Buy the COMESA yellow card insurance in the first country (usually
Zimbabwe if you start in SA) that will sell it to you -
it is a Godsend and will save your arse at many a sticky police
Make sure that you get at least one set of International Driving
Licenses before you leave. If you stay over 3 months in Kenya your
foriegn license is no longer valid.
vehicle insurance, the only firm I know that can offer fire, theft
and accident insurance for all of Africa is available in the UK irrespective
of where the vehicle is registered by:
Irvine, 48 Earls Court Road, Kensington W8 6EJ
charge about 12% of the cost of the vehicle so it's definitely not
cheap. We did not take out vehicle insurance. Theft was always a concern.
We fitted a burglar alarm and extra locks on the doors.
Third Party Insurance:
Third Party insurance is compulsory in many countries. In South Africa,
Namibia and Botswana (?) it's included in the price of fuel. In countries
where Third Party Insurance is compulsory it is available at the border
and costs somewhere between US$10-US$60 for a months cover. In Zimbabwe
we bought Yellow Card Insurance which covered all countries between
Zimbabwe and Kenya and cost US$60 for a twelve month cover which is
much cheaper than buying it at each border.
In Zimbabwe contact:
PO Box 30271
If your vehicle is not registered in the UK then Green card
insurance for Europe, North Africa and the Middle East is
best purchased before arriving from:
Earls Court Road
Green Card Insurance to cover just Western Europe and the UK is available
from the Germany Automobile Association:
Geschäftsstelle & Reisebüro
Raff Overland Expedition: Third party insurance in East Africa
Third party insurance in Africa is the source of much mystery, expense
and rip-off /bribery opportunity. Before leaving wed heard about
a yellow card insurance that was not obtainable in SA
but would cover us in many African countries. But every attempt at
pinning down the details ended in failure at the end of a phone line
in some remote Zimbabwean office.
Buy it in Bulawayo from ZIMNAT).
and Botswana are fairly straightforward: In Namibia we paid nothing,
presuminably because there is an agreement between SA and Namibia,
and Botswana costs 10.- Pula and is valid for a year.
Zambia it gets more complicated. Firstly theres the need for
temporary importation documentation, obtainable at the border if youre
not using the AAs Carnet de Passage. Secondly, 3rd party insurance
is sold at the borders: one month or three months (we paid US$ 20.-
for 3 months = 65,000 Kwacha). This insurance certificate is inspected
at nearly every police roadblock and there are plenty of those: before
and/or after every major settlement (our current record is six road
blocks in one day of less than 250 km).
the border we enquired about the yellow card and were
assured that it could only be obtained from the issuers, The Zambia
State Insurance Corporation Ltd, at one of their offices in a major
town. So off we trundled to Livingstone and got the following details
after a long chat to one of the regional managers.
multi-country insurance is known as the COMESA yellow card.
It covers most southern and eastern countries between
SA and Egypt, but SA, Botswana and Namibia appear to have pulled out
of the agreement at the last minute.
Yellow Card (International 3rd Party Insurance):
only insurance that is legally required in most African countries
is 3rd party, but if you pay 50USD at every border for it, your
costs will start to dramatically mount up, so an easier/cheaper
option is to buy the COMESA yellow card insurance. The Comesa Yellow
Card (CYC) is an international 3rd party policy so you no longer
need to buy 3rd party insurance at the border of any member country.
It is quite often asked for by name by various African police forces
and so there is no quibbling over its validity.
The CYC is valid in: ANG; BOT; BUR; DRC; DJI; EGT; ERI; ETH; KEN;
LES; MAL; MOZ; NAM; RSA; RWA; SOM; SUD; SWA; TAN; UGA; ZAM; ZIM.
you are starting from SA you can’t buy it in SA, you’ll
have to buy it in Zim or Zam (and maybe in Malawi etc) as the CYC
is not valid in the country in which you buy it. Therefore you will
have to buy LOCAL 3rd party insurance at the border first –
usually for the length of time that you’ll be travelling –
then you’ll go to any insurance broker in the next major town
and buy the CYC as an EXTENSION to your existing local 3rd party insurance
buy mine at Jupiter Insurance in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe or through the
AA in Kenya.
only contact for information though is in Kenya: Ring the AA in Nairobi
- contact me for details - tell them how long you want it to last
and when you want it to start, no. of people travelling etc, and they'll
The yellow card is not valid in the country
in which you buy it.
The yellow card is only valid in the countries specified and paid
for. An approximate period per onward country must be given, but
the details are not documented and the actual period per country
is quite flexible. We purchased 30 days per specified country but
we can stay a day or three months in any one. We paid US $ 60.-
for the yellow card and 85 000 Kwacha for the 6 month cover in Zambia.
The purpose of all of this? The yellow card is well accepted in
member countries and will hopefully prevent confusion and rip-off
in countries where border officials and police are less friendly
than in Zambia.
Get red (for the back) and white (for the front) reflective stickers
(about 5 cm x 5 cm) for your vehicle, either before entering Zambia
(and Zimbabwe) or as soon as you get there. Normal reflectors are
considered inadequate and the cost of not having the stickers is
K 54 000 for the back, K 54 000 for the front and another amount,
open to the discretion of the examining policeman, to help you remember
that its a bad thing not to have reflective stickers. The
spares shop at the BP garage in Livingstone will sell you such stickers
for K 3 500 with a knowing smile.