Traveling to Djibouti soon and planning your trip? Here is the ultimate guide with everything you need to know about buying a prepaid sim card in Djibouti for tourists. Below you will find where you can buy a sim card, up to date prices and some other tips.
This article is based on my own experiences buying a sim card in Djibouti and up dated with the recent prices per August 2021!
As part of my journey to visit every country in the world I visited Djibouti. The first thing I do when arriving in a new country is buying a sim card. Don’t waste money on high roaming costs, a local sim card is the best way to stay connected.
Because of my passion to provide valuable travel tips for world travelers I already wrote more than 150 local sim card guides for countries and airports around the world. Examples are: Ethiopia, Dubai, Lebanon, France, South Africa, Kenya and many more.
Why buying a sim card in Djibouti
Just like in real life, being connected to the internet makes traveling in Djibouti just much more convenient. Getting directions from Google Maps, searching for nearby restaurants, making local calls, etc. Even for emergencies… in my case I lost my passport and suddenly needed to make a lot of arrangements.
Also don’t rely on WiFi! WiFi in Djibouti is simply NOT reliable, slow and not widespread either. Hotels do offer free WiFi in most cases, but for example in the Sheraton as well as in the Kempinski I found the public WiFi very slow. Keep in mind that public WiFi is through an unsecured network connection. Using a VPN is recommended.
Well this is a funny one for Djibouti… because there is NO choice, there is only one prepaid sim card for tourists available! Which makes it easier for me writing this article as there is no recommendation, no best sim card for Djibouti and I also don’t need to tell you more about the available options and making a comparison.
Traveltomtom does NOT recommend international sim cards with global coverage. As part of our research we reviewed and compared all the world travel sim cards available and came to the simple conclusion that most of them are NOT worth it. Local sim cards are MUCH BETTER deals.
In Djibouti there is still a monopoly when it comes to mobile internet providers and the telecom market. Djibouti Telecom is a government owned company and they are the only mobile internet provider in Djibouti.
Where to buy a sim card in Djibouti
Unfortunately there is at the moment no store or shop at Djibouti Ambouli International Airport (JIB) that sells local sim cards for tourists. The airport is undergoing a major renovation and probably in the future there will be a possibility, but at the moment you can’t buy a local sim card at Djibouti Airport.
Djibouti Telecom has a couple stores and retail points in Djibouti City where you can buy a prepaid sim card. The most convenient place to buy a sim card in Djibouti is at the Djibouti Telecom store in the Djibouti Bawadi Mall, the biggest and most modern mall in the city/country.
Bawadi Mall is located next to the Djibouti Port. There is free parking and the mall is open from 10.00 am till 10.00 pm. Keep in mind that the Djibouti Telecom store has a lunch break from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.
Sim card registration in Djibouti
Tourists need to register with their passport when buying a sim card in Djibouti, a copy will be taken in the store. The process is very simple and easy. Buying a sim card in Djibouti can be done in just a couple minutes.
The Evatis prepaid sim card
The Djibouti prepaid sim card is called Evatis and costs 1,000 DJF, which is a little less than $6 USD. It comes with 500 DJF credit and great thing is that 5 GB data for 3 days also costs 500 DJF.
As most people travel to Djibouti for just a couple days, this is a great sim card deal for tourists.
Evatis also offers the following data packages:
- 200 DJF = 1 GB data valid for 1 day - $1.1 USD
- 1,000 DJF = 12 GB data valid for 7 day - $5.6 USD
When putting the sim card in your phone, first make sure you turned off mobile data! As soon as your sim card is activated it will connects to the 4G network and will use data in the background and eat a little bit of your 500 credit. This happened to me and I realized just a couple seconds to late and was stuck with 499 DJF credit.
As I said, the main data packages for 3 days costs 500 DJF, so I came 1 DJF short. The minimum top up for an Evatis sim card is 500 DJF, so I had to go to the supermarket to buy a scratch card unfortunately. Do not make the same mistake! ;)
Also these are some handy shortcuts/quick dial numbers for you:
*168# = check credit balance
*166# + scratch card number = top up
*164# = activate data package
*165# = check remaining data balance
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card in Djibouti were helpful. Please leave me a comment below if you have any more questions related to traveling in Djibouti.