Erica Lamberg | Nov 7, 2021
If you’re lucky enough to be planning a safari vacation, it could be vital to look for a robust travel insurance plan for your adventure. A once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa will likely include outdoor experiences in remote territories and terrain, several flights to get there and exciting excursions.
It’s important to plan for potential medical issues during safari travel. You could encounter wildlife, be exposed to an illness or become injured slipping on the rain-soaked Serengeti while watching the wildebeest migration. Your U.S. health insurance plan might not cover you abroad, so it’s important to check with to see what level of global coverage you have. And senior travelers should know that Medicare usually doesn’t provide benefits outside of the U.S., so don’t count on it in Africa.
Medical expense insurance that is typically built-in to a travel insurance policy can cover medical bills for injury and illness.
“If a safari trip includes camping, exploring in a vehicle or on foot, or close exposure to wildlife, having medical coverage is recommended so any new illnesses or injuries are covered,” says Jeremy Murchland, president of Seven Corners, a travel insurance company. “Imagine you are riding in a vehicle on your safari tour when you are bitten by an insect that gives you an allergic reaction. You may need to see a medical professional to know how to properly care for the reaction.”
Murchland notes that safaris allow you to explore on foot with a tour group to see wildlife up close. “In this case, there are risks of falling, breaking a bone or even getting harmed by one of the animals,” he says. “Whether you incur a minor or large-scale injury, you will want to be sure you have maximum coverage and access to assistance. Travel medical insurance provides assistance services in an emergency, including when a medical evacuation is needed.”
Travel medical insurance coverage limits generally range from $50,000 to $500,000 per person, depending on the policy, so be sure to choose a plan that will adequately cover potential pitfalls you may face.
Because of the remote nature of safaris, make sure your policy also offers emergency medical evacuation coverage. This can cover the cost to transport you to the nearest adequate medical facility, or even back home to the U.S. if necessary.
Read more tips on how to insure your safari trip.