Namibia: Cell or Satellite phone?

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

  1. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Unless it’s a really remote place I am going to just use WhatsApp on WiFi. I have an Iridium Sat phone for those really remote places like Asia or Zimbabwe but won’t take it to RSA or Namibia. The phone networks are not the same in Namibia and RSA so be careful there. I am glad to hear that there may be more compatibility now. I am curious about the OneSim product and may try it just for kicks. Otherwise the cheapest thing to do if you must have a phone is get a SIM card when you arrive at the airport or in Windhoek.
    Find out where you are hunting exactly and see if there is an coverage to start with.
    My advice is to forget about home while on safari. I won’t contact home daily in any case. This is why we do it to get away!
    Regards,
    Philip
     
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  2. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Agree with the WhatsApp comments. As long as you will have WiFi WhatsApp will allow you to phone and text. I am a frequent international traveler with work and use it extensively. It really cuts down on the cell costs.
     

  3. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Agree with the WhatsApp comments. As long as you will have WiFi WhatsApp will allow you to phone and text. I am a frequent international traveler with work and use it extensively. It really cuts down on the cell costs.
     

  4. Ernie Shipman

    Ernie Shipman AH Veteran

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    I have taken my iphone both times, 2015 & 2017.
    In 2015 I bought a SIM card & made sure my carrier knew I was abroad. It was a BIG headache in Senegal. I went there 1st for 2 weeks & did not change my SIM card.... Generally frustrating.
    I used a new SIM card for the next 2 weeks in South Africa. Worked ok, but pricey & I had to add minutes.
    Fast forward to 2017: I used my phone & the What's App app. GREAT to use. Did not convert plans, add service or get a SIM card.
    I had my Apple laptop both times as well & did alot with FB & emailing.
    Don't sweat it...use What's App!!!
     

  5. dobber

    dobber AH Enthusiast

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    Told anyone i thought might want to contact me to reach out to the PH, and if anything happened to me the PH will send them a message. If anything happened that we could do nothing about till we got back, don't tell us till on our way home. If someone got sick, wait to find out how sick before telling us, flood? call the insurance company for us.
    I go away to get away, and while i appreciated the wifi at the lodge i still chose to not hook my phone up nightly, one or two pictures to share with my son (a full braii grill and my Kudu)
    How did we every survive 20 years or so ago when the best we could do is stop at the corner and call collect or throw a few dimes into the payphone when you did a beer run from moose or deer camp
     
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  6. autofire

    autofire New Member

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    Last year I spent 11 days on private property 2 hours from Outjo. Though there is cellphone and wifi connection I could never get a connection for either the laptop or cellphone (wifi or cell service). The problem is that the bandwith is very limited and during the evenings and weekends it is virtually non-existent because of high usage. Was able to get wifi via Whats app to work after 11pm when locals were asleep. I also had my Iridium satellite phone (service through Blue Cosmo) and had no problems getting connections day or night. Since I am not retired and a business owner the satellite phone was a lifesaver-not to mention staying in touch with family. No problems with cellphone or wifi in Windhoek or Outjo as the cities have adequate coverage.
     
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  7. autofire

    autofire New Member

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    I just got back from my 2nd trip to Namibia-14 days (first in 2017). Cell phone coverage is difficult outside the main city because of low band with (2g service). My What's app would usually only work in middle of night when all the locals were asleep.
    My PH's Namibian cell phone had same problem with wireless and his what's app only was reliable in middle of the night.

    Likewise internet service is not dependable.

    But this all depends on exactly where you are hunting and the level of phone/wireless coverage.

    Namibian cell service is very expensive for calling out of the country.

    I just used my satellite phone so I could stay in touch with the U.S.
     
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  8. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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  9. autofire

    autofire New Member

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    My US cellphone is T-Mobile and I have the international plan.

    But reception/coverage not available when I was out hunting near Outju and other parts of country. Neither phone nor text coverage was available a significant amount of time because of the 2g bandwith coverage situation.

    Reception was fine in Windhoek and Swakamund.


    Yes ended up being pricey.
     
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  10. Fred Gunner

    Fred Gunner AH Enthusiast

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    I plan on turning off my phone the min my PH picks me up at the airport.

    I just need a reliable means of communication should anything happen durning travel to that point...Delayed of canceled flights, lost luggage etc.

    OneSim.com sim card in an unlocked cell looks like the answer for me.

    Once I'm hunting I want to forget the rest of the planet even exists.

    I've briefed friends and Family not to contact me for any reason. There is nothing I can do for any issues from the Namibian bush in any case. If there is the death of a loved one or if my home is looted and burned to the ground I don't want to know until after my Safari.

    Has anyone here used the OneSim.com sim card in Namibia?
     

  11. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I use onesim in RSA, no problems. Cheaper than local stuff.
     
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  12. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I used my cell phone when I was in Namibia. Just had to use it when the wi fi signal was strong. Sat phone in my future.
     
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  13. Huntwego

    Huntwego New Member

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    Whats interesting is we needed calling sprint and asking about allowing our phones to roaming in Kenya and they said it was all good and it was for most part. But one of our buddies who's often in Africa suggested we take a sat phone. Did some research online and found out that Iridium works better then some of the others in Africa. So we rented one these https://satmodo.com/product/iridium-9555-rental/
    Our cell phone worked most of the time but many areas we were glad we took the sat phone and that always worked in open areas.
     

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  14. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Exactly! Thinking back to my first Safari in 1997 I gave no thought at all to communication. I had a bag phone in my truck and WiFi was not invented yet. If something bad happened my family could call the outfitter. Otherwise just hunt and don’t worry about home. That’s a big reason for going hunting!
     
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  15. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Explorer Satellite exhibits at the shows and can explain the phones and service packages. I have an Iridium Extreme and it can be a lifesaver. Plus having a sat phone makes you feel a bit like James Bond
     
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