TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE
Making a booking with Gondwana Tours & Safaris (Pty) Ltd is taken as acceptance by the customer of these terms and conditions.
1.1 “Booking” a booking is made when the group leader makes payment of a deposit or full payment to Gondwana Tours and Safaris (Pty) Ltd for the agreed trip.
1.2 “Customer” means the Group leader as well as any other person travelling with the Group Leader on the agreed trip.
1.3 “Agreed trip” is the holiday that is booked by the customer with Gondwana Tours and Safaris and includes all elements that are detailed on the invoice to the customer.
1.4 “Gondwana Tours and Safaris” is Gondwana Tours and Safaris (Pty) Ltd, a limited liability company registered in Botswana, Africa company number 2009\7478 with its registered office at: Lions Gate Business Centre, Sekgoma Road, Plot 303 Boseja, Private Bag 12, Maun, Botswana.
1.5 “Group Leader” For each trip that we book, the first customer named on the paperwork is known as the ‘group leader’. Whilst putting a trip together during the sales process, the majority of the dialogue will usually take place with the group leader. Leading up to and subsequent to an order being placed, it is the group leader who is responsible for providing all necessary information to us and for honoring all payments and penalties due on the trip.
1.6 “Contract” These terms and conditions refer to a contract made between Gondwana Tours and Safaris and the Group Leader. The contract is also referred to hereinafteras the “booking” and the “trip”.
1.7 “Legal Jurisdiction” Botswana Law will apply to the contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us. All parties agree that any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us must be dealt with under the HATAB or similar arbitration schemes (if such a scheme is available for the claim in question) or by the courts of Botswana only.
2. Conditions of website use
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 supporting yourself on a trip booked with us.
2.2 Fraudulent enquiries
Requests for quotations and other information submitted to us by any of our competitors, potential suppliers or their associates, under the guise of being a genuine customer request, will be treated as fraudulent. Discovery of any such fraud will be pursued in the courts to the maximum penalty. We will not only claim for time lost directly on fielding such enquiries, but we will also make much larger claims concerning the advantage gained by the possession of such information provided in the competitive environment in which we operate.
3. The bookings process
3.1 Making a booking
During the sales process Gondwana Tours & Safaris will probably provide you with a number of different quotations. When you are sufficiently satisfied with a quotation and are ready to proceed to booking, please advise us and we will reconfirm that all bookings are reserved. We will then send an invoice with details for payment and reconfirming the exact itinerary that you want to book and are legally agreeing to.
We will also send a booking form to complete which should be sent back to us at the same time as making payment if possible. Please note though that you will be deemed to have entered into a binding contract with Gondwana Tours & Safaris as soon as we receive payment either by credit card or by bank transfer even if we have not received the booking form.
The party leader thereafter becomes liable to make all payments for all guests on the trip and any cancellation or amendment fees that may subsequently arise.
3.2 Price guarantee
Once you have made your booking, Gondwana Tours & Safaris guarantees to honor the prices for each individual item shown on your quotation, with the following exceptions …
a. Estimated price rises: Where we are making a booking for a period of time that Gondwana Tours & Safaris does not yet have prices from the supplier, we usually include an estimated price rise. Such price rises will be reconciled usually by the time that final payment becomes due and the group leader is obliged to cover such increases to a maximum of twice the estimated increase.
b. Regulatory fees and taxes : In Africa we are exposed to sudden changes in items such as park fees and taxes. The group leader is responsible for paying any additional charges of this nature.
c. Fuel surcharges : Similarly we are occasionally exposed to sudden changes in fuel costs, which we need to pass on to our customers if our suppliers demand them of us. The group leader is responsible for paying any additional charges of this nature.
d. Major errors : In the event of a major error having occurred in Gondwana Tours & Safaris quotation whereby we have significantly undercharged for a trip, Gondwana Tours & Safaris reserves the right to withdraw our offer.
e. Exchange rate fluctuations : Very rarely our suppliers feel the pinch from a large movement in the international exchange rates and need to add an exchange rate surcharge to their invoices to us. The group leader is responsible for paying any additional charges of this nature.
3.3 Timing and method of payment
At the point of making a booking you will be able to select your method of payment.
Payments are scheduled as follows:
– Deposit Payment due on confirming booking 30%
– Balance Payment due 70 days before travel 70%
In order of preference payment can be made by :
– money transfer
– credit or debit card: Please note that only mastercard or visa cards are accepted and all card payments will incur a 4% administration fee.
Payment to Gondwana Tours & Safaris can be made using any combination or multiples of the above methods.
It is common for us to separate out payment for different individuals within a trip and accept different methods of payment from each, but communication of the relevant information should always take place via the group leader, who remains financially responsible for the whole trip.
It is the responsibility of the Group Leader to ensure that the balance for the holiday is paid by the date specified on the invoice. If this is not possible then it is very important that you contact Gondwana Tours & Safaris and we can advise further. If you fail to pay the balance by the specified date then we will send a polite reminder to you. If you fail to respond to this reminder or any further reasonable attempts to contact you, then regrettably Gondwana Tours & Safaris reserve the right to cancel your holiday without any notice to you and you will lose the deposit paid. This is to protect Gondwana Tours & Safaris from increased cancellation charges that we would be liable to pay our suppliers should you cancel after the balance due date has passed.
3.4 Obligations during the purchasing process
The obligations for payment by the group leader mentioned above are based on the assumption that Gondwana Tours & Safaris is able to book the trip as quoted. If Gondwana Tours & Safaris is not able to book the trip, usually due to a lack of availability, then all obligations for payment are waived. We do however reserve the right to make small modifications to the trip during the bookings process, whilst the payment obligations on the part of the group leader remain intact. Such small modifications are however limited to …
a. The replacement of up to two lodges within a trip by lodges which Gondwana Tours & Safaris defines as interchangeable.
b. The rearrangement of the order of the lodge nights within a trip.
c. The adjustment of the number of nights spent at each lodge within a trip.
d. The movement of any transport, tour or activities element from one supplier to another.
Changes such as these are relatively unusual since by the time we send the invoice and request the deposit payment, most elements will already be reserved with the suppliers. These conditions are only really in place in order to prevent customers from using a small change on the invoice as an excuse to cancel a whole trip without honoring their obligation to pay cancellation charges.
For any changes which involve any downward movement in price, the trip will be charged at this lower price. For any changes which involve an upward movement in price, then Gondwana Tours & Safaris will either need to seek permission from the group leader to make the change and pass the cost on, or we may absorb the increase in cost to offer the trip at the agreed price.
The group leader is obliged to accept any changes arising due to errors or omissions on the trip paperwork, so please be sure to read your quotation paperwork carefully. Excepted
from this are errors or omissions which could not possibly have been picked up by the group leader, which will either be absorbed by Gondwana Tours & Safaris or the order will be declined as per the following paragraph.
At any time between the making of a booking and the delivery of receipt paperwork to the group leader, Gondwana Tours & Safaris reserves the right to decline to supply the trip.
3.5 Special Requests
Gondwana Tours & Safaris’ paperwork permits certain special requests to be entered into the contract, such as special diets. If a request is made which does not form part of our paperwork then it does not form part of the contract, regardless of what other communication may have passed outside of the trip documentation.
All Gondwana Tours & Safaris quotations are made in US$ because this is the currency that we use to purchase from the majority of our suppliers here in Africa. This enables us to offer the best possible price to our clients. Customers wishing to pay by bank transfer can pay directly into our US$ bank account. Customers can also pay by credit/debit card, in which case a 4% fee is applicable. As we can only accept card payments in Botswana Pula, the invoiced US$ amount will be converted into Botswana Pula at the current rate of exchange and the respective card will be debited accordingly.
3.7 Payment and paperwork
Once a trip has successfully been booked it passes from our Reservations Department to Gondwana Tours & Safaris’ Accounts Department. If the trip start is within 0 to 70 days hence, then full payment will be required at the time of booking and Final Paperwork dispatched by email to the group leader.
If the trip start is more than 70 days in advance, then the deposit amount will need to be paid and Interim Receipt Paperwork will be dispatched by email to the group leader. Just before the 70 days interval is reached, Gondwana Tours & Safaris’ Accounts Department will usually contact the group leader to double check the intended method of payment as well as reconfirm the balance payment that is due.
The group leader is responsible for printing the prescribed number of copies of the trip paperwork, distributing them appropriately between guests where the party splits at any time during the trip and for ensuring that this paperwork is carried and presented where appropriate on the trip.
3.8 Alterations by you to your booking
Should you wish to make a change to your booking after paying the deposit or full payment(if booking within 70 days of arrival) , then we reserve the right to charge an amendment fee to cover additional administration costs.
It is also important to note that most lodges in Africa have high cancellation charges once a booking has been confirmed and the client will have to cover the cost of these if they wish to cancel any accommodation after paying the deposit or full payment. Even if clients keep the same accommodation but want to change the dates of travel, then many lodges booking conditions state that they can charge cancellation charges. In general clients should assume that once the booking has been confirmed by making payment then any amendments could incur significant charges. However, changes which involve adding to an existing booking as opposed to amending an existing booking can usually be carried out without any amendment charge.
3.9 Cancellation by you
Should you wish to cancel your trip in whole or in part, notice can be given verbally but must be followed up by email by the party leader. Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total cost of the elements being cancelled, excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges, neither of which are refundable. The amount of the cancellation fee depends upon the time period defined the interval between the arrival of the email notice of cancellation at our Maun office during standard office hours and the scheduled arrival time by the customer at the initiation of the services.
Gondwana Tours & Safaris’ cancellation policy is as follows and is effective on receipt of the 30% Deposit – Paid to confirm your booking with Gondwana Tours & Safaris.
70 days or more prior to start date of this itinerary = 30% of Total Invoice value forfeited (Booking Confirmation Deposit)
69 to 46 days prior to start date of this itinerary = 75% of total Invoice value Cancellation charge applies
45 days or less prior to start date of this itinerary = 100% of Total Invoice value Cancellation charge applies
Depending on the reason for cancellation, you may be able to reclaim these cancellation charges (less any applicable excess) under the terms of your insurance policy. Claims must be made directly to the insurance company concerned.
Where any cancellation reduces the number of full paying party members below the number on which the price, or any concessions agreed for your booking were based, Gondwana Tours & Safaris will recalculate these items and reinvoice you accordingly.
Where a customer has paid a deposit for the element which does not cover the cancellation fee, then the Company reserves the right to take the balance from the customer’s credit card without prior notice.
3.10 Changes and cancellations by Gondwana Tours & Safaris
Very occasionally we may experience the failure of a supplier, or more commonly, the inability of a supplier to deliver an agreed service. One example that springs to mind is the
inability of a safari operator to put a mobile camp out into the field due to a change in park regulations, the closure of a road or border or extreme weather conditions.
A more common but still relatively rare occurrence is an error being made during the bookings process, either by ourselves or our suppliers, which leads to a lack of availability for a particular element of the trip.
In both cases Gondwana Tours & Safaris will endeavour to replace the service with an equivalent, which would not impact on the status of the booking and its payment and delivery obligations. In some cases this may not be possible and Gondwana Tours & Safaris will need to seek your agreement to a more significant change. In an extreme case a whole trip may have to be cancelled or rebooked for alternate dates, in which event Gondwana Tours & Safaris will cover any additional administration charges, but any increase in the price of the trip or knock-on costs arising beyond the scope of our trip paperwork, such as changes to your international flights etc. will need to be covered by the group leader.
Customers are required to provide for themselves all necessary insurances against personal injury, loss, damage, theft, cancellation, delay etc. Some of the elements sold
by us inherently have a high risk factor involved for the customer (eg. diving, safari, flying, mountain climbing etc.) and we take no responsibility for the consequences of the customer taking on such risks. We do try to experience personally as many of the dive operators, flights operators, hotels and safari operators as we can in order to determine them to be well-run and safe operations. This is not however a professional opinion, but Gondwana Tours & Safaris´s conclusion based on how much risk we would personally be prepared to take. All customers are responsible for ensuring that they have full insurance cover from the moment that they first place their order and covering the whole period before, during and after travel.
Travel insurance is also one of the most important aspects of protecting your trip in case of failure or cancellation, so please make sure that you have it in place from the moment that you first make your booking and covering the whole period before, during and after travel.
Good travel insurance will cover you against most eventualities, but it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that their insurance provides sufficient cover and includes all activities they will be doing on the trip. So be careful to read the small print on your policy to be sure. The below is not an exhaustive list of what to check for and should only be seen as a guideline but we particularly recommend checking the following
… that medical cover includes full evacuation and repatriation cover
… that it covers specific activities that you will be doing on the trip. In general most standard insurance policies cover normal safari activities like game drives, mokoro and boat trips but do still check this. But other activities may require additional cover which you specifically need to arrange with the insurance company if you are going to do these. In particular this could be the case with high altitude trekking on mountains like Kilimanjaro or other large mountains, scuba diving, quad-biking, bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, white water rafting, kayaking, walking safaris or horse riding.
… that it covers charges that you may incur in case of cancellation or amendment to the booking]
3.12 Visa and Vaccinations and documentation when traveling with children
It is the client’s responsibility to check and ensure that they have all the required visas and any compulsory vaccinations for all countries that they are traveling to or transiting through on their trip. Please also note that certain countries require clients to have specific documentation when traveling with children under 18 years old or they will be refused entry. Gondwana Tours & Safaris will not accept any liability for any loss or cancellation charges or additional expense incurred if clients are refused entry to a country or refused boarding of their flight due to not having the required visas or vaccinations or documentation if traveling with children. If clients are unsure if they are required to get a visa in advance or any compulsory vaccinations then they should check with their consultant and they will be happy to advise. If you are traveling with children under 18 and are unsure what documentation you need then you should check with your consultant.
4. The trip
4.1 Suitability and behaviour
Gondwana Tours & Safaris reserve the right in our absolute discretion to terminate without notice the trip arrangements of any customer whose behavior is such that it does or is likely, in our reasonable opinion, or in the opinion of any operator or any other person in authority, to cause distress, damage, danger or annoyance to any third party, or to cause damage to property.
Gondwana Tours & Safaris’ trips can be physically demanding. It is your responsibility to disclose an accurate account of any limitations in your mobility and all other relevant information relating to your health and fitness at the time of booking. You must also advise Gondwana Tours & Safaris of any change to your level of mobility or health and fitness between booking and starting your trip. Gondwana Tours & Safaris reserve the right in our absolute discretion to terminate without notice the trip arrangements of any customer who is likely, in our reasonable opinion, or in the opinion of any operator or any other person in authority, to be unable to cope adequately with the demands of the trip.
In either of these circumstances all our obligations to you under this contract or otherwise shall cease, full cancellation charges apply and we shall not be liable for any refund, compensation or costs incurred by you whatsoever.
4.2 Problems arising during a trip
If problems arise during a trip, then the customers are requested to make Gondwana Tours & Safaris or its agents aware of the details of any such problems as soon as possible in order that corrective action can be taken. Usually Gondwana Tours & Safaris can act fast to resolve any such problem satisfactorily. Claims arising from problems through which the customer has suffered in silence and not given us the chance to rectify, only to issue a complaint well after the event, will not be entertained.
In dealing with a legitimate complaint post trip, any evidence that you are able to gather at the time will be most helpful, especially photographs. Please bear in mind that when determining whether a refund is due, we will need to negotiate with the supplier in question after your return, so any concessions that you are able to obtain from them directly can also come in very handy in reaching an expedient solution.
5. Post trip
5.1 Our liabilities and their limitations
Gondwana Tours & Safaris promise to make sure that the trip arrangements we have agreed to make, perform or provide as applicable as part of our contract with you are made, performed or provided with reasonable skill and care.
Gondwana Tours & Safaris accept reasonable responsibility for any loss, injury or damage resulting as a direct consequence of the mis-delivery of any of the services contracted within your trip, except where specific notice is made in your trip paperwork of a particular risk (for example when booking a guesthouse whose booking office is known to be unreliable) or danger (for example due to exposure to high altitudes on Kilimanjaro).
It is important to be aware that you are travelling in areas of the world which can be dangerous or difficult. Gondwana Tours & Safaris expect of our guests a certain level of awareness of such issues and cannot take any responsibility for guests being duped by scams or otherwise inconvenienced or suffer any loss or injury as a result of parties not directly concerned in the provision of the services described within the contract. In other words, Gondwana Tours & Safaris expect you to be reasonably streetwise when in any public places, especially airports and towns.
Gondwana Tours & Safaris do not accept responsibility for any services which do not form part of our contract. This includes, for example, any additional services or facilities which your hotel or any other supplier agrees to provide for you where the services or facilities are not advertised by ourselves and Gondwana Tours & Safaris has not agreed to arrange them and any excursion you purchase during your trip.
In addition, regardless of any wording used by us on our website, in any of our brochures or elsewhere, Gondwana Tours & Safaris only promise to use reasonable skill and care as set out above and we do not have any greater or different liability to you.
The promises Gondwana Tours & Safaris makes 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. It should be noted that the laws & regulations of countries may differ from the laws of Botswana or the clients home country and lower standards may be in force. Even so the laws of the country where the complaint arose shall take precedence in deciding if a service was reasonably or safely provided even if they require a lower standard compared to laws in Botswana or the clients home country.
This term also includes where the claim or complaint concerns the absence of a safety feature which might lead a reasonable customer to refuse to take the trip in question, since many safety features that would be taken for granted back home (such as child seats in road vehicles) are not provided as a matter of course in all the countries in which we operate.
Please note, that even if we are deemed to be in a breach of contract, Gondwana Tours & Safaris cannot accept any liability for any exceptional damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any description which occurred due to reasons specific to the client and which we could not have reasonably foreseen you would suffer or incur. Additionally Gondwana Tours & Safaris cannot accept liability for any business losses.
You must provide ourselves and our insurers with all assistance we may reasonably require. You must also tell Gondwana Tours & Safaris and the supplier concerned about your claim or complaint in writing. If asked to do so, you must transfer to us or our insurers any rights you have against the supplier or whoever else is responsible for your claim or complaint (if the person concerned is under 18, their parent or guardian must do so). You must also agree to cooperate fully with Gondwana Tours & Safaris and our insurers if we or our insurers want to enforce any rights which are transferred.
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, we regret Gondwana Tours & Safaris cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our obligations under our contract with you is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage or loss as a result of “force majeure”. In these booking conditions, “force majeure” means any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include but are not limited to war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, actual or threatened terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, boarder closures, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control.
5.2 Additional excursions and activities
Gondwana Tours & Safaris may provide you with information about activities and excursions which are available in the area you are visiting. We have no involvement in any such activities or excursions which are neither run, supervised nor controlled in any way by us. They are provided by local operators or other third parties who are entirely independent of Gondwana Tours & Safaris. They do not form any part of your contract with us even where we suggest particular operators/other third parties and/or assist you in booking such activities or excursions in any way. We cannot accept any liability on any basis in relation to such activities or excursions and the acceptance of liability contained in these booking conditions will not apply to them.
Gondwana Tours & Safaris cannot guarantee accuracy at all times of information given in relation to such activities or excursions or about the area(s) you are visiting generally (except where this concerns the services which will form part of your contract) or that any particular excursion or activity which does not form part of our contract will take place as these services are not under our control. If you feel that any of the activities mentioned on our website which are not part of our contract are vital to the enjoyment of your trip, email us and Gondwana Tours & Safaris will advise you the latest known situation. If we become aware of any significant changes from what is specified on our website to accommodation or area information or any activities then we will always try to advise you of this at the time of booking.
5.3 Transfers and their knock-on effects
Should any of the elements of a trip fail, such as the non-departure of a boat or plane, then Gondwana Tours & Safaris will endeavor to rearrange the trip as best as possible to minimize the impact, but we cannot be responsible for any knock on effects arising from such a failure.
In practice you will not need to, but for legal reasons Gondwana Tours & Safaris has to insist that you must check with local 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 Gondwana Tours & Safaris always try to construct trips which avoid such risks and will try to make you aware of any such possibilities. In Africa you soon learn to build a little bit of slack into your schedule.
In addition to the above, we would also like to point out that Africa is not geared up for last minute and instantaneous delivery. Gondwana Tours & Safaris insists that any failure arising in a reservation made less than seven days in advance is completely at the customer’s risk.
Gondwana Tours & Safaris accepts no liability for any loss, damage or injury arising from any shortfall, error or omission in the information we provide to you as the customer during the course of the sale or subsequent delivery of the product.
5.5 Specific room requests
Specific room bookings are usually honored but cannot be guaranteed. Where a booking has been incorrectly made, or double booked and the customer is not able to stay in the allotted hotel, then Gondwana Tours & Safaris is liable to return only the sum paid by the customer for that element of the trip.
5.6 Health and other third world issues
Customers are reminded that when travelling to Africa they should not necessarily expect the same standards of hygiene, security or service that you would in more advanced regions. One of our biggest problem areas is customers not taking adequate health precautions whilst travelling. Gondwana Tours & Safaris 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, even if this means inspecting the kitchens themselves.
Gondwana Tours & Safaris would also like to point out that travelers cannot necessarily expect the same levels of health and safety that they may be accustomed to back home. 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 or all seats in transfer and safari vehicles. Child seats too may not be required and may not be available. If you have any particular concerns or requirements in this area then Gondwana Tours & Safaris invite you to make specific enquiries before making your trip, as we cannot offer any special cancellation terms arising out of any shortcomings in this area.
5.7 Conditions of suppliers
Many of the services which make up your trip are provided by independent suppliers. Those 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, usually in accordance with applicable international conventions. Copies of the relevant parts of these terms and conditions are available from the supplier concerned.