eSIM in South Africa

Get an eSIM for South Africa and enjoy cheap mobile roaming across the country. eSIMs are actually cheaper than physical SIM cards in South Africa, meaning you not only save the hassle of purchasing a physical SIM card but also money in the process.

Your eSIM operates independently of your regular mobile subscription, allowing you to still use your regular mobile number to receive calls and texts. Brilliant for work!

Cheap Mobile Data For Your Trip

An eSIM is the perfect choice for traveling. It functions like a prepaid SIM card, meaning you buy a fixed amount of data which you pay for upfront. Thus, no additional fees can accrue, and you can travel with peace of mind.

The cheapest providers for eSIMs in South Africa are Airalo and GlobaleSIM. You can choose between six different eSIM packages. The cheapest eSIM package costs only €4.2 ($4.5), giving you 1 GB of data for 7 days. This package is ideal for a short visit to the country where the data need is limited.

If you need to send pictures home from a safari, it is recommended to choose at least 5 GB. By doing this, your validity also increases to 30 days. The price per GB decreases significantly the larger package you choose. Thus, the price for the largest package with 20 GB is only €2.1 / GB.

Two Providers of eSIM Cards In South Africa

You can choose between two different providers: Airalo and GlobaleSIM. Below are shown the cheapest eSIMs for six different data packages ranging from 1 to 20 GB of data. For the five largest packages, GlobaleSIM is the cheapest, while for the smallest package of 1 GB, Airalo is marginally cheaper.

However, the installation and use of the eSIM card are almost identical. Therefore, we have also shown the cheapest eSIM cards below. But you can use both providers.

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1 GB

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3 GB

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5 GB

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10 GB

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15 GB

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20 GB

Choose a Regional eSIM with Data Across Africa

Are you planning an extended journey in Africa or perhaps a safari that takes you to Botswana, Tanzania, or Uganda? If so, you have the option to purchase a regional eSIM card. These regional eSIMs provide you with mobile data in up to 37 African countries, including South Africa.

South Africa is ahead when it comes to mobile coverage compared to its neighbours. The price of mobile data in Africa is therefore relatively high compared to the rest of the world. The process of obtaining a local SIM card can also be cumbersome for a foreigner requiring you to submit copies of your national ID to sketchy local shop owners. 

All of this can luckily be avoid with an eSIM, and the regional eSIM takes this the next step allowing you to access most of the continent without worrying about data roaming fees. 

Go on a Safari in the Neighboring Countries of Botswana and Namibia with Full Coverage Along the Way

In Africa, you can choose between three different providers of regional eSIM: GlobaleSIM, RedTeaGo, and Airalo.

There is quite a difference in coverage among the three providers. Therefore, I recommend comparing the coverage between the three providers before purchase. Through the link, you can find coverage maps for all three providers.

The cheapest provider is GlobaleSIM. Here, you can choose between four different eSIMs with up to 5 GB of data. The package includes 32 African countries, including South Africa as well as both Namibia and Botswana. Therefore, it’s a brilliant choice for those going on a safari and crossing into one of the neighboring countries.

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Cheaper Than Physical SIM Cards at the Airport

Prepaid SIM cards are relatively expensive in South Africa. The country has a few different mobile networks, but the prices do not vary much between them. As a tourist visiting South Africa, it is cheaper for you to choose an eSIM over a prepaid SIM card. 

Comparison with Vodacom prepaid SIM card

For the eSIMs listed above, you will be using the local mobile network of Vodacom South Africa, meaning we can easily compare the price of eSIMs with the prepaid SIMs offered by Vodacom. 

In the image, you can see the price list from Vodacom back from the summer of 2022. The picture was taken in the arrival hall of Cape Town airport and is kindly borrowed from the site

As you can see, a physical SIM card with 10 GB of data costs 899 rand, equivalent to €45.7. In contrast, an eSIM with the same amount of data costs you only €12.7. Corresponding to a saving of 70%! Therefore, it is cheaper to choose an eSIM over a SIM card in South Africa.

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