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Why Travel Insurance is Essential for an African Safari

International travel insurance is prudent at very least under normal circumstances. When it comes to visiting Africa to take a safari it’s an absolute necessity. That’s not because you’re going to be at risk of serious harm. It’s mostly because we take adventure seriously and you’re likely to be well off the beaten track.


When you assess the risks about travel in Africa, the key is to strike a sensible balance. Between being over-cautious on one hand, too relaxed about health and safety on the other.

You’re simply not going to find hazards at every turn. In fact, where you’re most likely to go, you won’t find many people about in the first place!

Health too is a real consideration – wherever you go in the world. Africa is simply not full of bugs, germs and exotic diseases. The ones there, however, are quite a bit different from anything you’re likely to have come across on public transport in any major city in the world!

So the key is to find that sensible balance.

Wildlife and remote places

Let’s be straight – any safari activity is potentially hazardous. Especially for the uninitiated.

We spoke with John Berry from Zambezi Safari & Travel Company to share his advice and experience.

“We place you in the company of highly experienced and qualified Professional Guides when we’re in the bush. The guides will brief you before wildlife encounters and they expect you to follow instructions. If you do so then you’ll be safe and get to experience wild places and big game on an extraordinary level.

This applies to all of our destinations in East, southern and Central Africa.

The remote places that we prefer so much give us the best safari opportunities. They’re also the source of our biggest headaches. So this is what you need to think about.

In the unlikely event of an accident, we’re usually far from major hospitals and emergency evacuation is expensive. This type of event is very rare. You will need International Medical Insurance.”

The 3 big headaches from experience

Why is it that vehicles don’t break down when game viewing at a waterhole? Instead they’ll blow a gasket on the long, dusty and final run to the airstrip to connect with that outbound international flight! It’s a snowball effect with missed connections, unexpected hotel layovers and rescheduled plans.

There’s a phenomenon called “Africa Time”. Where “now”, “now now” and “just now” have very distinct meanings. They have no real relation to scheduled activities though. In fact scheduled activities could just not happen, for no apparent reason and without explanation. Don’t sweat about it, but if it cost you extra then you might be able to recover the expense.

Lost luggage and misplaced valuables (passports, jewellery, camera kit etc.) are common causes of many headaches. Airlines and local operators generally recover lost items without too much fuss. Self-inflicted pain from misplaced valuables can have all sorts of knock on effects. Invariably left in the safe at the last camp now far away. Perhaps in a seat pocket in an aircraft. There’ll probably be consequential costs which insurers might not cover.

Essential insurance for African travel

Specialist travel insurance which covers you whilst on Safari is important. In the unlikely scenario that you run into a wild lion a standard travel insurance policy isn’t going to cover you. At Holidaysafe we cover UK booked safaris as standard across our range of policies.


Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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