There is extensive mobile phone coverage throughout South Africa, even in some of the most remote areas and national parks.
To use your own mobile phone in South Africa activate international roaming. Check if your provider has an international plan that covers South Africa as pure roaming rates can be very expensive.
Many people though opt to buy a local pay as you go sim in South Africa – this works out by far the most economical if you will be using your phone on a regular basis, and especially if using the internet.
There are 4 main service providers in South Africa, Vodacom, MTN, CellC and Telkom. From a reliability and coverage point of view, we would recommend either Vodacom or MTN.
There are Vodacom and MTN outlets at all major airports and you can simply go in, provide your passport (and you may be asked for proof of address) and you can buy and activate a sim card immediately. Remember that to do this you have to have an unlocked phone!!
If you would prefer to have a local number before arriving in South Africa, and save some time on arrival you can buy your local sim and add airtime and data in advance through B4i.travel – this way your sim will be ready, loaded and activated when you arrive – although prices may be a little higher than some of the other specials on offer.