If you’re planning a trip to Ghana, having a local SIM card is essential for staying connected. Access to the internet while you’re traveling allows you to easily navigate new cities, find the best restaurants, locate your accommodation, book taxis, and share photos with your loved ones.
While roaming is an option, the costs can quickly add up when you’re traveling internationally. To save money and enjoy local phone rates, we strongly recommend either an eSIM or a local SIM card. Luckily, obtaining either option in Ghana is incredibly straightforward.
This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about purchasing a SIM card in Ghana, including current pricing and the best SIM card for your needs.
Ghana is one of the cheapest countries in Africa to get mobile data. In my opinion, the best sim card in Ghana is the prepaid sim card by MTN. Why? MTN has the best mobile network in Ghana whilst also having fantastic and affordable prepaid plans available for tourists.
You should check out the different plans here to pick the one that works best for you. For most people I recommend either 6GB of data for 80 GHS or 10GB of data for 120 GHS, both valid for 45 days.
MTN, Vodafone and Airtel all have extensive mobile networks across Ghana, however, MTN has the best coverage. If you can’t easily reach an MTN store, Vodafone and Airtel are also perfectly fine for travellers and offer fairly similar packages.
You can also check out the Airalo Ghana eSim. The prices aren’t competitive with local sim cards for the same amount of data so I can’t recommend them if you’re looking for the cheapest option, however, they are extremely convenient when compared to physical sim cards.
If you don’t use a lot of data, or you only have a short stay in Ghana, then for 9 USD (100 GHS) you can pick up an eSim with 2GB of data. Alternatively, you can get 1GB for just $5 USD (57 GHS) or 3GB for $11.50 USD (131 GHS).
WIth the eSim you’ll be able to avoid visiting a store and installing a sim card. Instead, you just buy it online here anytime before you leave and it will work when you arrive in Ghana.
A Tourist Sim Card in Ghana costs 80 GHS in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Ghana will cost between $5 USD and $29 USD. This, again, depends on how much data you require and which eSim provider you choose.
I generally recommend this Airalo plan for most tourists visiting Ghana which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $17 USD.
In Ghana, the main SIM card providers are Vodafone, MTN, and Airtel. Vodafone Ghana is a subsidiary of the global telecommunications giant, Vodafone Group. They offer a wide range of SIM card options, including prepaid and postpaid plans, with competitive pricing and reliable network coverage across the country.
MTN Ghana is part of the MTN Group and is one of the leading telecom operators in the country. They provide SIM cards with various data and voice plans, along with innovative services like mobile money transfers.
AirtelTigo, formed by the merger of Airtel and Tigo, is another major player in the Ghanaian telecom market. They offer SIM cards with affordable calling and data packages, catering to different customer needs.
All three providers have extensive networks and a significant customer base, making them vital for mobile communication in Ghana.
Vodafone is a leading telecommunications company in Ghana. They offer tourist SIM cards for travelers visiting the country. These SIM cards provide affordable and reliable mobile connectivity, enabling tourists to stay connected throughout their trip. With Vodafone’s tourist SIM cards, travelers can enjoy high-speed internet, make local and international calls, and send text messages. Vodafone’s network coverage is widespread across Ghana, ensuring a seamless communication experience for tourists.
The price of a Vodafone tourist sim card in Ghana is 100 GHS.
The plan offered by Vodafone stores includes 12GB data valid for as long as you stay.
MTN is a leading telecommunications company in Ghana offering tourist sim cards with exceptional benefits. These sim cards provide tourists with reliable network coverage across the country, allowing them to stay connected with friends and family. Additionally, MTN offers affordable data plans tailored to tourists’ needs, enabling them to explore Ghana and share their experiences online effortlessly. With MTN’s tourist sim cards, travelers can enjoy seamless communication and internet access during their visit to Ghana.
The price of a MTN tourist sim card in Ghana is 80 GHS.
The plan offered by MTN stores offers 6GB data valid for 45 days.
Airtel provides tourists in Ghana with convenient and reliable sim cards. These sim cards offer affordable data plans, allowing travelers to stay connected while exploring the country. Airtel’s tourist sim cards also include international calling and messaging services, ensuring seamless communication with friends and family back home. With widespread network coverage and competitive rates, Airtel is the top choice for tourists seeking connectivity during their stay in Ghana.
The price of a Airtel tourist sim card in Ghana is 100 GHS.
The plan offered by Airtel stores includes 12GB data valid for as long as you stay.
Identify mobile providers: Vodafone, MTN and Airtel are your best options in Ghana.
Find your nearest store: Locate a store or retailer by searching on Google Maps for your nearest store or asking at your hotel reception. I’ve never had issues finding a store as they can usually be found in major cities, shopping centers, or tourist areas. If possible, I always recommend to to avoid airports and head in to an official store in the city.
Bring the necessary documents: It is always a good idea to carry your passport or identification documents for sim card registration purposes. We’ve found most providers will need to confirm your identity to provide a sim card and it can be a major hassle to head to a store only to have to come back again later with your passport.
Choose your plan: Either request the plan you are after or consult with the staff in the store to select the right plan for you. My recommendations at the beginning of this guide are a good starting point, but the staff will usually be able to suggest the best option.
Pay and activate your card: Pay for the SIM card and plan, and the staff will activate it for you.
Test: It’s always a good idea to check that you can access the internet before you leave the store. I always search for something on Google then refresh my Instagram feed to check it’s working fine.
Buying a prepaid sim card for Ghana at the airport is usually considered the most convenient option for travellers arriving by plane.
However, airport stores selling sim cards are almost guaranteed to charge inflated prices, so if you are a cost-conscious traveller then you should definitely buy your sim card from a store in the city center.
In addition to this, we would argue that buying physical sim cards at all aren’t particularly convenient now that most people use esim compatible phones. If you are looking for the most convenient option, then buying an esim before you arrive or with the airport wifi is much easier and will save you having to queue up or communicate with staff.
If you must purchase a sim card at the airport in Ghana then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Ghana have stores selling sim cards. Despite the prices being higher than normal, the staff are knowledgable and will be able to get you set up with the correct sim card relatively quickly.
If you want to avoid the inflated sim card prices you’ll find at the airport and your phone isn’t esim compatible, then you’re going to need to head in to a store to buy your sim card.
I recommend visiting one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators such as Vodafone, MTN and Airtel. Your best option is to enter their names into Google Maps and find the branch closest to your hotel or accommodation. Typically the staff in the official stores in Ghana are knowledgable and helpful which means you can ensure you’ll walk away with a functioning sim card.
Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check your internet is working before you leave the store by loading a Google search results page and your preferred social media app. You should also ensure you always bring your passport with you when purchasing a sim card in case they need to register it.
If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Ghana with your sim card all sorted and your phone ready to connect to the internet immediately then you should look into purchasing a sim card online.
The first option is to buy your sim card in advance via SimOptions, which is a company that will prepare and ship a sim card directly to your door. It’s a reliable and effective service, but with the invention of eSims it’s becoming obsolete.
The better option is to purchase an eSim online. We’ve written more on that below!
An eSim is a digital version of a traditional sim card and is most likely the future of connectivity for mobile devices. The convenience of no longer visiting a store, handing over your passport and purchasing a physical sim card is quickly making physical sim cards obsolete in favour of eSims.
We recommend Airalo’s eSim when travelling to Ghana. The Airalo Ghana eSim offers fast internet speeds, wide coverage and extremely competitive prices making it a far more compelling option than purchasing a physical sim card from any of the local sim card providers.
In order to get set up with an Airalo eSim, all you need to do is visit Airalo here and purchase the eSim online (the $17 USD plan is suitable for most travellers). Once you’ve purchased the sim card Airalo will email you instructions and a QR code. Following these instructions should take just a couple of minutes, then you’ll have a sim card in Ghana without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Ghana is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Ghana and found the service to be equal to the local sim card but without the hassle of acquiring a sim card in a store.
Airalo’s Ghana eSim uses the Vodafone network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Vodafone networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Ghana.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Ghana eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $5 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $9 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $11.50 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $17 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $29 USD
For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $17 USD which is valid for 30 days. Some travellers may prefer a larger plan, whilst travellers visiting for just a couple of days may be fine with a smaller plan.
An alternative eSim provider we can recommend is Holafly.
Holafly’s eSim is a suitable option for travellers who require large amounts of data, such as digital nomads and people who work online while they travel. All of Holafly’s Ghana eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Ghana eSim uses the Scancom (MTN)/Vodafonenetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Ghana
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Ghana eSim:
6GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $47 USD
The eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is built directly into a device such as a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike physical SIM cards, there is no need to physically insert or remove the eSIM from the device.
Instead, the eSIM is integrated into the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This allows users to effortlessly switch between different mobile networks or plans without the hassle of needing to physically swap SIM cards.
The convenience, flexibility, and ease of use provided by eSIM technology are particularly beneficial for travelers or individuals who frequently switch between different mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to purchase and insert physical SIM cards, making it much more convenient for managing multiple mobile connections on a single device.
To activate an eSIM, users can either scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually input the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the chosen mobile network and enjoy voice, data, and messaging services just like with a traditional SIM card.
There are various advantages to using an eSIM:
– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when changing networks or plans, making it ideal for frequent travelers or those using different SIM cards in different countries.
– Dual SIM functionality: Allows for two active mobile numbers on one device, helpful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple lines.
– Space-saving: With eSIMs embedded within the device, the need for a physical SIM card slot is eliminated, freeing up space for smaller devices or additional components.
– Remote provisioning: Activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely, without requiring a physical SIM card or store visit, providing flexibility and convenience for managing connectivity.
– Future-proofing: As eSIM technology gains popularity, more networks and providers are offering support. Using an eSIM-compatible device ensures access to new services and offerings as they emerge.
In conclusion, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it an appealing choice for many users.
eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular and is supported by a growing number of smartphones and other devices. Here are some examples of eSIM-compatible phones:
Apple iPhone series (iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, etc.): Apple was one of the early adopters of eSIM technology and offers support for eSIM on various iPhone models.
Google Pixel series (Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 5, etc.): Google’s Pixel smartphones also support eSIM functionality, allowing users to activate and use eSIMs.
Samsung Galaxy series (Galaxy S22, Galaxy Note 20, etc.): Many of Samsung’s flagship devices now come with eSIM support, enabling users to utilize eSIM technology.
OnePlus devices (OnePlus 7, OnePlus 8, etc.): OnePlus has included eSIM support in some of its smartphone models, offering users the flexibility of using eSIMs.
Motorola Razr (2020): The latest iteration of the iconic Motorola Razr features eSIM compatibility, enabling users to use eSIMs for cellular connectivity.
These are just a few examples, and the list of eSIM-compatible phones continues to expand as more manufacturers embrace this technology. There’s a very strong chance your phone supports eSims so if you’re unsure we recommend looking it up on our list of eSim supported phones.
Using an eSim is new for many travellers, however, the good news is it’s surprisingly easy to get set up – even for the technologically challenged!
Here’s a general guide on how to use an eSIM:
Check eSIM Compatibility: Ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. Many newer smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices are eSIM compatible including all iPhones produced since 2018.
Obtain an eSIM: There are multiple ways to acquire an eSIM. You can purchase an eSIM online from a provider like Airalo (which we recommend) or directly from a mobile network operator. Some devices also allow you to scan a QR code provided by your carrier to download the eSIM profile.
Activate the eSIM: Your eSim provider will send you instructions to activate the sim. This will usually involve scanning a QR code, entering an activation code, or downloading the eSIM profile directly onto your device.
Set up the eSIM: Once activated, your device will guide you through the eSIM setup process. This typically involves selecting the eSIM as your preferred mobile plan, configuring settings like data roaming, and entering any necessary authentication details.
Enjoy the Connection: Once the eSIM is set up, you can use it as you would with a physical SIM card. Make calls, send messages, browse the internet, and use data services as needed. You can also switch between eSIM profiles if you have multiple eSIMs installed on your device.
Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. Travel Sim Expert is a blog dedicated to helping you find the best sim card for you, no matter where you are or what your budget is.