Getting connected with a local SIM card can make traveling internationally much easier. For visitors flying into Maputo International Airport in Mozambique, there are several options available for purchasing SIM cards right at the airport.

This guide will cover where to buy a SIM card airside or landside at Maputo airport, highlight the major provider options and their costs, go through what’s needed to get set up with SIM card service upon arrival, discuss eSIM as an emerging alternative, and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

SIM Card at Maputo International Airport

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Maputo International Airport

There are several stores and kiosks at Maputo International Airport that sell local Mozambique SIM cards for travelers. The three main locations to purchase SIM cards are:

1. Vodacom Store

Vodacom is one of the largest mobile carriers in Mozambique. There is an official Vodacom store located after exiting the international arrivals area, on the ground floor near the airport exits. It is open during airport operational hours.

This Vodacom store sells a variety of SIM card packages, data bundles and has staff who can assist travelers in English or Portuguese. It accepts cash and credit card payments. This is often the most convenient location to get a SIM card right when you land.

2. Mcel Store

Mcel is another top mobile carrier in the country. Mcel has a store on the ground floor of the domestic departures area that offers SIM cards, reloads and data/airtime bundles.

The staff speaks English and can help activate and set up the SIM card. Keep in mind this location is only accessible if passing through domestic departures, not international arrivals.

3. Multi-provider Kiosks

There are also various independent kiosks located in the international arrivals area that offer SIM card at Maputo International Airport from multiple providers like Vodacom and Mcel. These sell both prepaid and postpaid plans.

Some advantages of the kiosks are staying within the international arrivals zone, flexibility to compare different provider rates/packages easily, and extended hours. The downside can be dealing with sales agents less fluent in languages besides Portuguese. Still, in most cases they can adequately help travelers get an appropriate SIM card.

In summary, Vodacom or Mcel stores, or independent kiosks in international arrivals offer SIM card purchase options upon landing at Maputo airport. Vodacom and Mcel stores provide reliable customer service from major providers, while independent kiosks allow comparing rates from different providers.

II. Maputo International Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

Operator Coverage Plan Data Minutes Validity SIM Price at Airport
Vodacom Nationwide 4G 1GB for 7 days 1GB 30 minutes 7 days $10
Movitel Nationwide 3G/4G 2GB for 15 days 2GB 60 minutes 15 days $8
Tmcel Major cities 500MB for 3 days 500MB 20 minutes 3 days $5
  • Vodacom is the largest operator with great 4G coverage across Mozambique. They offer a budget plan of 1GB of data and 30 minutes of talk time valid for 7 days for $5. SIM cards can be purchased at the airport for $10.
  • Movitel has nationwide coverage and offers more data (2GB) and minutes (60) valid for a longer duration (15 days) for $10. SIM cards are available at the airport for $8.
  • Tmcel has coverage focused on major cities. Their short validity 3-day 500MB plan comes with 20 minutes of talk time and is affordable at $3 but SIM will cost $5 at the airport.

So in summary, Movitel offers the best value prepaid plan while Vodacom SIM will be convenient with their wide coverage but costs slightly more at the airport.

III. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Maputo International Airport

Maputo Airport
Maputo Airport. Source

When planning to purchase a local SIM card upon arrival at Maputo Airport, there are a few key items travelers should prepare beforehand:

1. Check SIM Card Registration Requirements

In Mozambique, purchasing and registering a SIM card requires providing national identification documents under anti-terrorism regulations.

As a foreign visitor, you will need to present your valid passport when buying a SIM card at the airport shops or kiosks. Make sure to carry your passport out and accessible when exiting the airport, not packed deep in luggage.

2. Have Local Currency Available

Purchasing a SIM card, starter data bundle or airtime top-up is only possible using Meticais (MZN) cash or occasional credit card payments.

Before landing, withdraw some local currency at an ATM or exchange desk to pay for your SIM card or initial credits. Have about $1,57 - 7,83 on hand for purchasing SIM Card and initializing service.

3. Unlock Phones If Necessary

Using a SIM card from a local carrier requires having an unlocked device. Most foreign purchased phones are unlocked by default.

But if you previously locked your phone to a specific network provider, ensure it is network unlocked prior to travel so that inserting a Mozambique SIM works seamlessly.

4. Check Device Compatibility

Finally, ensure your smartphone has proper network band support to connect with local mobile networks. Most modern devices have wide compatibility.

With these steps completed, your device will be ready to plug in a new SIM and connect reliably upon arrival to Maputo.

IV. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Maputo International Airport

Here are some key benefits of purchasing an eSIM rather than a physical SIM card at the airport in Mozambique:

  • Convenience – Activate online before travel, no airport visit needed.
  • Saves time – Instant setup, no waiting in lines.
  • Wider device compatibility – Works on compatible smartphones.
  • No risk of loss/damage – digitally stored on the device.
  • Remote account management – Switch plans online easily.
  • Flexibility – Change carriers without new SIM card.
  • Improved security – SIM swapping is not an issue.
  • Future proof – Seamless international roaming.

If you want the convenience and flexibility of an electronic SIM (eSIM) for your travels to Mozambique, I recommend considering the options from, which is part of the GIGAGO network. With an eSIM, you download a digital profile to your eSIM-compatible phone instead of inserting a physical SIM card.

Here’s what makes stand out:

  • Variety & Flexibility: Choose among a wide array of data packages that are best suited for your goals.
  • Multiple Network Coverage: They take care of the technical aspects by collaborating with major Mozambique mobile providers so that you get a fast and reliable connection during your trip smoothly and uninterrupted.
  • Top-notch Customer Service: They offer 24/7 customer support so you can get assistance if needed.
  • Affordable Prices: Their eSIMs are competitively priced, offering excellent value for money.

Plan that may interest you

Mozambique eSIM 7 Days Plan
Mozambique eSIM 7 Days Plan
From $8.90
Mozambique eSIM 30 Days Plan
Mozambique eSIM 30 Days Plan

Potential downsides are device compatibility and remote connectivity issues. However, eSIM offers significant advantages over physical SIM cards for most Mozambique trips through digital convenience.


Which operators can I buy from at the airport?

The major operators Vodacom, Movitel, Mcel and Tmcel have counters at the airport where you can buy SIM cards.

What do I need to provide to buy a SIM?

You’ll need your passport to register for the SIM. Some operators may also require proof of address in Mozambique.

How much do SIM cards cost at the airport?

Expect to pay around $3-5 for a basic starter pack including some credits. SIMs are slightly more expensive than buying in-town.

What payment methods are accepted?

Cash in Metical or US Dollars is preferred. Some operators may accept credit/debit cards too but with a surcharge.

VI. Conclusion

Staying connected while traveling is essential, and a SIM card at Maputo International Airport provides a convenient solution for tourists. With easy access at the airport, you can quickly get connected to the local network and enjoy uninterrupted communication during your stay.

Additionally, the option of using an eSIM offers even more convenience and flexibility. So, make sure to prepare your passport, cash or credit card, and an unlocked phone before your trip to Mozambique. Stay connected and enjoy your travels!