Flexible booking terms for travel in 2020 and 2021

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the global travel industry into uncertainty. We will continue to try and be as flexible and adaptive as possible, to ensure that when the time is right for you to travel again, you can book your next trip with confidence and peace of mind.

The health and safety of our volunteers, interns and students is always our top priority. As soon as situations change in our countries of operation, we will keep you updated – please check our blog page for the latest news.

Africa will need you more than ever

Something we know you will hear a lot, is how Africa will need volunteers more than ever after the pandemic has passed. It really is true. Our projects rely almost entirely on volunteer support, tourism and overseas donations to continue their successful operations. Your contributions of time and energy are sorely missed in your absence – work takes longer to complete and some has to be put on hold without funding and willing hands. Your project fees are used to pay staff salaries, maintain equipment and carry out training, and without these fees, difficult decisions have to be made.

“This time has brought to light how deeply we rely on volunteer assistance and tourism to keep Imire afloat. The hours are long without extra hands, and of course we worry about how our operations will continue without tourism to fund our conservation work.”
– Reilly Travers, Conservancy Manager – Imire: Rhino & Wildlife Conservation, Zimbabwe

At the time of writing, Sub-Saharan African nations are at the early stages of what we hope is a short and mild COVID-19 journey. With few cases being reported, wide open spaces, early lockdown measures and often lower population density, we hope that their experiences are less serious than those seen in Europe and North America.

30% of Africa’s population is classed as ‘severely food insecure’, and 4 million Zimbabweans already rely on food aid to survive (source: World Food Programme)

Factors such as a lack of access to medical equipment, severe drought, food and water insecurity, lack of sanitation and extreme poverty combined with a highly transmittable virus, means the impact of a pandemic such as COVID-19 could be catastrophic. Even a short period of essential lockdown, where workers will not be paid or receive government support, will have a devastating effect on rural communities who are already struggling.

Booking Flexibility

In times of great uncertainty, it’s important that we are as flexible as possible. Future bookings are essential so that our project partners can plan ahead and ensure they are able to survive a lean period, while still protecting, supporting and feeding their wildlife and communities.

We have relaxed our booking terms and conditions, kept deposits low, and adjusted our payment terms. This means that if you book a project and have any hesitation, or if travel advice changes, you can change your dates, project or destination without being charged any fees. We want you to have peace of mind over your booking from start to end.

Our booking and payment terms summary (for full details please visit our updated terms and conditions page):

  • Projects can be booked and confirmed upon payment of either a $300 non-refundable (transferable) deposit or a 50% refundable (or transferable) deposit (refunds are subject to our booking terms);
  • Projects can be postponed up to the day prior to travel;
  • Credits are available for travel within 12 months of your project start date (note that volunteers may have to pay a supplement to cover price increases).

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FAQs

Should I book a project for 2021?
We are seeing a steady flow of bookings for 2021 as borders continue to slowly reopen across Africa. Namibia has opened its borders (as at September 1st 2020) and we are ready to receive volunteers at our projects there. Please chat to us for updated advice on other destinations. We anticipate that the vast majority of our projects will be running from January 2021 and hopefully before! Our Facebook page should be your first port of call for destination updates.

I have already booked a project. Can I cancel or postpone my trip?

For those people who booked a trip prior to September 1st 2020, you are free to change your project dates at any time prior to travel or request a refund. For those booking trips after September 1st 2020, you are still free to change your project dates at any time prior to travel at no charge. In this case, should you wish to cancel your trip, please take a look at our cancellation terms and conditions.

For more FAQs, please visit our Coronavirus Updates page.

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We would love to hear from you and look forward to planning your dream African adventure. Please get in touch for more information about any of our projects, visit our project pages, or click to book your place!

 

(Updated from original blog posted April 2020)

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