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Travel Insurance For South Africa
South Africa offers visitors some of the most exciting and diverse experiences possible, which is why around 87,000 Aussies made the trip in the twelve months to June 20171.
From wild safaris to surfing, and scenic hikes to energetic cities, there’s something for everyone in South Africa. That said, the Australian government recommends exercising a high degree of caution due to high levels of serious crime2. There’s lots to enjoy about South Africa, however travel insurance is particularly important to have if you’re travelling there.
South African attractions and potential travel concerns
For many travellers, South Africa is the classic African destination. With its incredible scenery, diverse wildlife, and cosmopolitan cities, there’s no shortage of things to do. Here’s just a few ideas to start planning your adventure:
• Spot the ‘big five’ on safari: Seeing lions, cheetahs, elephants and more as they roam the African savannah is up there on many people’s ultimate travel wish list. South Africa offers plenty of opportunities, both in national parks and private game reserves.
But it’s vital to remember to always follow instructions from your leader, and not deliberately put yourself in danger around these wild animals. Travel insurance is essential as many of these parks are remote, and if you get ill you may need emergency transport to medical care, which could be quite expensive.
• Surfing: South Africa is legendary for its surf breaks, especially Jeffreys Bay. But there’s no gentle swell here; it’s wild and dangerous, with the added risk of shark attacks. If you’re planning to surf in South Africa, make sure that your travel insurance policy lists this as a specific inclusion.
• Shark diving: Some thrill-seekers like the idea of getting up close and personal with a great white shark. If that’s you, South Africa delivers the goods, with many tour operators offering cage dives especially around Cape Town. Make sure to choose a reputable operator, check your equipment, and always wear safety equipment such as life jackets.
• Wine tasting: South Africa is also renowned for its wines, especially its quintessential local grape variety of pinotage. The grape used to have a bad reputation due to producers making low-quality commercial wine, but over recent years there’s been an emphasis on lower-yields, and a resulting higher quality wine.
It’s a great match with braai, the incredible South African barbeque. But remember, drink sensibly as travel insurance is usually invalidated for alcohol related incidents.
Potential problems in South Africa
South Africa has a high crime rate, both serious and petty2, so you should be vigilant and well-insured. There’s also the risk of diseases like yellow fever (which you can be vaccinated for before leaving Australia), HIV infection and malaria, as well as cholera and other water-borne ailments2.
Driving can be tough, too, as South Africa’s rural roads are poor. Also, remember that if you’re into sports like surfing and climbing, you could get injured. So it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance with the right inclusions, and enjoy peace of mind while travelling.
What does travel insurance cover in South Africa?
South Africa has several potential hazards, so it’s vital you have the right insurance for your budget. If you’re planning to do a safari or travel somewhere remote, you may need add-ons.
A good policy will cover ambulance transportation (important if you’re in a remote area and an air-lift to a city is essential), repatriation flights, medical and hospital costs, dental treatment, and also in-hospital cash.
If you injure someone or damage property while you’re in South Africa you’ll need this cover.
Cancellation fees and lost deposits
If you have to cancel or rearrange your trip, or part of it, then you may lose your deposits or incur a cancellation fee. This cover can reimburse you.
Lost or delayed luggage
If your luggage is lost or delayed then you’ll be able to buy replacement clothes, toiletries, and other effects.
Lost or stolen possessions
If you lose your luggage during the holiday, then you’ll be reimbursed for the costs of replacing your goods. Travel documents should also be covered.
Travel delays and cancellations
If your travel plans are disrupted, then you’ll get a payment to cover the expenses of additional meals and accommodation.
Rental vehicle excess
If you get into an accident with your rental car, then you’re covered against the rental company’s insurance excess payment.
Planning a trip to South Africa soon?
Get covered with the right travel insurance today. Start comparing policies online with iSelect.
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