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Booking Terms and Conditions

Valid For Bookings From 1st October 2017 to 31 March 2018

Valid For Bookings From 1st October 2017 to 31 March 2018

All bookings made by Travel Butlers Ltd are subject to the following booking conditions, which are governed by English Law and under the jurisdiction of the English Courts.  In these Terms and Conditions, 'you' and 'your' means all persons named on the booking, or any of them as applicable (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date).

  1. Contract
  2. Quoted Prices
  3. Booking Proceedure And Deposits
  4. Financial Protection
  5. Payment Methods
  6. Amendments By You
  7. Cancellation By You
  8. Amendments By Travel Butlers
  9. Cancellation By Travel Butlers
  10. Force Majeure
  11. Surcharges
  12. Carriage By Air And Sea
  13. Car Hire
  14. Hotel Classifications And Tourism Levy
  15. Our Responsibilities
  16. Your Responsibilities
  17. Complaints And Problems
  18. The Travel Butlers Guest Information App

1. Contract

Your contract is with Travel Butlers Ltd (hereinafter called 'Travel Butlers', 'we', 'us', 'our'). We draw your attention to the following terms and conditions, which cover all website content and correspondence and all bookings made with us. Any contract with Travel Butlers is subject to these terms and conditions from which no person, other than a director of Travel Butlers, has the authority to depart.

Before making a booking with us you must ensure that you have read and understood these booking conditions (raising any queries you may have with us). By asking us to confirm your booking you are liable to be regarded as having had the opportunity to do so and to have actually done so before the contract between us comes into existence.

2. Quoted Prices

Travel Butlers will quote prices in GBP Sterling (GBP), South African Rand (ZAR),  US Dollars (USD), or Euro (EUR) as appropriate.

Payment is accepted in all of the above currencies.

Although Travel Butlers will endeavour to keep all rates published on this website as accurate as possible, any price quoted on the website may be subject to alteration at any time and without notice due to unforeseen supplier increases. 

We reserve the right to make changes to and correct errors in quoted prices at any time before your holiday is confirmed. We will advise you of any error of which we are aware and of the correct applicable price at the time of booking.

Once a booking is confirmed by either a deposit or full balance payment,  the price for that booking is fixed in the stated currency and would only increase or decrease in the circumstances covered in Clause 11 (Surcharges).

3. Booking Procedure And Deposits

Travel Butlers will create a tailor made holiday to suit your personal needs. A binding contract comes into existence between us when we receive the first payment from you to secure your bookings, and no contract will exist between the parties until such monies have been received.

A non-refundable deposit of 20% is normally required, but in certain circumstances Travel Butlers reserve the right to ask for a higher deposit or payment in full. The deposit must be paid by the date stipulated.

We may require payment in full at the time of booking for any flights booked on your behalf by Travel Butlers.  Flights are normally booked at the lowest available cost and do not allow for cancellations or changes under the airlines standard terms - please request flexible flights when making your reservations if you think you might need to change your flight arrangements.

The balance owing must be paid no less than 60 days prior to the date of the first service booked, and the balance is payable in the same currency as the deposit was paid in.

For reservations made within 60 days of the first service booked, payment in full is required upon confirmation.

If either the deposit payment or the balance payment are not made within the due time, Travel Butlers reserve the right to make changes to the services booked, or to cancel any reservations made on your behalf. See sections on Amendments By Travel Butlers and Cancellation By Travel Butlers for more details.

4. Financial Protection

In accordance with ''The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992'' all passengers booking package holidays with Travel Butlers Limited are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation document.

If you book arrangements other than a package holiday from Travel Butlers Limited (e.g. accommodation only with no transport arrangements), the financial protection under ATOL and the insurance policies referred to below do not apply. Most credit card companies offer purchase protection if you pay for travel services with a credit card, and you should check this with your credit card company.

4.1 ATOL Protected Holidays

  ATOL Protected - ATOL 10245


The air holiday packages on this website are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10245, and you can confirm our ATOL Certificate on the CAA website.

When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.

We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).

If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.

4.2 Other Package Holidays

CBL Insurance

All packages that are not protected by the ATOL scheme are protected by an insurance policy under-written by CBL Insurance Europe Limited.

In accordance with ''The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992'' an insurance policy has been arranged by MGA Cover Services Limited under a binding authority with the insurer CBL Insurance Europe Limited, to protect customers’ prepayments in the unlikely event of our financial failure and paid in respect of:

  • non-flight inclusive packages commencing and returning to the UK

  • the ground handling aspects of packages where the customer is responsible for arranging travel to the destination, and

  • flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the UK, and which are sold to customers outside of the UK.

Passengers covered by this policy are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Travel Butlers Limited.This insurance has been arranged with MGA Cover Services Limited (registered address Farren House The Street, Farren Court Cowfold West Sussex RH 13 8BP, company registration: 08444204 authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority registration number 597536) under a binding authority with the insurer CBL Insurance Europe Limited (registered address 2nd Floor 13-17 Dawson Street Dublin 2 Ireland, who are authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority registration number 203120)

In the unlikely event of Insolvency you must Inform MGA Cover Services Limited immediately on +44 (0) 20 3540 4422. Please ensure you retain your booking confirmation form as evidence of cover and value.

Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid back to you by your Travel Insurance or any losses which are recoverable under another insurance or bond.

Full details of the policy can be seen here.

Travel Butlers Ltd are also members of SATSA (the South African equivalent of ABTA) and are covered by its bonding scheme which offers financial compensation to customers in the event of a company going out of business. Our SATSA membership number is 1339, and you can read more about SATSA and its bonding scheme on the SATSA website.

5. Payment Methods

Travel Butlers accept payment in GBP Sterling (GBP), US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), and South Africa Rand (ZAR).

Payment can be made as follows:

  • GBP and USD payments can be made with MasterCard, Visa or Amex cards via our secure online server or over the phone.

  • EUR and ZAR payments can be made with MasterCard or Visa cards via our secure online server or over the phone.

  • GBP, USD, EUR and ZAR payments can be made by bank transfer (details on request).

Please note that the price of your holiday and the payment currency is set when the booking is initially confirmed, and the balance will be due in the same currency as the deposit was paid in.

We regret that for some short notice bookings and deposits we may not be able to accept payment by bank transfer due to the time it takes the funds to clear into our account.

Sorry, we don’t accept personal cheques and we can’t accept any type of payment by post.

Travel Butlers do not charge for processing payments made by credit or debit card.

6. Amendments by You

Once your bookings have been confirmed, any amendments (such as a change of date, length of stay, etc) should be taken up with Travel Butlers either by email or by telephone. Regardless of how a change is initially requested, an email from the lead passenger is required to confirm a change.

Flights are normally booked at the lowest available cost and do not allow for cancellations or changes under the airlines standard terms - please request flexible flights when making your reservations if you think you might need to change your flight arrangements.

Any change of accommodation, reduction in the number of nights or reduction the number of people travelling will qualify as a cancellation, and that part of the accommodation being cancelled is subject to the cancellation terms given below.

Travel Butlers reserve the right to levy a £40 charge per amendment, although changes which involve adding to an existing booking can usually be carred out without an amendment charge.

If the changes involve the actual cancellation of any service booked for you, standard cancellation charges will apply.

7. Cancellation By You

If you decide to cancel some or all of your bookings, please notify us by email at once.  Cancellations are effective on the day they are received by the company at our UK office during standard office hours. Email cancellations sent outside of office hours or over weekends or UK public holidays will be received by us on the next working day.

Upon our receipt of written cancellation, we will issue a refund of the money paid to Travel Butlers, less a percentage of the value of the cancelled bookings (the cancellation fee). Please note that flights are payable in full at the time of booking and are non-refundable unless otherwise stated. The cancellation fee is calculated in as a percentage of your quoted price (excluding flights and other non-refundable charges) accordance with the table below.

  • 61 days or more days prior to travel - Loss of deposit

  • 46 to 60 days prior to travel - 40% of the full value of the bookings being cancelled

  • 31 to 45 days prior to travel - 75% of the full value of the bookings being cancelled

  • 30 days or fewer prior to travel - 100% of the full value of the bookings being cancelled

Some special offers and services may require a higher deposit or payment in full at the time of booking, and these are usually non-refundable in case of cancellation unless you are notified otherwise. Gorilla and chimpanzee permits are 100% non-refundable.

If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your personal travel insurance, you may be able to reclaim these charges from your insurer.

8. Amendments by travel Butlers

It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your holiday although we reserve the right to make changes at any time. We plan arrangements for your holiday using independent suppliers such as airlines, hotels, local transport operators and guides over whom we have no direct control, and in very rare circumstances we may have to modify a holiday before you depart. Most of these changes are minor. However, if we consider them a material change we will notify you as soon as reasonably practicable. A material change includes a change of flight time by more than 12 hours, a change of international airport (except between airports serving the same city), or a change to a lower standard accommodation.

In the case of a material change before your departure we will provide you with three alternatives provided the change does not arise from conditions amounting to force majeure or as a result of an amendment to a scheduled airline timetable: you may accept the modification, you may change your booking to another available and comparable holiday, or you may cancel and receive a full and prompt refund. If you choose another holiday which is more expensive you must pay the difference, but if it is cheaper, we will make the appropriate refund.

If you cancel and receive a full refund following a material change that was made made for any reason other than force majeure or as a result of an amendment to a scheduled airline timetable you will receive compensation of £50 per person.

9. Cancellation by travel Butlers

We reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your holiday for any reason at any time before full payment has been received, however we will not cancel your hotel arrangement less than 60 days before your departure date, except for reasons of force majeure or failure by you to pay the final balance. If you fail to pay the balance of the holiday price at least 60 days before departure, we will treat your booking as cancelled and levy the cancellation charges set out in clause 7.

If we are obliged to cancel your holiday for reasons other than force majeure or failure by you to pay the final balance, we will use our best endeavours to offer:

alternative arrangements of equivalent or very closely similar standard and price, if available;

travel arrangements of a lower standard and a refund of the difference in price;

or will give you a full and prompt refund of all monies paid.

No compensation will be payable and the above mentioned options will not be available if we cancel as a result of force majeure, your failure to comply with any requirement of these booking conditions entitling us to cancel, or if the change is a minor one.


10. Force majeure

Except as set out in these terms and conditions, we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected, or you otherwise suffer any loss or damage as a result of circumstances amounting to 'force majeure'. In these terms and conditions 'force majeure' means any event or circumstances which we or the supplier of the services in question could not foresee or avoid even with all due care. Such events and circumstances may include, whether actual or threatened, war, insurrection, riots, strikes, civil action, decisions by governments or governing authority, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes of schedules or operational decisions of air carriers, terrorist activity, industrial action, natural or nuclear activity, epidemics/pandemics, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control. 

11. Surcharges

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 costs increase or deacrease as a result of:

(a) transportation costs (including fuel, scheduled airfares and any other airline surcharges);

(b) dues, taxes or fees payable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports or airports;

(c) government action including taxes (for example VAT or other sales tax), park fees, reserve fees or wildlife permits.

Surcharges will not be applied:

(a) within 30 days of the departure date for your Trip; or

(b) if the amount of the surcharge is less than 2% of the Trip Cost.

Travel Butlers will absorb amounts up to 2% of the total holiday price and surcharge any amount greater than 2%. If any surcharge is greater than 10% of the total cost of your holiday, you will be entitled to cancel your booking and receive a full refund. Travel Butlers will advise you where this is the case. Alternatively you can choose to put any monies already paid by you towards a different holiday with Travel Butlers without paying any amendment or cancellation fees.

A refund will only be payable if the decrease in our costs exceeds 2% of the total price of your holiday as set out above. Where a refund is due, we will pay you the full amount of the decrease in our costs.


12. Carriage by air and sea

Carriage by air and sea is subject to the terms and conditions of the carriers with whom you are travelling and to international conventions. Travel Butlers accepts no liability whatsoever for cancellations, strikes, timetable changes, diversions, technical issues unrelated to Travel Butlers, lost or mislaid luggage, rescheduling costs, missed accommodation, or delays which result from any operational decision of the carrier concerned. Travel Butlers accepts no liability for death, injury or illness that derives from carriage by air or sea.

Air travel is subject to operational decisions of carriers and airports which may result in delays and diversions.

Operational decisions may be taken by air carriers and airports resulting in delays, diversions or rescheduling. Travel Butlers Ltd has no control over such decisions, and is therefore unable to accept responsibility for them. Where, as a result of circumstances beyond our control we are obliged to change or end your holiday after departure, but before the end of your holiday, we will not pay compensation or reimburse you for expenses incurred. We strongly recommend you have adequate travel insurance for your holiday and should claim via your insurance company for any loss or damage to luggage and/or personal possessions.

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 or any other payment from the airline under EC Regulation No 261/2004 - the Denied Boarding Regulations 2004, you must pursue the airline for the compensation or other payment 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.

We cannot accept liability for any delay unless it has a material effect on your holiday arrangements (see clause 8).

13. Car Hire

If your booking includes car rental, we will issue you with a voucher to hand in when you collect the car. The main named driver will be required to produce a credit card and driving licence when you pick up the hire car, however you will have already prepaid for hire car and the only additional charges at the end of the rental period will be for additional items.  This would include late return of the vehicle, returning the vehicle without a full tank of fuel, electronic road tolls, speeding and parking fines, or the insurance excess in the event of an accident.

14. Hotel Classifications And Tourism Levy

The hotel classifications given on our website, quotations, itibneraries and guest information sheets are for guidance only. They are not based on any national or international classification system, they are the opinions of our staff or agents and are quite subjective. The photographs that appear in the accommodation section of your quotation are indicative only and may not be of the exact room you have been quoted for.

The accommodations used reserves the right to add an additional Tourism Levy onto your final bill.  This varies by destination and type of accommodation, but is typically 1% of the cost of the accommodation booked.

15. Our Responsibilities

Travel Butlers accepts responsibility for ensuring your holiday is supplied as described prior to your departure and services provided will reach a reasonable local standard. 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 other supplier agrees to provide for you where the services or facilities are not advertised on our website and we have not agreed to arrange them.

If the contract with you for your trip is not performed or is improperly performed by Travel Butlers or our suppliers we will pay compensation if this has affected the overall enjoyment of the trip. We are not responsible where the failure arises from your own actions or those of a third party not connected with the services we have agreed to provide, or are due to force majeure as set out above.

Travel Butlers liability (except in cases involving death injury or illness) shall be limited to a maximum of two times the price you have paid for your trip. Travel Butlers liability will also be limited and subject to: 1. The terms and conditions applicable by our transport suppliers which are incorporated into these conditions; and 2. Any relevant International Convention applicable to travel arrangements including the Montreal Convention (for Air carriage); the Athens Convention (carriage by sea) the Berne Convention (for rail travel) and the Paris Convention (for accommodation). All of these Conventions limit liability and the amount you can recover for death; injury; loss, damage and delay to baggage. Travel Butlers has the benefit of these limitations.  

These acceptances of liability do not apply if there has been no fault on the part of the Travel Butlers or its employees, agents, or suppliers and the loss, death or personal injury suffered is attributable to your own acts or omissions or to the acts or omissions of a third party not involved in providing the services which make up your holiday, or to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances or events which could not have been anticipated or avoided by us or our agents or suppliers even with the exercise of all due care. They are also conditional upon you following the procedures for notification of complaints set out in clause 17, and upon you assigning to us any right you may have against any other person whose acts or omissions have given rise to the our liability.
Please note:-

(a) The information in our sales literature and website has been compiled with all reasonable care and is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However suppliers in the locations we feature may withdraw advertised facilities (e.g. swimming pool or restaurant) for maintenance or low bookings without advising us of this. If we are advised we will try to let you know if there is time to do so before your departure. Such withdrawals of facilities are minor changes under these conditions. Representations made by our suppliers such as hotels on their own websites are not made on behalf of Travel Butlers and we accept no liability for these.

(b) Where a claim is due to the act or omission of our suppliers or subcontractors, our acceptance of liability is subject to you assigning to us your rights against them, and also cooperating with us in any legal action we wish to take against them

(c) Travel Butlers responsibility is only in respect of the services we are contractually obliged to provide. We are not responsible for the performance of services you may purchase locally, such as excursions, car hire and other activities purchased by you during your trip.

16. Your Responsibilities

It is your personal responsibility to ensure that you have all the necessary travel documentation in your possession including a full and valid passport with sufficient blank pages for entry/exit stamps, any necessary visas, any required medical certificates, any vaccinations and inoculations, any airline or car hire tickets or vouchers and the like, and adequate travel insurance.

For your information, we include a summary at the end of each itinerary document of the current Visa/travel requirements plus medical advice for each country included in your proposed trip. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information given here is correct and accurate, but the onus still remains with the traveller to verify the information with their local High Commission or Embassy.

It is advisable to take out your travel insurance at the time of booking your trip as cover will commence for predeparture cancellation from the policy issue date. This will therefore provide cover should you have to cancel your trip for an insured reason such as illness or serious accident.  
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are adequately insured, providing financial protection against unforeseen circumstances. Cover should include predeparture cancellation, medical expenses, as well as repatriation, in the event of accident or illness. In addition, we strongly recommend that you have cover for personal belongings, delay at your outward or homeward point of departure, personal liability, overseas legal expenses and cancellation. If you are undertaking any sports or adventurous activities on your trip, including trekking, you should also make sure that your policy covers these. Please also ensure you read the policy conditions and exclusions.

All airlines require the first name and surname of each passenger as stated in their passports.  After air tickets have been issued, amendments will either incur a penalty charge or depending on the airline may not be allowed.  It is your responsibility to ensure that the correct details are supplied to Travel Butlers before any flights are confirmed.   

Travel Butlers will not be responsible or liable for any consequence of any nature arising from your failure to comply with such requirements.

17. Complaints and Problems

Should you have any complaints about any aspect of your holiday arrangements, you must immediately inform the supplier of the arrangements concerned and either Travel Butlers in the UK our local emergency support representative as identified in your travel documents. Problems can most easily be dealt with on the spot. Please note, if you do not report a problem or complaint which, if it had been reported at the time it occurred could have been resolved there and then we cannot accept any liability in respect of that problem or complaint. It is sensible to expect a client travelling in the developing world to be reasonably resourceful if things go wrong.

If the issue cannot be resolved locally you can contact us in the UK on our 24 hour emergency telephone service. The number will be found in your Travel Documents and in the Travel Butlers Guest Information App.

In the unlikely event that an acceptable solution cannot be found, you should then write to us within 28 days of your return with full details of your complaint. If you fail to follow this complaints procedure, your right to claim the compensation you may otherwise have been entitled to may be affected or even lost as a result.  

18. The Travel Butlers Guest Information App

Use of the Travel Butlers Guest Information App is subject to the App Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions of Use.