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Travel insurance for South Africa

Known for it's vast gold reserves, breath-taking natural beauty and eclectic wildlife, South Africa has much to offer the intrepid traveller. Enjoy your trip in peace of mind by booking reliable travel insurance to South Africa with Holiday Extras, including cover for medical emergencies, baggage and cancellations.

Choosing Holiday Extras as your provider

Holiday Extras allows you to choose from four levels of insurance so you can tailor your choice to your trip:

Booking your policy

Booking your travel insurance to South Africa with Holiday Extras is quick and easy. You can choose your policy online or via our call centre team. Simply fill in the form above to compare our cover levels and make a payment. If you need any assistance with your booking, our friendly UK-based call centre team will be happy to help.

You can arrange an annual travel policy, which offers the same protection as a single trip policy, but covers you for multiple trips throughout the year.

Choosing travel insurance for South Africa?

As well as having cover for the basics, like medical emergencies and baggage, you need to make sure that you are covered for any extra activities you have planned during the visit:

Water sports activities

Many millions of watersporting enthusiasts are attracted to South Africa's Northern, Western and Eastern capes each year. If you have any kind of watersporting activity planned during your visit to South Africa, then it's very important to make sure you have adequate water sports cover.

Holiday Extras travel insurance comes with many water sports activities covered as standard including certain types of snorkelling and yachting. If you are unsure whether a watersports activity you have planned is covered or not, take a look at the policy wording, which can be found when making a quote.

South African safari travel insurance

With over 700 publicly owned nature reserves and 19 national parks, safari tours in South Africa are popular, readily available and should definitely be on your to-do list. Having adequate safari travel insurance should also be a high priority as this will insure you are covered for personal accident, medical emergencies and cancellations.

Gadget travel insurance

Most travellers like to take some expensive gadgets and tech with them on a trip - things like ipads, iphones and camera's. If you really can't afford to loose your tech, then it's also worth considering adding gadget cover to your policy. You might especially want gadget cover for your trip to South Africa, as the country is known for it's high rates of crime, including smash and grab theft. Adding gadget cover to your policy will ensure you don't need to take the financial hit.

Travel insurance over 80 South Africa

At Holiday Extras, there's no upper age limit** - meaning that for travellers to South Africa 80 years and over, we can provide cover for the trip. For more information, please see our Over 80's travel insurance page.

Travel insurance reviews

If you're considering booking your travel insurance to South Africa with Holiday Extras, find out what other's are saying about us by checking out our reviews.

South Africa travel tips

Do I need a visa for South Africa?

Assuming that you are a UK citizen travelling on a full British passport, it's possible to stay in South Africa for business or tourism purposes, without having to apply for a visa - provided your stay does not exceed 90 days. For any extended trips lasting more than 90 days, it will be necessary to apply for a visa. If your stay exceeds 90 days and you haven't applied for a visa, then you may find that certain penalities are imposed, like being declared undesireable and being denied future entry into South Africa. For more information on entry requirements into South Africa for UK citizens, check out GOV.UK on this topic.

South Africa safety tips

It would be foolish to deny that certain areas of South Africa, like Cape Town and Johannesburg are infamous for their high rates of violent crime. That being said, the country has so much to offer an intrepid traveller, and it would be a crime in itself not visit these beautiful, breath-taking cities out of any sense of fear. Here are some useful guidelines and tips to staying safe and getting the most out of your trip to South Africa:


If you need to take out some cash, it's advised not to use ATMs on the street. It's common for thieves and fraudsters to come along pretending to help, but with the intention of robbing you. The safest way to withdraw money is to use the ATMs inside shopping malls, as here there's adequate security and CCTV.

Getting around

By far the safest and most convenient way to get around is by using Uber. Taxi services run all hours of the day and at just 200-250 rand (£11-14) are an affordable means of covering large distances around the city. Remember to only use official marked Taxi's. Don't ever walk anywhere alone at night, it's always best to either walk with a group of friends or just get a cab.

Alternatively, if you're looking for a cheaper way to get from Cape Town international airport to the city centre, there is a one way bus service departing every 30mins costing approximately 88 rand (roughly £5.00).

Another popular means of getting around is to rent a hire car, as UK driving licenses are valid for up to 12 months in South Africa. This offers you considerable freedom to explore outer lying areas, and visit attractions like national parks and vineyards - which often tend to be far from the city. If you're using a rental car, don't rely on GPS navigation, as this will only give you the fastest and not necessarily the safest route to your destination. It's always best to get directions from your hotel, host or the locals.

Avoid the unofficial "mini-bus taxis" that you may see around. These are unregulated and unsafe!

Road safety

If you're planning to take a hire car, there are a few things you should be aware of to stay safe on the roads. It's best to avoid unfamiliar rural areas at night as these are the times when thieves and hijackers often operate. Thieves have been known to use various methods to stop a car and rob it's occupants, like placing large stones and other obstructions along isolated roads. Another technique used by hijackers involves getting drivers to stop by feigning distress. It's safer to report the incident to the police rather than pick up or help any apparently distressed motorists.

Eating out

South Africa has a rich food history and culture, from the sumptuous fusions of Cape Malay Cuisine, to the famous Masala steak Gatsby sandwiches of down town Cape Town. There are a few things to remember when eating out. Tipping is customary, so be sure to add between 10-20% to the bill. At certain eating establishments, servers will want to see your receipt when they bring your order, so remember to hold on to this to avoid any confusion.

Understanding the lingo

A source of endless confusion amongst english speaking tourists is the mystery surrounding South African Slang. While it's not possible to give you a complete urban dictionary of all the idioms and colloquialisms, here's a breakdown of the one that catches everyone out...

"I'll see you just now" - The single most misleading piece of slang ever to be used. "Just now" does not mean "just now" in the sense that the rest of the world understands it. When a South African says "I'll see you just now", they really mean, "I'll see you later" i.e not now.

"Now Now" - If a South African says "I'm coming now now" this actually means that they'll be with you in five minutes.

"Now" - Fortunately, this means exactly what it has always meant - an immediate action.


South Africa's currency is the rand, and it can be exchanged for British pounds in advance, or at a money changer in a city.


The World Health Organisation recommends that you are vaccinated against Rabies, Typhoid and Hepatitis B. Be sure to get your injections weeks in advance, as our medical cover won't support you if you do not receive the required immunisations.

South African attractions

  • The size of Israel, Kruger National Park has stunning landscapes and unique wildlife, like black rhinos and giraffes.
  • Cape Town offers a gorgeous blend of beaches, vineyards and bustling markets.
  • Play golf at the Hans Merensky Hotel & Spa. Try not to hit a zebra with a wayward shot!
  • Ostrich farms abound in Oudtshoorn - you can even try to ride one.
  • Cage dive with Great White Sharks in Gansbaai, just two hours from Cape Town.

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited, registered office address: Ashford Road, Newingreen, Hythe, Kent CT21 4JF.

Holiday Extras Cover Limited is an insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 828848. You can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register

Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited. The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 13436330 and whose registered office address is 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, United Kingdom, EC3M 5BN.

Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 955859. You can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register