SIM cards for South Africa, which to buy?

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On your route through the southern country, you will get good Internet connection to reach different tourist places. We’ll tell you about the best data SIM card to get internet in South Africa and travel like a digital nomad.

In this article, we want to tell you about the SIM card market to get mobile data in South Africa. We will tell you what you should do before leaving your home country, keep in mind that most travelers prefer to carry a sim card with them rather than buy it in South Africa; the reasons why are explained below. We will compare some of the prices of the card, the data plans, the value of the shipping to your home and other service qualities of operators such as Vodacom South Africa, MTN, travSIM South Africa and Jriverve’s South Africa.

esim south africa
  • High speed connection without surprise bills.
  • Receive your QR code immediately.
  • Connect to the best network.
  • Forget about roaming and searching for WiFi.
  • Keep your WhatsApp number.
  • Easy to set up: you’ll receive an email with your eSIM in seconds, no matter where you are.
  • Get 5% OFF. Code: roaming5

Why buy a SIM card for South Africa?

Many options on the market can offer you internet in South Africa: Pocket Wifi, roaming, free wifi and SIM cards. Why take a prepaid SIM card to South Africa and not choose the other options? Because of the high roaming costs, avoid relying on free wifi, in case of damage or loss of the pocket wifi you have to pay a fine. We, therefore, recommend that you take a South African sim card with you.

Which SIM card for South Africa offers me the most data at the best price?

Don’t just consider data and price, there are additional services that can make your trip more comfortable. One of them is technical support, shipping and features.

We recommend you to buy the South African SIM card that includes service support in English.

Getting the best prepaid SIM card for South Africa

You can buy your SIM card on departure or arrival, but first of all, think about what is most convenient for you. When you travel you arrive with your bags, thinking about the hotel, tiredness or just going to eat the world, right? That’s why you should consider which of these options makes your trip to South Africa more comfortable.

Buying South Africa SIM card from an online shop

Our recommendation is to go for comfort and reduce your stress as much as possible to enjoy your trip. So think about buying your international SIM card for Africa SIM card from an online shop, just insert it when you land and configure it to have Internet at the moment. A fashionable traveller.

A data SIM card is useful for video calls. Source: Anna Shvets on Pexels
Take photos and share them on your trip.
Source: cottonbro on Pexels

Holafly South Africa SIM card

Holafly’s prepaid SIM card can be purchased before you travel, which is a big plus, don’t you think? The 15-day SIM card with 6GB of data is available for £47.00.


  • It allows you to share data with other devices like Pocket Wifi.
  • You can buy your SIM in advance, get your money back if you cancel your trip.
  • It’s easy to set up, just turn on the roaming option, mobile data and you’re good to go.
  • They have three delivery methods, free, express and express, all very fast.
  • Track your usage, just dial *111*6# and press the call key to see how much data you have left.
  • 24/7 technical support in English.
  • They use the Vodacom network, one of the best mobile operators in the country.
  • 4G speed 


  • Top-up is not available, you need more data you would have to buy more SIMs, but you will be offered discounts.
  • It does not include a phone number for traditional calls, although you keep your number on Whatsapp.

TravSIM South Africa

A Spanish company that also offers you the solution to your trip with two SIM card options for South Africa: 2GB of data for 21.10€ or 500MB of data plus 100 minutes of calls for 21.10€. That’s right, two variations for the same value.


  • They have two options for the same price but with distinctive features.
  • Includes a local number to make your calls
  • They work on the Vodacom network as does the Holafly SIM.
  • SIMs have 4G speed for browsing.


  • They don’t offer free shipping on purchases under 36.00€.
  • To make calls can use up data 
  • It can be a small amount of data but it depends on how long you are on the road.

They don’t specify shipping prices.

How much does a SIM card for South Africa cost?

Let’s have a look at the prices comparing the two SIM cards mentioned above.

SIM CardData amountGB PriceDaily costShipping costFixed price
Holafly6GB7,83 €
3,13 €

TravSIM2GB10.55 €??21.10€
The free delivery of the Jriverve SIM card is for purchases over 36.00€ and they do not specify the duration of the SIM card.

Without a doubt, in terms of GB, the Holafly card offers more data than Jriverve and the price is lower.

Buying SIM card in South Africa with Vodacom and MTN

If you prefer to buy your SIM card after landing, buy at local operator shops, the airport and convenience supermarkets. But, What are the operators, what are the benefits of buying a SIM card from them, what are the downsides?

Let’s talk about it!

Vodacom South Africa

Vodacom is one of the best carriers next to holafly and Jriverve works. The official store before named are easy to found, you should be located in the principal squares as red stores.


  • They offer good coverage but keep in mind that you will only find them in cities and main roads in the country.
  • They have different prepaid plans so you can choose the one that suits you best.
  • They have a durability of 24 months or more.


  • You need to bring your passport to buy your SIM card.
Carry a data SIM card and share your photos on social media. Source: Sonnie Hiles on
Time to rest on South African soil. Source: Julia Volk on Pexels


Another major operator in the country to buy their prepaid SIM cards for your trip to South Africa. They offer highest-coverage and different prepaid plans.


  • You can top up your SIM via their website.
  • They offer you night call options at an affordable price.
  • They have plans with unlimited social networks like Whatsapp.
  • Rechargeable plans.


  • Technical support is in local language, being complex.

SIM card for South Africa, which one to buy?

Local SIM cards for South Africa indeed have advantages. However, a SIM card from home or your country of origin offers you convenience, avoiding queues and crowds in physical shops when you arrive in South Africa, handling your mobile phone, especially for the issue of covid. That is why we recommend you to buy the South Africa prepaid SIM card from Holafly as it has excellent service features.

  • Support in English for any incident that may arise.
  • A good amount of data for your trip.
  • Free shipping.
  • You keep your number on Whatsapp and can call via Apps at any time.
  • The South African SIM card is easy to activate.
  • You can track your usage without creating profiles with the operators.
  • Your technical support is easy to access.

There are many plus points to consider when you are in an unfamiliar place and need an internet connection.

 Frequently asked questions about South Africa SIM Cards

  1. How is the coverage of the best SIM card in South Africa?

    It is good, although you should consider that many areas have low-coverage in rural areas. However, if you are in major cities the signal will have good speed.

  2. How to get the connection in South Africa?

    Connect online in South Africa with data SIM cards, roaming, pockets WIFI and the famous free Wifi. The latter is in places like restaurants and cafes. Roaming in South Africa is quite expensive if you buy pocket Wifi.

  3. How to choose a data SIM card for the and phone in South Africa?

    In case you are planning to choose a sim card to South Africa, you should think on the next recommendations: High-coverage is essential anytime, to run in 4G, technical support in many languages and no less the useful-life the card is. 

  4. Where to buy a data-only SIM card?

    If you are going to buy your South African SIM card on arrival, you can find them in convenience stores, kiosks, operator shops and so on. But in your home country you can get your Holafly SIM card without leaving home, just order it online and it will be delivered to your home for free.

  5. How much does a SIM card for South Africa cost?

    There are many prices, but in some cases, you have to top up separately. However, it will depend on the services you are offered: MSN, data, calls, video services, etc. If you bring it from home, Holafly offers its SIM card for 47,00 €.

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