Visiting Kenya soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a Kenya SIM card.
Fortunately, Africa is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in Africa. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!
In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in Kenya in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.
Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in Kenya. If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.
That said, if you need data to get around, call a cab, or translate Swahili – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in Kenya.
Best SIM Cards In Kenya
If you’re traveling in Kenya, we recommend using a SIM card from Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)
That said, if you’re planning on visiting other countries during your trip to Africa, you might want to make sure to pick an option that offers coverage in other African countries.
How To Buy A SIM Card In Kenya
You can either buy a Kenya prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, mobile provider stores, convenience stores, or online.
Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport.
That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. And, when you see a shop, you might also have limited options.
For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one.
Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you prefer to be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase an African prepaid SIM card online.
Now, let’s take a look at the data plans offered by Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom.
Safaricom SIM Cards
Safaricom offers several different types of data-focused plans:
- 1 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 250 ($2.04)
- 2.5 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 500 ($4.09)
- 7 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 1000 ($8.18)
- 20 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 2000 ($16.35)
- 40 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 3000 ($24.53)
Airtel SIM Cards
Airtel has three different prepaid plans available:
- 2 GB, valid for 1 day for KES 99 ($0.81)
- 6.5 GB, valid for 7 days for KES 500 ($4.09)
- 50 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 3000 ($24.53)
Telkom SIM Cards
Telkom offers several SIM-only plans for tourists:
- 2 GB, valid for 1 day for KES 100 ($0.82)
- 2.5 GB, valid for 7 days for KES 250 ($2.04)
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 500 ($4.09)
- 12 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 1000 ($8.18)
- 30 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 2000 ($16.35)
- 50 GB, valid for 30 days for KES 3000 ($24.53)
Overall, we think Safaricom is the best option if you plan to buy your SIM card in person. That said, any would do if you can’t find their store!
How To Buy A Kenya Prepaid SIM Card Online
If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.
You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, OneSimCard works in more than 200+ countries and gives you data for $0.01 per MB. Nepal is included.
But there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you plan on visiting are listed.
Another option is to purchase a prepaid African SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. You can get 10% off your first order with our discount code: ABB10
They currently offer 3 different packages that cover Kenya:
- 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $40 – works in 120 countries
Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM card for Kenya or, if you’re traveling to multiple countries, an eSIM plan for Africa.
How To Buy An eSIM Card For Kenya
eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in Kenya.
Curious? Learn more about eSIMs for travelers on eSIM Roamers.
I started using eSIM as soon as my mobile phone supported it. And I first tried it when visiting my family in Canada. To buy eSIMs, I usually use Airalo. Keep reading to learn more about the best eSIMs for Kenya.
If you want to buy an eSIM for Kenya, you could purchase one on Airalo. This website offers many eSIM cards worldwide and special plans for Africa and Kenya. I’ve been using Airalo for several months, and it works fine.
Here are the options available:
- Nakuru Mobile: 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9.50
Here’s an overview of the options available for Africa:
- 1 GB, valid for 30 days for $27
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $59
The options mentioned above are part of The Hello Africa package and offer coverage in 27 countries, including Kenya.
Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country.
Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip. In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks and need to select a network manually instead.
When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.
Here’s an overview of their plans for Kenya:
- 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $44
Final Thoughts On SIM Cards In Kenya
As you can see, getting a prepaid SIM card in Kenya or even an eSIM for your travels in Kenya is pretty straightforward.
You’ll even be able to stay connected wherever you go in Africa without changing your SIM card, especially if you purchase an African plan.
I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in Kenya if you wish to have data upon your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card.
Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.
Traveling soon? Read one of the following blog posts: