Roaming Costs in Africa

by @edent | # # # # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~414 times.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m off to Africa.

I was wondering what the rates are going to be for roaming. I could get a local SIM – but as I’m only there for a few days, it seems a bit pointless – no one will have the number & I’ll lose any credit at the end of the trip.

So, how do the various roaming SIMs stack up against my Vodafone SIM?

TruPhone’s list of prices is very simple

CountryMake a callReceiving a callSend a textData
Kenya, Nigeria,
South Africa
120p a min78p a min36p600p per MB

GiffGaff’s list of prices now include data roaming. Again, a simple tariff.

CountryMake a callReceiving a callSend a textData
Kenya, Nigeria,
South Africa
100p a min100p a min30p500p per MB

MaxRoam’s prices are slightly more complicated

CountryMake a callReceiving a callSend a textData
Kenya351p a min140p a min43p780p per MB
Nigeria & South Africa263p a min140p a min43p780p per MB

Vodafone’s price plans for roaming are very competitive.

CountryMake a callReceiving a callSend a textData
South Africa80p a min75p a min35p500p a day for 25MB
Kenya and Nigeria165p a min130p a min35p500p a day for 25MB


Stone the crows! It looks like my domestic Vodafone SIM might just be the cheapest way to roam in Africa!

MaxRoam has some really innovative features – but the costs are insanely high.

TruSIM is good in UK, USA, and Australia, but not so good elsewhere. While the rates are marginally cheaper in Kenya and Nigeria, the data costs really are prohibitive.

The new MVNO GiffGaff has some great prices – and the cheapest SMS price.

But, overall, it has to be Vodafone. Not least because of the pricing model for data. A fiver for 25MB is much more generous than the other providers – and using email or GTalk will be much cheaper than SMS. While the costs are marginally higher in Kenya and Nigeria – I’ll be spending the majority of my time in South Africa. Crucially, I get to keep my number – so I’m not out of contact.

Have I missed something? Are there any better roaming deals?

3 thoughts on “Roaming Costs in Africa

  1. Chris says:

    Vodafone is actually even cheaper than your tables (I think) as their ‘Passport’ tariff is very competitive.

    However, a local SIM would surely be your best option, even if you are only going for a few days.


  2. Gersbo says:

    I’ve just ordered a SIM from – it’s data only, but at €0.59 per MB. I looked at MaxRoam as well, but they are not cheaper than roaming with my Danish SIM.

  3. Sam says:

    I work for Our rates in SA are 40p to make a call and free to receive!

    As you say, if you get a local SIM and have any credit left at the end of your trip, you’ll lose it. Aether Mobile’s SIM doesn’t expire, and neither does the credit on it.

    There are no monthly subscription charges and there are no annual charges.

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