene

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Cell phone signal at Byamiti

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

Is there cell phone signal at Byamiti?
Calling all no-kudu horn mites to join the no-kudu horn quiz.

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Re: Cell phone signal at Byamiti

Unread post by 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.
- Dalene

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Re: Cell phone signal at Byamiti

Unread post by 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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hilda
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Re: Cell phone signal at Byamiti

Unread post by 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:
"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light". Aristotle Onassis.

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Re: Tethering to Get Internet?

Unread post by 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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DinkyBird
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Re: Tethering to Get Internet?

Unread post by DinkyBird » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:25 am

kbf1kbf1 wrote:I know for some this question will be blasphemous and it might even get taken down, but we're bringing along a millennial or Gen Y for three weeks in Kruger and I don't know if he can go that long without the Web.

We'll be staying in Shingwedzi and Satara camps later this month for part of the three weeks and I understand that neither camp has wifi, but both have cell phone service. That should mean that he would be able to tether his computer to his laptop and get on the Web. Am I right in believing that? If so, any suggestions on which cell service's sim card we should get, and how expensive the data charge is?

Also, we have been monitoring "Kruger Sightings" on our cell phones with great anticipation, but we are curious about cell service out on the roads. It seems like people are uploading their sightings real time while out in the Park, but that would imply cell phone service. Am I missing something?

Any other input will be much appreciated for KNP Newbies who are waiting for take off with great anticipation.

Thank you


Hi kbf1kbf1 - If you are bringing a laptop, then best to buy a 'dongle' with a sim card and load that with pre-paid data time from one of the big cellphone companies.
If you can add data to your cellphone, that will allow you to also access internet from the phone. But just first check compatibility with SA networks/sim cards etc.

Generally, there is only cell phone service for a radius of about 5-7km outside the main camps.
You might find the odd spot in the park where you will get service, but do not rely on that.
- Dalene

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Re: Tethering to Get Internet?

Unread post by PNF » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:02 pm

Hi kbf1kbf1 - this is being posted from Punda Maria Camp where we have full 3G signal on our dongle. It looks as if the signal has been upgraded since Crested Val was in Shingwedzi as we also had full signal there for the 2 weeks that we stayed. Mopani camp has a wi-fi area in the Conference centre where airtime can be bought. (We also used our own dongle in Mopani Laundry whilst waiting for the washing machine to finish!)
Compared to 2 years ago the Internet signal is 100% better and does not bomb out as much as it used too.......just try to get friends/family to hold back on large e-mails and not to send you any pictures until you get home.
Enjoy your stay!
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin


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