CellSA offers low-cost eSIMs for visitors to South Africa. Plans start from US$4.50 (~R82) and give you 4G coverage from Vodacom.

If you're planning a trip to South Africa, one of the easiest ways to use your cellphone whilst you're there is with a CellSA eSIM.

You can get a CellSA eSIM from US$4.50 (approximately R82) at Airalo. This will allow you to use your cellphone in South Africa for up to 7 days. The CellSA eSIM is available on a pre-paid basis for visitors to South Africa and gives you an allowance of 4G mobile data to use whilst you're there.

In this article, we'll look at the CellSA service in South Africa, including how you're able to get it and the best CellSA eSIM deals. We'll also look at the coverage available on a CellSA eSIM, and the other ways of using your mobile phone in South Africa (e.g. through international roaming).

Plans From: US$4.50 (~R82) for 7 days
Best Deals:
Compatible Devices:
  • Apple iPhone 11 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 and newer
  • Google Pixel 3 and newer
  • see more...
Coverage: 4G coverage (Vodacom)
Voucher Code:
  • Save 10% on all CellSA eSIMs using KEN10 (new customers only)
  • Save 5% using the KEN5 voucher code (existing Airalo customers)

CellSA Plans

If you're looking for an affordable way to use your cellphone when travelling in South Africa, you can get a CellSA eSIM from only US$4.50 (approximately R82) for 7 days usage.

To get a CellSA eSIM, you'll need to have an eSIM-compatible device such as the iPhone 11, Galaxy S20, Pixel 3 or later devices. You can then order your CellSA eSIM through the Airalo app with instant delivery direct to your phone. There's no need to queue at the airport or to register the CellSA eSIM with your ID, saving you lots of time.

The following table shows the eSIM plans that are currently available from CellSA in South Africa:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
AiraloNoneNone1GBUS$4.50
(~R82)
valid for 7 days
AiraloNoneNone2GBUS$8.00
(~R145)
valid for 15 days
AiraloNoneNone3GBUS$11.00
(~R199)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone5GBUS$15.50
(~R281)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone10GBUS$26.00
(~R471)
valid for 30 days

As a special offer for June 2024, you can get a 10% discount on all CellSA eSIMs. Simply enter the KEN10 voucher code at checkout. This offer is only available if you're new to Airalo.

If you've already used an Airalo eSIM in the past, you can use the KEN5 voucher code to get a 5% discount on your plan.

See all CellSA eSIM deals →

Once you've ordered your CellSA eSIM, it will only activate when your cellphone actually connects to a supported network in South Africa. This means the validity period will only begin when you actually land in South Africa and turn your cellphone on.

Your CellSA eSIM works with the dual-SIM function on most modern smartphones. This means you can use your regular SIM card alongside the CellSA eSIM (e.g. to receive incoming phone calls and text messages on your normal phone number).

Alternatives to CellSA

The main disadvantage of CellSA is the fact you're getting a data-only service on the eSIM. You will not get a local phone number in South Africa when you're using the CellSA eSIM in your phone.

If you'd like to call or text whilst you're travelling in South Africa, you'll need to use your normal SIM card instead (on which international roaming fees may apply). Alternatively, you can side-step these charges by making your calls through WhatsApp or other similar apps.

If you're looking for a more fully featured SIM card with a local phone number in South Africa (starting with +27), you could consider getting a regular prepaid SIM card upon arrival instead. This will involve some additional hassle (e.g. queuing up at the airport to get your SIM card, a registration process for the SIM card, etc) but it can be preferable and better suited for longer-term use in South Africa.

CellSA Coverage

If you're using a CellSA eSIM, you'll have access to 4G mobile coverage in South Africa. This is provided by the following partner networks:

Coverage ProviderNetwork TypeCoverage Area
Vodacom4G LTESouth Africa

There's no international roaming available on a CellSA eSIM. Therefore, you won't be able to use it outside of South Africa. If you're planning to visit multiple countries on your trip, you may need to get a separate eSIM for the other countries you visit.

Other Airalo eSIMs

Airalo's CellSA eSIM can only be used in South Africa.

If you're planning to visit multiple countries on your trip, you could consider getting a Discover or Hello Africa eSIM. These eSIM plans will work in South Africa, as well as a number of other countries.

Discover eSIM

Airalo's Discover eSIM will also work in South Africa, giving you 4G coverage from MTN & Vodacom. In addition, you'll be able to use it in 125 other countries. The Discover plans start from US$9 for 1GB of data:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
DiscoverNoneNone1GBUS$9.00
valid for 7 days
DiscoverNoneNone2GBUS$17.00
valid for 15 days
DiscoverNoneNone3GBUS$24.00
valid for 30 days
DiscoverNoneNone5GBUS$35.00
valid for 60 days
DiscoverNoneNone10GBUS$59.00
valid for 180 days
DiscoverNoneNone20GBUS$69.00
valid for 365 days

Discover+ eSIM

The Discover+ eSIM works in a very similar way to the Discover eSIM, also allowing you to use your mobile phone in South Africa. However, it adds the ability for you to make and recieve phone calls and SMS text messages on your eSIM. You'll be assigned a +43 phone number (based in Austria) to use for calling and texting.

The Discover+ plans currently start from US$15 for 10 minutes, 10 texts and 1GB of data:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
Discover+10101GBUS$15.00
valid for 7 days
Discover+20202GBUS$27.00
valid for 15 days
Discover+30303GBUS$36.00
valid for 30 days
Discover+50505GBUS$50.00
valid for 60 days
Discover+10010010GBUS$79.00
valid for 180 days
Discover+20020020GBUS$89.00
valid for 365 days

Hello Africa eSIM

Airalo's Hello Africa eSIM will also work in South Africa, giving you 4G coverage from MTN. In addition, you'll be able to use it in 35 other countries. The Hello Africa plans start from US$27 for 1GB of data:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
Hello AfricaNoneNone1GBUS$27.00
valid for 30 days
Hello AfricaNoneNone3GBUS$59.00
valid for 30 days

Other Country Specific eSIMs

You can also buy other country-specific eSIMs from Airalo, including the following:

For more information, read our Airalo review.

More Information

For more information about CellSA, please see the Airalo website.

Your Comments 4 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 4 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi Ken
    Love this site!
    I’m off to South Africa in Feb 24 and I have a EE contract, they however do not cover that Country in their Data Roaming, what is the best way I can use my phone over there please?
    Get a sim when I land or do you know any other deals
    Thanks
    Richard

  • I just arrived in the USA and Airalo is amazing – I bought the the sim on the airport wifi, and had it fully set up and on the network before I got to LAX baggage claim! So easy, no paperwork, didn’t need to find a shop/kiosk, queue, open up the phone or any of that nonsense. Also with dual sim capability I’m still able to use my British number for receiving sms/iMessage.

    It’s good coverage too, and it automatically swaps between AT&T or T-Mobile depending on the area. I’d highly recommend it and look forward to using it in other places in the future.

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