Saint Helena is certainly not a popular travel destination in Africa.
Saint Helena also refers to Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha for this guide because the eSIMs mentioned here will also work on those two islands.
Yes, even though the Island is a few thousand kilometers away from the continent, it is still part of it.
What you should not do, in many cases, is roam internationally in Saint Helena.
International roaming can be expensive, which is why using local and travel eSIMs is recommended to save money.
And if you get a travel eSIM, you do not have to deal with the SIM card registration bureaucracy and skip the queues in Saint Helena.
How much will a local or travel eSIM for Ascension Island, Saint Helena & Tristan da Cunha cost you?
You can get an eSIM for Ascension Island, Saint Helena & Tristan da Cunha for as little as 4.50 USD for 1 GB data (7 days) and up to 40 USD with 20 GB of data for 30 days, from Airalo (Gough).
Those are some generous data allowances, right?
In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Saint Helenian mobile operators & Airalo. Let's do this.
Original publication: 26th of November 2022. Last updated: 15th of January 2024.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Saint Helenian Mobile Operators
To get the best service available, in terms of reception and speeds, you want to go with the local mobile operators directly instead of with a travel eSIM.
That is because you will have a higher priority on the network in case of network congestion.
However, that does not mean travel eSIMs will always be slow.
In fact, some mobile operators throttle (prepaid) on select plans or all plans for “optimization” reasons (read: we cannot be bothered to invest in our network).
You have only one option for getting an eSIM for your trip to Saint Helena: Airalo (with Gough).
You can set up these eSIMs before arriving in Saint Helena and skip the queues.
While mobile data is already affordable in Saint Helena, getting a travel eSIM will not break the bank – not at all.
Plus, I have plenty of experience with Airalo, and I can assure you they work well – and other Phone Travel Wiz readers also had pleasant experiences with them.
So let's see what these travel eSIM providers have to offer in Saint Helena, right?
Airalo eSIMs for Saint Helena (Gough)
If I could only get a travel eSIM during my trip because I do not have the time or opportunity to buy a local SIM card or eSIM, then I would always get an eSIM from Airalo.
Airalo has eSIMs for around 190 countries, offers eSIMs at the lowest prices (on average compared to the competition) & has good service.
Airalo usually partners with the local mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, or both.
And if it needs to partner up with multiple mobile operators, it does so, allowing you to have the best reception at all times.
Anyway, you can get a Gough eSIM for as low as 4.50 USD, with 1 GB of data, up to 40 USD, with 20 GB of data.
Those prices and data allowances are not too bad, right?
Especially knowing that the Gough eSIM uses the Sure network.
The following six Gough eSIM options are available:
- Saint Helena/Gough 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 4.50 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Saint Helena/Gough 2 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 8 USD
- Saint Helena/Gough 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 10.50 USD
- Saint Helena/Gough 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 15 USD
- Saint Helena/Gough 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 25 USD
- Saint Helena/Gough 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 40 USD
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in October based on data up to the 11th of October (2023 data only).
Be aware: you will be restricted to 3G – not 4G/LTE with the Gough eSIM (unlike most Airalo eSIMs).
The Airalo links will automatically get you the available Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers – a code is unnecessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Overall, the Gough eSIM gives you fantastic value for your money.
Airalo Gough eSIM Pros
Are there any other reasons why you should get the Gough eSIM for your trip? For sure:
- You can activate your Gough eSIM as soon as you land in Saint Helena
- Gough eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Airalo website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
There are many other small pros, but these are the major ones.
It would be disingenuous not to mention some cons, so here we go.
Airalo Gough eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Gough eSIM?
- The Saint Helenian mobile operators, including Sure itself, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to Sure's network, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Sure itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- You will be restricted to 3G with the Gough eSIM. There is no 4G/LTE access with the Gough eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Gough eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo Gough eSIM Overall Thoughts
Honestly, the Gough eSIM is fantastic.
The plans offered with Gough eSIMs are generous and affordable.
You get fast speeds and access to Sure, without standing in queues.
And everything, purchasing and topping up, can be done online on the Airalo website or Airalo app (downloading the app is recommended).
Unfortunately, you cannot call or text with the Gough eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
But if you do wish to make actual calls, so not through apps like Whatsapp, consider a Saint Helenian SIM card.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Saint Helena (Airalo)
In this guide, I went over Airalo's Gough as the only (reasonably priced) eSIM for Saint Helena.
I recognize that there are other eSIM providers that do offer services for Saint Helena.
But they are either crazy expensive or the quality of service is whack (based on my experience or the experiences of other Phone Travel Wiz readers).
But you are free to try them out and let me know if they were any good 😀.
Buying a SIM Card in Saint Helena
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Saint Helenian SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.