Safari travel insurance

What to look for when choosing cover for your next safari adventure.

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You’ve made the decision. Your bags are packed and you’re ready to head off into the great unknown that slumbers inside Africa or elsewhere. It’s safari time!

Here’s what you need to know to make your safari a success and what you should look for in your travel insurance.

If you’re heading overseas on safari, there are numerous risks to keep in mind. Some of the more common ones to consider are:

  • Dangerous wildlife and harsh terrain
  • Rough roads and off-road excursions leading to injury
  • Large amounts of cash and valuable camera equipment heighten the risk of theft
  • Hospitals and medical coverage vary wildly in different countries, so you may need to be flown to good quality care
  • Diseases, ranging from sleeping sickness to yellow fever
  • Travel delays leading to missed tour activities

How do different travel insurance brands cover safaris?



Safari tours are covered but not hunting
All clear logo

All Clear

Only if you are adequately supervised, and taking part in an organised event, session or excursion
Boomers logo


Under appropriate supervision but not hunting
Budget Direct Travel Insurance

Budget Direct

Columbus Direct

Columbus Direct

You must be with a professional, qualified and licensed guide or operator
Fast Cover


Under appropriate supervision but not hunting


YesGet quote


If provided by a licensed commercial operator.
Note: Cover for these activities is not available in the USA or Canada


Safari tours but not hunting
Online Travel Insurance

Online Travel Insurance

Under appropriate supervision but not hunting
Picture not described

Simply Travel

Safari tours but not hunting
Tick Travel Insurance

Tick Travel

Travel Insuranz

Travel Insuranz

If provided by a licenced commercial operator.
Note: Cover for these activities is not available in the USA or Canada
Virgin Money

Virgin Money

Under appropriate supervision but not hunting
webjet logo


Under appropriate supervision but not hunting
worldcare travel insurance logo


Under appropriate supervision but not hunting


Under appropriate supervision but not hunting

Information last verified on September 2019. Make sure you read the PDS before buying a policy.

What should a good travel insurance policy cover when you're going on safari?

With these risks in mind, there are several key items any good travel insurance policy should include to ensure a successful safari:

  • Medical cover. Basic policies may cover minor illnesses and injuries contracted on your journey, but more comprehensive policies can help you even if you contract an unpleasant disease or severely injure yourself. Also, medical costs in Africa can be up to five times more expensive than in Australia, so coverage is vital.
  • Medical repatriation. If the worst happens and you find yourself injured in a place without good medical coverage, you may need to be airlifted to a good hospital or potentially even flown home. Repatriation coverage can save you thousands of dollars in expensive airlift fees.
  • Personal belongings cover. When travelling on safari, you’re likely going to be bringing fairly expensive equipment to photograph the animals or large amounts of cash in order to buy services or goods. Expensive personal items are very often excluded from standard travel insurance and it’s easy to lose or have your luggage misplaced.
  • Cancellation. No matter how well you plan, your plans may not work out. If you need to go home early or catch an emergency flight back, this can save you thousands.

What kind of safaris are covered?

There are many different regions and kinds of safaris you can take. In general, your safari should be covered if your policy specifies the following:

  • You’re covered for animals. Some policies don’t cover you if you interact with wild animals. If you intend to get up close and personal, make sure you get a policy that has your back.
  • Activity cover. Simple activities like driving quietly through the veldt or taking a short canoe trip are likely covered in basic policies. If you intend to go white-water rafting or take a flyover in a plane you may need more extensive cover.
  • Country cover. Some African countries and particular regions of countries are not covered by basic travel insurance plans. Make sure your policy covers all the countries and regions you’re travelling through.

It's always a good idea to read the PDS before buying cover, so make sure you're on top of that fine print!

What vaccinations will you need before you’re covered?

There are many common diseases you can contract in Africa that you won’t get at home in Australia. Depending on where you’re planning to go, you might need different vaccinations. Here are some of the most likely jabs you need before you fly:

  • Yellow fever. Yellow fever is spread by mosquito bite. It is mandatory for some destinations, but it’s highly advisable to get this vaccination if you’re going to Africa at all as it is required for entry to certain countries.
  • Malaria. Malaria is spread by mosquito bite. However, you may also be able to simply use preventative medication while on holiday.
  • Hepatitis A. This is spread through infected food or water. If going to an underdeveloped country it’s highly recommended, along with practicing other food and water safety measures.
  • Rabies. Rabies can be transmitted by a bite or scratch from an infected animal and does not exist at all in Australia. This is a series of three injections over time so you need to plan ahead if it’s required.
  • Meningitis. This disease can be fungal, bacterial or viral and is transmitted by sneezing, coughing or direct contact. It can be fatal, so make sure you know if you need this vaccination before you go.

Picture: GettyImages

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