Tanzania is a popular tourist destination in East Africa known for attractions like Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, and Zanzibar beaches. With a growing digital economy, staying connected is key for travelers visiting Tanzania.

Tigo is one of the major mobile networks in Tanzania offering 2G, 3G and 4G coverage. Tigo SIM cards and eSIM provide convenient connectivity options for tourists exploring Tanzania.

This guide covers everything you need to know about getting a Tigo Tanzania SIM card or eSIM as a tourist.

tigo tanzania sim card

I. Quick Facts about Tigo Tanzania

quick facts about tigo tanzania
  • Founded in 1994 as Mobitel before rebranding to Tigo in 2003
  • Full company name: Tigo Tanzania which is owned by MIC Tanzania Limited
  • Provides mobile voice, SMS, data services and mobile financial services
  • Around 10 million subscribers (est. 2022)
  • 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE coverage reaches over 90% population
  • Over 10,000 Tigo shops, dealers and agents across Tanzania

II. Why Tigo When You’re Exploring Tanzania – Coverage and Speed

1. Tigo Network Coverage in Tanzania

tigo tanzania network coverage

Tigo has extensive 2G and 3G coverage reaching over 90% of the population in Tanzania. Its fast 4G/LTE network is available in all major cities and tourist destinations like Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, Zanzibar, Mwanza, Dodoma, Mbeya, Morogoro, Tanga and more.

Tigo is continuously improving and expanding its 4G network coverage in Tanzania. This makes it a reliable choice for high-speed data and connectivity when traveling around the country.

2. Tigo Network Speed in Tanzania

In cities and towns with 4G coverage, Tigo provides fairly fast download speeds averaging around 20-30 Mbps based on user tests. The speeds allow activities like HD video streaming, video calls, social media, browsing and more.

While speeds may reduce in very congested areas or further from cities, Tigo still provides reasonably fast 4G speeds for tourists. This enables staying connected for travel apps, maps, sharing experiences and more.

III. Best Tigo Tanzania SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

Tigo offers a wide range of data packages to suit different customer needs in Tanzania. The packages range from daily bundles with lower data volumes up to monthly packages providing gigabytes of data.

Time Volume Price (TZS) Price (USD) Extras
24 hours 70 MB TSH 500 ~$0.22
200 MB TSH 1,000 ~$0.44
1 GB TSH 2,000 ~$0.87
7 days 400 MB TSH 3,000 ~$1.31
800 MB TSH 5,000 ~$2.19 unlimited use of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram.
2 GB TSH 8,000 ~$3.51
30 days 500 MB TSH 5,000 ~$2.19
2 GB TSH 15,000 ~$6.57 unlimited use of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram.
10 GB TSH 35,000 ~$15.34

In conclusion, Tigo’s diverse data package portfolio in Tanzania offers valuable options for customers from occasional users to power users.

IV. Does Tigo Support eSIM in Tanzania?

Currently, Tigo does not offer eSIMs to prepaid customers.

However, there are other global eSIM options that can be used in Tanzania, such as esimtanzania.com which provides excellent prepaid data plans ranging from 1GB to 10GB with validity periods of 7-30 days.

tanzania esim

esimtanzaniaesim.com is a convenient option for travelers as it includes coverage throughout Tanzania on the Vodacom network and allows features like hotspot/tethering.

V. Where can You Buy a Tigo Tanzania SIM Cards?

where to buy tigo tanzania sim card

As Tigo is one of the largest networks in Tanzania, its SIM cards are widely available at multiple outlets:

  • Tigo branded stores and dealers in cities
  • Local SIM card shops and carriers at airports
  • Many convenience stores, gas stations and mobile shops also sell Tigo SIMs

In Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Zanzibar and other tourist areas, it’s easy to find Tigo SIM cards at shops and kiosks. Prices are generally standard but confirm before purchasing.

VI. How to Activate Tigo Tanzania SIM Cards in Tanzania?

Activating a new Tigo SIM card is straightforward:

  1. Insert SIM card into unlocked phone
  2. Select your language on the pop-up prompt
  3. Dial *150*1# to activate prepaid SIM
  4. Choose your Tigo Tariff plan when prompted
  5. Follow instructions to set up account PIN

You will get confirmation SMS upon successful activation. Airtime credit may be pre-loaded on SIM.

To recharge, you can buy top-up vouchers or use mobile money services like Tigo Pesa.

VII. Tigo Tanzania Call & SMS Rates

Tigo prepaid offers low rates for national calls and text messages:

Service Rate (TZS) Rate (USD)
Tigo to Tigo Call 6 0.0024
Call to Other Networks 8 0.0032
Local SMS 70 0.028
International Calls 215 0.086

VIII. Useful USSD Codes for Tigo Tanzania SIM Cards

Service USSD Code
Check your Phone Number *930#
Check Pre-paid Balance *102#
Voice Package Balance 10201#
Top Up 104 [card pin number]#
Check Data Balance 10200#
Transfer Airtime 101 [Enter recipient phone number] * [amount] #
Subscribe Magic Number 14800#
Tigo Pesa Services 15001#

IX. How to Top-up Tigo Tanzania SIM Cards?

There are a few convenient ways to recharge your Tigo prepaid SIM:

  • Top-up cards – Widely available for purchase at stores, kiosks and vendors
  • Tigo Pesa agents – Pay cash to reload account balance via mobile money
  • ATMs – Some banks ATMs support recharging Tigo SIM
  • Online – Recharge using international debit/credit cards on Tigo website or mobile app
  • Mobile money transfers – If you have a Tanzanian mobile money account, you can directly transfer airtime credit to your Tigo number.

X. Alternatives to Tigo Tanzania SIM Cards

Some alternatives you can consider for SIM cards in Tanzania are:

  • Vodacom Tanzania – Second largest provider with extensive coverage
  • Airtel Tanzania – Third major operator, mostly urban areas
  • Halotel – Newer network by Vietnam-based operator
  • Smart – CDMA network with growing presence
  • TTCL – State owned operator, limited network

Weigh coverage at your destinations but Tigo overall works well across Tanzania.

XI. FAQs about Tigo Tanzania SIM Cards

Does Tigo SIM work in Zanzibar?

Yes, Tigo has coverage on both Unguja and Pemba islands in Zanzibar. A Tigo Tanzania SIM card will automatically work when roaming on Zanzibar.

Is 4G/LTE available on Tigo?

Tigo launched 4G services in 2014 and has wide LTE coverage in major cities and tourist areas in Tanzania. Speeds average around 20-30 Mbps.

Can I use Tigo SIM in other African countries?

Tigo Tanzania SIM works in Tanzania only. It will not work when roaming in other countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda. Best to get local SIM card in each country.

How long is Tigo SIM card valid for?

Regular prepaid SIM valid for 180 days from last recharge. Tourist SIM valid 30 days from activation. Keep recharging to stop SIM and number from expiring.

Does Tigo SIM work in hotspots/routers?

Yes, Tigo data SIM cards will work in unlocked hotspots and routers. You can insert SIM and set up WiFi access from devices.

XII. Final Words

A Tigo Tanzania SIM card provides convenient data connectivity and calling ability for travelers visiting popular attractions across the country.

Opt for a prepaid Tigo SIM for flexibility or tourist bundle for an initial kickstart. Tigo’s wide 4G coverage, affordable data rates, and easy availability makes it a top pick for exploring Tanzania.