Traveling to Africa soon and want to ditch the physical SIM card? Look no further than our guide to the best eSIM providers in Africa!
eSIMs are becoming more and more popular, but with so many African eSIM providers to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is the best. This guide will help you find the best African eSIM provider.
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We’ll look at what to consider when choosing an eSIM provider for Africa, and then we’ll recommend our top picks for African travel.
So whether you’re looking for the best eSIM for Africa or just need a basic plan, we have you covered.
Quick Overview Top Africa eSIM Providers
Are you looking for a quick answer? Here are the three top eSIM providers for African travel.
- Airalo: Perfect for travelers looking for short-term and long-term options. (My pick)
- Holafly: Great options, including unlimited data plans.
- Nomad: Offers a variety of country and global plans.
Before we dive deeper, if you’re new to eSIM, let’s see what an eSIM is.
What Is An eSIM?
eSIM is a type of SIM card that is embedded in your device. You don’t need a physical SIM card in Africa, which makes it more convenient for people who travel frequently.
eSIMs are also becoming more common in smartphones, so if you’re looking to buy a new phone, eSIM might be an option for you.
There’s a catch! eSIMs are not yet universally supported.
So before you switch to an eSIM, make sure your device is compatible.
Read our guide to learn more about the main differences between SIM cards and eSIM.
Which Devices Are Compatible With eSIM?
eSIM is currently supported on a few devices, including:
- Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, 11, 12, 13, and newer models.
- Google Pixel 3, 4, 5, 6, and newer models.
- Samsung Galaxy S20, S21, and newer models.
- Huawei P40, and newer models.
To verify if your device is compatible with eSIM, go to Settings and locate your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). This will tell you if your device supports eSIM.
Here’s how to do it add an eSIM on a Pixel device:
- Go to Settings.
- Go to Network and Internet
- Go to SIMS
- Click on Add more
- Choose Download a SIM instead.
- Click on next.
- Scan the QR code.
- Name the eSIM.
- Pick the eSIM to provide data.
- Make sure the roaming is on.
How To Choose The Best Africa eSIM Provider?
Now that we know what an eSIM is, let’s look at how to choose the best eSIM provider for Africa.
There are a few factors to consider when choosing an eSIM provider, including:
- Coverage: Make sure the eSIM provider has good coverage in the countries you travel to.
- Data: How much data do you need? You’ll need a plan with more data if you’re a heavy user or if you need the Internet to work.
- Speed: Not all eSIM providers offer the same speeds. If you need fast speed, make sure to choose a provider that offers them.
- Price: eSIM plans can vary in price, so consider your budget when choosing a provider.
Where To Buy An African eSIM?
eSIMs can be bought from a variety of places, including:
- eSIM providers: Many eSIM providers sell eSIMs directly from their websites. This is the most convenient option, as you can activate your eSIM immediately.
- Carriers: If you’re already using a carrier, you may be able to buy an eSIM from them. It’s worth checking if your current carrier has its own eSIM plans.
So, how do you pick an eSIM provider in Africa?
Let us help! We’ll review the best eSIM for African travels below.
Airalo is the most popular eSIM store and offers eSIMs in 190+ countries at affordable prices.
I’ve been using Airalo for a while now, and you can read our complete Airalo review to learn more about this eSIM provider. Airalo offers local, regional, and global plans.
If you’re traveling in Africa, you might be interested in the Airalo Hello Africa plan.
Here’s how Airalo works:
- Create an account on Airalo.
- Download the app or use the desktop version.
- Choose the African plan.
- Install your eSIM.
- Activate your eSIM.
Airalo eSIM Hello Africa Plan
Airalo offers the regional plan Hello Africa which includes coverage in 26 African countries.
Here’s an overview of the options available in Africa:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $27
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $59
Pros And Cons Of Using Airalo To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of Airalo.
- Coverage in 190+ countries.
- Short-term and long-term plans are available.
- Affordable prices.
- Offers local, regional, and global plans.
- The customer support is excellent and fast.
- No unlimited data plans are available.
- I had a few issues in the past, but customer support always fixed the issues quickly.
Get $3 off on your first purchase on Airalo by using my referral code: MELISS2943
Holafly is an eSIM provider with eSIM plans for more than 130 destinations. They offer local and regional plans.
However, they don’t offer an African plan at the moment. You can choose an individual plan for the African country you will travel to instead.
I tried Holafly in Europe in the past, so you can read our complete Holafly review to learn more.
Here’s how Holafly Africa works:
- Pick the African country you will visit.
- You’ll receive an email with your eSIM.
- Scan the QR code to activate your eSIM.
Holafly eSIM Africa Plan
Holafly has great offers for several different African countries.
Here are some of the options available:
- Kenya: 6 GB, valid for 15 days, USD 44
- Ghana: 6 GB, valid for 15 days, USD 44
- Tanzania: 5 GB, 30 days, USD 44
Pros And Cons Of Using Holafly To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of Holafly.
- eSIMs are delivered via email immediately.
- Plans are available for more than 130 countries.
- Supports both short-term and long-term plans.
- Offers lots of options with unlimited data.
- Depending on the destination, it can be more expensive than Airalo, but you get unlimited data plans, which is excellent if you are a heavy user. However, some users reported that the speed could vary. This could mean you’ll get high speed first, and eventually, you’ll get a slower speed if you use too much data.
- The Holafly team is relatively small, so the support could take longer to get back to you. According to the tests we did on esimroamers.com, Holafly was the slowest to reply.
- You can’t set up a hotspot with unlimited data plans.
Get 5% off on your first order on Holafly with my referral code ABROKENBACKPACK.
Nomad offers data plans in 100+ countries. They also have local, regional and global plans, including an African eSIM plan.
I’ve tried Nomad in Thailand, and it worked well. Although, it’s not my favorite because they only have short-term plans (up to 30 days). Because I’m a long-term traveler, this is an issue, but for most travelers, it might be fine!
Here’s how Nomad eSIM works:
- Pick a data plan.
- Install the eSIM by scanning the QR code.
- Activate your plan.
Nomad eSIM Africa Plan
Nomad also offers global plans that cover several countries in Africa.
Here’s an overview of the global plans available:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $20
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $48
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $54
Pros And Cons Of Using Nomad To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of Nomad.
- Plans are available in 100+ countries.
- Regional and global plans are available.
- The website is very modern.
- All the reviews on the website are 5-star, which I find hard to believe. Nothing is perfect in this world.
- Short-term plans only (up to 30 days).
There are no offers at the moment.
SimOptions offers prepaid traditional SIM cards, and eSIM plans. They have plans everywhere around the world, including regional plans like Africa.
How SimOptions works:
- Purchase a plan.
- Scan the QR code to install your eSIM.
SimOptions eSIM Africa Plan
SimOptions offers a plan from AIS.
Here’s an overview of the plan available:
- 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $39.90
Pros And Cons Of Using SimOptions To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of SimOptions.
- Prepaid traditional SIM cards and eSIM plans are available.
- Offers eSIM plans from different carriers, so you have more options to choose from.
- The website is a bit more old-school but still very easy to use.
There are no offers at the moment.
BNESIM is an eSIM provider that was founded in 2017. They offer plans in 200+ countries.
You’ll also find other options like international phone numbers, unlimited data packages, and monthly subscriptions.
To learn more, you can read our complete BNESIM review.
Here’s how BNESIM works:
- Pick a plan.
- Pay for your plan by entering your credit card information and email.
- Install your eSIM by scanning the QR code.
- If you’re using an Android, you’ll need to set up the APN. You’ll get all the information to set it up under the QR code.
BNESIM eSIM Africa Plan
BNESIM offers individual eSIM plans for several African countries.
Here are some of the African countries available:
- South Africa
For example, here’s an overview of the options available in Kenya.
- 500 MB, without expiration, for USD 76.77
- 1 GB, without expiration, for USD 168.84
As you can see, the pricing is very high, so we hope to see BNESIM come up with better offers in some countries.
Pros And Cons Of Using BNESIM To Buy eSIM
Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of using BNESIM.
- Coverage in 200+ countries.
- Plans without expirations are available.
- Discounts on monthly data plans.
- Offers local and regional plans
- The website is a bit simple, and not the most user-friendly one. For example, it can get overwhelming when looking at the options because of the way plans are presented. Update: they are working on a new version, so we’re looking forward to seeing it!
Get a EUR 4 discount on your first purchase over EUR 10 with my BNESIM promo code: MELISSA4OFF.
Benefits Of Using An African eSIM
African eSIMs offer many benefits, which is excellent news if you’re a frequent traveler.
Here are the main reasons why I love using eSIM during my travels:
- You get data as soon as you arrive.
- You can activate your eSIM immediately.
- You can keep your usual phone number and use eSIM to get data.
- You don’t need to remove your SIM card or find a store to purchase one during your travels.
- You can top up easily and quickly.
Final Thoughts On African eSIM Providers
There are many African eSIM providers out there, but not all of them offer the same coverage.
I’ve used Airalo, Holafly, BNESIM, and Nomad, and I can say that they’re all excellent eSIM providers with great African plans.
Want more travel tips? Read one of the following guides: