• African wildlife safari by Russ MacLaughlin

Our general terms and conditions

GENERAL INFORMATION

Natural World Safaris Limited (NWS), organises safaris in Africa & the Indian Ocean, the Indian Subcontinent, the Far East, North America, Latin America, the Arctic & Antarctica. NWS is registered in the United Kingdom with company number 05649357. Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully as they form the basis of our obligations to you and vice versa.

In these terms and conditions, “you” means all persons named on the booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date) and “we” and “us” means NWS. “Departure” and “departure date” mean the date on which your trip is due to commence. Our terms are reviewed from time to time and may be amended: please note that the terms you receive on confirmation of your booking are the terms that are valid and apply to that booking.

By paying the required deposit you are confirming that you have read these terms and all other information that has been supplied to you and that you understand and accept them. You are also confirming that you understand that in our destination countries levels of service, infrastructure, hygiene, safety and security may be lower than you are used to in your country of residence. It is important to adhere to the local laws and regulations of the destination country when travelling with NWS and these are the laws, regulations and practices that will apply to your trip, not those of your country of residence.

ACCURACY OF INFORMATION

All information that we have provided including that contained on our website and in our brochure(s) is given in good faith and is to the best of our knowledge a fair representation of our destinations and the facilities offered. We pride ourselves on the accuracy of our information but cannot accept liability or responsibility for any errors caused by circumstances out of our control.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

It is a condition of travelling with us that you will at all times follow the instructions of the guides and staff of our local operators. Should you fail to do so or be overly confident, eager or reckless in approaching an animal, you may be withdrawn from the trip and excluded from taking any further part in it. Should an animal be killed or injured because of a provoked attack, a fine per animal may be charged by a local wildlife officer.

We cannot control wildlife or the weather and do not guarantee that you will see all the wildlife and experience all the weather conditions referenced in our trip descriptions and imagery.

BOOKING AND PRICES

The person making the booking with us (referred to as “the Party Leader”) must be 18 years of age or older and if the booking is being made for more than one person we will assume, unless advised otherwise, that he or she has the authority of all other travellers to do so.

The Party Leader is primarily responsible for making the payments due to us under the travel contract but all travellers are jointly and severally liable for these payments.

Please ensure that you have read and are happy with the final quotation and itinerary before booking and making payment. Please check: the number of people travelling, room allocations, selected/specified accommodation, the number of permits required, the dates of travel, meal plans, National Parks/reserves to be visited, mode of transport and what is included in or excluded from the price payable.

We reserve the right to correct any published prices, quote and itineraries and will do so when we become aware of an error. Our quotes are always subject to availability and prices at the time they are issued and are subject to any additional VAT and Government charges that may be implemented between the date of booking and your departure date.

A contract between us will come into existence when we issue an invoice to the Party Leader and the deposit is paid and will be subject to these terms and conditions. Where anything that has been said or written prior to the contract coming into existence conflicts with these terms and conditions, the latter will prevail.

It is your responsibility to check the accuracy of the booking information, tickets, vouchers and other documents that we send to you when you receive them. If you believe that anything has been incorrectly stated you must tell us as soon as possible and in any event within 10 days of you receiving them so that we can correct them. It may not be possible to correct errors after this but if it is we reserve the right to pass on the cost of doing so to you.

We reserve the right up to 20 days before the departure date to increase or decrease the price of your trip to reflect any changes to us in the cost of carriage, taxes or fees imposed by third parties not directly involved in the provision of our services (tourist taxes, landing taxes and charges, embarkation and disembarkation fees, and permit fees, for example), that may occur between your booking and the departure date.

We will only pass additional costs or savings on to you if the quoted price has increased or decreased by 2% or more. If for whatever reason the price increases by more than 8% then you will have the right to cancel your trip and receive a full refund of all monies paid in line with these terms and conditions. Please note tracking permits may only be reimbursed subject to each individual case. If you wish to cancel under the terms stated above you must do so within 10 days of receipt of a notice from us of the increased charges.

CANCELLATION AND CHANGES

By Us

On occasions, we may have no choice but to cancel or make significant changes to confirmed bookings and we reserve the right to do so. Cancellations or changes will only be made (a) if we have not received full payment 90 days prior to departure (or by any alternative date specified at the time of booking), (b) as a result of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances beyond our control or (c) if your trip was subject to a minimum number of travellers and that minimum number has not been reached 20 days before the departure date.

In the event of cancellation of your trip (unless as a result of non-payment) or us notifying you of a significant change to your trip you will have two choices: (a) the opportunity to purchase a trip from us of the same value as the original trip. If your alternative trip purchase is less expensive than the original then we will refund the difference. If it is of greater value than the original trip booked then you must pay the difference; or (b) to be refunded all monies paid. On occasions the cost of certain permits (such as gorilla permits) may not be refunded due to circumstances beyond our control however we will make every reasonable effort to recover and reimburse these costs if possible. NWS is not and will not be liable for any costs that you incur or have incurred as a result of the cancellation.

We reserve the right to make minor, insignificant changes to your trip (by which we mean changes which are unlikely to have any material effect on, or your enjoyment of, the trip) provided that we notify you of them in writing including by e-mail.

We expect clients to at all times behave responsibly and with due respect for those they are travelling and engaging with. NWS and/or our local operators reserve the right to cancel the trip of any person(s) involved in that trip if we or they feel that the behaviour of that person(s) is causing annoyance, damage, distress or injury to any third party. In this instance NWS and our local operator will have no further responsibility to the person(s) involved who will be asked to leave the vehicle, accommodation or service that is being provided. In this instance NWS will not be liable or responsible for any costs incurred for the safe passage home of the person(s) concerned or for the cancellation of their trip.

By You

You may transfer your booking to another traveller at any time up to the departure date provided that (a) you give us not less than 7 days’ notice of the proposed transfer, (b) the transferee is a person for whom the trip is suitable, and (c) either you or the transferee pay all costs associated with the transfer including all costs levied by third parties.

If you or any person that you are travelling with wants to cancel your trip you must notify us in writing (which includes e-mail) as soon as possible. Only when we receive your notification in writing will your cancellation be effective: until then it is not. In order to cover any costs and losses incurred by or as a result of your cancellation as we may be unable to resell your trip or the services that we have put in place, costs and cancellation fees will be charged as follows:

Valid cancellation received 90 Days or more before departure date – loss of deposit;

Valid cancellation received 89 Days or less before departure date – 100% of the entire cost is payable.

COMPLAINTS

Any complaints must be reported immediately to our local operator or the service provider in question who will take all reasonable steps to resolve the problem or issue. We may not accept responsibility for complaints that could have been successfully resolved at the time had they been reported but which were not so reported.

If you feel that your complaint was not satisfactorily resolved at the time you should send written details of the complaint to the Managing Director at the UK office of NWS or by e-mail to sales@naturalworldsafaris.com no later than 30 days after your return from your trip. Complaints received after this time will not be accepted. You should include full details of what the complaint related to, who you reported it to and when, and what was done to try and resolve it.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

ABTOT AND ATOL

All the flights and flight inclusive trips on this website are financially protected either by ABTOT Combined or the ATOL scheme. When you pay for something protected by the ATOL scheme you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: http://www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Consumers/ATOL-certificate/

The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under ABTOT Combined and The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for NWS (ATOL number 9826), and in the event of our insolvency protection is provided for the following:

  1. non-flight packages;
  2. flight inclusive packages that commence outside the EEA which are sold to customers outside the EEA; and
  3. flight inclusive packages, flight only and linked travel arrangements (LTAs) sold as a principal under ABTOT Combined.

ABTOT Combined cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made by customers outside the EEA are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly from NWS.

In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call ABTOT's 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise that you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company.

You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 (“Regulations”) here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/contents/made

DATA PROTECTION

By confirming your booking and paying the deposit you are agreeing to us processing your personal data (which includes data relating to all passengers named in the booking) for the purpose of arranging your trip. This includes sharing your data with third parties who need to have that data for that purpose. Further information can be found in our Privacy Policy by clicking on this link: https://www.naturalworldsafaris.com/privacy-policy

FORCE MAJEURE

Sometimes things happen that we and/or our agents have no control over and which we could not, even with all due diligence, prevent or foresee. Examples are extreme weather conditions, war, civil war, park closures, mechanical problems with transport, border closures, local and/or national government decisions, terrorist activities, fire, flooding, or disease. We do not accept liability for and do not pay compensation where the performance of our services is prevented or affected by events of this type or reasons which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question have no control over. This does not affect any right you may have in certain circumstances to a refund of the price paid.

INSURANCE

It is a condition of your contract with us that you arrange appropriate travel insurance for the trip you are booking. We advise that your insurance policy covers the following: repatriation, emergency evacuation and search and rescue, cancellation or curtailment, medical expenses, loss of luggage, death, personal injury, illness, and loss or theft of personal property including your luggage. All travellers that book with us must have proof that their travel insurance covers the travel period fully and proof of policy must be sent through to our UK office prior to departure, along with the insurer’s details and your policy number. Please note that more adventurous activities such as tracking wild animals, white water-rafting, scuba diving and crossing canopy walkways should also be covered and may require a higher level of cover. We recommend checking your policy cover accordingly. We reserve the right to cancel your booking if you do not have and provide proof of adequate insurance for the trip that you have booked.

We can recommend Campbell Irvine for all standard insurance policies, who offer a range of policies for residents of all countries and nationalities, with cover levels reflecting different activities that we offer. To find out more about the policies on offer and the level of cover appropriate to you, please follow this link: https://www.campbellirvinedirect.com/naturalworldsafaris/

For clients whose booking value exceeds £5,000 per person (valid for UK and European residents only), you may wish to consider arranging American Express Annual Prestige cover, which offers the highest levels of cover, including cancellation cover of up to £12,500 per person per trip and up to 120 consecutive days cover. Please follow this link for more details: https://insurance.americanexpress.co.uk/travel-insurance/annual/

Those clients based in North America may wish to explore similar policies with higher levels of cover through Travel Guard Chartis. Please follow this link for more details: https://www.travelguard.com/travel-insurance/plans

For clients from the UK but living in Europe, up to the age of 79 years, we recommend Journey Man Travel Insurance: https://journeyman-services.com/travelInsurance.

Some of our specialist expeditions cover vast distances in remote locations that are usually outside standard insurance policy evacuation coverage. For this reason, we also recommend that you source protection for medical and non-medical search and rescue. We have partnered with Global Rescue, the world's leading provider of medical and security advisory and evacuation services, with field rescue units that will come to help you wherever your emergency occurs, by whatever means necessary, and bring you home. To arrange this, please follow this link: https://www.globalrescue.com/personal/travelservices.html. The trips that currently require this cover are listed below, although we can recommend the coverage for any of our trips that take place in remote locations. If you are unsure, please contact your consultant for more advice on the matter.

Trips that require medical and non-medical evacuation cover:

  • Polar Bear Mothers & Newborn Cubs
  • Great Migrations of the Northwest Passage
  • Polar Bear Fly-In Migrations Safari

INUIT ANIMAL HARVESTING

Our trips position you in areas with large concentrations of animals. We use the most experienced local hunters as guides and occasionally find ourselves in the same areas as local Inuit hunting parties. We support the Canadian aboriginal natives’ right to hunt as part of a lifestyle that has supported the Inuit people over thousands of years in one of the harshest climates on earth. Our local operators enjoy the hospitality of the inhabitants within their destinations and have established valuable relationships of trust and mutual respect. Occasionally on our trips there may be hunting activity relatively near to the camps. It is forbidden to take photographs of these activities as the images, if improperly used, could cause substantial harm to the Inuit people and their traditional way of life.

JURISDICTION

NWS is incorporated in the United Kingdom and operates under the laws of England and Wales. Your contract with us and all matters arising out of it will be governed by the laws of England and Wales and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

LIABILITY

We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that (1) all parts of the trip supplied are provided as described on our website and in the brochure to a reasonable standard; and (2) our local contractors, suppliers and sub-contractors exercise due care and diligence in carrying out our contractual obligations. If at any stage your trip is not provided as we have advertised and to an acceptable standard, we shall compensate you appropriately in line with how your enjoyment of the trip has been affected as long as the correct complaints procedure (as set out above) has been followed. Our acceptance of this responsibility is subject to the passage above relating to “Force Majeure” and our other terms and conditions set out in this document.

In relation to complaints, our maximum liability unless stated otherwise is limited to the amount originally paid upon booking by the person(s) affected by the stated services (not including personal injury, death, or illness which are outlined below). The maximum sum will only be paid out if the person affected has not received any benefit from the trip in question or any of the services that have been contracted.

Throughout your trip we will take the necessary precautions and due care necessary to prevent injury, death or illness caused by any animal or insects at the destination of choice. Please note that it is your responsibility to take the necessary health and medical precautions in preparing for your trip and the correct medical advice should be sought from your local GP or another relevant medical professional before travelling.

Subject to these Terms and Conditions, we accept responsibility should you or any of your party suffer death, personal injury or illness as a result of any failure to perform or the improper performance of the contract by any of our employees, agents, suppliers or sub-contractors (provided they were at the time carrying out work authorised by us) except in the following situations. We will not be liable where any failure to perform or the improper performance was due to: (i) the acts or omissions of a third party not connected with the provision of the trip under the contract and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable; and/or (ii) an event which we or the supplier of the relevant services could not have foreseen or avoided even with all due care. Any claim must be notified to us in accordance with the complaints procedure set out above. Any person to whom any payment is made (and their parent or guardian if that person is a minor) must assign to us and our insurers any rights they may have to pursue any third party in connection with the claim and provide all necessary assistance to us and our insurers that may be reasonably required.

You acknowledge that travel to the region and country(ies) you have chosen may entail risks that are outside our control and by completing your booking you are confirming that you accept these risks freely and on your own initiative and responsibility. You agree at all times to comply with the instructions given to you by us and by our agents, local operators and representatives, and to maintain adequate medical and evacuation insurance during your trip (please refer to the Insurance section above for options). Whilst we will take reasonable steps to avoid and or mitigate the risks concerned, we do not accept liability for any injury or loss that you may suffer due to the actions of third parties or circumstances outside our control.

LOCAL OPERATOR REQUIREMENTS

Any staff member or other person authorised by our local operator shall be entitled to enter a trip member’s room or tent to carry out necessary inspection, maintenance or repair work or for any purpose associated therewith. The operator also reserves the right to take photographic records on trips for promotional purposes, and travellers grant the operator express permission to use the operator’s images for such purposes.

MEDICAL INFORMATION

NWS expeditions are intended for persons of reasonably good health and mobility. It is essential that passengers who are not or may not be fit to participate in these trips and/or who have any medical problems and/or dietary restrictions or allergies consult their doctor and declare them to us before confirmation of the booking. We can then counsel you on whether the expedition you have selected is appropriate for you. The tour leader has the right to disqualify any participant at any time during the tour if he feels the participant is physically incapable and/or if a participant’s continued participation will jeopardise either the individual involved or the group. There will be no refund given under these circumstances. By paying the deposit you are certifying that you do not have any mental, physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for you or other passengers.

PACKAGE TRAVEL

If your trip includes more than one of the following services: carriage, accommodation, vehicle rental or other service not intrinsic to any of these, it may be regulated by the Regulations. Regulation 5 of the Regulations entitles you to the provision of the information that you can find by clicking on this link: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/schedule/2/made?view=plain

NWS is responsible for the proper performance of all travel services included in any contract that falls within and is subject to the Regulations and is obliged to provide assistance if you are in difficulty. Details of who you should contact if assistance is required are contained in the Journey Essentials document that will be sent to you once your booking has been confirmed.

PAYMENT

In order to confirm the booking of your trip a deposit of 30% of the total amount payable must be received before a booking confirmation will be issued. Balance payments must be received no later than 60 days before departure or sooner if stated on the invoice. If bookings are made within 60 days of departure full payment is due at the time of booking. Please note that some trips require the balance payment no later than 90 days before departure and if this applies to you, you will receive notification of this at the time of booking.

PRIMATE PERMITS

Only on receipt of payment for them will permits for primate tracking in the relevant National Park be purchased. Please note that the purchase of permits does not guarantee seeing the primate(s) in question. On occasions local conditions sometimes mean that access to the parks where primates are located is made impossible at short notice. We do not accept liability for any circumstances that might lead to primate viewing being cancelled, whether it is as a result of security issues, National Park/Reserve closures, natural disasters, or the absence of primates. Any refunds of permits are at the discretion of the relevant authority and we cannot accept liability for them. We will make every reasonable effort to obtain the refund from the relevant authority and if we do succeed this reimbursement will be refunded to you.

SAFARI TERMS AND PRICES

Prices INCLUDE: accommodation as stated, meals as stated, driver, vehicle, park fees as stated, primate tracking permits as stated, transfers. Prices EXCLUDE: tips, laundry, visas, international flights, and items of a personal nature. In the event of unforeseen circumstances – security issues, weather conditions, park closures, border closures etc - we reserve the right to amend the confirmed itinerary. We will always try and replace any particular service with something of equal quality and interest, but this is not always possible.

SPECIALIST DEPARTURES

If you are booked on named and/or branded specialist led departures, such as Photography or Wildlife Expert Safaris (e.g. Andy Rouse Photography Safaris / Steve Backshall Safaris), and the advertised specialist cannot lead the trip due to circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to provide a replacement leader with similar experience and standing.

TRANSPORTATION

We make every effort to ensure that all vehicles used are comfortable and in a road-worthy condition and adhere to the local government transport regulations. Passengers are liable for any damage caused to a vehicle by them.

February 2020