Namibia: Cell or Satellite phone?

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Fred Gunner, May 27, 2018.

  1. Fred Gunner

    Fred Gunner AH Enthusiast

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    OK Sports Fans I believe I have just about all the Logistics for my 2019 Namibian Leopard Safari planned out thanks in no small part to advice and information from africahunting.com.

    I have one area I’m struggling with…Communications. I’m to “old School” for the latest greatest Cell phone of the month club. Everything I’ve read says USA Cell phones won’t work in Namibia. I’m reading where in-order to use the Cell networks in Namibia you need an unlocked phone and buy a sims card when your in country?

    So for a couple of we’re alive calls to family, calls for flight delays, lost luggage and Emergency calls. I’d like you opinion Satellite phone or Cell phone what works best in Namibia and what do I need? What has worked for hunters who have been to Namibia?
     
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  2. Doug375

    Doug375 AH Senior Member

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    If you'll be hunting from a ranch, just use the outfitters home phone. If you're going to be in the boonies you can rent a sat phone from an outfit like globalcom. I did that on my trip to Zambia. It was relatively cheep and worked fine.
     
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  3. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Most places not in the caprivia will have WiFi. You can use WhatsApp to call. Can’t help with flight delays etc. I would also check your facts about weather your phone will work. My iPhone worked. It is is just tremendously expensive. This WhatsApp. Good luck have fun.
     

  4. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    On all my trips, I've survived without a phone. I used email in the evening and morning to communicate. If you do want to talk, you need an unlocked phone or what is referred to a GSM. Most phones in the US are "locked" with the provider (ATT, Verizon, etc). With an unlocked phone, you simply buy a pre-paid SIM card. I believe there is a way to unlock a locked phone nowadays, as the providers are required to give you the code to unlock the it.

    While living in Nigeria for 6 years, my wife had an unlocked iPhone and simply switched the US SIM card with the Nigeria one and used the phone wherever. I was old school and had a company provided Nigerian phone and I maintained a personal US phone.

    The suggestion from @MMAL is a good one too. Essentially allows you to text messages through the WhatsApp app.

    Namibia phone: http://www.mtc.com.na/
     
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  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Coverage is not like home. I bought a local PREPAID SIM and put it in my unlocked phone.
    It was not perfect. Manage your expectations.

    MTC Coverage Map.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 9.17.31 AM.png


    telecom.na Coverage map
    Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 5.01.23 PM.png


    Satellite phones are not perfect either.


    Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 5.12.53 PM.png

    Compare coverage for satellite phones.
    http://www.satphonestore.com/coveragemaps
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  6. Beretta391

    Beretta391 AH Veteran

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    +1 on the what’s app. We just had anyone we wanted to stay in contact with at home download the app!! Worked great! Also everyone in Africa uses it
     
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  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Inmarsat covers Africa thoroughly - along with about anywhere else. They use a large constellation of low altitude birds. I purchased an IsatPhone-pro a couple of years ago and have used it from the Zambezi Delta to British Columbia to Europe to South Texas. Just need a gap in the trees.
     
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  8. Fred Gunner

    Fred Gunner AH Enthusiast

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    Next question is there any place that sells PREPAID SIM cards for Namibia on-line?
     

  9. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    Personally I would go with a Sat phone. Why bother with a cell phone when it might and might not work for the area that you might be in.

    Have you talked to your outfitter about this to see if there is cell coverage at his lodge location?

    Here is another idea for you if cell coverage is available, how about a throw away cell phone? I am sure that they are for sale over there at a market.
     

  10. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Don't know about Namibia but for RSA, I use a OneSim.com sim card in my sprint phone. Your phone must be one that works on all frequencies and be unlocked for international calls. Best to swap out sim cards well in advance to make sure they work.
    Having said that, although the service may not be the best, if you have internet and wi-fi, you can use wi-fi calling. What's App is extensively used but internet or cell service is required for it to work.
    The one thing I like about onesim is you get a U.S. local number that can be used in the U.S. by the caller for free. You are still charged per minute to you but not the caller.
    https://www.onesimcard.com/
     
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  11. Fred Gunner

    Fred Gunner AH Enthusiast

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    They claim it works in Namibia??? This could be the answer?
     

  12. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    You can call them and find out what are the best plans. I've used them for six years in RSA and if you use wi-fi calling, it's peanuts cost wise. As far as the satellite phone, I took one the first year to RSA and it was a waste of money but one has to take in consideration the places you may be without cell phone coverage and if your PH/outfitter has 24/7 communication capabilities. In case of a medical emergency (Global Rescue/Ripcord, another topic), I want them to be able to call and get me the hell out of there ASAP.
     

  13. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Since I have AT&T, went to their website and found this.
    https://www.att.com/offers/international-plans/world.html

    Namibia is on list.
    https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/international/global-countries.html

    AT&T Passport®
    More data. More value.*

    From $60

    Traveling abroad? Pay a one-time, per-device charge to use your devices in over 200 countries. Lasts 30 days or as long as you need it.

    Bring AT&T Passport along with you on your next journey. It includes talk, text, and data, so you can keep in touch while you’re abroad.

    Just a heads-up. You'll use data if you send messages through some apps like iMessage™ or Hangouts™. Check your device and app settings to turn off messaging services. Also, Passport rates don't apply at sea but will keep you connected on land.


    upload_2018-5-28_15-24-46.png
     
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  14. Gsxrmike

    Gsxrmike AH Veteran

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    I rented an Iridium sat phone from Explorer. I used it in southern Zimbabwe and the reception was great.
     

  15. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I got this plan for my first trip over. I leave June 6. Will let you know how well it worked when I return.
     

  16. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    With today's smartphones, photos and videos in emails can eat up 1 gig in a hurry.
     

  17. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Check with your service provider. Mine let's me use my same plan/phone/sim card virtually anywhere in the world for an extra $10/day for only the days I use it.
     
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  18. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Fanatic

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    TJ if your on Telus they don’t do it for Namibia, I have the same plan but Namibia is one of the few countries that don’t offer this for.
     
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  19. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Just looked it up and it does work there...perhaps they recently added it? Tanzania was the one country we traveled to where it didn't though.
     

  20. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Fanatic

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    Ok it didn’t work last year
     
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