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Old 05-16-2019, 08:54 AM   #1
Justin Spies
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Default Cell Phone In South Africa

We head over for our first time in August. I already have the WhatsApp that I can use back at camp with the wifi, but I am wondering if I can get an International plan that will work over there? My provider is ATT. What have you guys used. My wife will be six months pregnant when I am over, and I would really like for her to be able to get ahold of me while I am hunting. Is this possible?
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:07 AM   #2
Sika
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We bought some minutes from ATT before we left but most of the time we didn't have service.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:16 AM   #3
deerplanter
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Yes you can get one with AT&T but it's not very good, I had to change to T-Mobil as they have the best international plans. With that said I wouldn't change for one trip, I was traveling a lot internationally then.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:16 AM   #4
Justin Spies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sika View Post
We bought some minutes from ATT before we left but most of the time we didn't have service.
This was my concern. I am trying to see if there are any good prepaid avenues.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:21 AM   #5
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I have AT&T and add the international day pass to my line for $10 a day. I never had any issues with the services as most places (Limpopo and Johannesburg) we was at had cell signal.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:24 AM   #6
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Justin, just give your wife the contact numbers for Harry and his family and tell her if she needs to get in touch with you to call one of them. Cell service is spotty.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:25 AM   #7
Dejashoot
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We took a sat phone. Local cell providers didn’t work where ATT didn’t work. Reminded me of cell service in the hill country. Worked on major roads but once off the beaten path - nothing. We hunted several places including the Timbavati that had no hint of cell service.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:34 AM   #8
Justin Spies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon-Paul View Post
I have AT&T and add the international day pass to my line for $10 a day. I never had any issues with the services as most places (Limpopo and Johannesburg) we was at had cell signal.
Does this allow calls and texts?
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:34 AM   #9
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What province are you hunting?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon-Paul View Post
I have AT&T and add the international day pass to my line for $10 a day. I never had any issues with the services as most places (Limpopo and Johannesburg) we was at had cell signal.
This!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudslinger View Post
Justin, just give your wife the contact numbers for Harry and his family and tell her if she needs to get in touch with you to call one of them. Cell service is spotty.
Yep, the Nel Family will track you down if ANY issues arise while you are out hunting. I call it the 80/20 rule with international trips......it has gotten much better over the last few years in RSA.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Spies View Post
Does this allow calls and texts?
Yes...This plan allows you to use your same plan that you have in the US.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Does this allow calls and texts?
yep, wife and daughter are in Europe now on that plan. Dial 611 on your phone...ÖÖ..simple process.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:53 AM   #12
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Call AT&T and see what they have. I've been 3 times and going again in July. Seems like every time I go over there is a different plan option from AT&T for the trip. South Africa tends to be one of the countries with specialized plans. I'm actually thinking of getting a local SIM card with a prepaid amount on it for this next trip but haven't done much research yet. My Samsung phone allows for two different SIMs so I plan to fully explore that this trip. My PH in the Limpopo region seems to always have good service. That could be another option. I have a good relationship with my PH so I would just give his number to my wife. He's always with me so it would be just like me having the phone.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:02 AM   #13
Justin Spies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rladner View Post
Call AT&T and see what they have. I've been 3 times and going again in July. Seems like every time I go over there is a different plan option from AT&T for the trip. South Africa tends to be one of the countries with specialized plans. I'm actually thinking of getting a local SIM card with a prepaid amount on it for this next trip but haven't done much research yet. My Samsung phone allows for two different SIMs so I plan to fully explore that this trip. My PH in the Limpopo region seems to always have good service. That could be another option. I have a good relationship with my PH so I would just give his number to my wife. He's always with me so it would be just like me having the phone.
Do you know what provider he uses?
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:04 AM   #14
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I thought I had it figured out 1 time, went throught the O FB messager thing for texting since they had WIFI. But I didn't work out so well for pics, every pic I sent cost me, I will not try to out fox them again.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:04 AM   #15
rladner
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I can ask him. Think it is Vodafone
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:08 AM   #16
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Here is the current AT&T plan that I'm leaning towards. Not the cheapest, but compared to everything else I'm spending it is nothing.

Passport 1GB
$60.00
one-time charge
Use your smartphone in over 200 countries. No need to cancel anything-ends 30 days from start date.

Talk: $0.35 per min.
Send texts: Unlimited
Get texts: Same plan you use at home.
Data: 1GB, $50 per GB if you go over.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rladner View Post
Here is the current AT&T plan that I'm leaning towards. Not the cheapest, but compared to everything else I'm spending it is nothing.

Passport 1GB
$60.00
one-time charge
Use your smartphone in over 200 countries. No need to cancel anything-ends 30 days from start date.

Talk: $0.35 per min.
Send texts: Unlimited
Get texts: Same plan you use at home.
Data: 1GB, $50 per GB if you go over.

If you have ATT just add the International day pass for $10 a day. You will only be charge this is your phone accesses as cell tower in the 24 hour period. I leave this on my account that way I don't have to worry about it if I am traveling.

https://www.att.com/offers/internati.../day-pass.html
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:20 AM   #18
rladner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon-Paul View Post
If you have ATT just add the International day pass for $10 a day. You will only be charge this is your phone accesses as cell tower in the 24 hour period. I leave this on my account that way I don't have to worry about it if I am traveling.

https://www.att.com/offers/internati.../day-pass.html
South Africa is not one of the countries that is listed. I think it was the first time I went in 2013, but I remember it wasn't last time in 2017. Just checked and not listed. I used this last summer in New Zealand. I like it and works great, but SA is not one of the countries . Also, on a 10 days safari the $10/day would be more than the $60/month plan

Last edited by rladner; 05-16-2019 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon-Paul View Post
I have AT&T and add the international day pass to my line for $10 a day. I never had any issues with the services as most places (Limpopo and Johannesburg) we was at had cell signal.
Just got back Saturday and this is what I have. It worked fine. Only issue i had was we were so close to Botswanna that I think ATT thought I was in Botswanna and tried to charge me some crazy price. A simple phone call to clarify and the entire trip, full data, phone etc cost me $100.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:42 AM   #20
rladner
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Just got back Saturday and this is what I have. It worked fine. Only issue i had was we were so close to Botswanna that I think ATT thought I was in Botswanna and tried to charge me some crazy price. A simple phone call to clarify and the entire trip, full data, phone etc cost me $100.
That's true. I hunt just across the river from Botswanna and yes, my PH always tells me to check what network I'm on if I use my phone away from camp.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon-Paul View Post
I have AT&T and add the international day pass to my line for $10 a day. I never had any issues with the services as most places (Limpopo and Johannesburg) we was at had cell signal.
I was wondering if this plan worked. My wife mentioned that it did not and that we had to buy a separate plan that had limited amount of data.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:46 PM   #22
Justin Spies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rladner View Post
Here is the current AT&T plan that I'm leaning towards. Not the cheapest, but compared to everything else I'm spending it is nothing.

Passport 1GB
$60.00
one-time charge
Use your smartphone in over 200 countries. No need to cancel anything-ends 30 days from start date.

Talk: $0.35 per min.
Send texts: Unlimited
Get texts: Same plan you use at home.
Data: 1GB, $50 per GB if you go over.
I am reading online the that you can rent a phone with Vodafone coverage once you get to the airport. Im just wondering if it will get better signal than my own phone. Wouldn't ATT just pick up off of their tower?
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:49 PM   #23
rladner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Spies View Post
I am reading online the that you can rent a phone with Vodafone coverage once you get to the airport. Im just wondering if it will get better signal than my own phone. Wouldn't ATT just pick up off of their tower?
That's what I am thinking. I'm probably just going to the $60/month plan. I don't plan to talk, unless it is really important. I'll text mainly, so it works well since it is unlimited. I can also send 1G of data when I'm not on Wifi.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:19 PM   #24
buck_wild
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I had Sprint and switched to the international plan (I dont remember the costs). I had connection 40% of the time around Thabazimbi.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:39 PM   #25
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No matter how you do your cell phone service, I cannot wait to see updates and LDP's for your trip with Harry.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:27 PM   #26
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Cell phone not working is just another reason I’ll go back to Africa
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:33 PM   #27
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Can’t wait for the recap I got my crate from my hunt last September a couple of weeks ago. You will want to go back.

Keep in mind it is also a 8 hour time difference so that will impact a lot of communication.

If you have ATT just grab the $60 international plan and make sure your wife has contact info for the PH. Rest assured that there service will be more reliable than anything you have.

We did the international on our phones and never used it. I tied into the WiFi at camp which allowed for FaceTime and text as well as WhatsApp

Last edited by Austin; 05-16-2019 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:14 PM   #28
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I went last march. I have ATT. I called ahead of time. They said use the $10/day international pass. When I got back I had a 900 phone bill. They said it was their mistake for telling me the day pass would work when RSA isn't a listed country but since the CS tech I spoke with ahead of the trip made a mistake they credited me back the international data/roaming changes less the difference in the day pass.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:27 PM   #29
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Rent a satellite phone, my dad did for a trip up the amazon river
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:37 PM   #30
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Edit: RSA is not included with the 10/day option. You need the passport plan.

https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/in...untries.html#s

If I am really remote, I bring a SAT phone.

Last edited by Kevin; 05-16-2019 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:58 PM   #31
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I have been 4 times, and have never had service in the field. Just WiFi at camp so I could use WhatsApp in the evenings. If I was in your situation, I would either get a satellite phone or check with the outfitter to see if there is a landline number that would always be answered.

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Old 05-17-2019, 05:22 AM   #32
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In....
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:36 AM   #33
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I have been three times, the first two we used satellite phones (they have their own set of issues) because we were pretty far out in the bush. The last time I had a package that was good for 30 days as I was there for 15 days. Text worked great, voice not so much.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:09 AM   #34
Justin Spies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudslinger View Post
No matter how you do your cell phone service, I cannot wait to see updates and LDP's for your trip with Harry.
Thank you Doug, I am getting antsy!!
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:10 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeetleGuy View Post
Cell phone not working is just another reason Iíll go back to Africa
It wouldn't be a concern for me if my wife was not pregnant.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:12 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin View Post
Canít wait for the recap I got my crate from my hunt last September a couple of weeks ago. You will want to go back.

Keep in mind it is also a 8 hour time difference so that will impact a lot of communication.

If you have ATT just grab the $60 international plan and make sure your wife has contact info for the PH. Rest assured that there service will be more reliable than anything you have.

We did the international on our phones and never used it. I tied into the WiFi at camp which allowed for FaceTime and text as well as WhatsApp
We are using The Artistry of Wildlife in Michigan for our taxidermy. We won't see any of our animals for quite awhile after we get back!
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #37
Justin Spies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisch View Post
I have been 4 times, and have never had service in the field. Just WiFi at camp so I could use WhatsApp in the evenings. If I was in your situation, I would either get a satellite phone or check with the outfitter to see if there is a landline number that would always be answered.

Bisch


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Good idea. Thank You
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:50 PM   #38
Austin
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Justin dennis and artistry of wildlife does fantastic work if I didn’t have a top notch local taxidermist I probably would have used them. I don’t have mounts back just dip pack taxi has the hides I am hanging on to the rest till he needs them
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:27 AM   #39
Justin Spies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin View Post
Justin dennis and artistry of wildlife does fantastic work if I didnít have a top notch local taxidermist I probably would have used them. I donít have mounts back just dip pack taxi has the hides I am hanging on to the rest till he needs them
Who is doing your work?
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:45 PM   #40
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My local taxidermist in Kerrville Carey Hancock
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:02 PM   #41
Mudslinger
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Safari Studios in San Angelo is an excellent taxi for African game. They have done one safari of mine and will probably do the rest if Karl Brosig with Brosig's Custom Taxidermy does not do it. They have both done work for me and it is excellent. Karl did my full body mount Lioness, full body mount Bushbuck and shoulder mount Bushbuck.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:10 PM   #42
rladner
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Quote:
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Do you know what provider he uses?
He has MTN-SA. Seems to work everywhere we have hunted in the Limpopo.

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Old 05-20-2019, 11:19 PM   #43
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i was recently in Australia, once I landed, I turned my airplane mode off. immediately I got a text from ATT asking if I wanted to purchase the international plan for $10 per day. this is only charged if you use your data/ make a call during that 24 hr period.
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