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Virtuoso Africa Safaris – Terms of Service

 

Dear Client, you will see that we have comprehensive terms of service, as we try to cover all issues relating to your holiday. As you know from our terms and conditions (a copy of which I give below), our terms and conditions require that at the time of booking, all gorilla permits need to be purchased or a deposit equivalent to 30% of the cost of a safari paid, whichever is higher, both to buy the permits and to get a commitment from clients/agents to the purchase of their safaris. For all bookings therefore, we would need the full deposit to be paid at time of booking and balance 45 days to departure, as our terms state.

 

Terms and Conditions of services

 

General

Virtuoso Africa Safaris’s services are subject to our Terms and Conditions, which should be read carefully as they govern the business with the company.

In this terms us, we and the company refers to Virtuoso Africa Safaris ltd while you refers to the clients or any one in business with virtuoso safaris.

Conditions in Africa are not the same as those in developed countries and standards of service, medical facilities, safety and security may often be lower than those in your home countries. Please note that they are the laws and regulations of the country in which services are provided which apply to your holiday arrangements and not those of your home country.

 

Information Accuracy

Any information on our website is to the best of the company’s knowledge correct, but the company reserves the right to change the same. The information provided on the website and the photographs reproduced depict details on each destination and typical scenes experienced but the scene or subject may not necessarily be experienced or seen while visiting the destination. The descriptions, information and opinions given by us in respect of national parks, animal sightings, accommodation, itineraries, gorilla permits and security are given in good faith, based on the latest information available to us. Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, but we cannot accept any responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions caused by matters beyond our control.

 

Bookings and Reservations

Reservations shall be made and confirmed in writing by email, fax or letter. Please ensure that the quotation given with details of number of clients, dates, accommodation, transportation, permits, park fees and all other services to be provided is clear and accurate before confirming the booking in writing. The price of your chosen holiday will be confirmed at the time of booking. We reserve the right to correct errors in both advertised and confirmed prices and will do so as soon as we become aware of any such error.

 

Once the price of your holiday has been confirmed, subject to the correction of errors, a surcharge will only be payable if transportation costs, taxes, accommodation costs or gorilla permits increase in total to over 5% of the holiday price. If you are required to pay more than 10% of the original holiday price, you will be entitled to cancel your holiday with the full refund of all the money paid to us except for any premium paid for insurance and fees paid for gorilla permits. Should you decide to cancel under these provisions, you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days of notification to you of the surcharge. We reserve the right to increase or decrease the prices of unsold holidays at any time.

 

A deposit of 30% on safari cost is required at the time of booking, the balance 45 days before commencement of the safari,the client(s) will need to fully pay for all gorilla permits needed (see the section on Gorilla and Chimp permits below). If the booking is made within 60 days of departure the full amount should be paid at the time of booking.

The company reserves the right to vary the safari services agreed with the client in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as road closures, bad weather, problems with national parks or hotels, security considerations. In such cases alternative arrangements will be made as circumstances permit.

 

Prices

All company services must be fully prepaid at commencement of activities, otherwise the services booked will not be provided.Prices are quoted in US Dollars. At the time of booking, clients should confirm with us the prevailing exchange rates for Pounds and Euros, if they wish to pay in those currencies.

 

Prices INCLUDE airport transfers; accommodation (on shared basis; for single rooms, the supplement (SRS) has to be paid); meals as stated; the services of an English-speaking driver/guide and a safari vehicle; porterage of two items of baggage per person; boat trips; park fees; gorilla and chimpanzee permits where appropriate. Unless otherwise stated.

 

Prices EXCLUDE airfares to Uganda, Rwanda or any other country, entry visas, airport taxes and gratuities.In cities, the prices include bed and breakfast only. On safari the prices cover full board. The prices as well exclude personal expenditure shopping, drinks and laundry at lodges.

 

 

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Cancellations by Us

Occasionally we have to cancel some confirmed bookings. We always endeavor to avoid cancelling, but we must reserve the right to do so. We shall not cancel your confirmed holiday less than 30 days before departure unless you fail to make all payments due in full and on time or we are forced to do so as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care.

If we cancel your holiday (except where you have failed to make payment or as a result of force majeure) we shall offer you the choice of purchasing an alternative holiday from us of a similar standard to that originally booked if available. If the chosen alternative is less expensive than your original holiday we shall refund the difference but if it is more expensive, we shall ask you to pay the difference.

 

Alternatively you are entitled to a full refund of all monies you have paid to us except that paid for gorilla permits which can only be refunded if the refund has been made available to us by the government Authority concerned. Except where we cancel for reasons other than those mentioned in this clause, we shall have no further liability to you. We regret we cannot pay any expenses, costs or losses incurred as a result of any cancellation. If we cancel for a reason that is not mentioned in this clause, we shall pay a maximum compensation of $100 depending on the circumstances.

 

We reserve the right, without prior notice, to terminate the holiday of any person in your party if, in our opinion or in the opinion of any other person in authority, the persons concerned behave in such a way to cause or be likely to cause danger, annoyance or distress to any third party or damage to property.

 

In this situation, the person(s) concerned will be required to leave the accommodation or other service immediately. We shall have no further responsibility towards such person(s). No refunds will be made and we shall not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination.

 

 

Cancellations by You

Should you or any member of your party be forced to cancel, you must advise us or your travel agent in writing. A cancellation is not effective until we receive a copy of your written notice. To cover our estimated loss caused by the cancellation and as we may be unable to resell your holiday, cancellation fees, excluding insurance, will be levied per person as follows:

 

Period before departure                   Cancellation charge (%age of total Safari price)

More than 45 days                              0%
45 days – 21 days                               50%
Less than 21 days                               100%

 

Complaints

Complaints must be reported immediately to our representative and to the supplier of the service(s) in question, who will do their best to resolve any problem. If you remain dissatisfied, a written report should be submitted to the Safari manager in Kampala as soon as possible after the incident and not later than 7 days after completion of your holiday, to enable us to investigate them fully. Regrettably, liability for any complaints not notified in accordance with this procedure cannot be accepted.

 

Force Majeure

We regret we cannot accept liability or pay compensation where the performance or proper performance of our obligations is prevented or affected by 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 include war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, border closures, unexpected government acts, terrorist activity, industrial disputes, natural or nuclear disaster, extreme weather conditions, fire, technical and/or mechanical problems to transport, road closures, disease and all similar events beyond our control.
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Gorilla and Chimpanzee Permits

Only when payment has been received can permits for gorilla tracking and chimpanzee tracking in the relevant National Park be purchased. Getting a gorilla permit is not a guarantee of seeing a gorilla. Local conditions sometimes mean that access to the gorillas is made impossible at short notice. We are unable to accept liability for any circumstance that might lead to gorilla viewing being cancelled, whether it is closure of the National Park or borders; absence of the gorillas; security changes. Refunds are at the discretion of the relevant authority (Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda, UWA; Office Rwandais du Tourisme et Parcs Nationaux, ORTPN in Rwanda; or Institut Congolais pour la Conservacion de la Nature, ICCN in Congo) and we cannot accept liability for them. We shall use our maximum endeavors to obtain a refund and if a refund is paid by the relevant authority, we shall pass it on to the client.

 

Insurance

Your attention is drawn to the section in the Travel Guide regarding insurance. It is a condition of booking that you must have appropriate insurance for the type of holiday being taken with us. Such insurance should fully cover personal injury, medical expenses, death, repatriation in the event of accident or illness or death, cancellation or curtailment of the holiday by either side and loss of, damage to, or theft of the clients’ personal property. Activities with a greater inherent risk, such as mountaineering, animal tracking on foot, vehicle accidents, theft and/or loss of property, white-water rafting should be covered. Evacuation cover is provided for clients doing mountain climbing in the Rwenzoris.

 

Liability

We shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that (a) all component parts of the holiday are supplied as described in the brochure and to a reasonable standard; and (b) 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 as advertised or otherwise communicated 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.

 

We will take all due care to prevent your death, injury or illness being caused by the animal or insect life of the destinations. It is your responsibility to take proper medical and practical precautions in this regard and your attention is drawn to the section in the Travel Guide relating to Health. Medical advice should be sought well before travelling.

 

Subject to these Terms and Conditions, we accept responsibility should you or any of your party suffer loss, personal injury or illness as a result of any failure to perform or improper performance of the contract by any of our employees, agents, suppliers or sub-contractors (provided they were at the time carrying out work authorized by us) except in the following situations. We will not be liable where any failure to perform or improper performance was due to:

(i) the acts or omissions of a third party not connected with the provision of the holiday under the contract and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable;

(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 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 be reasonably required.
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We always want to be helpful and respect agents’ methods of working. If for some reason clients do not travel after you have paid the deposit, we would then discuss exactly what we do about the deposit. The cost of permits is only refunded if we get the refund from the park authorities. For the remainder of the money, we would be as helpful as possible although our approach will depend on the exact circumstances. Hope that reassures you about your travel with us!

 

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