Traveling to Congo Brazzaville anytime soon? You must be a true world traveler choosing this destination for your next trip. I have been there myself and wrote this guide for helping you to stay connected when traveling to the Congo Republic. Below you can find where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per January 2024, the best 4G/5G network in Congo Brazzaville, my recommendation and info about international and e-sim cards for Congo Republic.
The Republic of Congo was country 125 on my journey to visit every country in the world and everywhere I go I buy a local prepaid sim card to stay connected. That is how on Traveltomtom you can find more than 200 prepaid sim card guides from all over the world: Cameroon, Douala, Gabon, Sao Tome & Principe, Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa, Zambia, France, Paris, Lebanon, Europe, USA, Asia and many more.
So next time you are planning your next adventure abroad come check Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next holiday destination. Bookmark this website!
Traveltomtom recommends an Airtel sim card for Congo Brazzaville. They have the best 4G network in Congo Brazzaville and for 6,000 XAF ($10 USD) you get 6 GB data for 7 days.
A great alternative for buying a sim card in Congo Brazzaville on arrival is buying a sim card online before your trip that covers the Republic of Congo. Have a look at my article with the best international sim cards for traveling in 2024.
Best e-sim card for Congo Brazzaville
The easiest way to get internet when traveling to Congo Brazzaville in 2024 is an e-sim card. No doubt! You can order one directly online, receive a code, update your settings and you are good to go.
There are not many e-sim providers that sell e-sim cards for Congo Brazzaville, but Airalo does and they offer the following Congo Republic e-sim card deals:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9.5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $27 USD
SimOptions is another e-sim card provider. They offer international e-sim cards that are valid in multiple countries, including the Republic of Congo.
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
- 10 GB data for 14 days = $39.90 USD
E-sim cards only work in e-sim compatible phones. If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you can also still order a physical sim card for Congo Brazzaville on the internet and get it delivered to your home address before your trip. Get for example 10 GB data for $49.90 USD.
Why buying a sim card in Congo Brazzaville
Some people like to rely on public WiFi when traveling abroad. Personally, it is my worst nightmare, especially in Central Africa! Free public WiFi is often not existing or very slow.
Also another reminder that surfing the web on public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network. The use of a VPN in these cases is very much recommended.
Did you know that overseas data plans often cap the internet speed? Meaning you will be surfing on a 3G signal! Very annoying trust me.
Data roaming? Well, if you have too much money and don’t mind spending hundreds of dollars on your phone bill.
Therefore Traveltomtom recommends buying a local prepaid sim card in the Republic of Congo. It is done fast, you get the best 4G/5G network coverage, fastest data speed and last but not least a lot of data for little money!
Be aware that foreign prepaid sim cards only work in unlocked phones. Make sure your phone is unlocked before traveling to the Republic of Congo. If you are unsure about this then contact your provider in your home country.
Mobile internet operators in Congo Brazzaville
There are two mobile internet providers in Congo Brazzaville and they both sell prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Where to buy a sim card in Congo Brazzaville
No doubt that the most convenient place to buy a sim card for Congo Brazzaville is on arrival on the airport. At the airport stores the employees mostly speak a little English as they are used to deal with tourists. Also the stores are NOT busy and buying a sim card will take just a couple minutes.
Buying a sim card at Brazzaville Airport
At Brazzaville International Airport they sell local prepaid sim cards. There is an MTN and an Airtel phone shop at the Arrivals Hall. They are impossible to miss as you will walk right into them on arrival. They are open from 07.00 AM until 09.00 PM. Unfortunately they only accept cash, credit cards are not accepted. There are ATM's at Brazzaville Airport.
Buying a sim card at Pointe Noire Airport
Are you setting foot in Congo Brazzaville for the first in Pointe Noire Airport then also here there is an opportunity to buy a local prepaid sim card. As soon as you walk into the arrival hall of Pointe Noire Airport you will find an Airtel and an MTN store on your right hand side. They accept only cash and shops are open from 08.00 AM to 08.00 PM. There are ATM’s at Pointe Noire Airport.
Brazzaville and Pointe Noire city center
In case you missed the opportunity to buy a sim card at one of the airports in Congo Brazzaville you can always find an Airtel or MTN store in the city center of either Brazzaville or Pointe Noire. However, waiting lines can sometimes be out of control and very little English is spoken! So be prepared!
When buying a sim card in Congo Brazzaville you will need to bring your passport. A copy or photo of your passport is taken at the store and the sim card will be registered on your passport number.
Prices prepaid sim cards in Congo Brazzaville
Prices on the photos below are in CFA Central African Franc. As per January 2024 100 CFA/XAF = $0.17 USD and $1 USD = 597 CFA/XAF.
An MTN prepaid sim card costs 300 XAF which is $0.5 USD. This is just for the registration and there is no additional credit on the sim card. You can top up with a daily, weekly or monthly data package, see the photo above.
Here are the most common ones:
- 6.84 GB data for 7 days = 4,500 XAF ($7.5 USD)
- 9.76 GB data for 7 days = 6,000 XAF ($10 USD)
- 6.26 GB data for 30 days = 5,500 XAF ($9 USD)
- 13.68 GB data for 30 days = 10,000 XAF ($17 USD)
- 19.54 GB data for 30 days = 13,000 XAF ($22 USD)
Credit for calling needs to be purchased separately!
An Airtel prepaid sim card costs 500 XAF ($0.9 USD) and also comes with no credit. See all the available data packages above. Here are the common ones:
- 1.5 GB data for 7 days = 2,000 XAF ($3 USD)
- 5 GB data for 7 days = 6,000 XAF ($10 USD)
- 15 GB data for 30 days = 16,000 XAF ($27 USD)
When you want to make phone calls you will have to add some extra credit.
Best 4G/5G mobile network in Congo Brazzaville
The Republic of Congo is one of the most untouched countries in the world and most of the country is covered by (rain)forest. The mobile internet network away from main citied and some tourist destinations is very weak.
Let’s have a look at the 4G/5G coverage maps of Congo Brazzaville.
Airtel Congo 4G/5G network coverage
MTN Congo 4G/5G network coverage
As you can see from the above mobile internet coverage maps there is no 5G in Congo Brazzaville yet as per 2024. The fastest mobile data connection you can find in Congo Brazzaville is 4G/LTE.
We can conclude though that Airtel has the best 3G/4G mobile network coverage in Congo Brazzaville. The 4G network of Airtel is more extensive then the 4G network of MTN.
Best sim card for Congo Brazzaville in 2024
Compared to neighboring countries in Central Africa, data packages in Congo Brazzaville are expensive.
If you want just a little bit of data for navigation, email, etc then there are not that many options with MTN. It is either 750 MB or 6.26 GB. The Airtel data packages are more flexible and you can buy 1.5 GB, 3.5 GB, 5 GB, etc.
That said Airtel is much more expensive and you get less data for the same price compared to MTN.
Airtel has the best 3G/4G network coverage in the country so if you are traveling in the Republic of Congo we concluded that Airtel is the best prepaid sim card in Congo Brazzaville in 2024.
However, if you are just visiting Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville and not intended to leave the city then MTN will do the job just as good and is much cheaper.
Buying a sim card for Congo Brazzaville online
If all the above sounds like too much hassle you can also buy a sim card for Congo Republic online. This international sim card will be send to your home address before your trip and is automatically activated from its first use. Check the following offer:
- 10 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD
Click here to order a sim card for Congo Brazzaville directly online.
My experience buying a sim card in Congo Brazzaville
My trip to the Republic of Congo started in Pointe Noire. After visiting country 124: Gabon I took an Afrijet flight from Libreville to Pointe Noire.
When I walked into the arrival hall at the modern airport of Pointe Noire I was happy to see an MTN store and an Airtel store on my right hand side. I asked for the prices at both shops to see what they were offering. However, I knew already which sim card for Congo Brazzaville I was going to buy.
Before my trip to the Republic of Congo I looked up which provider had the best 4G mobile network and that turned out to be Airtel.
Since I was traveling overland from Pointe Noire to Brazzaville I wanted an Airtel sim card for Congo Republic to make sure I was connected as much as possible.
In and around Pointe Noire and Brazzaville I was very content with the signal and the fast data speed. I never used the free WiFi of the hotels, always just my Airtel data and also created a hotspot for my Macbook when working on this travel blog.v
In case you were wondering how I afford to travel then here is my story of how I started and how this travel blog is helping me nowadays.
Apart from Brazzaville and Point Noire I also traveled to Dolisie. In Dolisie I also enjoyed a strong and fast 4G signal and uploaded many Instagram stories and TikTok videos about my trip to Congo Brazzaville.
Last but not least during my road trip between Pointe Noire and Brazzaville the signal was pretty weak or non-existing even though on the 4G/5G coverage maps for Congo Brazzaville it is showing there would be an ok signal.
That said, when you travel through the Republic of Congo you will understand why! Congo Brazzaville almost looks like it is one big national park! There were definitely a lot of big cell phone antennas along the perfect highway N1 from Brazzaville to Pointe Noire. Which means there are times there actually is a signal along the way.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card in Congo Brazzaville were helpful. If you have any more questions please leave me a comment below.
If you are interested what it looks like traveling to every country in the world then check out my Instagram profile @traveltomtom for some serious wanderlust. As of January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries around the world.
Enjoy your trip to the Republic of Congo!
Some links in this article about the best sim cards for traveling in Congo Republic are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you!