The following Booking Conditions together with the Technical Details and all other general information contained in our brochure and the Pre-departure Pack referred to below form the, basis of your contract with Naturetrek Limited. Please read them carefully as they set out our respective rights and obligations. Our registered office is Cheriton Mill, Cheriton, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 0NG. Our registered number is 3311102.
In these Booking Conditions, ‘you’ and ‘your’ mean all persons named on the booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date). ‘We’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ mean Naturetrek Limited.
Please note that our brochure offers merely an outline of what is included in the price of your holiday. Full details will be found in the ‘Pre-departure Pack’ sent to you together with your confirmation invoice (see below). If, on receipt of this pack, you are not satisfied with any of the details of the holiday, we will allow you to cancel your holiday with a full refund, provided we receive notification within two weeks of the date of your invoice and provided you have booked more than 70 days prior to departure.
1. Making your booking To confirm a booking, you or the party leader must complete and sign our booking form. He/she must be authorised to make the booking on the basis of these Booking Conditions by all persons named on the booking and their parent or guardian for all party members who are under 18 when the booking is made. By signing the booking form, you or the party leader confirms that he/she is so authorised. The party leader is responsible for making all payments due to us. The party leader must be at least 18 when the booking is made. All bookings are subject to our Booking Conditions.
The completed signed booking form must then be sent to us together with the appropriate deposit payments (or full payment if booking within 70 days of departure).
Once we have received your booking form and all appropriate payments, we will, subject to availability, confirm your holiday by issuing a confirmation invoice. This invoice will be sent to the party leader or your travel agent. Please check this invoice carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact us immediately if any information which appears on the confirmation or any other document appears to be incorrect or incomplete as it may not be possible to make changes later. Single room supplements will be chargeable if shared accommodation is not available unless your booking is for a European holiday and was received by us at least 6 months prior to the holiday’s departure.
If we do not receive all payments due (including any surcharge where applicable) in full and on time, we will be entitled to treat your booking as cancelled by you and retain all deposits paid or due at that date. If we do not cancel straight away because you have promised to make payment, you must pay the cancellation charges shown in clause 3 depending on the date we reasonably treat your booking as cancelled.
Except for flight inclusive bookings, all monies you pay to one of our authorised travel agents for your holiday with us will be held by the agent on your behalf until we issue our confirmation invoice. After that point, your agent will hold the monies on our behalf. For flight inclusive bookings, all monies paid to such agents for your holiday with us will be held on our behalf until they are paid to us or refunded to you.
2. Your contract A binding contract between us comes into existence when we despatch our confirmation invoice to the party leader or your travel agent. We both agree that English Law (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us (except as set out below). We both also agree that any dispute, claim or other matter of any description (and whether or not involving any personal injury) which arises between us must be dealt with under the AITO Arbitration Scheme (if the Scheme is available for the claim in question – see clause 11) or by the Courts of England and Wales only unless, in the case of Court proceedings, you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. In this case, proceedings must either be brought in the Courts of your home country or those of England and Wales. If proceedings are brought in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you may choose to have your contract and any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us governed by the law of Scotland/Northern Ireland as applicable (but if you do not so choose, English law will apply).
3. Cancellation by you You may cancel your booking at any stage, provided you do so in writing. Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when it is received in writing by us at our offices. To protect yourself against this eventuality you should ensure that you purchase travel insurance at the time of booking. As we incur costs from the time we confirm your booking the charges set out below will apply. Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling excluding amendment charges. Amendment charges are not refundable in the event of the person(s) to whom they apply cancelling.
| More than 70 days || Deposit only|
| 70-43 days before departure || 50% of total tour cost |
| 42-29 days before departure || 75% of total tour cost |
| 28 days or less before departure || 100% of total tour cost |
You may transfer your booking up to 30 days before departure to another person if you are unavoidably prevented from travelling, and the transferee meets any conditions which may apply to the booking. Where a transfer can be made the right to transfer is subject to payment of an administration fee of £50 per person, together with all additional charges of whatever sort imposed by the suppliers providing the component parts of the holiday charges.
4. Changes by you Should you wish to make any changes to your confirmed holiday, you must notify us in writing as soon as possible. Whilst we will endeavour to assist, we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet any such requests. Where we can, an amendment fee of £25 per booking will be payable together with any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers. For flight inclusive bookings, you must pay the charges levied by the airline concerned. As most airlines do not permit name changes after tickets have been issued for any reason, these charges are likely to be the full cost of the flight.
5. Changes and cancellation by us
N.B. Subclause 5(a) is subject to subclause 5(b).
(a). We start planning the holidays we offer many months in advance. Occasionally, we have to make changes to and correct errors in brochure and other details both before and after bookings have been confirmed and cancel confirmed bookings. Whilst we always endeavour to avoid changes and cancellations, we must reserve the right to do so. If we have to alter your itinerary, travel or holiday arrangements before departure, any change will be either major or minor. Where a change is a minor change, we will, if practicable, advise you before departure but we are not obliged to do so or to pay you compensation. A minor change is any change apart from a major change. A major change includes such changes as an alteration to your outward or return flight time by more than 12 hours; a change of accommodation to that of a lower official classification or standard for the whole or a major part of the time you are away and a change of UK departure point to one which is significantly more inconvenient for you. If we have to make a major change or cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible. If there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of the following options:-
(i) accepting the change.
(ii) purchasing an alternative holiday from us, of a similar standardto that originally booked if available. We will offer you at least one alternative holiday of equivalent or higher standard for which you will not be asked to pay any more than the price of the original holiday. If this holiday is in fact cheaper than the original one, we will refund the price difference. If you do notwish to accept the holiday we specifically offer you, you may choose any of our other then available holidays. You must pay the applicable price of any such holiday. This will mean your paying more if it is more expensive or receiving a refund if it is cheaper.
(iii) cancelling or accepting the cancellation and accepting a full refund of all monies paid.
Please note, the above options are not available where any change made is a minor one.
In addition, in appropriate cases depending on the circumstances and when the major change or cancellation is notified to you, we will pay you compensation on the scale shown below (on the assumption that the full balance has been paid).
Compensation will not be payable and no liability beyond offering the above mentioned choices can be accepted where we are forced to make a change or cancel 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 or where we have to cancel because the minimum number of persons required to operate your holiday has not been reached. In this case we will notify you by the deadline specified (usually two months before departure). No compensation will be payable and the above options will not be available if we cancel as a result of your failure to comply with any requirement of these Booking Conditions entitling us to cancel (such as paying on time) or if the change made is a minor one.
| Period before departure within which |
major change/cancellation is notified:
| Compensation per person: |
| More than 56 days || Nil |
| 56 days to 43 days || Minimum £10 |
| 42 days to 29 days || Minimum £15 |
| 28 days to 15 days || Minimum £20 |
| 14 days or under || Minimum £30 |
N.B. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, your flight ticket is downgraded or boarding is denied by your airline in circumstances which would entitle you to claim compensation against the airline under EC Regulation No 261/2004 – the Denied Boarding Regulations 2004, you must pursue the airline for the compensation due to you. All sums you receive or are entitled to receive from the airline concerned by virtue of these Regulations represent the full amount of your entitlement to compensation or any other payment arising from such cancellation, delay, downgrading or denied boarding. This includes any disappointment, distress, inconvenience or effect on any other arrangements. The fact a delay may entitle you to cancel your flight does not automatically entitle you to cancel any other arrangements even where those arrangements have been made in conjunction with your flight. We have no liability to make any payment to you in relation to the Denied Boarding Regulations or in respect of any flight cancellation or delay, downgrading of any flight ticket or denial of any boarding as the full amount of your entitlement to any compensation or other payment (as dealt with above) is covered by the airline's obligations under the Denied Boarding Regulations. If, for any reason, you do not claim against the airline and make a claim for compensation from us, you must, at the time of payment of any compensation to you, make a complete assignment to us of the rights you have against the airline in relation to the claim that gives rise to that compensation payment. If your airline does not comply with these rules you should complain to the Air Transport Users’ Council on 020 7240 6061 www.auc.org.uk.
(b). Naturetrek is not an ordinary package tour operator. We specialise in travel to remote areas which can be inherently dangerous, relatively undeveloped and subject to the uncertainties of local bureaucracy, road and air travel. Consequently we must always be flexible, and we contract only to aim at a proposed itinerary, not necessarily to fulfil it rigidly. We reserve the right to change an itinerary at any time, and will not be held liable for any loss whatsoever caused as a result of any delay or alteration.
6. Force majeure Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, we regret we 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 more fully described in clause 12 (1) below) 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 war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, actual or threatened terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control.
7. The cost of your holiday
We reserve the right to make changes to and correct errors in advertised prices at any time before your holiday is confirmed. We will advise you of any error of which we are aware and of the then applicable price at the time of booking.
Once the price of your chosen holiday has been confirmed at the time of booking, we will only increase or decrease it in the following circumstances. Price increases or decreases after booking will be passed on by way of a surcharge or refund. A surcharge or refund (as applicable) will be payable, subject to the conditions set out in this clause, if our costs increase or decrease as a result of transportation costs (e.g. fuel, scheduled airfares and any other airline surcharges which are part of the contract between airlines (and their agents) and the tour operator) or dues, taxes or fees payable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports or airports increasing or decreasing or our costs increase or decrease as a result of any changes in the exchange rates which have been used to calculate the cost of your holiday.
Even in the above cases, only if the amount of the increase in our costs exceeds 2% of the total cost of your holiday (excluding any amendment charges) will we levy a surcharge. If any surcharge is greater than 10% of the cost of your holiday (excluding any amendment charges), you will be entitled to cancel your booking and receive a full refund of all monies you have paid to us (except for any amendment charges) or alternatively purchase another holiday from us as referred to in clause 5 ‘Changes and cancellation by us’. Please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection in place.
A refund will only be payable if the decrease in our costs exceeds 2% as set out above. Where a refund is due, we will pay you the full amount of the decrease in our costs.
You have 14 days from the issue date printed on the surcharge invoice to tell us if you want to cancel or purchase another holiday. If you do not tell us that you wish to do so within this period of time, we are entitled to assume that you will pay the surcharge. Any surcharge must be paid with the balance of the cost of the holiday or within 14 days of the issue date printed on the surcharge invoice, whichever is the later.
We promise not to levy a surcharge within 30 days of the start of your holiday.
Please note, changes and errors occasionally occur. You must check the price of your chosen holiday at the time of booking.
8. Insurance All party members must be covered by insurance before setting out on holiday. This must cover you fully against the cost of cancellation by you, medical care and repatriation should you become too ill to continue with the holiday, and must above all cover you against the cost of air evacuation from the mountains should sickness or injury necessitate such a course of action. You should also note that passenger liability insurance covering the vehicles that we hire, particularly in Third World countries, may be inadequate; it is therefore important that your insurance cover makes sufficient provision for your dependants in the event of an accident. We are Introducer Appointed Representatives of Campbell Irvine Ltd, their insurance policy is ideally suited to our kind of holiday, and we hope that you will use it. Details of the policy Campbell Irvine offer are shown elsewhere in this brochure. Please note however that we have no control over the availability
or standard of medical and repatriation services and facilities in the areas we visit and these do not form any part of our contract with you. Please remember that many of the areas we visit on our holidays are not as developed as the UK and the availability and standard of such services may well be lower.
Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check insurance policies.
9. Special requests If you have any special requests, you should inform us of such requests prior to departure. We will advise the relevant supplier of your requirements but we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met. Furthermore, we have no liability to you if such requests are not met.
Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation invoice or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met.
If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can advise as to the suitability of the chosen arrangements. In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking. 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,cancel when we become aware of these details.
10. Behaviour When you book with us, you accept responsibility for any damage or loss caused by you or any member of your party. Full payment for any such damage or loss must be paid direct at the time to the accommodation owner or manager or other supplier. If you fail to do so, you will be responsible for meeting any claims subsequently made against us (together with our own and the other party’s full legal costs) as a result of your actions.
We expect all clients to have consideration for other people. The overwhelming majority of Naturetrek clients are non-smokers. To enable them to enjoy their holiday in comfort (and fresh air!), we insist that smokers refrain from smoking in the proximity of all other group members, and whilst watching wildlife, at all times. In particular, smoking in any confined space – be it the lounge, dining room, minibus, bedroom (if shared with a non-smoker) or at any other group gathering is not permitted. If in our reasonable opinion or in the reasonable opinion of any other person in authority, you or any member of your party behaves in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to any third party or damage to property or fauna (including the collecting of any specimen from the natural world for example any plants or insects), we are entitled, without prior notice, to terminate the holiday of the person(s) concerned. In this situation, the person(s) concerned will be required to leave the accommodation or other service. We will have no further responsibility toward such person(s) including any return travel arrangements. No refunds will be made and we will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination.
11. Complaints Should you have any complaint whilst on holiday, you must immediately inform your leader and the supplier of the service in question (for example any accommodation supplier) who will do his/her best to remedy it. If he/she is unable to do so, we must request that you make the complaint known to us in writing within 14 days of your holiday's scheduled return to London, and we will do our best to reach a settlement with you. In the unlikely event that you are still unhappy, you may refer the matter to Court (see clause 2) or to arbitration under AITO’s independent Dispute Settlement Service (details on request) in order to bring the matter to a speedy and amicable solution. This scheme does not apply toclaims of more than £2,500 per person, or £10,000 per booking form, nor for claims which are solely or mainly in respect of physical injury or illness or the consequences there from.
12. Our liability to you
(1). We promise to make sure that the holiday 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. This means that, subject to these Booking Conditions, we will accept responsibility if, for example, you suffer death or personal injury or your contracted holiday arrangements are not provided as promised or prove deficient as a result of the failure of ourselves, our employees, agents or suppliers to use reasonable skill and care in making, performing or providing, as applicable, your contracted holiday arrangements. Please note that it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim against us. In addition, we will only be responsible for what our employees, agents and suppliers do or do not do if they were at the time acting within the course of their employment (for employees) or carrying out work we had asked them to do (for agents and suppliers).
(2). We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (for example loss of enjoyment), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following: -
- the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party or
- the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of your holiday and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable or
- ‘force majeure’ as defined in clause 6 above
(3). Please note, we cannot 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 in our brochure and we have not agreed to arrange them and any excursion you purchase whilst overseas. Please also see clause 13 ‘Excursions, activities and brochure information’. In addition, regardless of any wording used by us on our website, in any of our brochures or elsewhere, we only promise to use reasonable skill and care as set out above and we do not have any greater or different liability to you.
(4). The promises we make 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. This will be the case even if the services did not comply with the laws and regulations of the UK which would have applied had those services been provided in the UK. The exception to this is where the claim or complaint concerns the absence of a safety feature which might lead a reasonable holiday maker to refuse to take the holiday in question.
(5). Where any claim or part of a claim (including those involving death or personal injury) concerns or is based on any travel arrangements (including the process of getting on and/or off the transport concerned) provided by any air, sea, rail or road carrier or any stay in a hotel, the maximum amount of compensation we will have to pay you will be limited. The most we will have to payyou for that claim or that part of a claim if we are found liable to you on any basis is the most the carrier or hotel keeper concerned would have to pay under the international convention or regulation which applies to the travel arrangements or hotel stay in question (for example, the Warsaw Convention as amended or unamended and the Montreal Convention for international travel by air and/or for airlines with an operating licence granted by an EU country, the EC Regulation on Air Carrier Liability No 889/2002 for national and international travel by air, the Athens convention for international travel by sea). Please note: Where a carrier or hotel would not be obliged to make any payment to you under the applicable International Convention or Regulation in respect of a claim or part of a claim, we similarly are not obliged to make a payment to you for that claim or part of the claim. When making any payment, we are entitled to deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from the transport provider or hotelier for the complaint or claim in question. Copies of the applicable International Conventions and Regulations are available from us on request.
(6). Please note, we cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any description (1) which on the basis of the information given to us by you concerning your booking prior to our accepting it, we could not have foreseen you would suffer or incur if we breached our contract with you or (2) which did not result from any breach of contract or other fault by ourselves or our employees or, where we are responsible for them, our suppliers. Additionally we cannot accept liability for any business losses.
(7). You must provide ourselves and our insurers with all assistance we may reasonably require. You must also tell us and the supplier concerned about your claim or complaint as set out in clause 11 above. 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 us and our insurers if we or our insurers want to enforce any rights which are transferred.
13. Excursions, activities and brochure information The information contained in our brochure is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of the brochure going to print. We may provide you with information (in our brochure and/or when you are on holiday) 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 us. 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 clause 12 of our Booking Conditions will not apply to them. We do not however exclude liability for the negligence of ourselves or our employees resulting in your death or personal injury.
We cannot guarantee accuracy at all times of information given in relation to such activities or excursions or about the resorts/area 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 in our brochure which are not part of our contract are vital to the enjoyment of your holiday, write to us immediately and we will tell you the latest known situation. If we become aware of any material alterations to resort/area information and/or such outside activities which can reasonably be expected to affect your decision to book a holiday with us, we will pass on this information at the time of booking.
14. Passports, visas and health requirements
The passport, visa and health requirements applicable at the time of printing to British citizens for the holidays we offer are shown in our Pre-departure Pack. A full British passport presently takes approximately three weeks to obtain. If you or any member of your party have not yet got a passport, our recommendation is that you should apply for one at least six weeks before your holiday. The UK Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and will ask you to attend an interview in order to do this.
Requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure with the Embassy or consulate of the country(ies) you are travelling through and to. Information on health is contained in the Department of Health leaflet T6 (Health Advice for Travellers) available from your local Department of Health office and most Post Offices. For holidays in the EEA you should obtain an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) prior to departure. N.B this card replaced the E111. From January 2006 E111 forms have not been valid.
It is the party leader’s responsibility to ensure that all members of the party are in possession of all necessary travel and health documents before departure. All costs incurred in obtaining such documentation must be paid by you. We regret we cannot accept any liability if you or any member of your party are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry correct documentation. If you or any member of your party is not a British citizen or holds a non British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the Embassy or Consulate of the country(ies) to or through which you are intending to travel. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results to fines, surcharges or other financial penalty being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.
15. Financial security We hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 2962.) This means the air holidays in this brochure are ATOL protected. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not left stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. For further information, visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk. As a member of the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), Naturetrek Ltd has provided a bond to meet the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. In the event of insolvency, protection is provided for non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK and other non-flight packages excluding pre-arranged travel to and from your destination. Please note that packages booked outside the UK are only protected when purchased directly with Naturetrek Ltd. In the above circumstances, if you have not yet travelled you may claim a refund, or if you have already travelled, you may claim repatriation to the starting point of your non-flight package.
16. Prices and brochure accuracy Please note, the information and prices shown in this brochure may have changed by the time you come to book your holiday. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the brochure and prices at the time of printing, regrettably errors do occasionally occur. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen holiday (including the price) with us at the time of booking. This brochure is our sole responsibility. It is not issued on behalf of and does not commit any independent organisation/carriers whose services are featured in it.
17. Conditions of suppliers Many of the services which make up your holiday 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 (see clause 12(5)).
18. Delay We regret we are not in a position to offer you any assistance in the event of delay at your outward or homeward point of departure. Any airline concerned may however provide refreshments etc.
19. Safety standards Please note, it is the requirements and standards of the country in which any services which make up your holiday are provided which apply to those services and not those of the UK. As a general rule, these requirements and standards will not be the same as the UK and may often be lower.
20. Flights In accordance with EU Directive (EC) No 2111/2005 Article 9, we are required to bring to your attention the existence of a “Community list” which contains details of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban with the EU Community. The Community list is available for inspection at http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/air/safety/flywell_en.htm.
In accordance with EU Regulations we are required to advise you of the carrier(s) (or, if the carrier(s) is not known, the likely carrier(s)) that will operate your flight(s)) at the time of booking. Where we are only able to inform you of the likely carrier(s) at the time of booking, we shall inform you of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) after your booking has been confirmed will be notified to you as soon as possible.
We are not always in a position at the time of booking to confirm the aircraft type and flight timings which will be used in connection with your flight. The flight timings and types of aircraft shown in this brochure and detailed on your confirmation invoice are for guidance only and are subject to alteration and confirmation. The latest timings will be shown on your tickets which will be despatched to you approximately two weeks before departure. You must accordingly check your tickets very carefully immediately on receipt to ensure you have the correct flight times. It is possible that flight times may be changed even after tickets have been despatched – we will contact you as soon as possible if this occurs.
Any change in the identity of the carrier, flight timings, and/or aircraft type will not entitle you to cancel or change to other arrangements without paying our normal charges except where specified in these conditions.
If the carrier with whom you have a confirmed reservation becomes subject to an operating ban as above as a result of which we/the carrier are unable to offer you a suitable alternative the provisions of clause 5 (Changes and cancellation by us) will apply.
ON TOUR ...
NATURETREK LEADERS All our leaders are expert naturalists. They will be able to show you, and help you to identify, many of the birds, plants and mammals that occur in the region that you are visiting. Many of our leaders have quite exceptional backgrounds in the country to which they are taking you. Often they have lived there for several years; inevitably their knowledge and interests extend beyond just the area’s natural history. Between us we speak over 15 different languages — not much good for summoning birds, but essential in coping with the inevitable hiccoughs that find their way into all third world travel arrangements! Please note however, that whilst we assign leaders to particular tours well in advance, we reserve the right to make changes if necessary. Tour leaders’ biographies are available on our website, or we would be pleased to post you a copy on application.
TOUR & TREK GRADING Each holiday is graded A to D. A is easy — for anyone; B is moderate — for anyone of any age used to some regular walking; C is fairly strenuous — for those with a measure of fitness or the unfit who are prepared to feel tired at times! D is tough — for the keen walker. These grades are not based just on the length of each day’s walk: the nature of the terrain, the altitude, and the overall length of the trek are all taken into account.
ACCOMMODATION This cost is always part of the stated price, whether it is in hotels or camping. Hotels used in larger towns are at least tourist class, and usually first class. We try to choose the hotel that offers the best combination of convenient location, atmosphere, friendliness and facilities. We provide twin rooms, most with private bathrooms, unless a single or deluxe room is requested. Hotels in smaller places are the best available.
HEALTH & VACCINATIONS Have a medical and dental check before you go and, for some of our trips, we advise immunisation against typhoid, TB, polio, tetanus and hepatitis A, and that you take anti-malarial tablets if advised by your doctor. Immunisation against rabies and meningitis is also wise if you are going to the Himalaya or Africa, and against yellow fever if you are going to East Africa. On all our trips we carry a comprehensive medical kit to deal with minor accidents.
VISAS Details will be given to all British passport holders on booking. We regret that we are unable to obtain your visa for you. Non-British nationals must be responsible for their own visa and other entry requirements.
ITINERARIES A detailed itinerary will be sent to you on booking, or on special request. On walking holidays in particular, local weather, politics, transport or a host of other uncontrollable factors can mean a change in itinerary. It is very unlikely that an itinerary would be substantially altered, butif this is necessary your leader will decide the best alternative in consultation with the group.
PERSONAL SPENDING MONEY This is only needed for any extra drinks that you may require, meals not included in the price, airport taxes and souvenirs. The average person might spend £100 on these items.
DELAYS/ROUTE CHANGES Naturally every effort is made to avoid delays and changes to the itinerary, but inevitably there will be occasions when they do happen. There is no guarantee that flights will depart at the time specified, and we do not have any liability to you for any delay which may arise. Where such delay does arise, we will use our best endeavours to arrange for the air carrier to provide appropriate meals, etc. but we ourselves will not make any such provision.
FLIGHTS On nearly all our holidays we provide Economy Class seats on scheduled flights (unless otherwise requested). The fares are normally group-based, with restrictions as to validity, stop-overs, re-routing, etc. While we can often make alternative flight arrangements to suit particular needs, we emphasise that these are always likely to be considerably more expensive than the published arrangement. Should you notwish to fly with the group from London, a ‘land only’ price is available on request. As our holidays are planned well in advance, details of airlines, aircraft type, airports and flight timings are not given in this brochure. They will, however, be detailed in your confirmation invoice, and confirmed in your Final Joining Instructions sent to you two to three weeks prior to the holiday’s departure.
GROUP SIZE Our trips are costed on a minimum of 10 participants. 16 is usually the maximum. Sometimes, to prevent disappointment, we may operate a trip for as few as five people, and we reserve the right, where a group contains less than 10 people, either to apply a ‘small group’ surcharge of between 5% and 10%, or, with your consent, to make certain alterations to the way the trip is run. If this happened, we would advise you as early as possible.
SMOKING The overwhelming majority of Naturetrek clients are non-smokers. To enable them to enjoy their holiday in comfort (and fresh air!), we insist that smokers refrain from smoking in the proximity of all other group members, and whilst watching wildlife, at all times. In particular, smoking in any confined space — be it the lounge, dining room, minibus, bedroom (if shared with a non-smoker) or at any other group gathering — cannot be permitted and, in signing our booking conditions, you agree to accept these guidelines and the right of all our tour leaders to dismiss from a tour any participant failing to respect them.
OUR CANCELLATION Due to the special nature of our trips, we cannot guarantee the departure of every holiday, though we do try very hard to ensure that each one runs. Should a trip seem to be attracting insufficient numbers for a departure, we will let you know at least two months before its departure date, in case you wish to cancel then — with a full refund of your deposit and other payments to us — and make other holiday arrangements.
EXTENSIONS & PRIVATE PARTIES Should you wish to extend your Naturetrek holiday by visiting areas additional to those in our programme, we should be happy to help you with your arrangements. Further, we are always pleased to organise tailor-made birdwatching, botanical and other wildlife holidays for private parties of any size.
SINGLE ROOMS & SUPPLEMENTS We regret that nearly all of the lodges and hotels we use charge single supplements, as they are usually small establishments needing to fill all beds. If you particularly wish for a single room, we are normally able to provide one for you at the supplement price listed for each tour. If you wish to share (to avoid this supplement) we can usually match you up with someone else of similar age and sex, also wishing to share. If we are unable to do this, we regret that the single supplement must be charged (though sometimes at a reduced, negotiated rate) unless your booking was received by us at least 6 months prior to the holiday’s departure. N.B. We regret that this offer does not apply to those booked on our Bargain Selection and long haul holidays.
ON TREK ...
HOW FAR DO YOU WALK EACH DAY? This question is best answered in terms of time not kilometres, as the altitude, terrain and programme vary to such an extent each day. For example, a day’s walk at 2,000 metres, along a flat trail, through an area devoid of interesting natural history, might cover 18 or more kilometres. A day’s walk uphill, through a bird filled rhododendron forest at 4,000 metres, might cover just eight or nine kilometres. Both walks might take the same time: perhaps seven hours or so. Walking time probably varies between 4-5 hours on a grade A or B trek and 7-9 hours on a grade C or D trek, but there is no hard and fast rule; much depends on what we see!
ALTITUDE This is one of the most important considerations in trekking, so we indicate against each trek the maximum altitude reached. There is no real need for you to worry about altitude, as all the worrying is done in our planning stages. No one can foretell how he/she will react at high altitude; age, fitness and previous high altitude experience have no bearing at all in the matter. The vital factor is acclimatisation. Our treks are planned to allow the maximum time for you to acclimatise, with the result that very few of our trekkers
have ever had serious problems.
BAGGAGE & PORTERAGE These are not backpacking treks. All your trek baggage will be carried by pack animals or porters. You need carry only a small daypack for your camera, waterproofs, water bottle and other essentials, and even this is often carried for you by a friendly porter! You are restricted to around 20 kg of baggage on flights, and we recommend you take rather less than this to allow for souvenirs that you may collect. Don’t bring a smart suitcase if you want it to stay smart! On-trek baggage should be restricted to around 12 kg and packed in a soft kitbag; any belongings not needed on trek can be left in your suitcase in the hotel. Baggage must not be left unattended in any vehicles.
TREK STAFF On all our Himalayan treks we take an experienced team of guides, cooks, and porters or animal drivers, managed by a local ‘sirdar’. The guides will assist trek members at all times, and will encourage group members to walk at their own pace rather than feel obliged to keep up with faster members of the
group. One guide will always bring up the rear. On all our other treks similar, if sometimes less experienced, staff will look after us.
REMOTENESS All the areas in which we trek are remote. Consequently the lifestyle on trek is necessarily very different from that on an ordinary holiday. If you are not willing to accept this you should not travel with us.
FOOD When trekking, and normally when camping, food is included in our price. Provisions are normally based on fresh local food and supplemented by ‘luxuries’ that we import. It is designed to be nutritious, but in some areas it is not always possible to make it gastronomically very interesting. In the larger towns, when staying in hotels, we normally provide only breakfast so that you may explore the local restaurants to suit your own taste.
EQUIPMENT All basic communal camping equipment is supplied by Naturetrek. This includes all cooking and eating utensils, 2-man tents, and in most areas stools, dining tents and loo tents. You will normally need to bring a sleeping bag, foam mat or lilo, walking boots, a daypack and other personal items. On some European tours a picnic set may be required for lunches in the field. However, a full clothing/equipment list will be sent out to you on booking, as well as a reading and map list.