Booking Terms & Conditions

The following Terms and Conditions, and our private policy and where you have booked your holiday through our website, the terms and conditions of our website use, plus any other pertinent written information that was brought to your attention before confirming your booking, is going to form the valid contract with Virunga Ecotours located in Musanze Northern Province, Democratic Republic of Rwanda.

In this Booking Conditions, references to “you” and “your” encompasses the first named individual on the booking plus all individuals on whose behalf the booking was made and/or any other individual to whom the booking is transferred or added.

ACCURACY OF INFORMATION

All the information provided on our website and in our brochures is given in good faith to the best of our knowledge a fair and up-to-date representation whether it is of a national park, reserve, wildlife, accommodation, food, security, animal visibility, itineraries or weather. We pride ourselves on our accuracy of information. However we do not accept liability or responsibility for any errors caused by circumstances out of our control.

Through making a booking, the lead name (here the first person on the booking) agrees on behalf of other individuals detailed on the booking that:

1.  He/she is conversant with these terms and conditions, and he/she has authority and agrees to be bound by them;

2.  He/she is going to provide full and accurate information to other travelling party concerning the booking, including any alteration changes thereto;

3. He/she undertakes to provide full and accurate information to other travelling parties concerning booking, and any other pertinent information;

4. He/she undertakes full financial responsibility for booking payments for all individuals included on the booking;

Our responsibilities to you is going to depend upon whether (1) We act as Package Organiser for selling the tour or (2) as principals  in single-element booking sale (for instance lodge only bookings).

The following are set of our obligations.

 1. Booking Your Arrangements

A booking is considered made with us when a) to confirm to us you accept our verbal or written quotation; b) you pay the deposit and c) our company issues you with your booking confirmation. Note that Virunga  Ecotours retains the right to return your deposit or decline to issue confirmation at its discretion.

A binding contract between you and us will come into existence immediately we issue you a booking confirmation confirming your booking details. If you have any reservations or queries about the details, you immediately contact and advise us within ten days of our sending out.

2. Insurance and Standards

Before booking with us, ensure you have relevant insurance including medical expenses, personal injury, death, and repatriation in case of illness, accident or death, cancellation of the holiday by either side. Activities with greater risk of injury should be covered.

3. Cutting Your Holiday Short

When forced to cut your holiday short, we will not refund the cost of any unused services. Depending on circumstances, you should contact your travel insurance if they provide cover for cancellation or curtailment and make any claims directly with them.

4. Fitness to Travel and Medical Conditions

We will take reasonable care to ensure that any disabled person is well catered for. Please ensure you inform us about your or any member of the travelling party disability before confirming your booking. If you or any member has any medical condition, furnish us with full details so that we can make suitable arrangements for you before confirming your booking. When we are not able to adequately accommodate the needs of the person(s) concerned, we will not confirm your booking. Failure to provide us with full details at the time of the booking will lead to cancellation of the booking and cancellation charges imposed.

5. Behavior and age restrictions

All guests that have booked with us should conduct themselves in acceptable manner and should not be some to the other guests. We reserve the right to terminate your booking when, in our opinion; we deem it that you are not acting in a responsible way. Your contract with us will become null and void in such events and we will have no further obligations to you and your party, and no refunds on accommodation or other services will be made. In case of damage to property, full payment must be made before departure.

Note also that:  Children under the age of 15 are not allowed to track gorillas.

6. Excursions

If you wish to make other tours while you are on holiday, this will not be part of your contracted arrangement with us but with the operator of the excursion tour. We will not be responsible for anything that happens during the course of its provision.

7. Passport, Visa and Immigration Requirements and Health Formalities

Ensure your travel documents are in order. Check with your relevant Embassies or Consulates for your travel since requirements often change.

We will not accept any responsibility when you are unable to travel, or you incur any other loss since you have not complied with your travel or health formalities. You also agree to reimburse us concerning any fines or other losses that we incur because of your failure to comply with travel and health requirements.

8. Complaints

We make every effort to ensure that your holiday arrangements run smoothly but if you do have a problem during your holiday, please inform the relevant supplier or representative immediately who will endeavor to put things right. If your complaint is not resolved locally, please contact us as soon as possible on info@virungaecotours.com +25078453435.

9. Delays, Missed Transport Arrangements and other Travel Information

Contact immediately your flight company for missed or cancelled flights, or if the flight, for any reason, is delayed for over 3 (three hours). You also contact us so that take necessary steps for your late arrival

A delay or cancellation to any flight or travel arrangement which you may decide to book yourself does not automatically entitle you to cancel any other arrangements that you have booked with us. 

10. Paying for your Safari, Package Holiday

To book your tour or safari you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of 20% of the cost of the safari (or the value of your permits, whichever is greater). If you are booking within 45 days of arrival, full payment will be required at the time of booking.

The balance of the cost of your safari (including any applicable surcharge) is due not less than 45 days prior to scheduled arrival. If we do not receive this balance in full and on time, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled by you in which case the cancellation charges set out in the relevant section below will become payable.

Please Note: Gorilla permits can only be purchased upon receipt of deposit and are subject to availability.

11. Pricing

The price or cost of travel arrangements is quoted (and purchased by ourselves) in US Dollars.

We reserve the right to amend the price of unsold holidays at any time and correct errors in the prices of confirmed holidays.

The price of your confirmed safari or holiday is subject to variations in:

(i) Transportation costs including the cost of fuel; or
(ii) Dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services; or
(iii) The exchange rates used to calculate your arrangements.

Such variations may include (but are not limited to) changes which are part of our contracts with transport providers.

12. Safari Terms

Prices include accommodation and meals as stated, vehicle, driver, and park fees as stated, transfers and gorilla permits as stated. Prices international flights, visas, items of personal a nature, laundry and tips. In the event of some unforeseen circumstances like weather conditions, park and border closures, and security issues among others-we reserve the right to amend the confirmed itinerary. We will try our best to replace a particular service with something of similar or higher quality.

13. Primate Tracking

Sometimes a person might be prohibited from tracking on the day of a scheduled excursion due to an illness to the primates or for some other health-related conditions. Only travellers in excellent health conditions are allowed to track primates and the decision of whether a traveller will be permitted or not to participate in primate tracking excursion will be made by the local guides and trackers whose decision on such matters are final.

14. Gorilla Permits 

Gorilla Permits in Rwanda cannot be guaranteed until we receive all amounts of US$1,500 Rwanda, 700 Uganda and 400 DR Congo per permit and actually pay for the permits at the Rwanda Development Board offices, Uganda Wildlife Authority and L’Institut Congolaise pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) 

15. Cancellations received

More than 90 days before the tracking date 25% cancellation fee

46 to 90 days before the tracking date 50% cancellation fee

9 to 45 days before the tracking date 75% cancellation fee

0 to 8 days before the tracking date 100% cancellation fee

Percentages are based on the full current permit price.     

16. Photography on Tour

Virunga  Ecotours reserves the right to take photographic images of individual tour participants for commercial marketing. Tour members who prefer that their images are not taken are asked to at the start of the tour to identify themselves to their escort. 

17. If You Cancel Your Holiday Package

Should you or any member of your party wish to cancel your confirmed booking, you should immediately notify us. The cancellation notice is going to take effect when it is received by us in writing and effective from the date it is receivedSince we incur costs in cancelling your arrangements, you will have to pay the applicable cancellation charges up to the maximum shown below. The cancellation charge detailed is calculated as per the total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges which are not refundable in the event of the person(s) to whom they apply cancelling:

                                                                                              Cancellation                       

Period before departure within which notice of Cancellation by you is received

Amount of cancellation charge

More than 45 days prior to departure

Loss of Deposit

44 to 15 days prior to departure

50% of total holiday cost

Less than 15 days prior to departure

100% of total holiday cost

 

We will deduct the cancellation charge(s) from any monies you have already paid to us. A 2% admin fee is charged on all refunds due to cancellations.

18. Group Departures

Our group departures run on a minimum participation of 2 clients. When we fail to achieve this target number a particular departure by sixty (60) days before the departure, we provide you with the alternative to privately carry on with the tour but bear the additional costs of doing this. But if you do not wish to take up this alternative, the trip is going to be canceled and we will refund you the deposit in full.

19. Change and Cancellation of Your Travel Arrangement

We plan your travel arrangements several months in advance and circumstances may sometimes force us to make some changes or even cancel your booking. We reserve the right to do so at any time.

Changes: Should we make any changes concerning your booking, we are immediately going to inform you. Minor changes may include accommodation to another place of the same or higher standard.

Sometimes we may make major changes to your arrangements and we will duly inform you. These changes may include:

– A change of accommodation area for the whole or a significant part of your time away.

– A change of accommodation to that of a lower standard or classification for the whole or a significant part of your time away.

– A change of overall length of your arrangements of twelve or more hours.

– A significant change to your itinerary, missing out one or more destination entirely.

Cancellation: We will not cancel your travel arrangements less than 30 days before your departure date, except for reasons of force majeure or failure by you to pay the final balance. We may cancel your booking before this date if, e.g., the minimum number of clients required for a particular travel arrangement is not reached.

If we must make a major change or cancel, we will inform you immediately and if there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of:

i (for major changes) accepting the changed arrangements;

ii having a refund of all monies paid; or

iii accepting an offer of alternative travel arrangements of comparable standard from us, if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value).

You must notify us of your choice within 7 (seven) days of our offer. Failure to do so we will assume that you have chosen to accept the change or alternative booking arrangements.

20.  Compensation

Should we make a major change or cancel less than 30 days before your departure, the following are our compensation schedule. But compensation is not limited so does not exclude you from claiming more should you be entitled to do so.

                                                                     Compensation

Period before departure within which notice of Cancellation or major change is notified to you

Compensation payable per person booking

30 days or more

Nil

29 – 14 days prior to departure

$20

Less than 14 days prior to departure

$40

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: We will not pay you compensation in the following circumstances:

– where we make a minor change;
– where we make a major change or cancel your arrangements more than 30 days before departure;
– where we must cancel your arrangements due to your failure to make full payment on time;
– where the change or cancellation by us arises out of alterations to the confirmed booking requested by you;

Should there be a cancellation or change, we regrettably cannot reimburse you for any incidental expenses incurred by you like as visas, vaccinations, equipment, transport, insurance or similar costs.

Deposit payment to Virunga Ecotours for the safari/tour certifies that agents and tour participants are read and understood the terms and conditions. On the advance of a deposit to Virunga Ecotours the depositor, his or her family and heirs agree to be bound by the above Terms and Conditions.

21.  Law and Jurisdiction

The terms and conditions are governed by the law the company is registered and any dispute which arises between the parties will be governed by exclusive jurisdiction of the laws of the country.

 

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