Last Updated: August 30, 2023

Best eSIM for Africa (Prepaid Travel Data)

If you are planning on traveling to Africa and are moving around multiple African countries, how do you plan to stay connected?

You could use data roaming, but that is far too expensive. Buying a new physical SIM card every time you cross a border could work, but that’s a load of hassle. Perhaps an Africa eSIM is the way to go? I certainly think so.

With an eSIM for Africa, you can use one SIM card and one data plan in numerous African countries, making staying connected a piece of cake. But, which eSim should you go for?

Join me as I run through every top eSIM Africa has to offer so that you can find the best eSIM for Africa to use during your travels.

ESIM Product Comparison


Airalo is one of the top global eSim providers in the world and has gained its reputation through excellent customer service, good coverage, and solid connection speeds. They offer one of the top eSims for international travel.

Airalo works well in Africa and they have two eSim plans for you to choose from. Their Hello Africa eSim plans include 27 countries and are only data plans.

You have these options

These plans are a little expensive and they do not offer much data compared to what you would get with a local sim.

Also, there are no shorter-term options, say for 2 weeks. With Airalo’s data plans, you would have to be very careful using your data and limit it to vital communications only while using WiFi for everything else.


  • Covers 27 countries in Africa
  • Easy to buy/activate
  • Solid coverage
  • Fast speeds


  • Limited data plans to choose from
  • Not much data included
  • Not very affordable prices
See Prices on Airalo


Nomad is a reliable eSim provider that has coverage all over the world. Their service is excellent generally but they do not have much to offer when it comes to eSim data plans for Africa.

In fact, Nomad does not even offer an eSim for Africa, you would have to buy their global eSim to get coverage in multiple countries. Sadly, their globe eSim only includes 6 countries in Africa including Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Ghana, Reunion Islands, and the Congo.

Their global eSim has 3 plans – 5GB/30 days/$45, 3GB/30 days/$40, 1GB/7 days/$25. These are more affordable than Airalo but it is only worth it if you are traveling to the countries mentioned above.


  • Good service
  • Reliable coverage
  • More affordable than some
  • Short & long plans


  • Only covers 6 countries in Africa
  • Not much data
See Prices on Nomad


Holafly is another of the best eSim providers to purchase your eSim from and they are pretty awesome at delivering affordable data plans across the globe but they drop the ball when it comes to Africa.

I can not find a single eSim data plan from Holafly that covers multiple African countries. You can buy an eSim for specific countries in Africa, such as Kenya or South Africa, but not one that will have you connected across multiple borders.

This means that Holalfly is not an option when it comes to getting an African eSim.


  • Great service
  • Wide coverage
  • Good speeds
  • Easy to set up


  • No regional African eSim data plans
  • No global eSim with countries in Africa
See Prices on Holafly


SimOptions is not an eSim provider, it is an eSim comparison website and like a lot of the other sites, their eSim Africa plans are zero. But, they do have a global eSim plan that covers quite a few countries in Africa.

The global eSim covers 17 countries in Africa, see the list here, and is provided by eSIM2FLY Global and AIS, both of which are reliable providers.

For $39.90 you will get 6GB of data for 15 days, and the plan covers most of the world too. This is more affordable than all the other data plans we have looked at so far.


  • Covers 17 countries in Africa
  • Global coverage
  • A good price per GB
  • Reliable connections and speeds
  • Good customer service


  • No eSim plans for Africa specifically
  • Only 1 plan to choose from
See Prices on SimOptions

Maya Mobile

You can usually rely on Maya Mobile to give you great deals and excellent coverage around the world, and they do so on a local basis. But, when it comes to Africa as a region, they don’t have regional Africa eSIM that covers it, not even a global one.

They do, however, offer an eSim for specific countries in Africa. For example, their Kenya eSim comes in 500MB/1GB/3GB/5GB options all for 30 days. Unfortunately, it is crazy expensive and works out at over $30 per GB, so it is way more affordable to get a local SIM.

But some of their country-specific eSIMs are affordable when compared to other eSIM companies:

They have most of Africa covered, so check out the countries you need to head to.


  • Good customer service
  • Usually affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • Country-specific plans available for Africa


  • No Africa eSim available
  • No global eSim available
See Prices on Maya Mobile


Finally, an eSim provider that has a range of eSim data plans for Africa with broad coverage. Ubigi offers multiple eSim plans that will keep you connected in over 27 countries in Africa as you explore the continent.

Their Best Africa eSIM data plans range from

These are quite affordable compared to other providers. This offer covers most countries that you might want to visit but misses out on some sought-after destinations such as Kenya.

Ubigi’s Full Africa data plans include these more popular destinations but the prices suddenly skyrocket – 1GB/30 days/$26.

In my opinion, their Best Africa data plans are probably worth it, but the more expensive Africa data plans are far too expensive. Then you are just better off getting individual countries for an eSIM if you need it.


  • Africa regional eSim available
  • Covers 26 countries
  • Affordable pricing
  • Lots of data plans
  • Excellent coverage and speeds
  • Great customer service


  • Plans with more coverage are expensive
See Prices on Ubigi


Flexiroam is a great eSim provider with good customer service, affordable pricing, and fast connection speeds.

They offer eSim data plans for Africa as a region that covers 15 countries total, and these include Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Dem Rep, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

This is a pretty solid list of countries and if your travel itinerary is covered in the list above, here are Flexiroam’s eSim data plans for you to choose from.

The data plans range from 1GB/3 days/$11.50 up to 10GB/24 days/ $82. The pricing is competitive so they are certainly worth exploring more.


  • Covers 15 countries
  • Affordable per GB
  • Lots of data plans to choose from
  • Reliable service and coverage
  • Easy to set up
  • Great customer service


  • Could cover more countries
See Prices on Flexiroam


GlobaleSIM is a reliable eSim provider to travel the globe with. Sadly, they do not offer any regional eSim data plans for Africa, they only offer a range of global data plans with some countries in Africa included.

Their most comprehensive data plans are in their Special+ eSim which covers 143 countries worldwide, 27 of which are African.

Their data plans range from 1GB/7 days/$49, 2GB/10 days/$78, 3GB/14 days/$95, 5GB/21 days/$115. Sadly, these prices are far too expensive for a global eSim you will only use in Africa.


  • Covers 27 countries in Africa
  • Covers 143 countries worldwide
  • Good connection speeds
  • Easy to use
  • Solid customer service


  • Very expensive per GB
  • Only global plans for Africa
  • No regional African data plans
See Prices on GlobaleSIM

Benefits of Using An eSim for Africa

Traveling across Africa becomes a lot simpler with eSIMs, as it eliminates the need to purchase local prepaid SIM cards for each new country you visit.

By activating the best eSIM for Africa, you can stay connected to a network as you cross multiple borders without the hassle of queuing, losing, or switching physical SIM cards.

With an eSIM, you can use your phone, as usual, to navigate using Google Maps, book tickets, view bus schedules, and more while on the go. This adds convenience and safety to your trip.

Moreover, you can still use your physical SIM card from home alongside your eSIM. This means you can receive calls, texts, and login codes for your bank account on your usual number.

Topping up eSIMs is also quick and easy, as it can be done from your phone in a matter of seconds, eliminating the need to buy scratch cards or set up new online accounts.

Devices Compatible with African eSim

You must check that your device is compatible with an eSim before you go and buy one. Luckily most new smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches come with eSims and these include:

  • iPhone XS, 12, 11, SE (2nd generation), and newer models
  • Samsung Galaxy S21, S20, Note 20, and newer models
  • Google Pixel 5, 4, 3a, and newer models
  • iPad Pro, iPad Air (3rd generation), and newer models
  • Apple Watch Series 6, SE, and newer models
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Watch Active 2, and newer models
  • Huawei Watch 3 and newer models

To check if your device works with an eSim, simply dial *#06# and hit the call button. If an eSim identification number (EID) comes up then your device is compatible with an eSim.

Countries in Africa that Support eSim

Quite a few countries in Africa support eSims and the list includes the below plus some extras. However, finding an eSim that supports all these countries is rather difficult as the eSim market in Africa is just getting going.

Data Needed When Traveling to Africa

The amount of data you will need while traveling in Africa depends solely on your daily usage.

On average, most people consume approximately 5 GB per week, but for those with heavier usage, it can go up to 15 GB per week.

Running out of data during your trip can be frustrating, as it may require topping up your eSIM, leading to extra expenses. Therefore, it’s best to run a data usage report on your device and purchase an eSIM plan that suits your data needs.

Sadly, there are not many eSim data plans for Africa that come with a lot of data, and they are quite expensive so you will want to conserve your data as much as possible.

Tips for Using eSim in Africa

As eSim data plans for Africa are not cheap, controlling your data usage is key. Here are some tips on how to do this:


WhatsApp is the primary communication app used by most people in Africa. It is a data-only messaging and calling app that is free and user-friendly. Many bookings can be made through WhatsApp, and you can use it to call and message using only mobile data.

Download Maps for Offline Use

Did you know that you can download specific areas of Google Maps for offline use? It’s a straightforward process – follow the steps and download a map of your choice to your phone. This way, you can navigate new areas without using your mobile data plan.

Use WiFi for Heavy Data Usage

Apps that download pictures or videos, such as Instagram, Netflix, and Facebook, use more data than others. It’s best to avoid using these apps on mobile data as they quickly consume your data allowance. Use WiFi whenever possible to avoid this issue.

Adjust App Data Usage Permissions

Some apps continue to use data in the background, even when they are not open, to search for updates or new information. Turn off data access for the apps you don’t need to reduce your data usage.

Activate Airplane Mode

Activating Airplane Mode is a great way to reduce data consumption and extend your phone’s battery life. It’s also an effective method to minimize distractions as your phone only works when you permit it. You can still use GPS and take pictures while in Airplane Mode.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is eSim available in Africa?

Yes, eSim is available in Africa but it is only just getting started. Currently, eSim data plans are rather expensive and while you can find a lot of country-specific plans for African countries, finding regional eSim data plans for Africa is a bit tricky.

How can I buy an eSim in South Africa?

You can buy an eSim in South Africa by going online to any of the providers featured in the article. Simply choose the eSim for South Africa that is best for you, buy it, and activate it.

Does eSim exist in Nigeria?

Yes, eSims for Nigeria do exist and you can buy eSim data plans online to ensure you stay connected while traveling there.