Botswana is one of the more popular travel destinations in (Southern) Africa.
But international roaming will certainly not be cheap in this country (like in most countries).
So, what are your local or travel eSIM options for Botswana?
You can get an eSIM for Botswana for as little as 8 USD to 44 USD from Airalo (Maun Telecom) and Holafly.
I will also introduce you to a few global eSIMs that be used in Botswana and 80+ other countries, including Botswana's neighbors, for competitive rates.
Original publication: 2nd of November 2022. Last updated: 30th of November 2022.
Table of Contents
Airalo Maun Telecom eSIM for Botswana
Airalo is the most popular eSIM platform, covering around 190 countries (more than any other eSIM platform out there).
That is because it is the largest and oldest eSIM platform worldwide.
Airalo has an eSIM that can be used in Botswana: Maun Telecom.
Travel eSIM providers like Airalo set up roaming agreements with local mobile operators.
But do not get too worried about the term roaming – you will not get a 3000 USD roaming bill.
What Airalo does, and basically all mobile operators do, is partner up with a local mobile operator so that their customers can still stay connected when abroad.
In Botswana, the Airalo Maun Telecom eSIM uses the MTN Botswana network up to 4G/LTE (no 5G NR yet).
Be aware: most travel eSIMs, including Airalo's Botswana Maun Telecom eSIM, are data-only eSIMs, so you cannot call or text with them (nor can you receive any calls or SMS).
- Botswana/Maun Telecom 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 8 USD
- Botswana/Maun Telecom 2 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 14 USD
- Botswana/Maun Telecom 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD
- Botswana/Maun Telecom 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 30.50 USD
I can already tell you that Airalo has the cheapest eSIM options for Botswana in this guide.
What makes things even more pleasant is that you can top up your eSIM when it is expiring or when you are out of data without the need to purchase a new eSIM.
But you may think that a local SIM card or eSIM will (still) be cheaper than Airalo or any other travel eSIM.
And you are right – that is true in most cases.
However, you will have to deal with the Botswana SIM card registration laws.
(Why does this matter? Because hackers can steal your (critical) personal data if the mobile operator does not secure your data properly, like what happened in Australia (10 million Optus customers were affected, where info, like passport numbers, were stolen (including mine – luckily not my passport number but my boyfriend was not as lucky) or Indonesia (1.3 billion SIM card-related data was hacked)).
Most mobile operators in Africa will only sell you (overpriced) tourist SIM cards (when available) or the most expensive plans because of “mandatory new plan requirements” (which are often lies to take more of your money).
- Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
So yes, you could get cheaper plans, but the question is if you can actually get them.
Oh, you should also be aware of the following, you can get up to 4G/LTE connections with the Airalo Botswana Maun Telecom eSIM, your speeds will most likely not be faster than someone using a local SIM card.
That is because you are roaming on the MTN Botswana network instead of being a native customers
But that does not mean you will have (extremely) slow speeds – just (slightly) slower than native customers.
Anyway, the Airalo Botswana Maun Telecom eSIM is fantastic and is the eSIM I, and many Phone Travel Wiz readers, recommend the most.
The eSIMs are affordable, the data allowances can be tailored to your needs (1 GB to 5 GB + top-ups are available) & you will have a smooth network experience (in most cases).
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Holafly eSIM for Botswana
Holafly is one of the many travel eSIM resellers and is one of the popular ones.
In June, they started offering unlimited data plans for some its eSIMs, making Holafly unique.
And these unlimited data eSIMs can be used in various East– and Southeast Asian countries, almost all European Union member states (except for Liechtenstein) & a few other countries, like Canada and the United States.
Unfortunately, unlimited data eSIMs are not available in Botswana… yet.
I say yet because Holafly's goal is to offer unlimited data plans for every country it covers: 150+ countries.
And I can tell you that I get positive emails multiple times a week from Phone Travel Wiz readers that have used the unlimited data plans in East- and Southeast Asia, Europe & North America; they love these eSIMs.
For now, you have only one Holafly Botswana eSIM (which uses the Mascom Wireless and Orange Botswana networks):
- Botswana 6 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 44 USD/47 EUR/34 GBP/67 AUD/59 CAD
As expected, you cannot use 5G NR (yet) with the Holafly Botswana eSIM, nor can you call and text (it is a data-only eSIM).
Moreover, you cannot top up or extend the validity with the Holafly Botswana eSIM – so you need to buy another eSIM when you are out of data or the eSIM expires; you have to purchase a new one.
But you can get 5% off each and any Holafly purchase (so it does not have to be the Botswana eSIM) when you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ 😏.
- Check out my Holafly reviews
Local Botswana eSIM for Prepaid Customers
If you want the best and full network experience, including being able to call and text, you want to get a local eSIM.
You have three mobile operators in Botswana: Mascom Wireless, Orange Botswana & BTC Mobile.
Currently, no Botswanan mobile operator offers eSIMs to prepaid customers.
For more information about the plans offered by the Botswana mobile operators, check out my Botswana SIM card buying guide.
International eSIM for Botswana & More Countries
Okay, I went over the Botswana travel eSIM options offered by Airalo & Holafly.
As expected, these eSIMs can only be used in Botswana and not in neighboring Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.
So what if you plan on visiting any of those countries, or you are on a world tour and wish to use one eSIM in multiple countries – do you have any other options?
Yes, you do. Airalo & SimCorner have regional, global & international eSIMs covering at least 80 countries; some include Botswana too.
So let's see which multi-country eSIMs can be used in Botswana and other countries, including Botswana's neighbors.
Airalo Hello Africa eSIM
Like Asia, the Caribbean, Europe & Latin America, many readers tend to visit multiple African countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one.
The Hello Africa eSIM can be used in 27 countries in Africa:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Congo, Democratic Republic of (Kinshasa)
- Congo, Republic of (Brazzaville)
- Eswatini (Swaziland)
- Ivory Coast
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
With the Hello Africa eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit.
SimCorner International eSIM
When SimCorner introduced its eSIMs in October 2022, it also launched an international one, covering 110+ countries but not Botswana, unfortunately.
For now, you only have one option: SimCorner International 6 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 36 USD.
Depending on your location, you will be charged in AUD, EUR, GBP, or NZD for your convenience.
The SimCorner International eSIM can be used in the following 110+ countries:
- Åland Islands
- Congo, the Republic of (Brazzaville)
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Northern Cyprus
- Papua New Guinea
- Puerto Rico
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Svalbard & Jan Mayen
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
By the way, the SimCorner International eSIM is also available as a SIM card – very convenient (if your or your travel companion's phone does not support eSIM).
- Check out my SimCorner reviews
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Botswana (Airalo vs. Holafly)
I introduced you to various travel eSIMs that can be used in Botswana.
So, which eSIM do I recommend the most? Here is my recommendation order:
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly – a code is unnecessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Botswana
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Botswanan SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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