I would like to know if your phones uses sim cards, if they do, well you can come with it and buy a celtel line in Nairobi, infact at the airport and you will make your phone calls to America whenever you want either in Tanzania or Kenya, alternatively if your phones dont accept sim, then you can buy or rent one.
you can get a safaricom sim card. I think Cingular, tmobile and verizon phones use a sim card.You also want to make sure you get the unlock code. Your handset will not work with a local sim card if the phone is not unlocked. You can get that code by calling your provider. I know tmobile will give it to you immediately but cingular might refuse to give it to you. Just let them know that you will be using a local cell phone provider in kenya.
you can also direct dial from kenya to the states but that will cost you an arm and a leg (3.99/min on t-mobile)
If you buy a celtel sim and put the number 123 before your US number you get much cheaper calls (about 25 Ksh per min)
If you get a safari-com (think this may work better) put in the number 888 before the call.
With Both Sims you buy a scratch card to give you credit or get credit from the supermarkets- Nakumatt or Uchumi.
Arlene - Kenyaliam's info is quite correct. There is a bit of competition between Safaricom and Celtel. The last time I checked, Safaricom was slightly cheaper. Use the Voice Over Internet service, which is 123 for Celtel and 888 for Safaricom and Telkom. If you can get to use a landline (Telkom) anywhere, that is definitely the cheapest. 15/- per minute. You need a calling card for that.
Both Celtel and Safaricom now operate throughout East Africa. A sim card is not expensive. You shouldn't pay more than 100/-. You can also get quite cheap phones here, with a line already in.
Scratch cards are available all over the place. A text message costs 5/- locally and 10/- overseas for 160 characters.
For coverage, have a look at the respective websites. You should find the charges there as well.
For phoning within East Africa, there are so many tariffs your head can spin!! The most straightforward is Celtel Jamii which is a flat rate of 16/- per minute to all Networks including Telkom.
I hope this helps.
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