Vodacom Tanzania is the leading mobile network operator in Tanzania with over 15 million subscribers. For tourists visiting Tanzania, getting a local SIM card is essential to stay connected affordably. Let’s explore everything you need to know about getting Vodacom Tanzania SIM cards or eSIM as a tourist.

vodacom tanzania sim cards

I. Quick Facts about Vodacom Tanzania

quick facts about vodacom in tanzania
  • Founded in 2000
  • Full company name is Vodacom Tanzania PLC
  • Provides mobile voice, messaging, data services and mobile financial services
  • Has over 15 million subscribers as of 2022
  • Covers over 95% of the population
  • Has over 100,000 agents and outlets across Tanzania

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

1. Vodacom Network Coverage in Tanzania

vodacom tanzania coverage

With over 6,000 sites across Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, Vodacom offers extensive population coverage of over 95% across the country. This makes Vodacom the operator with the widest 2G, 3G and 4G coverage in Tanzania currently.

Vodacom’s network reaches all major cities and towns across the diverse regions of Tanzania including Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, Tanga, Mwanza, Morogoro, Dodoma, Mbeya, Mtwara, Zanzibar and more. Even in remote areas like national parks and game reserves, Vodacom generally has usable coverage on key tourist routes and lodges.

This extensive network coverage is crucial when exploring Tanzania’s diverse attractions across different regions and ensures connectivity wherever your journey takes you. As Tanzania’s leading operator, Vodacom is the most reliable choice for thorough coverage.

2. Vodacom Tanzania Speed

Vodacom Tanzania boasts some impressive network speeds. As the leading network provider in the country, Vodacom’s internet connectivity has been recognized as the fastest available in Tanzania.

According to recent speed tests from the second quarter of 2022, Vodacom ranked 16th in sub-Saharan Africa with median download speeds of 17.08 Mbps. Upload speeds clocked in at a solid 8.62 Mbps as well.

Vodacom’s lead in 4G coverage and capacity delivers the best speeds for browsing, streaming, messaging, calls and mobile apps wherever they have network across Tanzania. For travelers, Vodacom Tanzania’s speed advantage provides the best experience staying connected on tours.

III. Vodacom Tanzania Connectivity Options for Travelers to Tanzania

Vodacom Tanzania offers several connectivity options for visitors to Tanzania:

Option Availability Activation Process Coverage Notes
Local Vodacom SIM card Widely available at airports and stores Purchase SIM and credit in-country Tanzania-wide 3G/4G coverage Most affordable local option; easy to top-up credit
Vodacom Tanzania eSIM For compatible phones Purchase online or via app before/after arrival Tanzania-wide 3G/4G coverage No physical SIM needed; activated remotely
Vodacom Tanzania Prepaid Roaming Over 190 countries Roam on existing SIM abroad Roaming coverage depends on partner networks Useful backup or short trips; daily roaming rates apply
Vodacom International Roaming Vodacom subscribers from SA, Mozambique etc Roam on existing Vodacom SIM Tanzania-wide 3G/4G coverage Discounted roaming rates through Vodacom One Network

Having options between Vodacom SIM, eSIM or roaming allows visitors to choose the most convenient way to stay connected based on their trip duration, phone and needs.

IV. Best Vodacom Tanzania SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

Vodacom offers a wide range of prepaid data plans to suit different needs and budgets for their customers in Tanzania. The plans range from as little as 70MB of data for just $0.23 for 1 day, up to massive packages like 50GB for $43.77 for 30 days.

Time Period Data Volume Price (USD)
1 day 70 MB 0.23
200 MB 0.46
1 GB 0.92
2 nights (11pm-5am) 4 GB 0.69
7 days 500 MB 1.38
800 MB 2.30
2 GB 4.61
5 GB 6.92
12 GB 9.23
30 days 500 MB 2.30
2 GB 6.92
10 GB 16.15
20 GB 23.08
50 GB 43.77

In general the pricing is reasonable compared to mobile data costs in other parts of Africa and Asia. Customers have flexibility to choose a plan that suits their budget and data needs whether it be an occasional small amount or regular heavy usage.

V. Does Vodacom Tanzania Support eSIM in Tanzania?

Yes, Vodacom Tanzania launched eSIM support in 2022 for compatible devices. eSIM allows digital activation of a mobile plan on your phone without needing to insert a physical SIM card.

The cost and data rates for Vodacom Tanzania eSIM are generally the same as regular Vodacom prepaid SIMs. However, purchasing a Vodacom eSIM from their stores requires you to already be in Tanzania. As an alternative, we would recommend buying an eSIM data plan for Tanzania from esimtanzania.com

tanzania esim

esimtanzania.com provides prepaid Vodacom eSIM plans for 1GB, 3GB, 5GB and 10GB that you can easily purchase online from anywhere in the world.

VI. Where can You Buy an Vodacom Tanzania SIM card and eSIM?

where to buy vodacom sim card in tanzania

1. Where to Buy Vodacom Tanzania SIM Cards in Tanzania?

Vodacom Tanzania prepaid SIM cards are widely available at thousands of outlets across the country including:

  • Airports – Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar airport Vodacom shops or partner retailers
  • Vodacom Stores – Available in all major town centers and malls
  • Supermarkets – Major stores like Shoprite, Uchumi, etc. often have Vodacom SIMs
  • Petrol Stations – Many gas stations have Vodacom SIM sales counters
  • Local Shops – Smaller local stores, kiosks and agents sell Vodacom SIMs in smaller towns
  • Hotels & Lodges – Many hotels can provide or direct you where to get local Vodacom SIMs

When purchasing, have your passport ready for registration. Prices range from 5,000 TZS for a prepaid SIM to up to 50,000 TZS for tourist SIM bundles.

2. How to Buy Vodacom Tanzania eSIM?

For travelers looking for an affordable Vodacom eSIM option for Tanzania, esimtanzania.com is more convenient compared to purchasing directly from Vodacom stores in the country.

how esimtanzania.com benefits you

Buying online before arrival is easiest to get set up quickly after arriving. To buy an eSIM from Vodacom Tanzania’s network

  1. Visit esimtanzania.com
  2. Choose a data plan and quantity.
  3. Add to cart and proceed to checkout.
  4. Enter payment details and pay.
  5. eSIM details will be emailed within 5 minutes.
  6. Scan the QR code to install on your compatible device.
  7. Plan will activate upon connecting to a network in Tanzania.
  8. Contact support if needed.

VII. How to Activate Vodacom Tanzania SIM Cards in Tanzania?

Activating your Vodacom Tanzania SIM card is straightforward:

  1. Biometric Registration
    Register your SIM card’s number biometrically by visiting any Vodacom shop or registration agent. Bring your national ID or passport for foreigners.
  2. Insert the SIM Card
    Open your phone and insert the SIM card.
  3. Wait for Activation
    Give it 5 minutes for welcome messages to appear. If nothing happens, turn your phone off and back on. The messages should appear after restarting.
  4. Remote Activation (for Prepaid)
    Download and open the My Vodacom app for Android or iOS. Sign in and tap the menu icon. Scroll down to “Chat to Vodacom” for help. Chat with the bot and mention “self-RICA a SIM card” for instructions to remotely activate your prepaid SIM card. Follow the on-screen steps.

Once activated and topped up, your Vodacom Tanzania SIM is ready for making calls, using mobile data, sending SMS and more during your stay.

VIII. Vodacom Tanzania Call & SMS Rates

Here are the latest prepaid call and SMS rates on Vodacom Tanzania:

Service Rate (Tsh) Rate (USD)
Vodacom Calls Tsh 45 per sec all day $0.018 per sec all day
Vodacom to Other Networks Tsh 5.5 per sec $0.0022 per sec
Local SMS (outside bundles) Tsh 50 per SMS to any network $0.02 per SMS to any network
Data Browsing (outside bundles) Tsh 0.26 per kb $0.000104 per kb

Bundles like VodaBundles offer discounted minutes and SMS if you plan to use a lot. But the above pay-as-you-go rates apply if using outside bundles on prepaid accounts.

Always best to use apps like WhatsApp, FaceTime and Skype for international calls to avoid high per minute charges.

IX. Useful USSD Codes for Vodacom Tanzania SIM Cards/eSIM

Vodacom Tanzania prepaid SIM cards use USSD codes to check balances, purchase bundles and access account settings.

Here are the most useful USSD short codes to know:

Service USSD Code
Check pre-paid balance *102#
Top Up 104 [card pin number]#
M Pesa Services 15000#
Data Balance *102#
Please call me services 140phone number#
Recharge 13601*Recharge PIN#

Enter these codes directly on your phone dial pad and hit call/send to access account info and manage your Vodacom prepaid SIM. Works the same for physical SIM and eSIM.

X. How to Top-up Vodacom Tanzania SIM Cards

Keeping your Vodacom Tanzania SIM topped up is easy through various payment methods:

  • Scratch Cards – Buy top-up vouchers from thousands of shops, kiosks and outlets across Tanzania in denominations from 1,000 TZS to 50,000 TZS. Scratch to reveal pin to enter *149*PIN# to add credit.
  • Mobile Money – Services like Vodacom’s M-Pesa, Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money etc allow you to top up directly from the mobile money app using cash or other payment cards.
  • Online Payments – Visa, Mastercard and mobile money can be used to top up online via My Vodacom App or other Vodacom partners like Jaza, Pepea, etc.
  • OTTs – International mobile top up services like Ding, Recharge.com also support online Vodacom Tanzania top ups from abroad.

Keep your prepaid credit safely topped up to avoid any disruption to your Tanzania trip connectivity!

XI. FAQs about Vodacom Tanzania

Does Vodacom Tanzania SIM card work in Zanzibar?

Yes, Vodacom has good coverage and roaming access in Zanzibar so your Vodacom Tanzania SIM will work fine for calls, texts and internet when visiting Zanzibar.

Can I use Vodacom Tanzania SIM in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda or other countries?

No, Vodacom Tanzania SIM only works within mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. It will not roam in other East African countries. You need to get a local SIM when travelling to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda or other countries.

How long does Vodacom Tanzania SIM card last without top up?

Vodacom prepaid SIM validity is 180 days from the last top up recharge. To keep SIM active, make sure to add more credit at least every 6 months.

Does Vodacom Tanzania SIM card work for Unlocking Safari Vehicle Trackers?

Most safari companies use Vodacom for their vehicle tracker SIMs. So yes, your Vodacom Tanzania SIM should work for unlocking a safari vehicle tracker if required.

Can I get 5G service on Vodacom Tanzania?

Vodacom has tested 5G in Tanzania but has not launched commercial 5G service yet across its network. Currently 4G/LTE coverage is available on Vodacom Tanzania.

XII. Final Words

A Vodacom Tanzania SIM card or eSIM provides the best way to stay connected conveniently and affordably across Tanzania.

With wide coverage, fast speeds and low rates, Vodacom Tanzania makes it easy for travellers to get local connectivity anywhere in the country.

Pick up a prepaid SIM on arrival or activate an eSIM before your trip. Then stay in touch on Vodacom’s leading Tanzania network as you explore!