If you've searched online for private health insurance that covers expats in South Africa then you are most likely for looking for established UK based health insurance providers that can cover your medical expenses in South Africa.
Living as an expat in South Africa you want to avoid any nasty unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious conditions.
Our advice when shopping around for private medical cover that covers expatriates living in South Africa is to speak to a insurance broker. Health insurance is very complex and if you want absolute certainty that South Africa is covered you should talk with a broker who can explain which policy providers will cover medical expenses for expatriates in South Africa and which will exclude it.
There are many advantages to using a broker but the largest by far is that you're using their insurance training at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than by you so it costs you no extra to use their brokering services.
- Do you live in many different postcodes? Some will give you a lower policy premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance policy? A broker will know this critical information.
- If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your insurance policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
- You've lean't you're at risk of developing a certain condition and want to know which insurer offers the biggest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you huge amounts of time and effort.
You can call around every medical insurance provider on the market and ask if they provider cover for expats in South Africa, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.
Its far far quicker to speak to one health insurance broker which will know which providers on the market offer cover for expats in South Africa and under what conditions they do or don't cover it.
South Africa Information
South Africa is a tourist destination and the industry accounts for a substantial amount of the country's revenue. The official marketing agency for the country South African Tourism is responsible for marketing South Africa to the world. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the tourism industry directly contributed ZAR 102 billion to South African GDP in 2012, and supports 10.3% of jobs in the country. The official national marketing agency of the South African government, with the goal of promoting tourism in South Africa both locally and globally is known as South African Tourism.
South Africa offers both domestic and international tourists a wide variety of options, among others the picturesque natural landscape and game reserves, diverse cultural heritage and highly regarded wines. Some of the most popular destinations include several national parks, such as the expansive Kruger National Park in the north of the country, the coastlines and beaches of the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces, and the major cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
According to Statistics South Africa's latest Tourism and Migration Survey, almost 3,5 million travellers passed through the country's ports of entry in August 2017. The top five overseas countries with the largest number of tourists visiting South Africa were the USA, UK, Germany, the Netherlands and France. Most of the tourists arriving in South Africa from elsewhere in Africa came from SADC countries. Zimbabwe tops the list at 31%, followed by Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Botswana. In addition, Nigeria was the country of origin for nearly 30% of tourists arriving in South Africa.
South Africa is ranked sixth out of the world's seventeen megadiverse countries south Africa is home to a large variety of animal life. Among the large mammals found in the northern bushveld include lions, leopards, cheetahs, white rhinoceroses, blue wildebeest, kudus, impalas, hyenas, hippopotamuses and giraffes. A significant extent of the bushveld exists in the north-east, including the Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa, and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The Kruger National Park, established in 1926, is one of the most visited national parks in the country, with a total of 1 659 793 visitors in the 2014/15 period. The region is also home to nearly 80 percent of the world’s rhino population. Due to covid-19 restrictions impeding tourism and movement in the region, the killings of rhino species in South Africa have fallen by 53 percent in 2020.
The country is also particularly rich in plant diversity, with a wide variety of biomes found across the country. These include the grasslands in the Highveld, the succulent Karoo in central South Africa, and the endemic fynbos biome, constituting the majority of the area and plant life in the Cape floristic region of the Western Cape. This rare vegetation is protected as part of the Table Mountain National Park (which also includes the iconic flat-topped Table Mountain), which was the most-visited national park in South Africa in 2014/15, with a total of 2 677 767 visitors.
In addition to its numerous natural attractions, South Africa also boasts numerous attractions of cultural significance. These include the fossil-bearing caves forming part of the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng, the ruins of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe in northern Limpopo, the wine routes of the Western Cape, and various historical sites in the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg (such as Robben Island, the Castle of Good Hope and Soweto township).
Ten South African sites are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park in KwaZulu-Natal. There are five Cultural WHS, four Natural WHS and 1 mixed WHS.
Visitors to South Africa must obtain a visa from one of the South African diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries, in which case they get what is called a "Port of Entry Visa". Visitors who require a visa must apply in person and provide biometric data. See also the visa policy of South Africa.
In 2014, a total of 9,549,236 tourists (overnight visitors) entered South Africa, indicating an increase of 0.1% from the 9,536,568 tourists recorded in 2013. The highest number of arrivals was recorded in January of that year, while the lowest number was recorded in June. A vast majority (76.2%) of tourists arriving in the country were residents of SADC countries, 1.9% were from 'other' African countries and 23.6% were residents of countries overseas.