COSMIC RHINO

how important is free Wi-FI for a safari ?

54 posts in this topic

Access to free Wi-Fi is non-negotiable for travellers these days, but hoteliers constantly grapple with the question of how much is enough.

http://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-technology-news/how-much-free-wifi-do-travellers-need

here is a report from a sth african finacial news bulletin, it is imformative but takes a while to load as it has graphics in it
business travellers are demanding it

protea and african tribe hotels are giving 500 mb per room day

is a safari meant to be about getting away from it all

tell your friends and relatives that they will hear about it when you get back and most importantly write the trip report later

is wifi access a deal breaker, how much do you need it , is not the bush and wildlife much more important ?

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How important is free Wi-FI for a safari ?

 

For me not at all - I go on safari to get away from the hub-bub of daily life and appreciate being somewhat incommunicado with the world. Some friends with small children, elderly parents or who are photographers do want access to the web to stay in touch with home or upload pictures, etc.

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Very important for minute by minute from the field Safaritalk trip reports ;) How did we survive on Safari 15-20 years ago one wonders...

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Unfortunately this is what people are asking for. Personally speaking, I do need it every few days to keep my business going. If I don't reply to an inquiry I lose a booking. For my guests, I don't mind if they have it but I do mind if they forget where they are and why they are there. I shame people who bring their cell phone or iPad to the dining table. :-) I am not a fan of seeing guests online, however I understand that people need to check in every once in a while.

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I suppose in the big hotels in town which cater for a more diverse clientele including business users it's essential.

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How important?

 

Extremely.

 

I will actively seek out destinations where wifi is unavailable.

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How important?

 

Extremely.

 

I will actively seek out destinations where wifi is unavailable.

+1

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A lot of properties have internet in the office and though it is limited, they do allow tour leaders access. So for people that need to stay in touch (to respond to enquiries and bookings) there is a way to...as for guests, I personally do not like places who allow wi-fi access to guests (unless in cases of possible emergencies).

 

A little while ago, I helped out with guiding at a posh lodge with wi-fi and one most notable thing was how late our activities started; immediately after morning breakfast, people would whip out their gadgets and engage with the outside world for a good half-hour or so before we started the morning game drive. By the time we left the camp, the light would already be harsh and not great for photography. Leaving camp late also affected our wildlife experience because by the time we got to game areas, there would be little activity as it would be too warm by then.

 

The wi-fi also makes for lack of connection between the guide and the guests using it; people hardly have time to sit and chat with their guide as they would constantly be typing away with little attention to the host. I still prefer the old style of people being detached from technology when they get into the bush and hand themselves over to their guide in order to have a great time.

Those are my views as an old school safari guide...

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Posted (edited)

Interestingly, I was asked this very question by the owner/manager of one of the camps we stayed at on our last safari.

She was concerned that she might be losing clients because the camp did not offer Wi-Fi.

 

It is not just a question of whether adding Wi-Fi to a camp spoils the feeling of being in the wilderness but also (as @@Ona Basimane points out) the fact that if Wi-Fi is available it tends to take over and instead of sitting around chatting or soaking up the atmosphere guests are all busytweeting, texting and Face Booking.

 

Speakign personally I am not at all bothered if it is not available - even better if there is no mobile phone signal either. That is partly because I do feel it detracts from the safari spirit but also because if it is available I have to admit find myself tempted to use it. :angry:

 

It must also be remembered that in remote areas setting up a reliable Wi-Fi connection can be quite expensive.

 

I suggested that IF this particular camp owner felt she must install Wi-Fi that she limit coverage to the communal areas and to just a few hours during the middle of the day when clients are relaxing in camp between game drives.

Edited by Soukous

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Posted (edited)

You summarize the reasons I dislike internet access so much on holiday extremely well @@Ona Basimane

Edited by Whyone?

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Posted (edited)

There's nothing wrong with wifi being available; I think it should only be made available in a certain areas (far away from the dining table, though) ......

 

If we put our own selfish thoughts aside (in terms of being away from reality and not being bothered with the real world) ...... in today's day and age of uncertainty - people might like to hear from you (both work and home). Let's face it - most of East Africa has cell network; some Southern African safari destinations too (wifi would be less expensive to use ;) ). I'd do it discreetly in the middle of the day (where the wifi coverage exists; not in the evening)

 

While making a booking wi-fi or not isn't going to determine where i stay - gameviewing/location/guiding always will!!!!

 

 

 

Having read Ona's post above - I would recommend that the camp turn on their wifi system only after the guests leave for their AM drive - that way there are no delays ;) - That said, I'm for breakfast in the bush ....... get out ASAP!!!!!

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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T

If we put our own selfish thoughts aside.....

If you can't be selfish when planning a (non-family) holiday, when can you be selfish?!

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T

If we put our own selfish thoughts aside.....

If you can't be selfish when planning a (non-family) holiday, when can you be selfish?!

 

 

Football sundays :)

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Fair point!

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Good question. A safari in the African wild is one of the few places one can get in touch with the environment to such a degree that it can turn one into an ambassador for nature and conservation. Wifi, phone coverage and internet get in the way of this experience. And the African wild needs all ambassadors we can get. My belief is a guest would thank you for not offering wifi if he or she has that experience, and it is up to the travel operator to ensure they do.

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Terrible. Going to Africa, to learn and to see, would be ruined with WIFI in camps, free or not free. You can hardly go anywhere else now and not have people, both young and old, on one means of communication or another. Africa means getting away from all of that..phones, computers, television, etc. It means looking and listening...pretty hard to do those things if you are hooked up.

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Personally, I like to be able to check in with home once in a while so wifi is a good service for that. Wouldn't want it to interfere with safari activities though, but when on down time or overnight in a transit hotel it is really useful.

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I personally don't care if it's there or not, but the thought of Wi-fi delaying the morning activities is alarming.

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I prefer bushcamping - so no wi-fi for me. Going on safari, means get away from the concretejungle, reset my brain from the constant news stream. Enjoy and suck out all of Africas beauty while I am there. :D

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I think we are ignoring the fact that not everyone is 'on holiday' when on safari. As Safariguy has accurately said, for some it is a business and the luxury of being totally off line is one that they can't share.

 

For everyone who goes on safari as a leisure, get away from it all activity … sure, have no wifi. I wish I lived in that world.

 

For me, I don't book camps dependent on wifi availability as I never ask, however, because I usually am leaving young children behind and run a (very) small business, I do like to access phone coverage at least once a day even if I don't send messages, at least I can check that there aren't any from home needing urgent attention. If this wasn't available then I wouldn't be able to go on safari, not ever.

 

Oh, and there is a bad part of me that would like to post fantastic sightings straight to social media to make all the other people at home hopelessly jealous! There, I said it. :unsure::rolleyes::P

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extremely important. am travelling solo much of the time and have to be accessible/able to do work while am on leisure time. To each their own as my preferred connectivity does not interfere with anyone elses travel.

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I think we are ignoring the fact that not everyone is 'on holiday' when on safari......

My reply was a direct response to @@COSMIC RHINO's question regarding personal preferences "...how much do you need it" (my emphasis)

 

Had the question been along the lines of 'do you think that some visitors have a need for wifi' my response would have been somewhat different.

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There is a need for wifi connections with business travel.

 

Some have distinct work and leisure times but not everyone.

 

It is best to try to avoid sending text messages, updating Facebook and Twitter when on the actual gamedrive something I have heard guides at both Lewa Safari Camp and Elephant Plains Lodge talk about.

 

Some places do not have very good connections at Lewa Safari Camp at times it is best to sit on the bench outside the office at times. Talking with the manager they offer wifi because it is what people want.

 

Once I stayed there with a Ker and Downey agent who was there on her own holiday , as was latyer going to check out how the wifi worked at Elephant Pepper Camp and Cottars Camp in the Mara as it was becoming an issues with how people experienced the place.

 

updating Facebook when you are actually away if you use your actual name could be a bit unwise, it could turn into a housebreakers guide to empty houses.

 

If people are going to use wifi a whole lot it would be best if the lodge/tented camp/ hotel supplies a free voucher or they know how much they will be paying for access from distant places

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I think we are ignoring the fact that not everyone is 'on holiday' when on safari......

My reply was a direct response to @@COSMIC RHINO's question regarding personal preferences "...how much do you need it" (my emphasis)

 

Had the question been along the lines of 'do you think that some visitors have a need for wifi' my response would have been somewhat different.

 

Haha, I took the OP to be a rhetorical statement rather than a request for an individual's assessment of need. Wifi is just another way for the safari cognoscenti to look down on those who don't see time in the bush in quite the same way. I have more need for phone coverage than internet coverage but provided my space isn't impinged upon, I'm not concerned either way. :wacko:

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Posted (edited)

There is a need for wifi connections with business travel.

 

Some have distinct work and leisure times but not everyone.

 

It is best to try to avoid sending text messages, updating Facebook and Twitter when on the actual gamedrive something I have heard guides at both Lewa Safari Camp and Elephant Plains Lodge talk about.

 

Some places do not have very good connections at Lewa Safari Camp at times it is best to sit on the bench outside the office at times. Talking with the manager they offer wifi because it is what people want.

 

Once I stayed there with a Ker and Downey agent who was there on her own holiday , as was latyer going to check out how the wifi worked at Elephant Pepper Camp and Cottars Camp in the Mara as it was becoming an issues with how people experienced the place.

 

updating Facebook when you are actually away if you use your actual name could be a bit unwise, it could turn into a housebreakers guide to empty houses.

 

If people are going to use wifi a whole lot it would be best if the lodge/tented camp/ hotel supplies a free voucher or they know how much they will be paying for access from distant places

What do you mean "distant places" - wifi coverage only works for a very limited range. Usually when you log into a wifi network you know what you need to pay (where applicable)

 

Ofcourse, you may have cell network and the roaming charges are different.

 

What do you mean by updating facebook with "actual name"? .........

Edited by madaboutcheetah

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