AMREF Flying Doctors

Air Evacuation Scheme

Medical facilities in East Africa are limited. This is especially true for some of the remote places where your safari may take you. In case of a serious medical emergency, getting to the nearest full-service hospital may mean a long ground transfer over poor roads. Fortunately, Matoke Tours has an agreement with AMREF to provide an inexpensive Tourist Air Evacuation Scheme for transport from any Matoke Tour destination to a full-service airport in Nairobi, Kenya. For registered clients, AMREF Flying Doctors will respond swiftly and without delay in the event of an incident and coordinate directly with the client’s overseas insurance company (though it is not necessary to have such insurance to qualify for the scheme).

How to Sign Up for the Scheme

Step 1: Once you've chosen your preferred Matoke Tour, be sure to click the box for the "Flying Doctor Scheme" as you fill out the online tour booking form. The insurance is available at $50,- pp anually or you can decide to choose a short term insurance of US$ 30,- pp.

Step 2: When confirming the tour and payment details with Matoke Tours, have ready your international health/travel insurance policy information (company name/country, policy number).

Step 3: Enjoy your trip knowing that you will have access to an air ambulance in case of serious illness or injury.

Click here for frequently asked questions about AMREF services >>


The legal terms and conditions

1. Scheme Description

For Matoke Tours' clients who sign up before arriving in East Africa and agree to pay the Subscription Fees (US$ 50 per client), AMREF FLYING DOCTORS agrees to provide the following services, under the Tourist Registration B service:

(a)   The client will have access to AMREF Flying Doctors’ 24 Hour Control Centre. The Control Centre will always be staffed by an experienced nurse, with a doctor always on duty or on call. It can be contacted by telephone, fax, email, mobile telephone, fax and HF radio and shall therefore be accessible to the Clients at all times from a wide range of locations in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zanzibar, including very remote areas. The Control Centre will respond to all emergency calls and will either arrange air-medical evacuation  under the Terms and Conditions of this Agreement for the patient or recommend the best alternative action or refer the patient to the nearest appropriate treatment centre.

(b)   In the event of a medical emergency to one of the Clients notified to AMREF Flying Doctors. AMREF Flying Doctors will act by:

 i) verifying that the patient concerned is entered on the AMREF Flying Doctors /the Company’s database as a Client;  and

ii) deciding whether the patient’s condition and location represent a critical medical situation which warrants air evacuation to Nairobi in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of this Tourist Registration B agreement.

(c)   If the above two criteria are satisfied, providing an air ambulance for the patient to Nairobi and ground ambulance transfer to a hospital provided that AMREF Flying Doctors retains the right to direct the Client to a medical facility for assessment before authorizing an air evacuation. Ground Ambulance will only be provided as an extension of the air ambulance evacuation flight, as a provision of that flight.

(d)   If any of the above criterion (i) or (ii) is not satisfied:

(i)  AMREF Flying Doctors will recommend appropriate advice to the patient as to treatment and nearest appropriate medical centers; or

(ii) AMREF Flying Doctors will offer the patient air ambulance evacuation against personal payment or guarantee of personal payment by the Client.

(e)   All aero medical evacuations shall include transfer by road ambulance from the airport of arrival in Nairobi to a hospital in Nairobi.

(f)    Evacuations to any destination/hospital other than in Nairobi shall be subject to prior agreement by both parties.

(g)   All aero medical evacuation flights shall have an ICU nurse on board as standard, with an ICU doctor and extra ICU nurses added if need be. The choice of medical staff for each evacuation is at the discretion of the AMREF Flying Doctors.

(h)   Aero medical evacuations shall be subject to clearances from the relevant air control authorities and to there being a usable airstrip near to the patient’s location.


2. Flying conditions and choice of aircraft

AMREF Flying Doctors will make every effort to accommodate the Clients’ requirements for patient evacuation. However, AMREF Flying Doctors retains the right to use its judgment in all cases particularly in circumstances involving the safety of people and aircraft. In extreme medical emergency situations AMREF Flying Doctors will use its best endeavors to evacuate the patient(s) subject always to the pilot's discretion. The pilot’s decision shall be final in all cases. The final decision to evacuate rests with AMREF Flying Doctors. Any reasons for rejection of a request for evacuations will be given within a reasonable time.


3. Exclusions & Limitations

(a)  AMREF Flying Doctors will secure evacuation insurance cover to indemnify the evacuation costs under a policy underwritten by AIG Kenya Limited. The policy document relating to the insurance cover shall be available for inspection by the Company at the premises of AMREF Flying Doctors. The policy does exclude certain costs which costs are detailed hereunder.Such costs and expenses are not covered under the Tourist Registration B service. The Company will ensure that all Clients read and confirm they understand the exclusions as AMREF Flying Doctors will not  approve, authorise or pay for or bear Client expenses arising from or authorise an evacuation under the Tourist Registration B service when requested in relation to any of the following:

   (i) out of hospital treatment or an evacuation that is requested for mild lesions, simple injuries like sprains or simple fractures and mild illnesses, which are able to be treated locally;

   (ii) evacuation for an acute illness or injury that a Client was being treated for at the time of or immediately prior to enrolment;

   (iii) inpatient medical costs (AMREF Flying Doctors does however cover the professional medical costs during the evacuation);

   (iv) evacuation of a Client who is engaged in any professional activity, or any sport or activity reasonably considered by us at our discretion, as being of a dangerous nature without limiting the generality thereof including but not limited to parachuting, mountaineering, gliding, paragliding, parascending, whitewater rafting, canoeing, underwater diving involving the use of any artificial apparatus, unless the member holds an open water diving with a certified instructor, both no deeper than 30 meters below the surface, hand gliding, or bungee jumping, or any occupation reasonably considered by AMREF Flying Doctors, in its reasonable discretion, as being of a dangerous nature, without limiting the generality thereof, including, but not limited to mining, construction and security unless previously disclosed and accepted by AMREF Flying Doctors;

   (v) evacuation for injuries sustained as a result of war, political violence or civil unrest howsoever caused if the source country of the clients issued a travel ban that caused the travel insurance to cancel the coverage for the particular destination, i.e. either Uganda and/or Rwanda and/or Zanzibar and/or Tanzania and/or Kenya.

   (vi) search/rescue operations if a Client is lost in a remote area;

   (vii) evacuation for self-inflicted injuries or an evacuation for any illness or injuries sustained whilst a Client is under the influence of alcohol and /or drugs;

   (viii) evacuation arising from or related to injuries sustained whilst engaging in a criminal or unlawful act;

   (ix) evacuation in cases where the Client’s primary admitting diagnosis is an inpatient psychiatric disorder;

   (x) conditions arising directly or indirectly from chemical or biological contamination, however caused or from contamination caused from nuclear fission, ionizing radiation or by radioactivity from nuclear fuel or waste;

   (xi) evacuation of a Client who is on an organ transplant list prior to enrolment;

AMREF Flying Doctors:

(b) retains the right to decline to evacuate, under the terms of this Agreement a Client suffering from an illness or condition if the Client has previously been evacuated under the Tourist Registration B service for that same illness or condition.

(c) will not approve, authorise or pay for more than three (3) evacuations per membership period for the same Client during the monthly membership period of each Client.

(d) does not supply ground ambulance services save for as provided in Clause 1 (c)     

(e) agrees to offer air evacuation services to the Clients outside the Tourist Registration B service for any of the matters listed in clause 3(a) against the personal payment or guarantee of such Client.