Medical Services & Insurance

Medical Services

For visitors with health insurance, there are several first-class private hospitals and an efficient company, MediRescue, which provides emergency air evacuations from the rural areas.

Visitors to South Africa should always take out a comprehensive medical insurance policy to cover them for emergencies, including the cost of evacuation to bigger cities and towns within the region. Such policies come with an emergency number (often on a reverse-charge/call collect basis). You would be wise to memorise this, or indelibly mark it in as many places as possible on your baggage.


Personal effects insurance is also a sensible precaution, but check the policy's fine print before you leave home. Often, in even the best policies, you will find a limit per item, or per claim - which can be well below the cost of a replacement.

If you need to list your valuables separately, then do so comprehensively. Check that receipts are not required for claims if you do not have them, also that the excess, which you have to pay on a claim is reasonable.

Annual travel policies can be excellent value if you travel a lot, and some of the larger credit-card companies offer excellent policies. However, it can often be better to get your valuables named and insured for travel using your home contents insurance. These year-round policies will try harder to settle your claim fairly as they want your business in the long term.