South Africa Travel Insurance Plans

Familiarize yourself with Travel Guard’s most important travel tips and safety information to make sure you’re prepared for your vacation to South Africa.

From beautiful landscapes to bustling cities, South Africa is a destination that doesn’t lack in excitement. Whether you’re traveling to the country to see the elephants of the Eastern Cape, nature’s canopies in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens or to visit the historic Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in the Western Cape, you’ll find more than enough activities for your vacation. Whatever you plan to do in South Africa, Travel Guard can help.

South Africa Travel Insurance Plans

Do I need a travel insurance plan to visit South Africa?

South Africa doesn’t require travel insurance plans for U.S. travelers visiting the country, but it’s encouraged as your U.S. health insurance coverage may not carry-over when traveling internationally. Travel Guard offers a variety of travel insurance plans and coverages, including medical expense coverage, to help protect your trip to South Africa.

What is the best travel insurance plan for South Africa?

There are several comprehensive travel insurance plans offered by Travel Guard to protect your trip to South Africa. Getting to South Africa can be expensive, so to protect your hard-earned dollars we recommend our Deluxe Plan which has the highest benefit limits and the most coverages. Our Deluxe Plan comes with 24/7 emergency travel assistance as well as coverage for security evacuation. Add on any of our unique bundles – like rental car coverage or adventure sports coverage and you can create the perfect plan for you.

How much is a travel insurance plan for a trip to South Africa?

On average, a travel insurance plan typically costs between 5-7% of the total price of your trip. There are multiple factors that come into play when pricing your plan, such as the product you select and the number of travelers in your party, which may increase the cost. For more details on pricing, check out our article on how much travel insurance costs.

Ready to book your travel insurance plan for your trip to South Africa? Travel Guard’s award-winning travel insurance plans provide excellent coverage options and access to 24-hour emergency travel assistance. Compare our travel insurance plans to find the best option for your travels today.

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South Africa Travel Tips and Safety Information


To help travelers stay as safe and informed as possible, Travel Guard compiled answers to popular questions asked by tourists traveling to South Africa.

Are there COVID-19 restrictions for visitors to South Africa?

For the latest information related to COVID-19 travel requirements for South Africa, please visit the official U.S. Embassy site.

Is South Africa safe to visit?

If traveling to South Africa, visitors should exercise heightened caution due to very high crime rates, civil unrest and kidnapping concerns. These issues are prevalent not only in urban areas, but also in national parks, nature reserves and on hiking trails. Thoroughly research your planned destinations and activities in advance of travel to understand the risks. It is best to plan all transportation in advance, as some options in South Africa are unsafe and unreliable.

Violent crimes, including armed robbery, carjacking and assault, are more prevalent concerns than petty crime. However, pickpocketing and opportunistic theft does occur. Always be aware of your surroundings, do not walk alone, limit any travel after dark and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or overt displays of wealth. Stay near tourist destinations and do not venture into isolated areas. When in a vehicle, drive with the windows up, doors locked and any valuables out of sight. 

Protests occur frequently in South Africa and should be avoided due to risks of violence and travel disruptions. Also, power outages occur regularly, and travelers should prepare for disruptions to various services, including telecommunications.

Visit the U.S. Department of State website for up-to-date information on travel advisory levels and safety information for travelers to South Africa.

All U.S. travelers should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service offered to U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad. Enrolling in this program allows you to receive important information from the Embassy as well as helps the Embassy contact you in an emergency.

What currency is used in South Africa?

The official currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. Visitors can exchange currency at their preferred bank prior to their departure, a currency kiosk at the airport or at banks and ATMs in major cities. Most major debit and credit cards are accepted as well. It is ideal to carry a small amount of local currency in the event your card is not accepted.

What language is spoken in South Africa?

South Africa is a diverse country with eleven languages being spoken throughout the region, however, three are most common: Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans. English is a common language as well, with many people learning it as their second language. Still, it’s ideal to bring a translator that works without Wi-Fi to best avoid miscommunication as finding another English speaker is not guaranteed.

Do I need a visa or passport to travel to South Africa?

Visas are not required for U.S. citizens who are traveling to South Africa for less than 90 days, however, travelers will need a passport valid for 30 days past their departure date as well as two blank pages.

How do I contact the U.S. Embassy in South Africa?

The U.S. Embassy in South Africa is in Pretorius. Visit the official U.S Embassy government website for a list of up-to-date phone numbers and addresses.

What is the weather like in South Africa?

South Africa’s climate is vastly different depending on where you travel in the country, with the west coast having cooler temperatures and the south and east regions being warmer on average throughout the year. The sun shines for most of the year as well, though summer across the country, which occurs from December to February, is when you’ll see the most rainfall. However, most of these storms pass as quickly as they start. If traveling to desert regions, be prepared for extreme temperatures, with sunny, hot days and much colder nights.

When is the best time of year to visit South Africa?

The best time of year to visit South Africa will depend on the events you’d like to experience on your vacation as there are popular events throughout the year.

If you’re looking for a cultural experience, take your vacation in October to experience the Macufe African Cultural Festival, a 10-day event showcasing various genres of the country’s music. Or experience the environmental event of the Hermanus Whale Festival, an annual whale-watching event which takes place towards the end of September. 

What is the dial code for phoning to and from South Africa?

South Africa’s dial code is +27 and can be used to connect to cellphones and landlines in the country. When calling from the U.S., remember to use the exit code of +11 and follow it with the area code of the city or town you’re trying to reach. Be sure to contact your phone company before your trip to know the cost estimates of international calls and to let them know of your plans to best avoid unwanted interruption on your trip.

What kind of power adapter do I need for my electronics?

Tourists traveling to South Africa will need a voltage converter to use their electronics because South Africa runs on a higher voltage than the U.S. You may also want to consider a universal adaptor as it can be used anywhere you travel in the future.

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Other South Africa FAQs

Are there vaccine requirements for South Africa?

Visitors will need a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days prior to arrival if traveling through at-risk countries around South Africa.

Can I travel to South Africa as a single parent?

It is possible for single parents to travel with their children to South Africa as long as everyone in the party has a passport. However, there are strict travel requirements for children that parents must follow to be allowed entry into the country. For more information visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Travel Guard offers comprehensive and customizable travel insurance plans for travelers heading to South Africa. With excellent coverage and specialized emergency travel assistance representatives ready to help you at any time, Travel Guard is there for you. Compare our popular plans and find the best one for you!

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Coverage available to U.S. residents of the U.S. states and District of Columbia only. This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer or insurance agent or broker. Coverage is offered by Travel Guard Group, Inc. (Travel Guard). California lic. no.0B93606, 3300 Business Park Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54482, CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-HELP. This is only a brief description of the coverage(s) available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Insurance underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania insurance company, with its principal place of business at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, 37th FL, New York, NY 10020-1304. It is currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. NAIC No. 19445. Coverage may not be available in all states. Your travel retailer may not be licensed to sell insurance, and cannot answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. The purchase of travel insurance is not required in order to purchase any other product or service from the Travel Retailer.