Finger On The Pulse - October 2019

Finger On The Pulse - October 2019

The Need for Travel and Medical Evacuation Insurance

Shocking news hit the travel industry recently with the collapse of the 178-year-old global travel group, Thomas Cook. This demise triggered the biggest ever peacetime repatriation, aimed at taking more than 150 000 British travellers back to the U.K.

Some of the holidaymakers were more covered than others, which stresses the need for travel insurance. A basic form of travel insurance is often provided by your credit card. But, be warned that this cover may not be sufficient and it often places caps on age, services, activities and certain destinations.

One of the most important aspects of travel insurance, especially when you are venturing to Africa, is the need for medical evacuation insurance. At Pulse Africa, we insist that our clients have a policy that includes this benefit.

There was an incident recently in northern Namibia when a traveller (not a Pulse Africa client) was exhibiting symptoms of a heart attack. He was travelling with a medical doctor, but the insurance company would not send aid until the patient was examined by a cardiologist! In this case, the nearest cardiologist would have been an eight-hour drive away. These travellers ended up driving the patient through the night to a hospital and fortunately he was treated and is fine now. But, it does re-emphasise the need for proper medical evacuation insurance.

Contact us for further advice on your travel insurance.

Being a Responsible Traveller

Perhaps it’s time to take heed of the suggestions recommended by the famous, Swedish teenage environmental activist, Greta Thunberg. You know you want to be a responsible tourist, but sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what to do to achieve such a lofty goal.

A recent article in Conde Nast Traveler magazine has some excellent tips on how not to kill the planet when you travel, and they’ve broken it down into a handy A-Z list of suggestions.

Read on, and help save our environment!

SA Wine Winners and Engaging your Brain

The accolades for the delicious, quality wines that South Africa produces continue to pour in (pun intended!) The esteemed judges from the International Wine and Spirits team gathered recently in Cape Town, and five SA wines scored 97 out of a possible 100 points.

The good news is that they aren’t all rare and expensive. One of the top scorers was the De Grendel Shriaz which sells for about R190 (+/-US$ 12.50) per bottle. Some of the other winning producers were Kanonkop, Beyerskloof, Stellenrust and Spier. Our sparkling wines fared well too, with three producers attaining gold medals: Graham Beck, Pongracz and Newstead.

And- there’s more good news if you decide to try some of these award-winning wines. A Yale neuroscientist, Gordon Shepherd argues that wine tasting actually stimulates your brain more than listening to music or doing a complicated math problem!

His rationale is that when we taste wine, our brains get stimulated as they actually have to “create” the flavours for us to enjoy, since the wine molecules themselves don’t actually have taste or flavour. If you want a more detailed explanation you can read his book, “How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine” or read more about it at

Let’s Hear it for Women in the Safari Business

In the male dominated industry of safari guiding, it is always heartening to see the inroads that women are making.

Recently, two stories have emerged.

The first anecdote hails from Kenya, where twelve women from a community in Laikipia just graduated as wildlife rangers. They spent six months of extensive training in different wildlife reserves learning how to handle guns and how to protect wildlife. This program will expand to neighbouring communities now as a way of empowering women and promoting education for girls.

The second story centres on the entirely female-run safari property, Dunia Camp, in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Here, the sixteen women on staff do everything from the typically male jobs of guiding, security and chasing away snakes and elephants, to the more traditional “female tasks” of cooking and cleaning. They have proven that there is no reason that women cannot achieve these kind of successes- even if it means changing a tire in the pounding rain with a pride of lion nearby, or fixing a water pipe which had been destroyed by elephants.

For more exciting stories about these women and other camps who are hiring more females to senior positions, read the article, “The Women changing Safari” in Conde Nast Traveler.

A Welcome Walk in the Park

Sandy shares her recent hiking experience on a lesser-known part of Table Mountain.

A good guide, good company and good weather are a must.

Read her blog here.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this month’s newsletter. Let us know if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the newsletter, we’d love to hear your feedback.

We’ll be back in November.

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