Travel insurance is highly recommended. Make sure it covers theft, loss, cancellation, and also all the activities you’re planning to do. Read the fine print carefully. Adventure activities such as scuba diving are often excluded from standard policies and may require additional, explicit cover. Some activities, walking safaris for example, will require you to produce appropriate insurance before you begin.
Your medical cover should include airlifts and evacuations – South Africa is big, and emergencies can happen far from the major hospitals. For minor treatment, most doctors’ surgeries will require payment upfront in cash or by credit card, and expect you to claim the costs back from your insurance later. South Africa’s private hospitals are excellent, and for more serious emergencies, they’re where you want to be. These private hospitals may also require payment upfront until they’ve verified your policy. Check how long your insurance company takes to provide guarantees of payment and make sure you have access to cash or credit in case of delay.