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  #1  
Old 18 May 2008
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Satphone - pro's/cons....?

ok so me and my friend are in the planning stages of a london to capetown trip, western route, and one thing we keep arguing about (as trivial as it may be) is the need for a satphone and/or a gps.

Now i am more inclined to get a gps, although im not sure how much we would use it, i have the relevant maps, and i have the view that its more of an adventure if u dont use a gps, afterall we didnt have them a few years ago..

he is ademant that we need a satphone for emgencies ect, which is fair enough, although, im not exaclty sure who he plans on calling if something goes wrong... and doing this trip on quite a tight budget, i feel this is quite a lot of money to spend out on somthing that we would hardly use.

if money was no issue, then for sure i would say take both, but i just feel its a lot of money to spend on things that are not essencial, and its just another thing that we could loose or have stolen.

so just looking for peoples opinions on this, either what to take or not, and if a satphone is needed, waht to go for, how much i should look at paying ect..

thanks
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Old 18 May 2008
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try the 'communications' forum - discussed ad nauseum
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Old 19 May 2008
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wouldn┬┐t a satphone make you contactable, and therefore be a con?
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Old 19 May 2008
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I never used a GPS in all of Africa. It makes sense if you want to cross the desert in uncharted areas. Otherwise there is enough tracks, signposts, guides, bystanders even in the remotest corners of sub-saharan Africa.

I never used the satphone either, but often carried it as a safety back-up on my trips. It felt great to carry the phone, every time the car got badly stuck on rough tracks or every time one of us got sick in a remote area.

Just organise one clever friend back home who you can call to organise everything from medical jet to helicopter, from spare parts to embassy support.

Thuraya now supposedly works all the way to Northern Namibia and is relatively cheap to buy/rent in Europe. You can even use it with a regular o2-sim-card (pls try before leaving). It is more expensive or impossible to get in Africa (at least where I tried).

In many central African countries you cannot call with your European GSM-phone per se (no roaming), therefore it becomes a real hassle to buy and change local sim-cards every couple of days. Another reason to have a satphone with you, even if you don't rough it on the side roads.
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Old 19 May 2008
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Talking Thuraya in Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelbug View Post
Thuraya now supposedly works all the way to Northern Namibia and is relatively cheap to buy/rent in Europe. You can even use it with a regular o2-sim-card (pls try before leaving). It is more expensive or impossible to get in Africa (at least where I tried).
The Thuraya does indeed work all the way down to Northern Namibia, tried it personnaly! I bought mine in Niamey, Niger (early 2006) new for Euro 270,- after very though price negotiations. Bought it from a normal GSM shop. That is the beauty of Africa, if they don't have it, the junior runs out of the store into to the market, just wait and they will fix it. I just had to put my Dutch operator SIM in the Thuraya and it worked! Marvelous

Cheers,
Noel

exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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Old 19 May 2008
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That's a good deal!
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