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Travel Insurance when visiting South Africa

Travel insurance to get you exploring South Africa’s amazing wildlife, its mesmerizing landscapes and incredible culture.

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South Africa has so many calling cards, not only is it home to the Big Five, but it also has a rich history, culture, impressive wine regions and stunning surfing beaches. You always leave richer (culturally) than when you arrived.

What’s covered

With World Nomads you can buy travel insurance before you land in O.R Tambo International Airport or Cape Town International Airport, or while you're already traveling around South Africa.

World Nomads offers cover for many activities ranging from mountain biking to skiing, surfing, kayaking and scuba diving. All our plans offer cover for:

  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Cancellation
  • Baggage
  • Travel delay/interruption

We know how impactful Cape Town, Durban, and the 100-plus national parks here are. So it’s important to be have travel insurance in case something unexpected arises.

As careful as international travelers are, belongings do get stolen, flights get cancelled, and illness or injury can happen. If you forgot to buy travel insurance before you left home, then don’t stress, with World Nomads you can buy travel insurance before you get on the plane or while you're already traveling around beautiful South Africa, it’s up to you.

Depending on your country of residence and the level of cover you have chosen, our policies may cover you for:

  • Coverage for extended stays - If you want to extend your trip, we can help keep you covered. Just sign into your World Nomads membership, select your current policy and follow the links to extend your cover online. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Emergency medical and evacuation - If you become ill or are injured and require emergency treatment or evacuation, your policy may cover you for medical and surgical treatment, hospital fees, and in some cases, specialist counselling. Limits do apply so refer to the policy wording for details.
  • Baggage and personal belongings – If your luggage or personal items are accidentally damaged or stolen, you may be able to claim reimbursement. If your luggage is delayed more than 24 hours, you may be entitled to replacement costs for essential items
  • Activities cover - We cover more than 150 activities worldwide - everything from backpacking to kayaking, hiking, even bungee jumping, but not all are covered under every plan, so read the full list here.
  • Cover for some Coronavirus-related events - To find out what cover may be available to you, read our What’s Covered for Coronavirus article, which has all of the details, including benefit limits, conditions and exclusions.

Do I need travel insurance when visiting South Africa?

The answer is Yes. Whether you’re on a game park safari, or you want to discover the beautiful coastal Garden Route, travel insurance can provide a safety net if your dream trip is derailed due to unexpected events especially when it comes to cover for stolen or damaged baggage.

If you’ve done your research, you’ll know that parts of South Africa can be dangerous with car–jackings, armed robberies, and petty theft. Johannesburg is a city where you need to use common-sense as there are several no-go zones for visitors. When on the road please drive with caution as farmers often don’t fence their livestock, so it’s not uncommon for there to be a stray animal on the road to navigate around. If you’re venturing through a game reserve, remember you’re in the ‘wild’, the elephants, rhinos, cheetahs and lions aren’t tame. 

If you find yourself in a crisis, our Emergency Assistance Team is available 24/7. The team can also help if you’re having trouble getting by in an unfamiliar language.

Two travel insurance plans that may assist with your travel needs

World Nomads recognizes that the level of cover each traveler needs depends on their individual circumstances. That’s precisely why we offer two levels of cover - Standard and Explorer.

Depending on your country of residence and the plan you have purchased you may be covered, for example, if you plan on renting a vehicle and  driving between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park. If you’ve purchased the Explorer option your cover would include a rental car excess and may cover the cost of a replacement key should one be required. The Explorer Plan may also include benefits associated with hijacking, as well as higher baggage reimbursement limits, both of which are important given the rates of crime in the country.

Cover for activities and sports when in South Africa

South Africa offers countless possibilities when it comes to outdoor activities, for example, white water rafting, hiking, bungee jumping, and even shark cage diving.

For the active traveler, World Nomads covers all Level 1 adventure sports, activities and experiences such as hot-air ballooning and camping but if you intend to participate in higher risk activities you must upgrade your cover when you buy your policy by selecting all the activities and sports you’ll be undertaking and pay the additional premium for those activities we cover.

Depending on your country of residence and the level of cover you’ve chosen, you may need to add activities to your policy (check your policy wording carefully as terms and conditions apply).     

What’s not covered?

Some things we don’t cover include:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions as explained in your policy wording.
  • Traveling to, planning to travel to, or choosing to remain in a country or region that is subject to a ‘Do Not Travel’ or ‘Avoid Non-essential Travel’ warning.
  • Participation in a sport or activity not listed as covered in the policy wording or agreed by World Nomads or where you haven’t paid the required additional premium.
  • Additional costs incurred as a result of not immediately telling the travel agent, tour operator or provider of transport or accommodation that you need to cancel the trip.
  • Loss or damage to luggage due to age, wear and tear, loss of value.
  • Damage to sporting equipment caused while in use.

What other tips for safe travel do you offer?

We have compiled this general information if you’re looking for more South Africa travel inspirationWe also have information on the latest travel safety alerts for South Africa.

About World Nomads

World Nomads policies are designed by travelers for travelers to provide simple and flexible travel insurance – and it’s often cheaper than you might think! Featuring coverage for more than 150 activities, quotes are fast, free and you can do it all online at www.worldnomads.com. All the information we provide about travel insurance is a summary only. It does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described. Coverage may not be available for residents of all countries, states or provinces. Please carefully read your Policy Wording for a full description of coverage.

Travel insurance tip: always carry your electronics, passport, and valuables with you or lock belongings securely if you can’t take them with you. Don’t leave them in the car or in your luggage. Use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and take precautions while exploring to help ensure that your South Africa trip will be safe and fun.

  • Never travel without insurance. This was the first time I ever purchased travel insurance and I am so glad I did. A few days into my trip to Spain I twisted my foot heading down to the metro. Thanks to World Nomads I was able to get medical attention in Spain and since, as luck would have it, I had a fracture that required surgery, they got me a flight home the next day. Filing a claim was surprisingly easy and when the claim was finally processed, I was reimbursed for all of my expenses including things like the extra week in the hotel I didn't get to take advantage of.
    L.D.
    U.S. resident in Spain
  • I recently had a serious injury traveling on my own & the team was amazing. Being confused with a brain injury they took care of everything. Claiming was no problem, they were on the phone constantly to see if all was OK. I can't recommend them enough. Absolutely fantastic & l will always travel with World Nomads Insurance. Thanks guys for getting me home safely.
    A.B.
    Australian in Thailand
  • I was bitten by a monkey at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur. I went to a nearby clinic and they gave me a rabies shot, antibiotics to take for 4 days, pain medicine, and anti-inflammatory medicine.
    T.R.
    Canadian in Malaysia

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you*

Trip Cancellation

Been working hard for your trip?

We'll work hard to protect it.

Trip Protection
  • Unexpectedly hospitalised?
  • Travel buddy unfit to travel?
  • Been made redundant?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Expenses

Feeling fit and healthy? What if you get sick or injured?

Take the pain out of medical or dental costs.

Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need meds quick?
  • Accidentally injured?
  • Suddenly sick?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Transportation

Know where the nearest hospital is?

Don’t stress, we’ll get you there quickly.

Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Banged up abroad?
  • Need a hospital urgently?
  • Medivac home?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Love photography, filming or sport?

Cover your bags, tech or gear.

Protect your gear
  • Luggage lost?
  • Passport pilfered?
  • Tech trashed?

Help starts here.

  • Emergency Overseas Medical & Dental Expenses
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption
  • 24-Hour Assistance Services
  • Baggage
  • And more (depending on your country of residence)
*This is a general summary only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Coverage may not be available for all countries, states or provinces. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Get a quote for full details.

Travel insurance. Simple & flexible.

Travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on their trip, but these things can and do happen. So be prepared and get your travel insurance today.

World Nomads Travel Insurance was reviewed on Trust Pilot on 1st August 2017 and rated 4 stars

24/7 emergency assistance

Whether you need medical assistance or emergency evacuation, our teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year before and during your trip.

Are you in need of emergency assistance right now?

Contact the team
Wherever you are, we’re here 24/7 to help you in any emergency.
Aurelie's portrait photo
Aurelie Menard,
Emergency Assistance, World Nomads