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eSIMs for Nigeria: The Best Travel Plans | 2024 Guide

Nigeria is one of the more popular travel destinations in (West) 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 Nigeria?

You can get an eSIM for Nigeria for as little as 9.50 USD and up to 79 USD from Airalo (Nigercell) and Holafly.

I will also introduce you to a few global eSIMs that be used in Nigeria and 80+ other countries, including Nigeria's neighbors, for competitive rates.

Buying an eSIM for Nigeria Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Hello Africa, Discover+, Nigercell, Alosim & Airalo)

Original publication: 26th of November 2022. Last updated: 12th of February 2024.


Table of Contents

In a Hurry? A Quick Introduction

I will write about four eSIM options in Nigeria (and explain why they are included).

But if you want to quickly check out what the best eSIMs are for Nigeria without my analysis and explanations, here is an overview of the eSIMs covered in this guide:

Note: the promo codes mentioned above can also be used for regional and global eSIMs (they are not restricted to country-specific eSIMs only). In other news, the eSIM providers are in alphabetical order per grouping (Nigeria-only, regional & global) – not in order of preference (you would have to read the complete guide to find out which eSIMs I love the most for Nigeria 😜).

Let's truly get started, shall we?


Airalo Nigercell eSIM for Nigeria

Airalo Logo
© Airalo

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 Nigeria: Nigercell.

Nigeria Nicercell eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

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 Nigeria, the Airalo Nigercell eSIM uses the MTN Nigeria network up to 4G/LTE (no 5G NR yet).

MTN Logo
© MTN

You have these four options:

  1. Nigeria/Nigercell 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 8.50 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  2. Nigeria/Nigercell 2 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 15.50 USD
  3. Nigeria/Nigercell 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 22 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  4. Nigeria/Nigercell 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 34 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers

Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only). The (promotional) prices were updated on the 31st of January.

Airalo Nigeria Nigercell eSIM with Prices
See the list above for up-to-date prices and allowances. The figures in this image may be outdated.

I can already tell you that Airalo has the cheapest eSIM options for Nigeria 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 Nigerian 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)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

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 Nigeria Nigercell 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 Nigeria 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 Nigeria Nigercell 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).


Holafly eSIM for Nigeria

Holafly Logo
© Holafly

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.

Fortunately, unlimited data eSIMs are available in Nigeria.

Phone Travel Wiz x Holafly Banner

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 six Holafly Nigeria eSIMs (which uses the MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria networks):

  1. Nigeria unlimited data eSIM for 5 days, costing 29 USD
  2. Nigeria unlimited data eSIM for 7 days, costing 37 USD
  3. Nigeria unlimited data eSIM for 10 days, costing 44 USD
  4. Nigeria unlimited data eSIM for 15 days, costing 47 USD
  5. Nigeria unlimited data eSIM for 20 days, costing 59 USD
  6. Nigeria unlimited data eSIM for 30 days, costing 79 USD
Holafly Nigeria eSIMs
See the list above for up-to-date prices and allowances. The figures in this image may be outdated.

As expected, you cannot use 5G NR (yet) with the Holafly Nigeria 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 Nigeria 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 Nigeria eSIM) when you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ 😏.

Holafly Travel eSIM Reviews by Phone Travel Wiz

Local Nigerian 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 four mobile operators in Nigeria: MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, Glo Mobile Nigeria & 9mobile.

Currently, no Nigerian mobile operator offers eSIMs to prepaid customers.

For more information about the plans offered by the Nigerian mobile operators, check out my Nigeria SIM card buying guide.

Buying a SIM Card in Nigeria Guide (logos of MTN, Glo Mobile, Airtel & 9mobile)

International eSIM for Nigeria & More Countries

Okay, I went over the Nigeria travel eSIM options offered by Airalo and Holafly.

As expected, these eSIMs can only be used in Nigeria and not in neighboring Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates.

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 and Nomad have regional, global & international eSIMs covering at least 80 countries; some include Nigeria too.

So let's see which multi-country eSIMs can be used in Nigeria and other countries, including Nigeria's neighbors.


Airalo Hello Africa eSIM

Hello Africa Africa eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

Airalo also has the Hello Africa eSIM covering 26 countries with two variants: 1 GB/30 days very popular with PTW readers and 3 GB/30 daysmost popular with PTW readers.

Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only). The (promotional) prices were updated on the 31st of January.

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 26 countries in Africa:

  • Algeria
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of (Kinshasa)
  • Congo, Republic of (Brazzaville)
  • Eswatini (Swaziland) 1
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Guinea 1
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Tanzania
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • South Africa

1 on 3G only

Airalo Hello Africa eSIM Eligible Countries Map Infographic by Phone Travel Wiz (October 2023 Version)

Below is an overview of how much each Hello Africa eSIM costs:

  1. Africa/Hello Africa 1 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 27 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  2. Africa/Hello Africa 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 59 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers

Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only). The (promotional) prices were updated on the 31st of January.

With the Hello Africa eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit.


Airalo Discover(+) eSIM (formerly Discover Global)

Airalo Discover eSIM
© Airalo
Airalo Discover+ eSIM
© Airalo

Airalo was probably the first eSIM provider to introduce a global eSIM – it was called Discover Global.

Discover Global eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

I have had decent to good experiences with that eSIM, but I felt it could improve.

Such as extending the validity of most plans (maximum used to be 180 days) and having 5G NR access in popular destinations (like many regional Airalo eSIMs do nowadays, even country-specific ones).

In August 2023, Airalo made a radical change to its global eSIM.

Until then, the eSIM could be used in about 85 countries – always up to 4G/LTE (with some networks on 3G only).

This eSIM was powered by FL1 Telecom Liechtenstein (network name can be Mobilkom (Liechtenstein) at times).

FL1 Liechtenstein Telecom Logo
© FL1 Liechtenstein Telecom

This mobile operator worked well in Europe and some Asian countries, but it was often one of the slowest performing (Airalo eSIMs).

Now, Airalo's global eSIM is called Discover(+).

Airalo Discover eSIM
© Airalo
Airalo Discover+ eSIM
© Airalo

It is powered by eSIM Go (which is basically Drei Austria).

eSIM Go Logo
© eSIM Go
Three (3) Logo
© Three (3)

The difference between the Airalo Discover and Airalo Discover+ eSIMs is that the latter has calling and texting functionalities (with an Austrian +43 phone number).

Because of this, Discover+ eSIMs can be up to 20 USD more expensive than regular Discover eSIMs.

For the previous Airalo Discover Global eSIMs, you paid the same prices as the Discover+ eSIMs for worse availability (85+ countries instead of 125+) and no calling or texting at all.

So… it is an upgrade 😎.

Not only that, but you (finally) get 5G NR access in quite some countries (55+)1 as well.

1 click here, press select the variant you want & click on network to see which network(s) allow for 5G NR access. You often have access to multiple local networks, but not all have 5G NR access (and some do not even give you 4G/LTE access)

Airalo Discover(+) eSIM Network Availability (3G-4G-5G)

Moreover, the most expensive option is now valid for a whole year (365 days) instead of 180 days.

The Airalo Discover(+) eSIM can be used in the following 125+ countries:

    • Åland Islands 3
    • Albania
    • Argentina
    • Armenia (new)
    • Australia 5
    • Austria 3
    • Azerbaijan
    • Bahrain (new) 3
    • Bangladesh (new)
    • Belarus 1
    • Belgium 3
    • Bolivia (new)
    • Bosnia & Herzegovina
    • Botswana (new) 2
    • Brazil 5
    • Brunei (new) 1
    • Bulgaria 5
    • Cambodia
    • Canada 5
    • Central African Republic (new) 1
    • Chad (new)
    • Chile
    • China 3
    • Colombia
    • Congo, Democratic Republic of (new)
    • Congo, Republic of (new)
    • Costa Rica (new)
    • Croatia 3
    • Cyprus 5
    • Czech Republic 3
    • Denmark 5
    • Dominican Republic 1
    • Ecuador
    • Egypt (new)
    • El Salvador (new) 1
    • Estonia 5
    • Eswatini (new) 1
    • Finland 5
    • France 3
    • French West Indies (new) 3
    • Gabon (new)
    • Georgia
    • Germany 3
    • Ghana (new)
    • Gibraltar 1
    • Greece 3
    • Greenland (new) 1
    • Guatemala (new) 1
    • Guernsey (new)
    • Guinea-Bissau (new) 1
    • Honduras (new) 1
    • Hong Kong 3
    • Hungary 5
    • Iceland 3
    • India
    • Indonesia 3
    • Ireland 3
    • Isle of Man (new)
    • Iraq 1
    • Israel 5
    • Italy 5
    • Ivory Coast
    • Japan 3
    • Jersey
    • Jordan (new)
    • Kazakhstan (new)
    • Kenya (new)
    • Kosovo
    • Kuwait 3
    • Kyrgyzstan (new)
    • Latvia 3
    • Liberia 1
    • Liechtenstein 4
    • Lithuania 5
    • Luxembourg 3
    • Macau
    • Madagascar (new)
    • Malawi (new)
    • Malaysia
    • Mali
    • Malta 3
    • Mexico 5
    • Moldova
    • Monaco (new)
    • Montenegro 5
    • Morocco (new)
    • Netherlands 5
    • New Zealand
    • Nicaragua (new)
    • Niger (new) 1
    • Nigeria (new) 2
    • North Macedonia
    • Norway 5
    • Oman (new)
    • Pakistan (new)
    • Panama
    • Paraguay 1
    • Peru
    • Philippines 3
    • Poland 3
    • Portugal 3
    • Puerto Rico
    • Qatar 5
    • Réunion (new)
    • Romania 5
    • Russia
    • Saudi Arabia 5
    • Senegal (new) 1
    • Serbia
    • Seychelles (new)
    • Singapore
    • Slovakia 3
    • Slovenia 5
    • South Africa
    • South Korea 3
    • Spain 5
    • Sri Lanka
    • Sudan
    • Sweden 5
    • Switzerland 3
    • Taiwan 3
    • Tanzania (new)
    • Tajikistan 1
    • Thailand 5
    • Tunisia (new)
    • Turkey 3
    • Uganda (new)
    • Ukraine (new)
    • United Arab Emirates (new) 3
    • United Kingdom 5
    • United States 5
    • Uruguay (new)
    • Uzbekistan (new)
    • U.S. Virgin Islands
    • Vietnam
    • Yemen (new) 1
    • Zambia (new) 1

    * “(new)” is compared to the previous Discover Global eSIM (discontinued) or recently added countries
    1 on 3G only
    2 check the networks section on the Airalo website or app because at least one of the available networks is on 3G only (while the others are up to 4G/LTE)
    3 5G NR access for all available networks
    4 even if your phone does not support 5G NR, select FL1 Telecom/Telecom Liechtenstein for 4G/LTE access because Salt Liechtenstein is restricted to 3G only
    5 check the networks section on the Airalo website or app because at least one of the available networks is up to 4G/LTE (while the others are up to 5G NR)

Airalo Discover Global eSIM Eligible Countries Map Infographic by Phone Travel Wiz (October 2023 Version)

You have these 12 Airalo Discover Global eSIMs:

  1. Discover 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 9 USD
  2. Discover+ 1 GB (with 10 minutes and 10 SMS) eSIM for 7 days, costing 15 USD
  3. Discover 2 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 17 USD
  4. Discover+ 2 GB (with 20 minutes and 20 SMS) eSIM for 15 days, costing 27 USD
  5. Discover 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 24 USD
  6. Discover+ 3 GB (with 30 minutes and 30 SMS) eSIM for 30 days, costing 36 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  7. Discover 5 GB eSIM for 60 days, costing 35 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  8. Discover+ 5 GB (with 50 minutes and 50 SMS) eSIM for 60 days, costing 50 USD
  9. Discover 10 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 59 USD
  10. Discover+ 10 GB (with 100 minutes and 100 SMS) eSIM for 180 days, costing 79 USD
  11. Discover 20 GB eSIM for 365 days, costing 69 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  12. Discover+ 20 GB (with 200 minutes and 200 SMS) eSIM for 365 days, costing 89 USD

Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only). The (promotional) prices were updated on the 31st of January.

Interested in using the Airalo Discover(+) eSIM in another country or countries? Read my Airalo Global eSIM review (tested in numerous countries and counting).

Before Airalo updated its global eSIM, I used the old version (Discover Global) in 15+ countries. From August 2023, I will only test the Discover+ eSIM. This is why some country-specific reviews (like Global in Japan) still refer to the Discover Global one and show the old eSIM image instead of Discover+.

Airalo Discover Global eSIM Review by Phone Travel Wiz
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Overview of the Best eSIMs for Nigeria (Airalo vs. Holafly)

I introduced you to various travel eSIMs that can be used in Nigeria.

So, which eSIM do I recommend the most? Here is my recommendation order:

Phone Travel Wiz Approved Seal

Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIM – a code is unnecessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.


Buying a SIM Card in Nigeria

Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?

Consider getting a Nigerian SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.

Buying a SIM Card in Nigeria Guide (logos of MTN, Glo Mobile, Airtel & 9mobile)