Booking Conditions

The following booking conditions form the basis of your contract with R&D Global Ltd. trading as Travel The Unknown. Please read them carefully as they set out our respective rights and obligations. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have had the opportunity to read these booking conditions and agree to them. These booking conditions only apply to holiday arrangements which you book with us and which we agree to make, provide or perform (as applicable) as part of our contract with you. All references in these booking conditions to “holiday”, “booking”, “contract”, “package”, “tour” or “arrangements” mean such holiday arrangements unless otherwise stated. In these booking conditions, “you” and “your” means all persons named on the booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date) or any of them as the context requires. “We”, “us” and “our” means R&D Global Ltd.


1. Making a Booking

1.1 To make a booking, you must complete our booking form. This must be signed (or ticked in the appropriate place in the online booking form) by the first named person on the booking (“lead customer”). The lead customer must be authorised to make the booking on the basis of these booking conditions by all persons named on the booking and by their parent or guardian for all party members who are under 18 when the booking is made. By signing the booking form, the lead customer confirms that he/she is so authorised. The lead customer is responsible for making all payments due to us. The lead customer must be at least 18 when the booking is made.

1.2 The completed signed booking form must then be sent to us together with the payments referred to in clause 2.1 below. Your booking will not be confirmed unless the requested payment is received.

1.3 Subject to the availability of your chosen arrangements, we will confirm your holiday by issuing a booking receipt. This receipt will be sent to the lead customer. Please check this receipt and any accompanying documents carefully as soon as you receive it and contact us immediately if any information appears to be incorrect or incomplete as it may not be possible to make changes later. We regret we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies (for which we are responsible) in any document within 10 days of our sending it out (5 days for tickets). We will do our best to rectify any mistake notified to us outside these time limits but you must meet any costs involved in doing so.

1.4 We will communicate with you by e-mail in relation to your booking. You must accordingly check your e-mails on a regular basis. We may also contact you by telephone and/or post if we cannot, for whatever reason, contact you by e-mail. Certain documents may need to be sent by post. References in these booking conditions to “send” and “in writing” include communication by e-mail.

1.5 If booking online, any acknowledgement of your booking request we send you is not a confirmation of your booking. This will come once the booking has been confirmed in the form of either a booking receipt or confirmation invoice.

2. Payment

2.1 In order to confirm your chosen tour, the following payments are required:

Group tours:   a deposit of £500 (or equivalent).

Private / Tailor-made trips:  a deposit of £500 (or equivalent) or 25% of the total tour cost, whichever is higher, is payable at the time of booking. In addition some tours may require further interim payments. 

If booking a trip within 60 days of the departure date then the full amount is payable.

Please note that depending on your chosen arrangements, the required deposit may be different to these amounts. For example, safari permits, wildlife lodges, luxury cruises and trains often require a higher deposit or full payment. We will advise you accordingly at the time of booking.

2.2 The balance of the tour cost must be received by us not less than 60 days prior to departure and in some cases significantly earlier. This exact date will be shown on your confirmation invoice. Reminders are not necessarily sent. If we do not receive all payments due (including any surcharge where applicable) in full and on time, we are entitled to assume that you wish to cancel your booking. In this case, we will be entitled to keep all monies 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 5 depending on the date we reasonably treat your booking as cancelled.

2.3 In the case of international payments you should ensure that the full invoice amount is received by us after all bank charges have been paid for by yourself.

3. Your Contract

A binding contract between us comes into existence when we issue and send our booking receipt to the lead customer. 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 (“claim”) and must be dealt with by the Courts of England and Wales.

4. Passports, Visas and Health Matters

4.1 General passport and visa requirements applicable at the time of printing are shown on our customer documentation. However, requirements may change and 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. 

4.2 Advice regarding compulsory health requirements for your holiday are shown in our customer documentation. However, it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure. Details are available from your doctor and further information on health abroad is also available on www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk. Vaccination and other health requirements/recommendations are subject to change at any time for any destination. Please therefore check with a doctor or clinic not less than six weeks prior to departure to ensure that you have met the necessary requirements and have the applicable information.

4.3 It is the lead customer’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 are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry all required documentation. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty, costs or expenses being imposed on or incurred by us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.

4.4. If you are unable for whatever reason to obtain a visa or the authorisation required for a visa and are thus unable to travel we will seek to be as flexible as the situation allows but ultimately reserve the right to consider this as a cancellation under the terms set out in 5.1 below.

5. Cancellation By You

5.1 Should you or any member of your party need to cancel your holiday once you have received your booking confirmation, the lead customer must immediately advise us in writing. Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when it is received in writing by us (email notification is sufficient). As we incur costs from the time we confirm your booking, the following cancellation charges will be payable. 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 cancellation.

Period before departure within which written notification of cancellation is received by us and cancellation charge per person cancelling.

61 days or more prior to departure - loss of deposit
60-46 days before departure - 50% of tour cost
45-31 days before departure - 75% of tour cost
Less than 30 days - 100% of tour cost

5.2 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. We will provide any relevant documentation to assist with your insurance claim.

5.3 On private bookings where any cancellation reduces the number of full paying party members below the number on which the price, number of free places and/or any concessions agreed for your booking were based, we will recalculate these items and re-invoice you accordingly.

5.4. There are certain destinations or trip components, such as cruises and safaris that require payment up to 120 days before the departure date and may result in 100% loss upon cancellation. If applicable, this will be specified on your invoice and quotation.

5.5 See clause 9 “Changes by you” if any member(s) of your party are prevented from travelling.

6. Changes and Cancellation By Us

6.1 Occasionally, we have to make changes to and correct errors on our website 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 reserve the right to cancel or make changes to a trip under any circumstances. 

Please note, our group holidays require a minimum number of participants to enable us to operate them. If the minimum number of bookings required for a particular holiday have not been received, we are entitled to cancel it. We will notify you of cancellation for this reason at least 45 days prior to your departure. We advise you not to book any flights or pre- and post-trip travel arrangements until the trip is guaranteed.

6.2 Most changes are minor. Occasionally, we have to make a “significant change”. A significant change is a change made before departure which, taking account of the information you give us at the time of booking and which we can reasonably be expected to know as a tour operator, we can reasonably expect to have a major effect on your holiday. Significant changes are likely to include the following changes when made before departure:

(a)  a change of accommodation to that of a lower official classification or standard for the whole or a major part of the holiday;

(b)  a change of accommodation area for the whole or a major part of the time you are away;

(c)  a significant change of itinerary missing out one or more major destinations substantially or altogether.

6.3 If we have to make a significant 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:-

(a) for significant changes, accepting the changed arrangements or

(b) purchasing an alternative holiday from us, of a similar standard to 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 not wish 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 you paying more if it is more expensive or receiving a refund if it is cheaper or

(c) cancelling or accepting the cancellation in which case you will receive a full refund of all monies you have paid to us. 

6.4 If we have to make a significant change or cancel we will, where compensation is appropriate, pay compensation depending on the circumstances and when the significant change or cancellation is notified to you subject to the following exceptions. 

Compensation will not be payable and no liability beyond offering the above mentioned choices can be accepted where: 

(a) the change is due to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control and amount to Force Majeure such as, but not limited to, the following and including, advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to avoid or leave a particular country, unavoidable technical problems with transport and/or cancellation of scheduled international and domestic flights/transport services, actual or threatened war, civil strife, terrorist activity, riots, industrial disputes, labour strikes, route/lock closures, natural or nuclear disasters, fire, chemical or biological disasters, adverse weather conditions, epidemics and pandemics, acts of government including national or local/port authorities and all similar events outside our or our suppliers control, we reserve the right to alter the tour programme, as required depending upon the circumstance, without offering any compensation.

(b) we have to cancel because the minimum number of bookings necessary for us to operate your holiday has not been reached (see above). 

6.5 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 where a change is a minor one. 

6.6. We reserve the right to cancel any booking if we reasonably feel that the physical condition or behaviour of a client may affect their own well-being, that of any members of our local partners, that of any other members of a small group tour, or the enjoyment of other members of the group while on a tour.

6.7 If you have chosen to pay an optional single supplement and we are for whatever reason unable to provide you with a single room for any advertised nights then we reserve the right to room you with a fellow traveller of the same sex and to reimburse you accordingly on a pro-rata basis.

7. Governmental Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice which UK citizens are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. US citizens are advised to check the State Department advice on www. travel.state.gov/destination. Citizens of other countries should check their government’s relevant advice.

8. Surcharges

The price of your holiday is subject to surcharges in the event of any change in our transportation costs or in dues, taxes or fees payable for services such as but not limited to landing taxes, embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports or airports, or in the exchange rates which have been used to calculate the cost of your holiday. Even in these cases, we will absorb an amount equivalent to 2% of the holiday price, excluding any amendment charges. Only amounts in excess of this 2% will be surcharged. 

9. Changes by You

9.1 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 £50.00 (or equivalent) per person will be payable together with any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers. A change of holiday dates will normally be treated as a cancellation of the original booking and rebooking in which case cancellation charges will apply. Changes may result in the recalculation of the holiday price where, for example, the basis on which the price of the original holiday was calculated has changed.

9.2 If any member of your party is prevented from travelling, the person(s) concerned may usually be able to transfer their place to someone else (introduced by you) providing we are notified not less than two weeks before departure. Where a transfer to a person of your choice can be made, all costs and charges incurred by us and/or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers as a result together with an amendment fee of £50.00 (or equivalent) must be paid before the transfer can be effected. Any overdue balance payment must also be received. As you are responsible for booking your own flights, you must pay the charges levied by the airline concerned. 

10. Special Requests and Medical Conditions/Disabilities

10.1 If you have any special request, you must advise us at the time of booking. Although we will endeavour to pass any reasonable requests on to the relevant supplier, we regret we cannot guarantee any request will be met. Failure to meet any special request will not be a breach of contract on our part. 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. Unless and until specifically confirmed, all special requests are subject to availability. 

10.2 If you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability occurs. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. 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 or the condition / disability develops after booking, cancel when we become aware of these details.

10.3 The Company reserves the right at any time to require the Client to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that the Client is fit to participate in the tour. 

10.4 By booking you acknowledge that you understand the potential risks and hazards that can be involved in tours of this kind to often remote and inhospitable locations. Such risks may increase the risk of injury or illness, loss or damage to property, discomfort and inconvenience.

11. Liability

11.1 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 for the acts and/or omissions of our employees, agents and suppliers except where they lead to death, injury or illness and except where the supplier is a government or quasi-government institution. We accept responsibility for death, injury or illness caused by the negligent acts and/or omissions of our employees or agents together with our suppliers and sub-contractors, servants and/or agents of the same whilst acting within the scope of, or in the course of their employment in the provision of your holiday. Please note, 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).

11.2 We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (including loss of enjoyment or possessions), 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 13 below.

11.3 Please note, if you avail of a service during the course of your holiday which is not part of your contract with us, we will not be liable for the provision of that service or its quality even if you purchase it through our agents or their representatives. Similarly, if we recommend a restaurant or a shop, it is merely to assist you, and we do not accept any responsibility for the quality or content of the service received from these.

11.4 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. Please note, however, our obligation is to exercise reasonable skill and care as referred to in clause 11.1. We do not make any representation or commitment that all services will comply with applicable local laws and regulations and failure to comply does not automatically mean we have not exercised reasonable skill and care.

11.5 In respect of carriage by scheduled air, sea, other water bodies like rivers and lakes, and rail transports the provision of accommodation and services in these are the responsibility of the providers of these transports and we merely act as agents for these providers. Our liability in all such cases will be limited in the manner provided by the relevant international convention. Thus, if a scheduled flight or train or ship has delays or changes in schedule or cancellation of service, we are not obliged to offer alternative arrangements, it is the providers of these services who are responsible. We will, however, try our best to assist in the provision of alternative services, if required, on receipt of appropriate payment for these.

11.6 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 (including without limitation, self-employed loss of earnings).

12. Travel Insurance and emergency contact

12.1. Proof of adequate and valid travel insurance is essential on all our trips. You must give details in writing of your insurance policy (insurer, policy number, 24 hour emergency assistance contact details).

12.2 Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on tour. 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. Tours can be hazardous by nature and you should ensure that such insurance fully covers all personal requirements including medical expenses, repatriation, helicopter rescue and air ambulance in the event of accident or illness.

12.3. You must give to us the name, address and telephone numbers of your emergency contact (next of kin) or persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.

13. Our Tour Leader

On many of our small group tours we will appoint a local tour leader who will represent the company and assist with the proper and safe running of you and your fellow participants’ tour. You must accept the decisions of the Tour Leader who shall have the discretion to make decisions and take action which may impact on your tour. If your physical condition or behaviour is such as to affect the well-being of yourself or other members of the group or the enjoyment of other members of the group, you may be asked to leave the tour without any right to refund. If you wish to leave the group temporarily, you will be asked to sign a release form.

14. 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.

15. Complaints

15.1. In the unlikely event that you have any reason to complain or experience any problems with your holiday whilst away, you must immediately inform our local representative or agent and/or the supplier of the service(s) in question. Any verbal notification must be put in writing and given to our Tour Leader/representative/agent and the supplier concerned (as applicable) as soon as possible. If we do not have or you cannot contact our Tour Leader or local representative or agent and any complaint or problem is not resolved to your satisfaction, you must contact us using the contact details we have provided you with during your trip, giving us full details and a contact number. Until we know about a complaint or problem, we cannot begin to resolve it. Most problems can be dealt with quickly. If you remain dissatisfied, however, you must write to us within 7 days of the tour end date giving your booking reference and full details of your complaint. For all complaints and claims which do not involve death, personal injury or illness, we regret we cannot accept liability if you fail to notify the complaint or claim entirely in accordance with this clause.

16. Financial Protection

R&D Global Ltd is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ''The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations'' all passengers booking with R&D Global Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. Your money is fully protected and is held within an independent Trust Account, managed by Protected Trust Services Ltd of 307-315 Holdenhurst Rd, Boscombe, Bournemouth BH8 8BX and its Trustees, chartered accountants - Elman Wall Ltd of 8th Floor, Becket House, 36 Old Jewry, London EC2R 8DD.

17. Flights

17.1 We will advise on recommended flights for your trip and these can be booked separately via our suggested flight partner. However, you are not obliged to book through them and you can do this independently.

17.2 You are responsible for ensuring your flight tickets are booked in accordance with your trip and any errors made are solely your responsibility. You will be liable for any amendment charges or cancellation costs, and we will not be liable for any costs resulting from any errors.

17.3 You are required to send us a copy of your flight tickets and you agree for us to pass these details on to our local partners who will in most instances be providing ground transfer on arrival. 

17.4  In the event of any flight delay or cancellation at your UK or overseas point of departure, the airline is responsible for providing such assistance as is legally required by the Denied Boarding Regulations (see below). The ferry, tunnel or rail operator is similarly responsible in relation to any delayed or cancelled sea crossing or international rail departure. Except where otherwise stated on our website, we regret we cannot provide any assistance in such circumstances other than information and advice to the extent we are in a position to do so.

18. Excursions/Activities

18.1 We may provide you with information (before departure and/or when you are on tour) 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, controlled nor endorsed in any way by us. They are provided by local operators or other third parties who are entirely independent of us. We cannot accept any liability on any basis in relation to such activities or excursions and the acceptance of liability contained in clause 11.1 of our booking conditions will not apply to them.

18.2 We cannot guarantee accuracy of information given in relation to such activities or excursions as these services are not under our control.

19. Website/advertising material

The information contained on our website, in our detailed itineraries, pre-departure information, suggested packing lists, and in our other advertising material is believed correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication or printing. However, errors may occasionally occur and information may subsequently change. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen holiday (including the price) with us (or your travel agent) at the time of booking and where practical to do so we advise you to independently verify information which is provided for guidance only.

20. Data Protection

Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the personal booking information held by us against accidental loss and unauthorised use. This information will be passed on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements. The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs or immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Certain information may also be passed on to security or credit checking companies. If you travel outside the European Economic Area, controls on data protection may not be as strong as the legal requirements in Europe. If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers, whether in the EEA or not, we will be unable to provide your booking. In making this booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons. If we need to give your details to anyone other than those listed above, we will do so only with your consent.

We will store and use your personal data for future marketing purposes such as sending you digital newsletters, flyers, leaflets or other marketing material. In making a booking with R&D Global Ltd, you consent to us using your personal data for such marketing activities. You can inform us in writing or by email at any time should you not wish to receive any promotional printed or digital material and we will remove your details from future mailing lists.
 
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