It’s said that the biggest fear one has it that of public peaking. For me, my biggest fear is not having cellular service, and not being able to connect while on the go.

So, how does one connect while in Zambia

Some quick tips to staying connected while on the go:
By phone Public telephone, Zambian style The country code for Zambia is “260.” The city code for Lusaka is “211”. For the city code for other towns check the directory.

However, phone service both within Zambia and into Zambia is very hit-or-miss. In large cities, you are more likely to get regular, dependable phone service, but it is by no means a guarantee. The farther you travel from Lusaka, the less likely you are to maintain a good connection. International calling rates can be as high as $3 per minute. Cell phones have been booming in recent years, and Zambia has a highly competitive market with three main operators: airtel (0976,0977,0979), Cell Z (0955) and MTN (0966,0967).

Generally speaking, airtel has the largest network, while Cell Z is the cheapest. You can pick up a local SIM card for as little as 5,000K ($1). Prepaid time is sold in “units” corresponding to dollars: figure on 0.4 units for an SMS or up to 1 unit/minute for calls, although as always the precise tariffs are bewilderingly complex. If you plan on roaming with your non-Zambian SIM, check first to see if your home operator has made any roaming agreements;

phone networks photo

Photo by mikecogh

Zambia is usually not on the top of their list. Also note that the roaming prices are very high and coverage in rural areas can be spotty. Booths labeled “public telephone” these days consist, more often than not, of a guy renting out his cellphone. Typical rates are 5000K/min ($1) for domestic and 15000K/min ($3) for international calls.

Other tips on staying connected while in Zambia? Please add your comments and tips.