Best eSIM Malawi: compare, buy online and travel connected

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Considered the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi is one of Africa’s forgotten treasures that you’ll surely love to discover during your stay on this continent. However, since it’s not widely known, you must have a good International internet connection. Certainly, you’ll need to know where you are and what places to visit through apps such as Google Maps or by visiting travel itineraries. For this, we recommend that you forget your operator’s roaming and connect to the internet through the new eSIM with data for Malawi.

If this is the first time you hear about this product or if you don’t have a very clear idea, don’t worry. Indeed, here we will show you everything you need to know to buy and use this product. That is, from the requirements to the coverage it offers you once you arrive in Malawi. Without further ado, say goodbye to bad times and say hello to fun data!

What you should know about eSIM for Malawi 

Before showing, you how you can buy one of these eSIMs, you must know that, being a fairly new product, you need to meet certain requirements, such as having a smartphone that supports the eSIM technology. Other requirements are worth mentioning, which we list below:

  • In addition to having a smartphone with eSIM technology, it’s important that the provider you choose to get your eSIM is also compatible with your cellphone. Most carriers support iPhone XS models and up.
  • Once you make your purchase you will be asked to have an email to receive your eSIM.
  • To activate your eSIM you will have to connect to the internet at your destination, that is, once you arrive in Malawi.
  • You must have at hand a second screen or monitor from which to project the QR code of your eSIM.
  • Some providers will ask you to install their app to download the eSIM.

(You may be interested in Best eSIM for the USA)

Cellular providers of eSIM cards to travel to Malawi

After having these conditions in mind and meeting these requirements, you are surely interested in knowing how you can buy one of these eSIMs to travel to Malawi. Well, the answer to this question is quite simple and it’s through international or local providers that offer you an eSIM for this destination. The most common method is through international providers offering eSIM for short business or vacation trips. Their International eSIMs don’t usually last more than 1 month and their purchase method is quite simple and fast. 

On the other hand, local providers have a much more cumbersome purchase process, since their eSIMs are designed mainly for residents and not for travelers. So, they usually ask for a lot of documentation when buying an eSIM from them. In most cases, these are cellular operators that offer you an eSIM if you buy a prepaid or postpaid plan.

Nevertheless, Malawi currently doesn’t have any local providers offering this service. Therefore, the only options available are international providers such as:

  • Holafly
  • SIM Options
  • Flexiroam

Of these, only Holafly stands out for its data rate and coverage with Airtel, one of the best cellular operators in Malawi.

Prices and data plans of eSIM providers to travel to Malawi

With no local providers offering their eSIMs in Malawi, the only remaining options are international carriers. However, not all international providers offer the same, much less at the same price. Therefore, if you want to buy an eSIM with one of them, you must consider the data rate and the amount of data that it offers you.

Likewise, it’s also recommended that you know in advance more about the eSIM coverage, as this aspect is quite important, and we will discuss it later. On the other hand, below, we present the rates and data plans of each international provider mentioned above. This way, you have a list of prices at hand to compare them and draw your conclusions. 

Holafly plans and prices in Malawi:

  • 15 days with 6 GB at $44 USD

GigSky plans and prices in Malawi:

  • 3 GB for 15 days at $50

Flexiroam plans and prices in Malawi:

  • 3 GB for 30 days at $50

Comparison of eSIM providers for Malawi

ProviderDataDaysPriceLanguageSales channels
Holafly6 GB15$44Spanish, English, French, and GermanWeb
Flexiroam3 GB15$50EnglishWeb, Play Store, App Store
GigSky1 GB7$13EnglishWeb
Table 1. Comparison of eSIM providers to connect to the internet in Malawi.
Graph 1: Comparison of internet prices in Malawi

What you should know about eSIM cards to travel to Malawi

If this is the first time you hear about eSIM cards for travel, you probably have a vague idea of what this product is and the benefits you can have with them once you arrive in Malawi. For this reason, below, we’re going to list a series of important features of eSIMs. This way, you have a much more clear and complete idea of what these eSIMs offer you during your trip. 

  • Calls are not included in most eSIMs. If you want to use that service, it’s best to do it through VoLTE apps such as WhatsApp or Skype.
  • Some eSIMs configure the APN automatically.
  • You will be able to use your eSIM and your traditional SIM card at the same time, so your cellphone will become DualSIM.
  • eSIMs can only be installed once on your smartphone. Therefore, you’ll need to call your provider before taking any action.
  • Some eSIMs allow you to share data, such as the Holafly eSIM for Malawi.
  • You can store many eSIMs and data plans on your smartphone, but you can only use one at a time.

(You may be interested in Best eSIM for Europe)

Coverage of the eSIM to travel to Malawi 

As we mentioned before, one of the aspects that should matter most to you when choosing a provider is the coverage of the eSIM card that they offer you once you arrive in Malawi. This aspect is essential. Certainly, without good coverage, no matter what data package you have, you won’t be able to enjoy it to the fullest nor your trip. The reason for this is due to the cellular internet problems that you’ll have. You’ll experience lag when using some apps or even running out of internet in some areas of this country.

So that this doesn’t happen to you, we recommend you look at the cellular network to which you will connect once you arrive in Malawi. The best cellular networks are those of the best cellular operators in Malawi, among which is Airtel. So, if your eSIM uses Airtel cellular networks, then you’ll surely enjoy good coverage. Among the eSIMs offered by this cellular network is the Holafly eSIM for Malawi.

Airtel 4G coverage map in Malawi

Airtel’s coverage map in Malawi. Source: Airtel

Local providers or operators offering eSIM in Malawi

As you may well know, there are currently no local eSIM providers in Malawi. Therefore, to buy one of these eSIMs, it’s necessary to do it through international providers. However, this doesn’t mean that in the future there may be local eSIMs in Malawi, since its main cellular operator, Airtel, has already released local eSIMs for other countries and may do so in the future with Malawi. 

FAQ about eSIM in Malawi 

How is an international data eSIM different from the eSIM for Malawi?

The eSIM from local providers is primarily intended for residents. The Holafly international eSIM for Malawi is used to connect to the internet during your trip to this country. This makes the time and processes to buy one much faster.  

Do I need a passport to buy the eSIM for Malawi?

It’s not necessary to present a passport, but some providers do require your address.

Can I share data or tether with the eSIM for Malawi?

Yes, eSIMs for Malawi will allow you to share your data with other devices. However, we recommend checking with the provider’s customer service.

How to activate the eSIM for Malawi?

After installing the virtual SIM profile, you must choose it as the default means of cellular data, activate data, and roaming and your virtual SIM should now work.

Do international prepaid eSIM cards expire?

Yes, like physical cards, virtual SIMs also have an end date.

When does the eSIM data plan start?

From the moment you activate your eSIM, by scanning the QR code on your phone.

What is an eSIM or digital SIM?

The eSIM is the evolution of traditional SIM cards. The eSIM works due to a chip inserted in the cellphone, which allows the profile to be stored and configured. To learn more, we invite you to read: what is eSIM and how it works.

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