How to watch British TV in South Africa

South Africa and UK flag

In this guide we’re going to show you the easiest way to watch British TV in South Africa.

South Africa is an amazing country. The mix of cultures, the blend of city and safari and a whole host of other things. In fact, we Brits must think it’s amazing because there are an estimated 212,000 of us living there as expats.

That number isn’t even counting the many more of us who travel there for holidays.

While South Africa is great, missing TV from back home in the UK is something most expats complain of and even if you’re not a British expat but you just love British TV, you will appreciate how to watch more of it.

We’re going to show you the extremely easy way how with an app called a VPN you can watch British TV in South Africa.

What you need to view British TV in South Africa

The easiest way to watch British TV in South Africa is to use the online streaming service of the channel you want to watch.

However, if you’ve already tried to visit the likes of BBC iPlayer while in South Africa you’ll know it’s blocked. You’ll see a message similar to the following.

BBC iPlayer blocked July 17

The good news is all you need is a little app called a VPN and instead of seeing the message above you’ll be able to watch BBC iPlayer and every other UK online streaming service right from the comfort of South Africa.

Just follow the extremely easy steps below and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Steps to watch UK TV in South Africa

  1. Visit the ExpressVPN website and sign-up. Don’t panic, they have a 30-day money back guarantee so it’s risk free.
  2. Download the correct app or software for your device.
  3. Run the app or software and select the United Kingdom.
  4. Press Connect.

It takes approximately 15 seconds for the ExpressVPN app or software to connect.

Once it’s connected any websites you visit will now think you’re in the UK even though in reality you’re in South Africa or anywhere else in the world.

All you need to do now is visit your favourite online TV streaming service and instead of being blocked you’ll be able to watch any show or programme you wish. We’ve rounded up some of the best services at the bottom of this article.


If you’re still a little unsure or struggling to find the correct options to connect take a look at the example images below that show you the process on both a mobile device and a regular computer.

ExpressVPN connecting to the UK

View your favourite TV using ExpressVPN.

Once you’ve finished watching just simply click Disconnect and everything returns to normal.

You can reconnect as many times as you wish as long as you have a valid subscription.


Occasionally some of the ExpressVPN United Kingdom connection points (also known as Servers) don’t work with your favourite TV streaming service.

In that case you simply need to select a different one. Under Countries select United Kingdom and select one of the listed cities.

You may need to try a few different cities and servers depending on the service you’re trying to watch.

Alternative VPN Services

If you search Google quickly for “VPN services” you’ll find there are thousands of different providers.

Not all are suitable to watch British TV in South Africa because they’re just too slow. However, you don’t need to stick with ExpressVPN, although they are our top rated VPN provider which is why we recommend them.

If you want to shop around a bit then the following three services are also worth considering.

Just like ExpressVPN all you need to do is click on their name, sign-up, download the correct app or software for your device and connect to their United Kingdom server.

British TV Services

Your new VPN service will allow you to watch any UK online streaming service.

This includes both free-to-air services and any services that you have a valid subscription or login information for.

Below are some of the best.


  • BBC iPlayer
  • ITV Player
  • All 4
  • Demand 5
  • TV Player

Subscription Only:

Don’t forget, all you need is a VPN to be able to watch British TV in South Africa and you can watch all those listed above and more.

Click the button below to get yourself one and follow the instructions earlier in this guide.

30-day money back guarantee

Author: Christopher Seward

Having used the internet since 1994, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.


  1. Good afternoon, I am a 67 year old technically challenged lady. I would like to be able to watch British TV, especially sport on my TV not my laptop. If I get a VPN, how do I set it up to stream via my laptop to the TV?

    • Christopher Seward


      Some laptops will allow you to connect wirelessly or “cast” the screen to your TV. Others would require some kind of cable from your laptop to TV. What kind of laptop do you have and do you know if it’s running Windows or Mac?

      The only other issues is there’s not a lot of free sport on UK TV these days, unless you have some kind of UK subscription you could access?

  2. Peter

    Hi, I’ve read the comments regarding VPN in South Africa. I’m looking to move there next year and have a couple of questions. I want to be able to watch UK programmes in my TV, not on a laptop or iPad. I also want to make internet calls back to the UK, that would show to UK call receiver that the call is coming from a UK number. I believe this could work if the complete network signal from the home in South Africa runs over the VPN, therefore everything in the house in SA would look like it’s connecting fin theUK. Is this possible? Thanks

    • Christopher Seward

      Hi Peter,

      The best way to watch on a TV would be to use an Amazon Fire TV Stick / Cube. You would then need a VPN service also which is installed on that as an app. The Fire TV plugs into the HDMI port on your TV and will then let you watch what you need on your TV.

      The VPN would make your internet connection look like it’s in the UK but in regard to ‘internet calls’ that would depend on your set-up.

      Possibly the easier way to achieve that would be to use Skype, get a UK “Skype Number” and then set the setting that allows your caller ID to be displayed. This would then display the UK number when making calls via the Skype app.

  3. Can not get into my app.Keep on saying not available

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