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Please make sure that you read the terms and conditions thoroughly as this information forms part of the contract between us. A contract will exist between us once you have made your booking with us, paid your deposit (or such other fee as may be appropriate for example where you are making a 'late booking') and we have issued you with our written booking confirmation (which we will only issue following such payment).
1) Words & Phrases used in these Terms & Conditions
‘The Company’, ‘we’ and ‘us’ means ecoTravel Africa Ltd, a company registered in England under company number 7583887.
The term ‘party leader’ means the person who makes the booking.
‘you’ and ‘your’ means all persons named on the booking (including the person who made the booking).
‘Force Majeure’ has the meaning referred to in Clause 11 below.
2) Booking & Deposits
Once you have selected your travel arrangements, the party leader must send us a signed booking form and must pay the deposit advised at the time of booking (or full payment if the booking is to take place within 8 weeks of departure). When the party leader makes a booking you are confirming that you understand and have accepted our terms and conditions on behalf of yourself and all members of your party. We will confirm your booking by means of a written confirmation at which point a contract between you and us will come into existence. We reserve the right to decline bookings. If we do not accept a booking, we will refund any payments received. In any other circumstances deposits and payments will be refundable only in accordance with these conditions.
3) Your Confirmation
As soon as you receive your written booking confirmation from us you must check the information as it defines the services that we have agreed to provide for you. If any information is incorrect or incomplete, you must contact us straight away as it may not be possible to make changes at a later stage. If we are not notified of any inaccuracies within 14 days of sending out your written booking confirmation we cannot accept any liability if anything is incorrect or incomplete. If any inaccuracies are notified to us after this date, we will do our best to rectify them, however, if costs are involved you will be required to meet them.
4) Payment Terms
Payment of the full holiday price, including any additional charges shown on supplementary invoices are payable by the date shown on the written booking confirmation / invoice (8 weeks prior to your departure date or at the time of booking if within that period). Surcharges may be levied in accordance with Clause 7. If we do not receive all payments due in full and on time, we are entitled to treat your booking as cancelled. In this case, cancellation charges will be payable as set out in Clause 9.
4) Financial Protection
ecoTravel Africa is a member of the Travel Trust Association, member number U9248. This means that your holiday is financially protected. In the unlikely event of financial failure, the Travel Trust Association will ensure that your holiday goes ahead unaffected or that your monies are fully refunded. For further information visit the TTA website at www.traveltrust.co.uk
5) Special Requests & Medical Problems / Disabilities
You should advise us of any special requests at the time of booking. Whilst we will endeavour to pass reasonable requests to the relevant supplier, we cannot guarantee any request will be met unless we confirm so in writing. Confirmation that the request has been noted or passed on to the supplier is not confirmation that the request will be met. All special requests are subject to availability.
If you or any member of your party has a medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, you should notify us prior to confirming your booking. Full disclosure of any such medical problem or disability must be given no later than at the time of booking. If full details are not given at the time of booking then we reserve the right to cancel the booking and you may be liable for cancellation charges as if the booking had been cancelled by you as set out in clause 9.
You must purchase appropriate travel insurance from a reputable insurer. This should include insurance against your own [and our] cancellation, medical and personal accident (including repatriation) and all other usual travel risks. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and sufficient for your particular needs and covers all aspects of your holiday including the activities you intend to participate in. It should be understood that participation in sports and activities whilst on holiday is at your own risk and it is your responsibility to obtain the correct insurance cover.
7) Prices & Surcharges
The price is confirmed at the time of booking. We will only increase or decrease it if transportation costs or dues, taxes or fluctuations in the exchange rates which have been used to calculate the cost of your holiday change. Even in the above cases, only if the amount of any increase in our costs exceeds 2% of the total cost of your holiday will we levy a surcharge. If any surcharge is greater than 10% of the cost of your holiday (excluding any amendment charges), you will be entitled to cancel your booking and receive a full refund of all monies you have paid to us (except for any deposit and any amendment charges) or alternatively purchase another holiday from us as set out in Clause 8, 'Cancellation and Alteration by Us'.
You have 14 days from the issue date printed on the surcharge invoice to tell us if you want to cancel your booking or choose an alternative as defined in Clause 8. If we do not hear from you within this period of time, we assume that you will be going ahead with your holiday and will pay the surcharge. Any surcharge must be paid with the balance of the cost of the holiday or within 14 days of the issue date printed on the surcharge invoice, whichever is the later.
Travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some changes do not have an impact on the price of your holiday. A refund will only be payable if any decrease in our costs exceeds 2% as set out above. Where a refund is due, we will pay you the full amount of the decrease in our costs.
8) Cancellation or Alteration by Us
We reserve the right to change or cancel your booking. Whilst we endeavour to avoid this as much as reasonably possible, circumstances beyond our control including political unrest or environmental changes mean that on occasion we may need to change or cancel your booking.
Most changes are minor, however we sometimes have to make a ‘major’ change to your holiday arrangements. A ‘major’ change is a change made prior to departure which we expect to have a significant effect on your confirmed holiday. Major changes are likely to include, a change of accommodation to that of a lower standard for the whole or a major part of your time away or a change of travel area for the whole or a major part of your time away.
We will notify you of a ‘major’ change as soon as we can and offer you the following options where reasonably possible:
i) Accept the changed arrangements
ii) Accept an offer of alternative arrangements of comparable standard (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value)
iii) Cancellation of your holiday and a full refund of all monies paid.
The above options are not available where any changes made are minor ones.
In cases except where the major change arises due to reasons of ‘force majeure’ (Clause 11), we will if reasonably possible pay you reasonable compensation depending on the circumstances and when the major change or cancellation is notified to you subject to the following exceptions. Compensation will not be payable and no liability beyond offering the above mentioned choices can be accepted where we are forced to make a change or cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all reasonable due care. No compensation will be payable and the above options will not be available if we cancel as a result of your failure to comply with any requirement of these terms and conditions of booking entitling us to cancel (such as paying on time).
Very rarely, we may be forced by "force majeure" (see Clause 11) to alter or terminate your holiday after departure but before the scheduled end of your time away. This is extremely unlikely but if this situation does occur, we regret we will be unable to make any refunds (unless we obtain any refunds from our suppliers), pay you any compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result.
9) Cancellation by you
We must be informed in writing of any notice of cancellation. Cancellation is effective from the date we receive the notice. If cancellation is received more than 56 days before departure each person cancelling will forfeit their deposit. If cancelling less than 56 days prior to departure the following shall apply to each person(s) cancelling.
Cancellation notice received 56-42 days prior to departure - 40% of total cost payable
Cancellation notice received 41-31 days prior to departure - 60% of total cost payable
Cancellation notice received 30 – 0 days prior to departure – 100% of total cost payable
Should payment of the holiday cost not have been made in full when you cancel then you must pay the cancellation charge within 7 days of notification of cancellation even where you have an insurance policy which may cover the cancellation.
If any member of your party is prevented from travelling you may make a request to transfer your holiday. This request should be in writing and should be received by us no later than 3 weeks prior to departure. It must clearly set out the reason and provide evidence of why they person(s) concerned can no longer travel. We will endeavour to meet your request to transfer but we cannot guarantee that we will able to arrange a transfer and we will not be liable if we cannot do so. In situations where a transfer can be made, all costs and charges incurred by us must be paid by you before the transfer can be effected.
10) Alterations by you
If you need to change any part of your holiday arrangements, including dates, accommodation, or names of party members, we will endeavour to make the change. Any costs and charges that we incur as a result of these changes, in addition to an alteration fee of £25 per change will be payable by you. Where confirmed services are cancelled, the suppliers cancellation charges will be payable in addition to the £25 alteration fee. We reserve the right to recalculate the holiday price for the remaining party members in the event of partial cancellation. If you choose to modify your arrangements after the commencement of the holiday you will be deemed to be breaking your contract with us and we cannot therefore accept liability for any loss, damage or additional expenses and no refunds for unutilised services or arrangements will be made.
11) Force Majeure
We cannot accept liability or make any refund or pay compensation in cases where ‘major’ changes, cancellation or failure to perform any part of our contract with you is as a result of ‘force majeure’. ‘Force majeure’ means fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake, storm, tempest, hurricane, flood, landslide, outbreak of infectious disease, imposition of quarantine, government or other official intervention, the threat or outbreak of war, riot, civil commotion, the threat or an act of terrorism, loss, theft or damage to strategic equipment, hijacking, nuclear disaster or other event or circumstance arising which is beyond our or our suppliers control. Advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office not to enter or remain in a particular country or region will also generally be regarded as ‘force majeure’.
12) Our Liability
We have taken all reasonable care to make sure that all the services that make up our travel arrangements are provided by efficient and reputable businesses. These businesses should follow the local and national laws and regulations of the country where they are provided. However, please be aware that overseas safety standards may be lower than in the UK. Subject to these terms and conditions of booking and the information contained in our literature, if the contract we have with you is improperly performed by us or our suppliers as a result of the failure of ourselves, our agents or suppliers to use reasonable skill and care in arranging, performing or providing, as applicable, the contracted service in question we will accept responsibility. Please note it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim. We will only be responsible for what our agents and suppliers do or do not do if they were at the time carrying out work we had asked them to do.
a) We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (for example loss of enjoyment), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following:-
i) the act(s) or omission(s) of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party; or,
ii) the act(s) or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of your holiday; or,
iii) force majeure as defined in Clause 11
In addition, we will not be responsible for any losses, expenses, costs or other sum you suffer which relate to any business activity.
Please note, we cannot accept responsibility for any services which do not form part of our contract. This includes, for example, any additional services, activities or facilities which any supplier or agent agrees to provide for you.
b) We limit the maximum amount we may have to pay you for any and all claims or parts of claims which do not involve personal injury, illness or death. Except where loss of and/or damage to luggage or personal possessions (including money and/or event tickets) is concerned which will be covered by your insurance policy or a lower limitation of liability applies to your claim, the maximum amount we will have to pay you for such non personal injury claims if we are found liable to you on any basis is the amount paid by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total.
Where we are found liable for loss of and/or damage to any luggage or personal possessions (including money), the maximum amount we will have to pay you is £ 50 per person affected as you are assumed to have taken out adequate insurance at the time of booking.
c) Where any claim or part of a claim relates to any travel arrangements made by us (including the process of getting on/off the transport concerned) provided by any sea, rail or road carrier, the maximum we will have to pay you in respect of that claim or that part of a claim if we are found liable to you on any basis is the maximum which would be payable by the carrier concerned under the applicable international convention.
d) The services that make up your holiday are provided by independent suppliers. These suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier's liability to you. It is your responsibility to check these.
e) The statements we make to you about the services we have agreed to provide or arrange as part of our contract - and the laws and regulations of the country in which your claim or complaint occurred - will be used as the basis for deciding whether the services in question had been properly provided. If the particular services which gave rise to the claim or complaint complied with local laws and regulations applicable to those services at the time, the services will be treated as having been properly provided. This will be the case even if the services did not comply with the laws and regulations of the UK which would have applied had those services been provided in the UK.
13) Your contract
Your contract with us is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the England and Wales and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the England and Wales to settle any claim or matter arising, unless you wish to submit the claim through an independent intermediary which can be done via the Travel Trust Association.
14) Complaints and Disputes
Whilst we make every effort to ensure that your holiday runs smoothly, there may be occasions when things do not go as planned.
a) If you have a complaint or problem you must inform the hotel or resort immediately in order that they have the opportunity to put things right.
b) If your complaint or problem has not been resolved to your complete satisfaction, please either call or email us in the UK so that we can be given the opportunity to assist.
c) If you fail to follow either of these procedures your right to compensation may be affected as we will have been deprived of the opportunity to rectify the problem.
d) If you still have cause for complaint on your return to the UK you should write to us within 28 days giving your booking details and outlining in full the reason for your complaint or dissatisfaction.
e) Disputes arising out of or in connection with this contract which cannot be amicably settled may (if you so wish) be referred to the Travel Trust Association who will act as an independent intermediary. Should the response from the intermediary not prove satisfactory the complaint can be referred to an arbitration service.
15) Wild Animals & Other Hazards
Please be aware that your holiday will take you to remote areas and may bring you into close contact with wild animals and other natural and manmade hazards. It is your responsibility to ensure your own safety. We cannot be held responsible for any attack, injury, death, loss/damage of personal possessions, or accident or other event of any description which that may occur during your holiday. Medical assistance may be a considerable distance away and may be limited when reached. You must carry and abide by all information we provide you with in relation to your holiday arrangements at all times as this is crucial for your own safety and security.
The photographs shown on the website are intended to give an overall impression rather than specific details. Whilst destinations are advertised in good faith, we cannot guarantee that you will observe the wildlife, weather conditions or other characteristics as depicted in the photographs whilst you are on holiday.
The facilities and amenities depicted on this website and in other communication material from us are shown in good faith as generally being available. Should local prices vary, or facilities not be available at certain times as a result of weather conditions, lack of support etc. we cannot be held responsible.
18) Travel Advice
Whilst we do provide some general travel advice, we cannot accept any liability for an errors or omissions. For up-to-date travel advice from the UK government, please visit www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo
© ecoTravel Africa 2011
19) Passports, visas and health requirements
Please ensure that you are fully aware of all passport, visa and vaccination certificate requirements and that you allow adequate time to obtain them. It is your responsibility to arrange and pay for obtaining such documentation.
Information on health is contained in the Department of Health leaflet T7 (Health Advice for Travellers) available from the Department of Health by telephone on 0870 1555455 or via its website www.dh.gov.uk and from most Post Offices.
We regret that we cannot accept any liability if you or any member of your party are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry correct documentation. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.
20) Local Purchases
We cannot accept responsibility for any items you may purchase locally such as jewellery/furniture and the quality and value of such cannot be guaranteed. We recommend that you check whether or not any extra charges will be payable for import duty or freight. We are unable to assist with any costs you may incur in this respect.
World weather is becoming more erratic and unpredictable and we cannot be held responsible for disruption to your holiday due to bad or unusual weather conditions.
22) Vehicle Hire
We accept no liability for vehicle hire. Vehicle hire is subject to the booking conditions of the car hire operator. If we arrange vehicle hire for you, we will provide you with a copy of the car hire operator’s booking conditions. You will normally be expected to provide the local car hire company, at time of receipt of the vehicle, with a credit card (not debit card) for provision of a refundable deposit. We will not be responsible if you fail to provide the car hire company with a credit card (not debit card) and they refuse to provide you with a hire vehicle.