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comunicating back home

california
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comunicating back home

My wife and I are going on safari in June I was wondering is there any way to be able to talk to our kids back home(in case of emergency) when we are out in the Serengeti,Crater,or Tarangire? thank you

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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1. Re: comunicating back home

Sure you can call back home, almost everyone there has a cell phone. I would suggest that you ask your driver/guide (who will definitely have a cell phone to communicate with his home office) if you could put some minutes on his phone (you do this by purchasing some scratch off cards for his service provider) and use it for telephoning back home. I would make certain that you leave some money on his phone as a tip for using it. Figure about $.50 to $1 a minute or put about 15,000 TSH on his phone for a 15 minute call, which would leave him something for the use of the phone. There are not towers everywhere like in the US so you will need to ask him what locations you can call from (depending on his service provider).

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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2. Re: comunicating back home

It's true that it's very simple to call using a cell phone in Tanzania. I never figured out the rate, but I sure talked a lot on the cell phone for seemingly little money. I think it must be significantly less than 50 cents a minute these days.

Also note that it's also possible to send text messages between a US cell phone and a Tanzanian one. I do it all the time and the cost is very nominal on both sides.

There are places where cell phone coverage is not available in Tanzania, but you can talk to your guide about it and he'll know where the service is available.

By the way, get your guide's cell phone number before you go and then try calling it from home. Then your kids can call you whenever they want.

california
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3. Re: comunicating back home

Thank you for the information guys I feel a lot better knowing I will be able to talk to the kids while we are on safari

Somerville, New...
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4. Re: comunicating back home

Coach b43....one of my biggest obsessions! Not being able to phone home when im in Tanzania. lol I wrote to the experts a couple of times aready re this topic. I have dogs/cat and i worry that something will happen to them and the pet sitter cant get a hold of me.

The experts Karl,Brian, Mfuwe, 4 Sandi all reassured me that it is quite easy to reach home. So i am much more relaxed now and will use my guides phone. They always make me feel better :)

Nikki

california
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5. Re: comunicating back home

Thank you for the insite I will talk with my safari company about using our guides cell phone

Sunnyvale...
Destination Expert
for San Jose
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6. Re: comunicating back home

IMO, cell phone coverage in Tanzania is currently extraordinarily good. Our guides had cell phone reception almost everywhere, minus caves and localized kettle moraines, etc. Most places had cell phone reception on Kilimanjaro including the summit and out in the middle of nowhere on the safaris. One day on the highway out to Ngorongoro crater from Arusha, our driver was on his cell phone the entire time--to intercept some KLM guys on the middle of that highway who were delivering some bags that took an extra few days to get to me.

At the Dar Es Salaam airport, there is a communications center where they charge 2000 TZS per minute to use their cell phone to phone the USA. Hotels will charge you a lot more with their landlines. A 15 minute phone call to Ohio from the New Africa hotel costed 63000 TZS.

scotland
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7. Re: comunicating back home

Sorry but at the risk of sounding really thick will my own mobile not work in Tanzania?? It is a quad phone and roaming enabled. On other trips it has just picked up the local network no problem and I am billed for any calls/texts by my own provider. Is Africa different??

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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8. Re: comunicating back home

It will probably pick up on roaming there. However you might want to check on the rates you will be charged. For us in the US, the typical roaming charge to Tanzania is almost $5 a minute, and that's a bit high. You might want to find out if it's a world phone where you can slip in another SIM card and then use it as a local phone while you are in Tz at local phone rates.

I had a business partner with me several years ago and he used his roaming from the US telephone. When he got home he received a bill from his service provider of a bit over $2,000 (he used it a lot while he was there.)

scotland
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9. Re: comunicating back home

Thanks Karl Yes my business partner may have something to say if a bill that large dropped on his desk. Ill check out your advise

Stanley, Falkland...
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10. Re: comunicating back home

I used a T-mobile UK phone in Tz without problems. As Karl says- the issue is the cost. Not only were calls and texts far more expensive than in the UK, I would have had to pay those rates for RECEIVING calls as well.

You need to check with your service provider and find out the rates. A local SIM card is usually a cheaper option.