1. RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENTS
Standard policy for Routes to Africa is that a booking is confirmed when the client has submitted complete and signed Reservations and Liability Release Forms and paid a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost. One exception is with gorilla or chimp permits, where the cost of the permits is also due upon initial confirmation. RTA cannot begin making official accommodation reservations or getting permits until these confirmations are finished. The balance of the trip cost is due prior to your trip. The exact final payment date will depend on when your reservation was made and the nature of your trip.
2. CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY
Cancellations are only effective when Routes to Africa receives written and signed notification. If cancellation is made prior to 8 weeks before departure, your 20% deposit is forfeited. If your cancellation is made after the due date for full payment of your trip fare, additional charges will be levied. The scale of charges, expressed as a percentage of the trip price, is as follows:
• More than 8 weeks notice ~ Deposit forfeited;
• Less than 8 weeks notice ~ 45%;
• Less than 4 weeks notice ~ 50%;
• Less than 3 weeks notice ~ 60%;
• Less than 2 weeks notice ~ 100%.
Should you fail to join a trip, join it after departure, or leave prior to its completion, no refund will be made. The above policy applies to all travel arrangements made via Routes to Africa.
It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to insure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependents and traveling companions for the duration of their tour to Africa. This insurance should include coverage in respect of, but not limited to, the following: cancellation or curtailment of the trip, emergency evacuation expenses, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, damage, theft or loss of personal baggage, money and goods. Routes to Africa will take no responsibility for any costs for losses incurred or suffered by the guest, or guest's dependents or traveling companions, with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above mentioned possibilities. Guests will be charged directly by the relevant service providers for any emergency services they may require, and may find themselves in a position unable to access such services should they not be carrying the relevant insurance coverage.
A Travel Insurance Acceptance form must be completed and returned to Routes to Africa as a condition of travel.
If you decline travel insurance, you must sign stating you have chosen against it.
4. MEDICAL INFORMATION / LIABILITY RELEASE
Participation on a trip to Africa requires that you be in generally good health. All guests must understand that while a high level of fitness is not required, a measure of physical activity is involved in all safaris, tours, and volunteering. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and/or related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure. Anti-malaria precautions should be taken, and these are the sole responsibility of the client. Any required vaccinations must be recorded by the client’s health practitioner on a valid vaccination certificate, which the client must carry in his/her possession throughout the tour. Routes to Africa will not assume responsibility for the accuracy of any medical information. You should consult your doctor or pharmacist for up to date requirements and personal recommendations.
By forwarding the tour deposit, the signed Reservations Booking Form and the signed Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement, the guest certifies that he/she does not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for him/her or other trip participants.
A Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement must be signed by each tour participant prior to commencement of a tour. Participation by any tour participant will be declined in the absence of the signed Liability Release Form.
5. CURRENCY FLUCTUATION
In order to keep our rates as low as possible, we do not build into the price an allowance to cover possible increases from currency fluctuations. Therefore, as currencies do fluctuate constantly around the world, it may be necessary for us to raise the cost, at any time before final payment, if there is exceptional cost increases beyond our control. An increase in the tour price shall not be sufficient grounds for any refund of fees already paid for the tour. RTA does our best to avoid this situation and it is rare for it to be applied.
6. AIRFARES & DELAYS
Routes to Africa does not directly handle any issue with the airline with which you travel. RTA is not responsible for any airline schedule or airfare changes, cancellations, overbooking or damage or loss of baggage and property. Any and all claims for any loss or injury suffered on any airline must be made directly with the airline involved and not Routes to Africa. Air schedule changes may necessitate additional nights being added to your tour. These schedule changes are beyond the control of RTA, thus any resulting cost is the sole responsibility of the client.
Routes to Africa cannot be held liable for any delays or additional costs incurred as a result of airlines not running to schedule.
7. FORCE MAJEURE
Routes to Africa cannot accept liability or pay compensation where the performance of our obligations is prevented or affected by any event in which we - or the supplier of the service - such as lodgings in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events include war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, border closures, unexpected government acts, terrorist activity, industrial disputes, natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, fire, road closures, pilferage, epidemics, quarantines, dangers incident to sea, land and air travel, acts of God, and other similar acts or incidents beyond our ability to control that may make operation of the tour impossible, illegal or inadvisable. If prior to the trip, and any of the aforementioned have clearly occurred, then all tour payments received will be promptly refunded, and this refund will be the limit of Routes to Africa’s liability. Routes to Africa is not responsible for any expenses incurred by tour members in preparing for the tour, including non-refundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets, special clothing, visa or passport fees, or other tour-related expenses.
Certain activities that could be part of your safari, adventure, or volunteer trip could have a certain of risk of personal injury. These activities could be, but are not limited to, hiking, Mountain and Volcano climbing, boat rides, canoeing, white water rafting, gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking, construction, medical work, contact with people who are sick, and other activities that carry any degree of risk.
You should be aware that, though RTA will always do our best to care for you, your personal safety cannot be guaranteed. Should you elect to participate in such activities while you are on tour, you are, of course, free to do so. However, you must understand that such participation will be at your own risk and that we assume no responsibility for your safety.
8. GUIDE REPLACEMENT
If a requested guide is unable to lead a pre-scheduled trip due to illness, etc., Routes to Africa and its operators in Africa reserve the right to substitute with another guide.
9. ITINERARY CHANGES – BY THE COMPANY
Although every effort is made to adhere to schedules, it should be noted that our operators in Africa may be obliged to occasionally change lodging, routes of travel, or other unforeseen situations, as dictated by changing conditions. Such conditions may be brought about by seasonal rainfall on bush tracks, airfields and in game areas, by game migrations from one region to another, power outages, road construction, accommodations over-booking without the knowledge of RTA, or airline or other booking problems, etc. Routes to Africa shall not be held responsible for such itinerary changes as discussed above.
10. ITINERARY CHANGES – BY THE CLIENT
If the client makes any changes to the pre-approved itinerary while on their trip, the client is responsible for these arrangements and cost. Routes to Africa is only responsible for the expenses and schedule listed on the agreed upon itinerary. If the client paid for something on the pre-approved itinerary and then the client does not participate in an activity or chooses to use a different facility, then that paid money will not be refunded. If the client chooses to do something extra – not listed on the itinerary, or change accommodations, then he/she must pay for that extra/different thing and make arrangements for it on their own.
11. SPECIFIC ACCOMMODATIONS
While our operators use their best endeavors to insure that all reserved accommodations are available as planned, Routes to Africa shall not be held responsible for a refund either in the whole or part, if any accommodation or excursion is unavailable, due to an issue with the outside provider, when a reasonable alternative is found. If the guest is unable to use any service provided in the itinerary, then there are no refunds due.
12. LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE
Standard luggage allowance is similar to those of most airlines: 2 pieces of main luggage, one carry-on, and one personal bag (purse or laptop bag). If more luggage is coming, the client must inform RTA in advance. The amount of luggage could affect the size of vehicle needed. This could affect the cost depending on vehicle space. If a client comes with more luggage that was not agreed upon in advance, and a larger vehicle is needed, the client is responsible for any extra cost, and RTA is not responsible for any loss of time in arranging for the necessary vehicle.
13. WILD ANIMALS
Please be aware that our safaris may take you into close contact with wild animals. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but no safari into the African wilderness can guarantee that this will not occur. Routes to Africa cannot be held responsible for any injury or incident on the safari. Please note that the majority of the safari accommodations are not fenced and that wildlife do move freely in and around the accommodations. Always follow the safety instructions from the staff and your guide with regards to moving around while on game activities throughout your safari.
14. PASSPORTS & VISAS
The responsibility is on the client to insure that passports and visas are valid for the countries they plan to visit. Routes to Africa cannot be held liable for any visas and/or passports which are invalid or not held by the guests, nor for the cost of any passports or visas.
15. COSTS NOT INCLUDED
(varies by itinerary): Insurance to cover for cancellation and curtailment, medical, needs or issues, extra baggage, extra airport trips if baggage was delayed and must be picked later, spending money for souvenirs, emergency evacuation; extra beverages; personal laundry; gratuities to guides, paddlers and to camp staff; any excursion not related to the trip or on the itinerary; extra meals or snacks, meal costs beyond agreed upon in original cost, any form of project expenses for volunteer work, anything listed as "optional" on the itinerary that was not previously agreed on and paid for
16. GUEST REPRESENTATION AND CONSENT
The person making any booking with Routes to Africa, testifies that he or she has authority to enter into a contract on behalf of all other persons included in such a booking and in the event of the failure of any or all of the other persons so included to make payment, the person or organization making the booking shall by his/her signature thereof assume personal liability for the total price of all bookings made by him/her.
The payment of the deposit or any other partial payment for a reservation on a trip constitutes consent by all guests covered by that payment to all provisions of the Terms and Conditions contained herein whether the guest has signed the booking form or not. The terms, under which you agree to take these tours, cannot be changed or amended except in writing signed by an authorized representative of Routes to Africa.
17. AGE LIMITS
Please consult with us for the specific age policies that may be relevant to your itinerary (I.e. Rafting). If anyone misrepresents their age, our operators reserve the right to terminate the program without refund. Routes to Africa cannot be held responsible for any refund in this situation.
RTA always strives to give the best service possible, but if any problems arise with any aspect of a trip, it is the responsibility of the client to share the concern or issue first with the guide or host who is present. If he or she cannot assist, then contact the office and speak to the manager. For any larger issue, a written complaint must be submitted. RTA is not responsible for any issue that is brought forth more than 20 days after the last day of the scheduled trip. RTA will always work to resolve any issue with expediency and to the Clint's satisfaction.
19. CLIENT RESPONSIBILITY
A condition of your reservation is to behave in a manor reflecting the nature of the environment you will be in. Guides, drivers and suppliers reserve the right to deny a client access to any activity based on their own professional judgment and experience. Disorderly conduct and/or drunkenness will not be tolerated and guides and suppliers reserve the right to take whatever actions they deem necessary to control a situation created by such conduct. The safety and enjoyment of all guests is paramount. Clients must act within the local law. If you are unsure of any aspect of the law, please check with your guide. Routes to Africa is not responsible if the client fails to comply with any of the above conditions.
20. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY
Routes to Africa shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that every portion of your planned itinerary is followed by us as described and agreed to by you with the best standard possible.
Our employees, agents, suppliers and sub-contractors exercise due care in carrying out our obligations under the contract. We accept responsibility for what our employees, agents, suppliers and sub-contractors do or do not do (provided they were at the time carrying out work authorized by us). If any part of your holiday is not provided for as advertised and to a reasonable standard, we shall pay you appropriate compensation if your enjoyment of the holiday has been affected and you have followed the complaints procedure set out in these terms and conditions.
This acceptance of responsibility is subject to the clause relating to "Force Majeure" above and these Terms and Conditions generally. Our maximum liability in respect of complaints (except where death, personal injury or illness results, or where claims relate to loss or damage to possessions or luggage, which are dealt with below) is limited to an amount equal to the cost paid by or on behalf of the person affected for the relevant services. The maximum amount will only be payable where the person affected has derived no benefit from the holiday and none of the services contracted have been provided. Liability for loss or damage to luggage or personal possessions (including money) will be compensated to a maximum of US$30 on the basis that the client is assumed to have taken out adequate insurance cover in respect of such losses at the time of booking.
When the deposit is made to Routes to Africa, the depositor therefore agrees to be bound by the above recited terms and conditions. RTA reserves the right to accept or decline any individual from participating on any of our trips for any reason. RTA will not discriminate against any individual because of race, sex, or nationality.
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