Please remember when reading through these terms and conditions that we bend over backwards to try and solve any problems arising during your trip and will try to avoid charging any cancellation fees wherever possible. We will do all that we can to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. However, Customers are asked to remember that things don't always go quite to plan in Africa (or the Orient).
Contract and Legal
We both also agree that this contract is made on the terms of these booking conditions, which are governed by English Law, and the jurisdiction of the English Courts. You may however, choose the law and jurisdiction of Scotland or Northern Ireland if you wish to do so. Placement of an order with African and Oriental Ltd trading as the African and Oriental Travel Company (Hereinafter known as “The company”) is taken as acceptance by the customer of these terms and conditions.
The company takes no responsibility for loss, damage or injury arising from any shortfall, error or omission in the information passed to the customer during the course of the sale or subsequent delivery of the product.
Some of the trips that we sell are to extremely remote areas (such as but not limited to: Antarctic, St Helena Island, Papua New Guinea, Africa and Micronesia) where weather conditions may preclude the landing of aircraft or vessels. The company cannot take responsibility for delays, disruption or cancellation of any portion of your tour due to weather issues.
It is a booking condition of any tour with us, that you have adequate travel insurance. We recommend that you choose a policy which covers disruption to your holiday. If you do not have this cover, you will be liable for all costs/losses relating to a weather related delay to your holiday.
There are unforeseeable circumstances that will prevent us from fulfilling our contract to you. In the case of matters which are completely out of our control, we will not be able to refund you. A non-exhaustive list would be: Ash clouds, global pandemics, wars and acts of terror, and bankruptcy of a travel supplier. In such cases, you must claim on your travel insurance.
In all cases, we will work with you to try to rebook your dtaes or find an alternative holiday.
Risks of Travel:
We try to be as thorough as possible in our research, We try to “test drive” every activity we sell, every dive centre, and every safari operator. With very few exceptions “we do not sell what we have not done.” We then make a decision to sell a product or holiday based upon whether it would be a risk that we would personally wish to take. But, standards can drop between our inspection and your trip participation. The sport of diving, the activity of hill walking and mountain climbing and Safari participation are dangerous. There is an inherent risk of death on many of these activities, and clients must make themselves aware of this before booking.
In addition, we sell dive and wildlife holidays to Africa, and the orient. These are some of the world’s most underdeveloped places, and so modern safety standards that we find normal in the developed world cannot be expected.
Customers are required to provide for themselves all necessary insurances against personal injury, loss, medical evacuation, medical assistance, hospitalisation, damage, theft, cancellation, delay etc. Some of the elements sold by us inherently have a high risk factor involved for the customer (eg. Scuba diving, snorkelling, wildlife safari, flying, high altitude trekking etc.). All of these activities are undertaken on a voluntary basis by the client. The company cannot take responsibility for the consequences of the customer taking on such risks. All clients are responsible for ensuring that they have full insurance from the moment that they first place their order and covering the whole period before, during and after travel.
Some holidays, for example to Antarctica and St Helena have a much higher than normal risk of weather affecting transportation and therefore your trip. Therefore your insurance should have disruption cover.
If a client has no insurance they are in breach of this contract. If the client has an accident or worse, the client will have to pay for all medical treatment, repatriation, and replacement of goods, legal defence, or any other cost incurred. The company can in no way be held liable for such costs and related issues.
Due to the current global situation, some clients may wish to self insure. If this is the case, you must contact us prior to departure for a self declaration form. Until this form is received by us, you are considered to be uninsured.
Insurance for Scuba Divers
As above, all diving customers are responsible for ensuring that they have full insurance cover that includes rescue and hyperbaric recompression. Without insurance if some misfortune befalls you, you will be considered to be self-insured by whoever finds you, and you will have to cover all costs of your recompression, evacuations and legal defence. These costs are often demanded in advance by care providers.
Trip participation and client responsibility
You agree to accept the authority and decisions of our employees, Trip Leaders and agents whilst on trip with us. If in the opinion of any such person(s) or any other person in a position of authority (such as, for example, an airline pilot or hotel manager), your health, level of fitness or conduct at any time before or during a trip is endangering or appears likely to endanger your health or wellbeing or any third party or the safe, comfortable or happy progress of the trip, you may be excluded from all or part of the trip without refund or recompense.
Should you wish to make a change to your booking, then we will usually need to charge an amendment fee to cover additional administration costs. These charges can be quite significant, so best to avoid changes if at all possible.
If the changes involve the actual cancellation of any element of the booking, standard cancellation charges will apply. Changes which involve adding to an existing booking can usually be carried out without an amendment charge.
If your journey starts in the EU, you must work within the EU denied boarding law. Your airline must co-operate with you. Regardless of where you board you are still liable for the costs of your journey/Safari . The company will make every effort to re-arrange your journey, but you will NOT be entitled to any refund due to your non-appearance for any sector or sectors or services of your journey. (You are required to have travel insurance which covers this).
Transfers / Transportation issues
The company is not liable for any knock on effects arising from the failure of any one element of a sale, such as the non-departure of a boat or plane. Any cancellations arising thereof will be completely the responsibility of the customer. It remains the customer's sole responsibility to arrive and depart and travel between all elements of a trip.
We insist that the customer must check with local transport operators the exact times and schedules for transport. There are only a few departures on which a failure can cause serious knock-on effects and we always try to construct trips which avoid such risks and will try to make you aware of any such possibilities. In the developing world, you soon learn to build a little bit of slack in your schedule.
Invoicing is in US Dollars or British pounds; at your request. Once a booking is paid for, the price is guaranteed except in the case of surcharges.
In some rare cases suppliers feel the need to pass on surcharges to us for exchange rate fluctuations, fuel price increases, instantaneous government park fees.
The company reserves the right to pass on to customers any increase imposed on us by our suppliers.
If You Have a Complaint
If you have a problem during your holiday, please inform the relevant supplier (e.g. your hotelier) and our local representative immediately who will endeavour to put things right. If your complaint is not resolved locally, please follow this up within 28 days of your return home by writing us giving your booking reference and all other relevant information. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. This will assist us to quickly identify your concerns and speed up our response to you. It is strongly recommended that you communicate any complaint to the supplier of the services in question as well as to our local representative without delay. If you fail to follow this simple procedure we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify your complaint whilst you were on holiday and this may affect your rights under this contract.
Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on holiday are not part of your package holiday provided by us. For any excursion or other tour that you book locally, your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.
Health and other third world issues
Customers are reminded that when travelling to Asia or Africa they should not expect the same standards of hygiene, security or service that you would in more advanced regions. The company takes no responsibility for incidents of food-poisoning or other illnesses, even where the contamination can be proved to be from a source booked through the company. The customer must take full responsibility for their health at all times.
Clients must be physically fit to conduct the activities which have been booked. Many of our tours involve a significant amount of strenuous exercise. Such as swimming against currents or trekking to high altitudes or walking safaris and scuba diving. Your physical fitness should therefore be of a good level that allows you to conduct your chosen activity. For scuba diving, you must have maintained your fitness to dive. If you are in doubt, please contact your physician.
Under no circumstances should you travel if your Physician has advised you against it, or would advise you against it if consulted. If we reasonably feel unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking or the condition / disability develops after booking, cancel when we become aware of these details. Once on the tour, it is up to our agents to determine if your level of fitness is sufficient to tackle the challenges presented by each day’s activities
Clients cannot expect the same levels of health and safety that they may be accustomed to in the developed world. A good example of this would be seat belts, which whilst being obligatory in all vehicle seats in many countries, are not necessarily even provided in some transfer or safari vehicles.
All of the content of our website is copyrighted. Permission must be obtained from us in writing if you wish to use any of our content for any other purpose than booking your trip with us.
All trips except Antarctic Expeditions and Live-aboard dive vessels: We are a small company and we try to deal with smaller companies and lodges. While this gives you a more personal experience, these often book up months in advance. Therefore our Cancellation policy has to be strict: If you choose to cancel your holiday with us you will be left with the following options: If you cancel more than 90 days before we will refund you 75% of your booking. (everything except the non-refundable 25% booking fee)
If you cancel less than 90 days before service being delivered, you will forfeit 100% of your booking.
In most cases, we will do our best to work with you to ensure that you can make a claim for a genuine full refund from your insurance company.
Please note that some products, such as certain flights, gorilla permits, certain dive lodges etc are 100% non-refundable.
Antarctic Cruises and Live-aboard dive vessels: Due to the very specific nature, and the difficulty in finding replacements for cancellations of Antarctic Expeditions, cruises, live-aboard dive vessels the following policy will apply:
A 25% deposit will be payable on booking. A further 25% 18 months prior to departure, a further 25% 1 year prior to departure and the final 25% 9 months prior to departure. All payments must be made on time, or your spot will be released and you will not be entitled to any refund of any payments made. All payments for all cruises, Antarctic expeditions or live-aboard dive vessels are absolutely non-refundable.
Bonding and your protection
All of our package tours departing the UK have a flight element. If you are a resident of the United Kingdom our holiday is then protected by our ATOL license. If you are resident outside the United Kingdom we strongly recommend that you pay with a credit card to protect yourself.
Acceptance of Terms and Conditions:
The placing of a booking with African and Oriental Ltd for services implies that you accept these booking conditions.