Planning a trip to Uganda and flying to Entebbe International Airport? This is your guide for buying a sim card at Entebbe Airport near Kampala. It is the most convenient place to get your Uganda sim card for a trip around the country. Don’t get stuck with high roaming costs, get connected!
When visiting a country abroad and there is no free roaming with your sim card then get yourself a local sim card. It is the first thing I do whenever I arrive in a new country. On my big Africa overland trip I already wrote sim card guides for Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia and many more.
Sim card Entebbe Airport vlog
See below my video about buying a sim card at Entebbe Airport with prices, directions, where to go and everything else you need to know.
I advice tourists to buy an Airtel Uganda sim card. Based on my own experiences, especially in the South of Uganda (Bwindi and Mburo National Park) Airtel has much better coverage than MTN. Africell is the weakest network in Uganda.
Also strongly advising you NOT to invest in an international sim card. I wrote a complete guide for buying a global sim card to travel around the world and the outcome is that most of these travel sim cards are a rip off!
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Social media tax Uganda (OTT)
To me it came as a big surprise, but when arriving in Uganda and after buying a sim card I found out that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were NOT WORKING! WTF Uganda?
The government introduced a social media tax and although it is very little money, it is just a pain in the ass. The OTT can be paid at every phone booth around the country and costs 2,000 UGX per week ($0.5) or 6,000 UGX ($1.5) per month.
I recommend you to do this straight away when buying a Uganda sim card. However, still Instagram and Facebook is BLOCKED! Therefore I used a VPN when traveling in Uganda. Officially it is against the law, but well… life is too short not to Instagram! :)
Entebbe Airport is the main international hub for traveling to Uganda. Entebbe is a laid-back town 45 kilometer south of Kampala, the capital Uganda. It is a fairly small airport and very easy to navigate. There is only one arrival hall. After you pick up your luggage and go through customs you will walk into a small hall.
Where to buy a sim card at Entebbe Airport
As soon as you walk into the arrival hall you will see a Tourist Information desk just right in front of you. On your right hand side you will see several ATMs and a yellow sign saying MTN shop. MTN is a Uganda sim card provider, however at this particular kiosk they don’t sell Uganda sim cards. Welcome to Africa! :)
Just behind the information desk in the direction of the restaurant there is an Airtel shop on your left hand side and here is where you can buy a sim card for Uganda at Entebbe Airport.
The Airtel shop supposed to be open 24 hours, if for some reason no one is there you can try to call the owner Hosea: +256 755 628 905.
But don’t worry there is another place to buy a sim card at Entebbe Airport. Just 50 meters on your left hand side when you leave the airport building (still within the gates) there are 3 kiosks that sell prepaid sim cards for Uganda: MTN, Airtel and Africell.
The kiosks are very colorful and you can’t miss them. For the best directions watch the vlog about buying a sim card at Entebbe Aiport.
Prices Uganda sim cards Entebbe Airport
Inside at the Airtel shop they sell also MTN sim cards and luckily the prices inside in the shop and outside at the kiosks are the exact same. That makes it much easier! :)
An Airtel sim card costs 5,000 UGX ($1.5) and you can top up with several packages: daily, weekly and monthly data bundles. Adding some calling minutes is separate.
Here are the best Airtel data bundles I would recommend:
- 15,000 UGX = 4 GB data for 1 week ($4)
- 20,000 UGX = 7 GB data for 1 week ($6)
- 30,000 UGX = 9 GB data for 1 month ($8)
- 50,000 UGX = 20 GB data for 1 month ($14)
Very competitive prices as you can see. Local sim cards for Uganda are cheap. Airtel calling credit costs about 5 cent for 1 minutes. So adding $1 calling credit will get you about 20 minutes local calling time.
An MTN sim card also costs 5,000 UGX ($1.5) and you can choose to add daily, weekly and monthly voice & data bundles separately.
These are the best value MTN data bundles:
- 20,000 UGX = 5 GB data for 1 week ($6)
- 50,000 UGX = 10 GB data for 1 month ($6)
As you can see MTN is more expensive than Airtel and/or less value for money. Also calling credit is more expensive, see below.
Africell has the smallest network in Uganda and is therefore a little cheaper. A sim card costs 2,000 UGX ($0.5)
Africell data bundles:
- 15,000 UGX = 4.5 GB data for 1 week ($4)
- 20,000 UGX = 8 GB data for 1 week ($6)
- 25,000 UGX = 8 GB data for 1 month ($7)
- 50,000 UGX = 20 GB data for 1 month ($14)
As you can see the Africell Uganda prepaid sim card data bundles are the cheapest and/or best value for money. However, their network coverage is the weakest.
Buy a Uganda sim card online
If you don’t want the hassle of buying a Uganda sim card at Entebbe Airport you can order one online before your trip. Through the Simoptions website you can order a sim card for Uganda for $50 with 10 GB data.
The sim card will be send to your home address and is automatically activated from its first use.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card at Entebbe Airport for your Uganda trip were helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions, just leave me a comment below.
Enjoy your trip to Uganda!