These days staying connected is near the top of most people’s priority list regardless whether they are at home or travelling. The problem when travelling is do you switch on international roaming and stick with your own service provider or do you buy a local SIM card on arrival?
The former is convenient, but not always possible in all African countries and often quite expensive. Added to this is the fact that free WiFi is not as prevalent as is in many countries in the East and West. The challenge with a local SIM is getting the right package and often ends up being as expensive, especially if you purchase one of those “tourist specials” at the airport only to find out later that it was a bad deal.
Fortunately for travelers visiting Namibia we have one of the easiest procedures to get activated locally and cheapest data rates and packages on the continent. We have two service providers in Namibia, MTC and TN-mobile. The former has and still enjoys considerable market share and therefore can offer amazing packages to locals. Yes, there are no tailor-made solutions for tourists, but because of the affordability of local packages there is no need.
You can purchase a local SIM card and have it activated in under 5 minutes. All of this is done at the airport about 15 meters away from the international arrivals gate. Yes that’s correct. As you walk out of the gate you will be faced by the crowds there to pick up passengers. Stop, look left and in the corner you’ll see a blue shop marked with the lettering MTC. Walk in and ask for a local SIM card. Hand her/him your phone. They’ll remove your SIM card and replace it with a MTC SIM card. You’ll get your SIM back of course 😊 They’ll activate your new SIM and settings and voila you are ready to go.
All that remains is for you to purchase a pre-pad package, no contracts required, and load it onto your phone. This is also done at the same counter. Often they will ask you to use the self-service machine situated at the entrance of the shop. This is an easy process, simply follow the instructions as indicated on the machine or call for assistance.
The package (see all MTC prepaid packages here) I will recommend is the Aweh Gig. Over a period of 7 days it provides you with 1Gig of data, 500mb of whats app data100 minutes of local calling and 700 local text messages. The cost of the package is N$32.00/less than US$2.00. You can load an additional 2Gig of data for another N$39.00 about US$2.50 if required. After 7 days the package will expire and you simply load another one. This should take care of your local call requirements i.e. hotels, transfers, tour guides etc and allow sufficient data for social media and online calling.
Recharge vouchers are available in most shops all over Namibia.
Hopefully, this short blog makes your decision with regards to using a local SIM card in Namibia less stressful and at the same time saves you a bit of money. Enjoy your stay in Namibia 😊