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Best eSIM for South Africa: Top 10 Choices for Travelers

Review Holafly, Airalo, Ubigi, Maya, and other providers to decide on the best eSIM for South Africa. Explore top choices and get best deals.

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June 13, 2024

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Pick the best eSIM for South Africa when you book your next trip. You’ll be thanking yourself later for doing so because South Africa offers so many amazing sights and experiences that you simply have to stay connected to share your experiences with friends and family in real-time. 

Imagine walking the streets of Cape Town or enjoying the wonders of Kruger National Park with no ability to snap a photo and send it to your loved ones. Not appealing, is it? 

Moreover, you want to experience that without using up all your data or doing so at high costs. In other words, you need a good and affordable South Africa eSIM to stay connected and enjoy your trip worry-free. 

We present you with the best options for eSIM plans for South Africa. Let’s explore the offers and help you find the best provider with reliable services, affordable prices, and good data plans.

yourist in kruger national park in south africa
Source: ID 109595600 © Witold Ryka | Dreamstime.com.

What Is the Best eSIM for South Africa?

The best South Africa eSIM is the one that you can download easily, activate quickly, and use without hassle. You need a solid data plan with good coverage to stay connected when traveling abroad. You have a winning combination if you can get all that for a reasonable price. Think about your data needs and consider whether you can live with data limitations or want unlimited data so you don’t have to count MBs every time you use your phone. 

Here are the top 10 eSIM providers that most travelers to South Africa use and love.

1. Holafly: South Africa eSIM with Unlimited Data

👉 This is the best eSIM card for South Africa if you are looking into unlimited data eSIM plans

holafly online store
Source: Holafly home page.

It is hard to beat the unlimited data option for your trip to South Africa. With this eSIM, you can connect to the Internet immediately, as soon as you land, and never worry about how much data you’re spending. This is the best way to go if you want to stay connected at all times and have a great experience. 

You won’t get a local number, but with this much data, you can use WhatsApp and other apps that use data to keep in touch.

You can share this connection with your friends and family, but your Holafly eSIM card has a 500 MB daily sharing limit. South Africa eSIM plans can last 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, or 30 days with unlimited data. The price ranges from 29 USD to 79 USD.

Holafly eSIM has an App, but you can purchase eSIMs through the website. Also, if you download the app, you can install and activate your eSIM without scanning your QR code. You can download it from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Holafly eSIm for South Africa
Source: Holafly South Africa eSIM offer.

Speed: You can expect internet speeds to be 3G/4G/LTE. 

Network: MTN or Vodacom South Africa.

Payment Options: You can use credit cards like Visa and Mastercard, PayPal, Apple Pay, or G Pay.

Support: 24/7 support service via WhatsApp or text. The website has a chat option and an email.

Data sharing: Yes, up to 500 MB daily.

2. Maya Mobile

👉 Maya Mobile eSIM plans for South Africa include both prepaid or unlimited plans and pricing

maya mobile home page
Source: Maya Mobile website.

Maya Mobile offers three unlimited data eSIM options: Lite, Standard, and Max. However, if you review Maya Mobile more closely, you’ll see that not all data plans have hotspot options, and the speed drops to 1 Mbps after the daily high-speed data allowance. 

Unlimited data plans are available for a set number of days and cost from $39 to $246 USD. Prepaid plans are available for 5, 10, 15, or 30 days and have data allowances of 1 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, and 20 GB. The cheapest option to stay connected in South Africa is 1 GB for 5 days, which costs $5. 

maya mobile south africa esim
Source: Maya Mobile South Africa eSIM.

Speed: 4G LTE and 5G (Where Available).

Network: Vodacom South Africa.

Payment Options: Maya Mobile website lists PayPal and Apple Pay as their payment methods.

Support: A chatbot that offers only basic answers. A live chat option is available, or tickets can be created. Existing eSIM users should have a 24/7 support option.

Calls/SMS: No.

3. Airalo

👉 Solid eSIM option for South Africa, especially if want a referral program for friends and family

airalo home page
Source: Airalo home page.

Airalo offers local, regional, and global eSIM plans. If you plan on visiting other countries in the region, you may want to review Airalo eSIM plans covering Africa. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to use South Africa eSIM plans. Data plans are 1 GB, 2 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, and 10 GB, and the price range is from $4.50 to $26.

airalo sough africa eSIM offer
Source: Airalo South Africa eSIM.

Speed: 4G LTE.

Network: Vodacom South Africa.

Payment Options: You can pay South Africa eSIM from Airalo via PayPal, cards, UnionPay, Alipay, and JCB.

Support: There’s a chatbot and a support ticket system for website visitors.

Calls/SMS: No.

4. Ubigi

👉 Ubigi offers one-off, monthly, and even annual subscriptions for South Africa eSIM plans.

ubigi home page
Source: Ubigi home page.

When reviewing Ubigi eSIM cards for South Africa, examine the validity period of the eSIM cards you’re considering. With other providers, the data allowance usually corresponds with the validity period. 

On the other hand, Ubigi has a 1 GB data plan with 30 days of validity and a 10 GB plan with both 7-day and 30-day validity options. That means that you need to be careful not to buy a generous data plan with only a short period during which you can actually use it on your trip. Prices range from $6 to $35 for South Africa data eSIM.

ubigi south africa esim
Source: Ubigi.

Speed: 5G/4G/3G.

Network: MTN South Africa.

Payment Options: credit cards, PayPal, UnionPay, Alipay, JCB, Apple Pay, G Pay.

Support: A contact form on their site creates a support ticket. 

Calls/SMS: No.

5. GlobaleSIM

👉 GlobaleSIM for South Africa offers voice minutes, which you can use to make calls through GlobaleSIM App.

globalesim home page
Source: GlobaleSIM.

Possibly the most exciting feature of the GlobaleSIM App is its ability to add voice minutes to your data package. You can make and receive calls with your South Africa eSIM. More precisely, you can do that through the GlobaleSIM app. 

Their South Africa offer includes seven eSIM cards with 1 GB, 2 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, 15 GB, or 20 GB. The prices range from $4 to $31. However, voice minutes are paid extra, going from $10 for 100 minutes to $17 for 200 minutes. It is not your regular phone number, but it is close enough.

If you plan to visit other countries in that region besides South Africa, you may want to look into their regional eSIM cards, which cover the entire continent.

globalesim south africa esim offer
Source: GlobalSIM.

Speed: 4G/3G.

Network: Vodacom.

Payment Options: Credit cards or PayPal.

Support: Live chat 24/7.

Calls/SMS: Voice minutes through the app.

6. ETravelSIM

👉 eTravelSIM for South Africa has a 50GB eSIM data plan, which makes it one of the most generous fixed options.

travelesim home page
Source: ETravelSim.

ETravelSim offers both limited and unlimited South Africa eSIM options. The data allowance for their eSIM packages can be 1 GB, 5GB, 10GB, 25GB, or 50GB. Unlimited data eSIM options are available for 7, 15, or 30 days. You can create a hotspot and share your data with other devices using capped data eSIM. 

travelsim south africa esim offer
Source: ETravelSim.

Speed: 5G/4G/3G.

Network: Vodacom.

Payment Options: ShopPay, PayPal, G Pay.

Support: Live chat 24/7, phone, and email.  

Calls/SMS: No.

7. Nomad

👉 Nomad is not a stranger to occasional sales and time offers. It’s a good idea to check whether South Africa eSIM is on that list.

nomad esim home page
Source: Nomad.

Same as Holafly, Nomad uses both MTN and Vodacom networks. However, if you compare Holafly and Nomad eSIM for South Africa, the main difference is that Nomad doesn’t have unlimited plans. Their offer for South Africa eSIM starts at $11; the most expensive eSIM is $45. Their plans are 1 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, or 10 GB. 

nomad south africa esim offer
Source: Nomad.

Speed: 4G/3G.

Network: MTN and Vodacom.

Payment Options: Credit Card, PayPal.

Support: as a visitor, you can submit a request through their online platform contact form. Their eSIM users have 24/7 support.

Calls/SMS: No.

8. FlexiRoam

👉 FlexiRoam has FlexiShare feature, which means you can share your data plan with people who also have the same fixed plan.

flexiroam home page
Source: FlexiRoam.

FlexiRoam offers both fixed and unlimited plans. Upon closer FlexiRoam review, you’ll discover that their unlimited plans have a 3GB download limit a day

To install and activate your South Africa eSIM, you will need FlexiRoam app installed on your phone. Fixed plans cost from $3.50 to $26 and unlimited plans cost $29 to $44, depending on the duration. You can opt for an eSIM with 1 GB, 2 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, or 10 GB internet data.

flexiroam south africa esim offer
Source: FlexiRoam

Speed: Not listed.

Network: Not listed. They claim to have an automatic connection to the strongest network available.

Payment Options: Credit Card.

Support: as a visitor, you can use their inquiry form and a chatbot. 24/7 service for customers.

Calls/SMS: No.

9. Yesim

👉 Yesim has an International eSIM, which allows you to pay as you go for the entire duration of your trip. While this is not specific to South Africa, you can also use this eSIM there.

yesim home page
Source: Yesim.

Yesim has unlimited and standard eSIM options for South Africa. Unlimited eSIM options come in two versions: 7 days and 15 days. They cost $42.90 and $62.70 respectively. When choosing standard eSIM options, you will have options for 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, and 20GB eSIM. These range from $18.70 to $60.50 for South Africa eSIM.

Many Yesim reviews mention that you can earn Ycoins through referral programs and use them for future purchases.

yesim south africa esim offer
Source: Yesim.

Speed: 5G/4G/3G/LTE.

Network: Vodacom, MTN South Africa.

Payment Options: credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, G Pay, Binance Pay.

Support: Chatbot and ticketing system.

Calls/SMS: No.

10. Saily

👉 Saily has been created by Nord Security, a name that guarantees reliable service.

Reliable service is essential for any eSIM plan, and Saily eSIM shines in this area since the company was created by the same team behind Nord Security and NordVPN. However, regarding the South Africa eSIM offer, Saily doesn’t offer unlimited eSIM plans.  

Quick Saily offer review: 1 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, and 20 GB eSIM options, ranging from $3.99 to $35.99. 

saily south africa esim offer
Source: Saily.

Speed: Not listed.

Network: They claim their eSIM will get the strongest connection in your area of South Africa.

Payment Options: cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, G Pay.

Support: Ticketing system for visitors and 24/7 support service for eSIM users.

Calls/SMS: No.

Which eSIM Is Best for Data in South Africa?

Now that you know more about the available eSIM options for South Africa eSIM, let’s examine their data plans again. If you want unlimited data, your best choice is Holafly.

South Africa eSIMData Price rangeUnlimited dataTethering/Hotspot
Holaflyunlimited$29-$79yes500 Mbps daily
Maya1 GB
3 GB
5 GB
10 GB
20 GB
Limited data $5 – $51
Unlimited data $5 – $246
yesOn some plans
Airalo1 GB
2 GB
3 GB
5 GB
10 GB
$4.50 to $26noyes
Ubigi1 GB
3 GB
10 GB
$6 to $35noyes
GlobaleSIM1 GB
3 GB
5 GB
10 GB
15 GB
20 GB
$4 to $31noyes
ETravelSIM1 GB
5 GB
10 GB
25 GB
50 GB
Limited $4.50 – $22.99
Unlimited $29.99 – $74.99
yesIn limited data plans
Nomad1 GB
3 GB
5 GB
10 GB
$11 to $45noyes
FlexiRoam1 GB
2 GB
3 GB
5 GB
10 GB
Fixed plans $3.50 – $26 
Unlimited plans $29 – $44
yesFlexiShare
Yesim3 GB
5 GB
10 GB
Standard plans $18.70 – $60.50
Unlimited plans $42.90 – $62.70
yesyes, for standard plans
Saily1 GB
3 GB
5 GB
10 GB
20 GB
$3.99 to $35.99noyes
Table N°1 South Africa eSIM provider comparison.

South Africa is stunning, and you should not let such mundane things as expensive calls and roaming charges ruin the great experience. Your regular phone number just won’t cut it in most cases, especially regarding internet connection. 

So do what all the smart travelers do; take your pick, install one of the eSIM options from this list with all the features you think you’ll need for your holiday, and enjoy this mesmerizing destination.

FAQs About Best eSIM for South Africa

Which eSIM works in South Africa?

There are many eSIM plans that work in South Africa. Some of them include: Holafly, Airalo, Nomad, Ubigi, Yesim, and more.

How Do I Get an eSIM in SA?

You can find South Africa eSIM cards online. You can pick a provider like Holafly and find their offer for South Africa. Choose the plan you like the most and they will send you a QR code to scan. With that, you have downloaded your eSIM. Once in South Africa, activate your plan

Which Is the Best Data Network in South Africa?

MTN has the best data network in South Africa. According to Business Insider, it has the fastest download speed of all networks. Holafly eSIM uses MTN SA as its partner with Vodacom as an alternative. These speeds have been measured in Cape Town and they can vary in places like Kruger National Park due to different network coverage.

Does Airalo Cover South Africa?

Yes. Airalo covers South Africa. 

Does MTN South Africa have eSIM?

MTN has an eSIM, but buying it is not that convenient. You can get their eSIM cards as an existing customer (post-paid) with a local number, but as a prepaid customer, you have to find their store and buy it there—in a physical shop. Moreover, they say that it can take between 2 – 24 hours for it to activate. A better option is to get a Holafly eSIM, which uses MTN as its network, but the eSIM connects instantly as soon as you activate it.