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HomeTravel news and articlesInternet and Wi-Fi in Africa

Internet and Wi-Fi in Africa

12 August, 2019
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Internet in Africa

In Moshi, I’m tearing my hair out. 10 minutes later, I’m happy again. In Mombasa, I’m tearing my hair out. An hour later, I’m happy again. In the middle of Masai Mara, I check my emails. In Nairobi, I give up. In Cape Town, I book an Uber using the Wi-Fi in the middle of the street – and I don’t even have a South African SIM card.

Our colleague Winnie has probably experienced everything the African internet can throw at you. She travels to Africa several times a year and is used to having to take a deep breath:

In Tanzania’s Usambara Mountains, I beg for 10 minutes’ Wi-Fi via a hotspot from one of the locals – because, as they inform me in the hotel bar, where there is supposed to be Wi-Fi,

“It doesn’t seem to be working today”.

Is there internet access at the African destinations?

You often hear the term “pole pole” when climbing Kilimanjaro. It means “take it easy”, and that’s probably the approach you should adopt on your tour to our African destinations.

When happy and expectant holidaymakers contact us to hear if they can expect to have Wi-Fi when on safari, the answer is always:

Maybe!

Lodges, safari cars and gates

Several of the lodges we use offer Wi-Fi for the guests, if not all day, then for a few hours of the day. And you may also find Wi-Fi elsewhere on your safari tour.

Many safari cars in Kenya offer Wi-Fi, while most gates to the national parks in Tanzania also offer a connection to the outside world. But bear in mind that the stability of the internet varies.

The cities

Whether the internet or Wi-Fi is offered at your safari lodge or in the car is one thing, but when it comes to the larger cities such as Cape Town, the connection is – more often than not – better.

In Cape Town, you will find Wi-Fi hotspots in various places in the city, such as cafés, restaurants, etc., but that doesn’t always mean that it also works.

Some days, you can soon find out what’s happening in the world or talk to your family at home, while on others, you’ll find it impossible to connect. And sometimes the internet can be a whimsical thing – great one minute, but gone the next.

Am I sure of having Wi-Fi in Africa?

The best answer we can give when it comes to Wi-Fi on tours to Africa is: Yes, there is Wi-Fi. African Wi-Fi 😉. Sometimes the Internet works, sometimes it doesn’t.

But that can also lead to some nice experiences, as Winnie found in South Africa:

At Kruger National Park, I, like everyone else, would spend an hour between 5 and 6 pm with my nose buried in my mobile. On the dot of six, everyone looked up – the Wi-Fi’s off! The bar is open.

So “pole pole” and enjoy your fantastic safari adventure!

Three helpful pieces of advice:

  • If you are expecting a lot of calls or expect to use data, please contact your telephone provider before departure. If that country is not covered by your subscription, things can get expensive.
  • In some places, it is possible to buy a local SIM card and pre-paid card, for example, if you are visiting a big city such as Cape Town. Remember to check if your phone is SIM locked before leaving. If it is, contact your telephone company to unlock it before departure.
  • Enjoy the fact that you are out travelling and take the opportunity to put your phone away a little and perhaps make friends from other countries.

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