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Best Tourist SIM Cards for Calling and Data in Kenya

When visiting Kenya, the best SIM card to buy is Safaricom. They are widely regarded as the top mobile operator in the country. However, if you prefer to save some money without compromising on coverage, Airtel is a good alternative. For those staying in urban areas and not requiring extensive data, Telkom is worth considering.

Although Kenya offers Safaricom as the best sim card to travellers, There are also other sim cards that travellers can use that are best in data and calling. 

  • Here is a table of the market share of the different mobile operators in Kenya:


Market Share









Here are some of Popular and reliable SIM card options for data and calling in Kenya from a tourist's perspective. 



Safaricom is the largest and most widely used mobile network operator in Kenya. Their extensive coverage across the country, including remote areas, has attracted a large customer base.

  • Safaricom 5G network

    Safaricom 5G network

5G refers to the fifth generation of mobile networks, succeeding the previous generations of 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G. It represents a significant advancement in wireless technology and isdesigned to create a global standard that connects a wide range of devices, machines, and objects.

The primary features of 5G technology include the ability to deliver much higher peak data speeds, reaching multi-Gbps (Gigabits per second) levels, extremely low latency, enhanced reliability, significantly increased network capacity, improved availability, and a more consistent user experience.

OpenSignal Maps Shows The Signal Strength Users Experience Between Different Carriers In Kenya

OpenSignal MapsOpenSignal Maps

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  • Safaricom Sim Card

Safaricom SIM card is one of the most widely used in the country. The Safaricom SIM card provides mobile network services, including voice calls, text messaging, and internet access. 

Safaricom Sim Card

It is known for its reliable coverage and extensive network reach across Kenya, making it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike for staying connected. Safaricom also offers various mobile data and calling plans, as well as mobile money services through its widely-used platform, M-Pesa.

  • Here is a statistical table of Safaricom SIM card amounts:

SIM Card Type

Price (Ksh)

Pay As You Go (PAYG)


Prepaid Plus




  • Safaricom M-Pesa

    Safaricom M-Pesa

M-Pesa is a mobile money service and Kenya's leading telecommunications company, in 2007. It has since become one of the most successful and widely adopted mobile payment systems in the world. M-Pesa allows users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money, pay bills, and make purchases using their mobile phones.

Customers can create an M-Pesa account linked to their mobile number and access the service through a simple menu on their phones. M-Pesa has played a significant role in promoting financial inclusion and empowering individuals and small businesses by providing access to financial services.

Beyond Kenya, M-Pesa has expanded to other countries in Africa and beyond, making it a pioneering example of mobile banking and digital financial services that have positively impacted millions of people's lives.

  • Safaricom sim router

    Safaricom sim router

A Safaricom SIM router, also known as a MiFi or mobile Wi-Fi router, is a portable device provided by Safaricom, a telecommunications company in Kenya. It allows users to create a Wi-Fi hotspot using a Safaricom SIM card and access the internet on multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

The SIM router provides wireless internet connectivity, enabling users to stayconnected while on the go or in areas with limited fixed-line internet infrastructure. It works by using the mobile network to provide internet access, and the data usage is typically deducted from the user's Safaricom data plan or airtime.

  • Safaricom PackagingPrice

here is the table form of the 5G Home Broadband Packages and Enterprise Broadband Packages from Safaricom:


Price (Ksh)


Daily Bundle Allocation

5G Ultra - 10GB daily


30 days

300GB (10 GB/day)

5G Ultra - 20GB daily


30 days

600GB (20 GB/day)

5G Unlimited 10Mbps



10 Mbps

5G Unlimited 30Mbps



30 Mbps

5G Unlimited 50Mbps



50 Mbps

Airtel Kenya

Airtel Kenya

Airtel is the second-largest operator in Kenya, with a substantial market share of around 15 million subscribers. When combined with Safaricom's market share, these two operators hold a dominant position, covering approximately 90% of the Kenyan telecom market.

  • Airtel Sim Cards

Airtel SIM cards are the small chips used in mobile phones to connect to the Airtel network. These SIM cards store the user's mobile number, account information, and contacts.

 Airtel SIM cards enable users to stay connected, communicate, and access the internet through Airtel's network, making it a popular choice for mobile users in the countries where Airtel operates.

  • Airtel 4G Network Coverage

    Airtel 4G Network Coverage
  • Airtel 5G network

    Airtel 4G Network Coverage

5G, it is the fifth generation of mobile networks and promises to deliver even higher data speeds, lower latency, and enhanced capacity compared to 4G. 

With 5G, users can experience faster downloads, improved performance in crowded areas, and enable new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR). However, the rollout of 5G networks has been gradual, and its availability might vary depending on the country and region.

Airtel Get-5G coverage in Kenya

Airtel Get-5G coverage in Kenya

  • Airtel Router 

    Airtel Router

Experience the future of high-speed broadband connectivity with the Airtel 5G Router. This compact and advanced device is not only compatible with 3G and 4G LTE networks but also offers lightning-fast 5G speeds, providing a new level of performance without the requirement of owning a 5G smartphone. 

With the capability to connect up to 64 devices simultaneously, the Airtel 5G Router caters to all your connectivity needs, ensuring unparalleled network stability and a reliable, uninterrupted connection. 

Airtel 5G Router

Airtel 5G Router, packed with exciting features:

  • Simultaneous Connectivity: Connect up to 64 devices at once, ensuring all your connectivity needs are met effortlessly.
  • Lightning-Fast 5G Speeds: Experience a new level of performance with blazing 5G speeds, even without owning a 5G smartphone.
  • Unmatched Network Stability: Enjoy a reliable and uninterrupted connection, promising unparalleled network stability at all times.
  • Airtel 5G Router

    Airtel package prices

Here is the table form of the Daily Data Bundles (1 Day Validity) from Airtel Kenya:


Price (Ksh)

Validity Period

Upsell Offer 1

Upsell Offer 2

Upsell Offer 3







200MB + FREE WhatsApp



100MB @ 5 bob, 1 Hour

500MB @ 10 bob, 1 Hour

750MB YouTube @ 10 bob, 1 Hour







600MB + FREE WhatsApp + FREE 50MB Airtel TV Data



500MB @ 10 bob, 1 Hour

1GB @ 15 bob, 1 Hour

750MB YouTube @ 10 bob, 1 Hour

2GB + FREE WhatsApp + FREE 50MB Airtel TV Data






Telkom Kenya

Telkom Kenya, formerly Orange Kenya, is also a viable option for tourists. They offer a range of affordable data packages and have improved their network coverage in recent years. Telkom has different types of bundles, which all come in different validities.

Telkom Kenya

Telkom holds the smallest market share among full operators in Kenya, accounting for approximately 8% of the market. Due to their smaller size, their network is not as crowded, which often translates to higher data speeds. However, their coverage may be more limited compared to larger operators.

  • Telkom Kenya Router

Telkom Kenya offers a range of routers designed to provide high-speed internet connectivity for homes and businesses across Kenya. These routers use various network technologies, including 3G, 4G LTE, and 4G+ (LTE-Advanced), to deliver fast and reliable internet access.

Telkom Kenya Routers

Telkom Kenya's routers support multiple device connections, allowing users to connect smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices simultaneously. They provide seamless internet connectivity for browsing, streaming, gaming, and other online activities.

  • Telkom Kenya sim card

Telkom Kenya's SIM card is a small chip used in mobile phones to connect to the Telkom Kenya network. It offers mobile network services, including voice calls, text messaging, and internet access, to customers across Kenya.

Telkom Kenya Sim

Telkom Kenya's SIM card provides various data plans and call packages to suit different user needs, making it a popular choice for affordable and flexible mobile services in the country.

  • Telkom Networks

Telkom operates a robust mobile network, providing voice calls, text messaging, and mobile data services with coverage on 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE technologies. 

Telkom Networks

Telkom also offers fixed-line services, including landline telephony and broadband internet, catering to both residential and business customers. Additionally, the company provides a mobile money service called T-Kash for digital payments and financial transactions. 


Equitel is a mobile network operator in Kenya that also offers SIM cards suitable for tourists. While it may not be as widely known as Safaricom, Airtel, or Telkom, it can still be a viable option, especially if you're looking for budget-friendly calling and data services during your stay in Kenya.


Here's what you need to know about Equitel as a tourist SIM card for calling and data in Kenya:

  • Network Coverage: Equitel utilises the existing infrastructure of Equity Bank, which provides financial services. While their coverage might not be as extensive as some of the larger operators, they still offer service in urban areas and major towns.
  • Data Packages: Equitel typically offers competitive data bundles that cater to various data usage needs. You can choose from daily, weekly, or monthly data packages based on your requirements.
  • Calling Rates: Equitel usually provides affordable calling rates for both local and international calls. As a tourist, it's essential to check their international calling rates to your home country or other destinations you may need to contact.
  • SIM Card Availability: You can easily find Equitel SIM cards at their retail outlets, mobile network shops, or at the airport upon your arrival in Kenya.
  • Registration Requirements: Like other mobile network operators in Kenya, Equitel may require registration with your passport or identification to activate the SIM card. Be prepared with the necessary documents during the purchase process.
  • Mobile Banking Services: One unique advantage of Equitel is its integration with Equity Bank's financial services. As a tourist, this might be useful if you plan to access mobile banking services during your trip.

When choosing a SIM card, consider the following factors:

choosing a SIM card

As a traveller, choosing the right SIM card can significantly impact your overall experience in a foreign country. Here are some essential factors to consider when selecting a SIM card:

  • Network Coverage

Network coverage is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a SIM card as a traveller. A good SIM card should have reliable and extensive coverage in the areas you plan to visit. A strong network ensures you have a consistent and stable connection for calls, data usage, and internet access, even in remote or rural regions.

  • Data Packages:

Data packages are a significant factor to consider when selecting a good SIM card as a traveller. The right SIM card should offer data packages that suit your internet needs during your trip, whether it's for browsing, maps, social media, or communication apps. 

  • Calling Rates: 

Calling rates are an important factor to consider when choosing a good SIM card as a traveller. Look for a SIM card that offers affordable and competitive calling rates, both for local and international calls. This will ensure that you can stay in touch with friends, family, and local contacts without incurring high costs. 

  • SMS Rates

SMS rates are another crucial factor to consider when selecting a good SIM card as a traveller. Ensure that the SIM card provider offers reasonable SMS rates for sending text messages. Whether you need to communicate with locals or share information with fellow travellers, having affordable SMS rates will enable you to stay connected without overspending.

  • Prepaid or Postpaid

Deciding between prepaid and postpaid is an essential factor when choosing a good SIM card as a traveller. Prepaid plans offer more control over spending, allowing you to set a budget and recharge as needed. They are ideal for short-term stays or if you want to avoid unexpected charges

  • SIM Card Price

SIM card price is a significant factor to consider when selecting a good SIM card as a traveller. Look for affordable or even free SIM cards, as this initial cost can impact your overall budget. Many countries offer low-cost or promotional SIM cards at airports or local stores. 

  • Registration Requirements

Registration requirements are an important factor to consider when choosing a good SIM card as a traveller. Some countries may require registration with your passport or identification to activate the SIM card. Be prepared with the necessary documents, as failure to comply with registration requirements may prevent you from using the SIM card.

  • Data Speeds

Data speeds are a crucial factor to consider when choosing a good SIM card as a traveller. Opt for a SIM card that offers fast and reliable data speeds, such as 4G or 5G connectivity, especially if you require internet access for browsing, streaming, or work-related activities.

  • Expiry and Auto-Renewal

Expiry and auto-renewal are crucial factors to consider when choosing a good SIM card as a traveller. Check the validity period of the data and calling packages offered by the provider. Some SIM cards have a specific expiry date for their allowances, while others may offer data with no fixed expiry. 

  • Customer Support

Customer support is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a good SIM card as a traveller. Look for a SIM card provider that offers reliable and accessible customer support, especially if you encounter any issues or have questions during your trip. Prompt and helpful customer support can assist with activation, data or calling inquiries, and troubleshooting, ensuring a seamless communication experience.

  • Simplicity of Top-Up

The simplicity of top-up is an important factor to consider when choosing a good SIM card as a traveller. Look for a SIM card that offers easy and convenient methods for recharging or topping up your balance.

Before purchasing a SIM card, research and compare different providers' offerings to find the best fit for your specific travel needs. This will ensure you have a seamless communication experience during your trip and can stay connected without any hassle.

A Guide to choosing the best sim cards for travellers to Kenya

Planning a trip to Kenya and considering getting a SIM card? Africa is an ideal place to purchase one easily and affordably. Data packages are usually budget-friendly, making it convenient for travellers.

travellers to Kenya

In this guide, you'll learn where to buy a Kenya SIM card in person and online. We'll also cover prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs for compatible devices.

Having a SIM card with data can be beneficial for navigation, calling a cab, or translating Swahili. If you prefer to stay connected throughout your journey, getting a SIM card is recommended.

For travellers in Kenya, the best SIM card options are from Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom, and Airalo (which offers coverage in other African countries).

If you prefer to be connected upon arrival, for a more advanced option, you can consider buying an e-SIM card for Kenya. eSIMs are virtual SIM cards embedded in compatible mobile phones. Airalo is a reliable platform that offers eSIMs for Kenya and other countries, providing convenient connectivity for travellers.

By purchasing a Kenya prepaid SIM card online, you can have data ready upon your arrival, ensuring you stay connected throughout your trip without any hassle.

The best Sim Cards to use in navigating Kenya for Tourists

To make the most of these ride-hailing services, having a reliable mobile SIM card is essential. The best SIM card for your trip to Kenya should offer good network coverage, affordable data packages, and the ability to make mobile payments like M-PESA. 

Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom, and Equitel are some of the recommended SIM card options for tourists. With a functional SIM card, you can easily access ride-hailing apps, stay connected, and navigate around Kenya with ease during your trip.

  • Here is a table of the most popular mobile SIM cards in Kenya and the areas they are best suited for:

SIM card


Data plans




Best overall coverage

Variety of plans to suit different needs

Widely available, reliable network

Can be expensive


Good coverage in urban areas

Competitive data plans

Good value for money 

Coverage can be patchy in rural areas


Improving coverage 

Very competitive data plans

Good value for money

Coverage can be patchy in rural areas


Good coverage in coastal areas 

Variety of plans to suit different needs

Good value for money

Coverage can be patchy in other areas 


Good coverage in rural areas 

Affordable data plans

Good value for money

Not as widely available as other providers

Most used Sim cards for Tourists to stay connected in Kenya 

Top SIM cards for tourists to stay connected in Kenya:

Connected in Kenya

  • Safaricom: Widely regarded as the most popular and reliable network in Kenya, offering extensive coverage and fast data speeds.
  • Airtel: Another reputable option with good coverage and competitive data packages, suitable for staying connected during your visit.
  •  Telkom: Known for its affordable data plans and decent coverage, providing a budget-friendly option for tourists.

These SIM cards offer convenient connectivity options to help tourists stay connected and access the internet during their visit to Kenya.

An overview of the best sim cards tourists can use in Kenya

Are you planning to travel to Kenya for work or vacation? Welcome to Kenya, a beautiful and peaceful country. Here are some useful tips to help you get started during your visit:

  • Registering a SIM Card: Kenya has three major carriers - Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, and Telkom Kenya. Before a SIM card is activated, registration with your passport or national ID is required. You can do this at various agent shops or company stores.
  • Payment Solutions: While Visa and MasterCard are accepted, cashless transactions are limited. M-PESA, available with a Safaricom SIM card, is widely used for easy and fast cashless payments.
  • Choosing Data/Internet Plan: Different carriers offer various internet plans. Safaricom has the best coverage but higher rates, while Telkom offers affordable plans in major towns. Airtel Kenya strikes a balance but lacks the ubiquity of Safaricom's M-PESA.
  • Ordering Food: Kenya has a thriving catering industry, and you can order from global franchises or local cuisines through apps like Uber Eats and Jumia Foods.
  • Moving Around: Kenya has a thriving ride-hailing industry, including Uber, Bolt, Little Cab, and InDriver. SafeBoda offers motorbike rides, similar to Uber and Bolt.
  • Getting Accommodation: You can easily find accommodation through platforms like Airbnb and
  • Exchange Rates: The Kenyan Shilling is stable, with an average rate of around Ksh. 100 for $1. Be cautious with exchange rates, and consider using M-PESA for transactions.

Remember to prioritise your personal safety, avoid unnecessary conversations with strangers, and seek directions or assistance from police officers or guards if needed. Enjoy your visit/stay in Kenya!




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  • Step1: Apply on-line Provide the information from your passport to eTA application.
  • Step2: Make an online payment Payment Methods: Credit Card
  • Step3: Check your e-mail address If your payment is confirmed, your eTA will be sent to your e-mail
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