Best eSIM Rwanda: compare, buy online and travel connected

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Africa is such a beautiful continent, full of wild nature and breathtaking landscapes. Many visitors decide to stop and spend several days in a country like Rwanda, a very enigmatic place. And, if you are one of those visitors, and you want to fully enjoy your trip, you will need an eSIM card for Rwanda to be connected all the time.

In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about this product, its advantages, disadvantages, and so much more. We will recommend you some eSIM carriers, and you will be able to read a comparison between all of them. Let’s begin!


eSIM card for Rwanda: what you need to know

International eSIM cards, also known as virtual SIM cards, are here to stay because of their many benefits. Even though there are not all smartphones out there can support this new technology yet, the eSIM card is expected to replace the traditional SIM card.

Requisites to install an eSIM card

Now we are going to tell you what requirements you must meet to buy an eSIM card:

  • You need an eSIM-compatible device. Make sure that your cellphone is on the list of compatible devices of your provider. Most providers are compatible with iPhone XR and more recent versions.
  • You need an active email account, to receive the QR code to install and activate the eSIM card.
  • You need to be connected to the internet, from a public WiFi point, or with the data plan of your local provider. This way you will download the eSIM profile and scan the QR code.
  • Some providers may ask you to download their official app to activate and manage their eSIM cards.

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Cellular eSIM card providers for Rwanda

If you meet the terms and conditions and you want to get an eSIM card, you can check below which providers offer an eSIM card for Rwanda. This way you will be able to know their prices and coverage, compare them and pick the one that best suits your needs! Easy-peasy.

The following companies offer eSIM cards for this destination for travelers.

eSIM cards for Rwanda, data plans, and prices

For you to make the decision that best suits your needs and budget, we have listed below the data plans and prices of each provider. The prices may vary depending on the coverage, the roaming accords, location, and payment methods.

Holafly eSIM card for Rwanda: data plans and prices

  • 15 days, with 6GB, at $44 USD

YeSIM eSIM card for Rwanda: data plans and prices

  • 7 days, at 500 MB, for $4.91
  • 14 days, at 1 GB, for $8.84
  • 14 days, at 3 GB, for $24.56
  • 28 days, at 5 GB, for $40.28

BNESIM eSIM card for Rwanda: data plans and prices

  • 100 MB daily for $22.86
  • 250 MB per day, at $45.71
  • 500 MB per month, for $57.85
  • 250 MB without a limit of days, for $65.30
  • 500 MB unlimited days, for $89.00
  • 1 GB monthly for $127.34

Comparison chart of eSIM card providers for Rwanda

ProviderDataDaysPrice (USD)SupportWhere to buy it
Holafly6GB15$44Spanish, English, German, French, JapaneseWeb
YeSIM1GB14$8.84Spanish, EnglishApp
YeSIM3GB14$24.56English, SpanishApp
BNESIM100MBDaily$22.86Spanish, EnglishWeb
BNESIM250MBDaily$45.71Spanish, EnglishWeb
BNESIM250MBUnlimited$65.30Spanish, EnglishWeb
BNESIM500MBUnlimited$89.00Spanish, EnglishWeb

Characteristics of the eSIM card for Rwanda

You are going to read more about the characteristics of the eSIM card for Rwanda, this way you will learn more about it and you will be able to decide if it’s the best alternative for you and your trip:

  • Usually, the eSIM card does not offer the possibility of making calls. So, if you want to make or receive calls, you will have to do it using apps like WhatsApp or Skype.
  • Some eSIM cards configure the APN automatically.
  • If you are an iPhone user, your device will become a dual-SIM phone once you activate the eSIM card. This means that you will be able to use both, the SIM and the eSIM card at the same time.
  • The eSIM card can be installed only once, so do not erase it if you experience any problems. Call your provider first.
  • Some eSIM cards will let you share your data with other devices.
  • You can add more than one eSIM profile to your cellphone, but you can only use it once at a time.
  • Make sure that you install the eSIM card one hour before your trip. So, you will have an International internet connection right when you land.
  • Ask your provider if the eSIM card you buy is refundable. Since the eSIM card is a virtual device, it is very hard to prove whether you have used it or not. So, it can be hard to make a refund.

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Coverage of the eSIM card for Rwanda

Before acquiring an eSIM card, you have to check the coverage it offers at your destination because if it is bad, your connection will be bad too. Some cheap eSIM cards do not offer great coverage.

You can take a look at the coverage map below, to learn more about it.

Airtel coverage map

Source: GSMA

KT Rwanda Networks coverage map

Source: GSMA

MTN coverage map

Source: GSMA

Tigo (Millicom) coverage map

Source: GSMA

Local cellular operators that offer eSIM cards for Rwanda

Four cellular operators offer internet service in Rwanda, but only three of them offer data plans for SIM cards: MTN, Airtel, and KT. The first two provide 2G and 3G networks, while KT has only the 4G LTE network, and KT offers its network to MTN and Airtel. This means that MTN Rwanda and Airtel Rwanda offer 4G LTE thanks to KT Rwanda’s service.

Presently, Rwanda does not have a local operator that offers eSIM cards for visitors or residents. It is only possible to get data plans for traditional SIM cards from any of the three local operators we mentioned. You can buy it in physical or virtual stores.

For example, MTN SIM cards are sold for $0.45 at their official stores and Kigali Airport. They have available their user packages which go from 15 MB, 50 MB, 100 MB, 200 MB, 1 GB, 1.5 GB, 3 GB, 4 GB, 5 GB, 7 GB, 10 GB, 13 GB, 30 GB, 60 GB and 90 GB that extend for periods of one day, seven days, and a month.

Airtel offers packages for 3G and 4G for 24 hours, a week, and a month with prices starting at $0.096.

Frequent questions about the eSIM card for Rwanda

Do I have to activate data roaming on my device to use the eSIM card?

Yes, to have better coverage with your eSIM card you have to activate the data roaming. It does not mean that you will have to pay any additional fee.

What happens if I use all my data plan or the eSIM card expires?

Once you use your data plan, your eSIM card will stop working and you won’t be able to connect to the internet anymore. You’ll lose your connection and will need to purchase another eSIM.

How do I configure the eSIM card on my device?

You will probably receive a QR code for the eSIM activation once you make the purchase. We recommend you have it already installed before you travel. You will have to show the QR code on a second screen or have it printed, so you can scan it with the camera of your cellphone. Then you have to install it. You will have to enter the settings, ‘mobile/cellular data’, and pick the option: ‘add data plan’. After you scan the QR code, you will be able to name the eSIM card to know which card are you using.

What do I have to do before I arrive at my destination?

Before you travel, keep using the line you usually use, from your local operator. Remember that the eSIM card won’t work until you finally arrive in Rwanda. When you land, you will only have to activate the data roaming and activate the line you previously configured.

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