Travel Insurance
It’s a condition of booking with us that you have full travel insurance before you leave for Africa. Primarily, this is so that all members of your party are adequately insured for any medical emergencies – including the potentially very high costs of air evacuations.

Other benefits usually include cover for things like cancellation, curtailment, baggage, etc.

When to take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance as soon as you book with us, just in case you have to cancel your trip for any reason. We have come across a few policies which must be taken out within a few weeks of your deposit payment for your trip.

Medical cover on travel insurance

Emergency medical cover is the most vital element of your travel insurance. If you suffer an injury, medical costs can start to stack up quickly, especially if an emergency medical evacuation is required.

Some policies offer very basic cover with low maximum limits: these should be avoided. In the case of a serious medical emergency in a remote location, you need to be confident that your insurance will cover all the costs you’re your evacuation and care.

It is hard to know how much cover you need. As a guide, the UK’s independent consumer watchdog, Which?, recommends a minimum cover level of £5,000,000 for British travellers heading worldwide. They advise that in most cases this should be enough to cover emergency medical evacuation, any medical bills whilst in country and medical repatriation to your home country, if required.

Insuring the full cost of your trip

Some insurance companies put a maximum cost limit on the value of trips which they will insure. In the UK this is typically around £5,000 per person. Many will offer extensions to cover the full value of trips for additional premiums.

So always check the value of trip which is covered by your policy: if you only insure a proportion of your trip, then some companies will refuse to pay out more than the equivalent proportion of your claim.

Finding your travel insurance

Under regulations from the UK’s FSA (Financial Services Authority), we are not allowed to make any specific policy recommendations for your insurance, as these depend on your circumstances.

Obviously there is a vast array of providers and policies available. So we’d urge all of our travellers to take time to do their own research to choose the best possible policy for their own needs.

We do note that many insurance companies around the world only offer travel cover for residents of their own country. So although we cannot recommend any policies, below are some suggestions for companies to contact so that you can start your own research.

For our British travellers

Which?, the independent UK charity which acts as a champion for consumers, surveys the market and recommends a number of insurance companies. Below are the top-scoring travel insurance companies, as of April 2018.
Alternatively, many specialist travel companies have a financial agreement with the insurers Campbell Irvine - and so recommend them strongly. We don’t have any financial relationship with them, but do know that they offer comprehensive policies and so are worth a look.

For our North American travellers

Below are a handful of insurance companies based in North America which have assisted our travellers in the past.
  • American Express Travel Insurance
  • AIG Travel Guard
  • US Travel Insured
  • Another promising possibility is a policy from Travel Guard Plus, purchased through Safari Samaritan. Their USD100,000 medical cover is less than we recommend to European-based travellers, but we’re told that it’s relatively high compared with the level of medical cover provided by most US insurers. At time of writing, we believe that this policy includes adventure sports, but do check all the details for yourself. We’re also told that travel to southern Africa from North America is regarded by US under-writers as relatively low-risk. Hence these premiums are lower than similar insurances which cover world-wide travel. So although we don’t have personal experience of this policy – and can’t ‘recommend’ this, or any other insurance product – we believe that this policy is well worth investigating. If you have any questions about this policy, please email joel@SafariSamaritan.com.

    Other countries

    We do know of a company called Global Voyager who claim to insure on an “anywhere to anywhere” basis. They may well be worth investigating if you can’t easily find an insurance company based in your home country.