Medical emergencies in Zambia

Many safari operators include emergency medical insurance in their rates, but this may only cover the immediate situation and exclude further treatment and/or repatriation. In any event, it’s essential to be fully insured, especially if you’re headed into Zambia’s more remote regions. Every travel insurance policy is different so make sure you know how yours operates. Some policies will expect you to pay up front and seek reimbursement later, others have ties with Zambia’s private hospitals and direct payments are possible.

Speciality Emergency Services (SES) is Zambia’s main country-wide emergency medical support service and your best option if you need urgent assistance. They also offer short-term medical and evacuation insurance if you’ve concerned with the cover offered by your main provider. Their local emergency number is 737, or dial +260962740300 or +260977770302 from outside the country.

Zambia has very limited mobile-network cover outside the major centres. Safari camps and lodges will always have a means of contacting emergency services, but if you’re self-driving to remote areas, a satellite phone is highly recommended.

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