Traveling to Namibia soon and flying to Windhoek? In world's second least densely populated country I can't preach enough to get a local sim card. Buying a sim card in Namibia is the best way to avoid high roaming costs, get high speed mobile internet and the best network. This is your guide for buying a Namibia sim card with where to get one, the best network, up to date prices as of April 2021 and everything else you need to know.
My first time flying into Namibia I had an incredible flight experience with Qatar Airways as I flew their new business class in the A350. Qatar Airways definitely lived up to its slogan: First in Business! Damn it, flying like that is almost something unreal!
Though on arrival I came back into the real world: the free wifi on Windhoek Airport was not working and my pick up was not there! I had my drivers Whatsapp number but no internet. First things first! When arriving to a new country I want to make sure I get online as soon as possible. It was time to buy a sim card at Windhoek Airport.
Arriving in Windhoek and spending your first day there? What a bout a lunch with giraffes or a sundowner at a skybar? Check out my list of the 19 Best Things To Do in Windhoek.
Lately in April 2021 I enjoyed another Namibia holiday and also made this video of buying a Namibia sim card on arrival at Windhoek Airport.
Am I a specialist for traveling in Namibia? Nah, definitely not, but I have been around the country and discovered some really cool places. Here is my Namibia itinerary for 7 days that I would suggest or have a look at the Namibia blogs below for some more inspiration.
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Mobile internet providers Namibia
Since Namibia is the second least densely populated country in the world I did not expect it to have a competitive mobile internet market. There are only two mobile providers in Namibia:
- Telecom Namibia
Both mobile providers have a shop at Windhoek Airport were travelers can buy a Namibian sim card on arrival. MTC was the first mobile provider in Namibia and it is said that they have the best network, but more about that later. Telecom is supposed to be cheaper, let's see.
How to go around in Namibia? That is a little complicated! I went hitchhiking in Namibia to give it a try. How that went? Hilarious! See the video in the link.
Where to buy your Namibia sim card in 2021
In Windhoek city center, close to the Wernhill Park Mall, I had a look at the MTC shop and the Telecom Namibia shop. Trust me I can strongly encourage you NOT to buy your Namibia sim card in the city of Windhoek.
It was a Monday afternoon and both shops were packed with people. When I asked in the MTC shop how long the wait was they said about 20 minutes, African minutes probably! LOL
Honestly, simply buy your Namibia sim card on arrival at Windhoek Airport.
The opening hours for the stores at Windhoek Airport are as follows:
- MTC: 7.00 am till 7.00 pm
- Telecom: 6.30 am till 6.00 pm
Opening hours may vary depending a little on incoming international flights.
At both stores you can buy a Namibia sim card with your international credit card. There are also a bunch of ATM's and exchange offices in the Arrival Hall.
Buying a sim card for Namibia at Windhoek Airport
In general I strongly discourage people to buy a sim card at the airport on arrival. You always pay way too much! Unfortunately that is also the case at Windhoek International Airport, but luckily we are talking about $5 only.
To not waste your precious Namibia holiday time I recommend you to buy a Namibia sim card at Windhoek Airport. There is a MTC shop on your left hand side when you come in to the arrivals hall and on your right there is a Telecom Namibia shop. Staff in both stores were very friendly and helpful.
This is how the MTC store looks at Windhoek Airport, it is on your left hand side when entering the Arrivals Hall.
Prices prepaid Namibia sim card in 2021
At the airport shops it was pretty easy to find the prices as both MTS and Telecom Namibia had them displayed at the counter.
When buying a sim card anywhere around Namibia, you will find the following prices in any MTC shop.
These are the latest prices for MTC Namibia data packages as per April 2021. For the up to date prepaid prices check the MTC website in the link above. Most interesting for tourists are probably the following 2 data bundles:
- 235 N$ ($16) = 1.5 GB data
- 353 N$ ($24) = 3.0 GB data
If you feel like calling I recommend you to just add a couple dollar credit to your prepaid sim card. Calling rates are much cheaper.
However at Windhoek Airport tourists have more options when buying a sim card on arrival. A MTC prepaid sim card for Namibia costs 10 N$, which is like 70 cents.
As per April 2021 MTC also offers the following prepaid packages for tourists:
- 40 N$ = 1 GB data + 100 minutes - valid for 1 week ($2.70)
- 65 N$ = 3 GB data + 700 minutes - valid for 1 week ($4.40)
- 410 N$ = 3 GB data - valid for 2 months ($27.50)
- 1230 N$ = 15 GB data - valid for 2 months ($82.40)
Top up with MTC is easy. You can buy the credit in convenient stores, gas stations, etc. You scratch a prepaid card, follow the instructions and enter the code. Once you got the credit, you dial 13400 and you choose option 1 and again 1 to confirm!
Telecom Namibia is a little cheaper, but also has a much weaker network. More about that later. These are the most interesting data bundles for Telecom Namibia sim cards that you can get in any Telecom shop around Namibia.
- 199 N$ = 2 GB data ($16)
- 399 N$ = 5 GB data ($24)
These are the up to date MTC prepaid sim card prices as of April 2021. For the latest Telecom prepaid sim card deals check the Telecom Namibia website.
However, the Telecom store at Windhoek Airport is offering a couple other packages that could be great for tourists. A Telecom sim card costs 7N$, which is 50 cents.
- 300 N$ = unlimited data for 1 week ($20)
- 1000 N$ = unlimited data for 1 month ($67)
Here are all the packages at Windhoek Airport for Telecom, they are slightly more expensive than in Telecom shops around the country.
Based on these prices I would say Telecom Namibia is the best sim card for tourists, but wait till I show you the network coverage.
Best 5G/4G Network in Namibia in 2021
In a country so vast as Namibia and with just 2.5 Million inhabitants don't have high expectations from the Namibia mobile internet network. As prices for Namibia sim card are pretty much the same I guess the network strength is way more important.
Normally I only look at the 4G/5G coverage maps to compare the mobile internet providers, but not in Namibia! There is definitely NO 5G in Namibia, hardly 4G too be honest.
This is the 4G coverage map of MTC and they have the best 4G network by far! ;)
As you can see 4G did not really make it to Namibia yet, so be prepared to deal with slower internet speed than you are probably used to. I am not even showing you the network coverage map of Telecom Namibia. Trust me it is much worse. For more detailed maps of the mobile internet coverage in Namibia have a look in the link.
The MTC network coverage can also be found on their own website.
I also did volunteering in Namibia. Oana Flora & Fauna is located all the way in southeast Namibia. There was no phone reception at all!
Best Namibia sim card in 2021
If you really want the best price you should buy a Telecom Namibia sim card in Windhoek, but the price is NOT important when buying a sim card in Namibia. The network is much more important.
MTC is the best sim card for tourists in Namibia in 2021!
My experience buying a sim card in Namibia
On both trips to Namibia I ended up buying a Namibia sim card at Windhoek Airport from MTC. First time in 2017 I paid N$307 for the package including N$7 for the sim card itself and got 1.5 GB data.
In 2021 I got the weekly package with 3 GB and 700 minutes for $65 + $10 for the sim card, which is a total of a little over $5 USD. Great deal. The prices for data and prepaid sim cards in Namibia have gone down a lot in the last years.
Most of the time the tourist destinations in Namibia I visited had NO 3G signal at all. At places like Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Namib Desert, Skeleton Coast, Fish River Canyon and Etosha National Park I was happy with an E signal.
This is an example of my internet speed test of my 3G connection in Windhoek, the capital in Namibia.
In the end I still used all of my 1,5GB because on the long drives on the main road North and South there is mostly a 3G signal. Namibia is one of those countries where you can easily switch off from being online!
Portable WiFi device for Namibia
Save the hassle and look into TEP Wireless for your future trips! Traveling with a Teppy guarantees that you will always be online and that is what you want right? For a couple bucks a day they give you unlimited data for up to 5 devices at the same time!
Where to stay in Windhoek
Looking for a place to stay in Windhoek before you start your adventure around Namibia? Have a look at Chameleon Backpackers! Not just a hostel, they have a private rooms as well and a swimming pool, a communal area and a tour agency. Chameleon Safaris have loads of multi day tours around Namibia. If you are a solo traveler this is where you want to crash, meet people and make plans with fellow solo travelers.
Related: 19 Things To Do in Windhoek!
I hope the above tips for buying a prepaid Namibia sim card were helpful for your upcoming Namibia holiday. In case you have any additional questions please don't hesitate to leave me a comment below. I am happy to help, also with Namibia travel tips.
Enjoy your trip to Namibia!
Some links in this article about the best Namibia sim card are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using the outgoing links I’ll earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at no extra cost to you, but I have the duty to inform you. Thank you for your understanding!