Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed a negative transformation of our industry due to the Pandemic caused by COVID-19. We have made adjustments along the way to Terms and Conditions of travel to try and cater to the changing dynamics and to look after our guests and to ensure minimal impact on intended future travel plans. This exercise has been enormous and an exhausting one for not only ourselves but the trade.
Our strongest source markets being the USA, Europe, UK and Australia have undergone a lockdown ruling by their Governments, and most of our surrounding countries namely South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia have in turn responded with a travel ban for the nationals of these source markets. This has rendered logistics and access to our destinations almost impossible. The situation will no doubt have an impact on supplies and provisions to our remote locations, potentially compromising the standard of service our guests have become accustomed to. Furthermore, we want to place the health and safety of our staff and their vulnerable communities as our main priority.
Therefore, in order to bring about certainty in the short term due to border closures and travel bans, we have made the decision to take up what we are calling “The Curl Up Position”, which in effect means we all wait until the current prevailing travel bans and closures have been lifted.
We are offering to postpone your guest’s travels for those booked to travel during this period with provisional plans to resume travel from the 1st August 2020, pending Government decisions on border closures and the status of COVID-19.
Our reservations and sales teams will be available to assist with making new arrangements for guests due to travel within the affected period. We would like to extend flexible booking terms to facilitate the changes imposed on your travel plans by the circumstances that we all face due to this Pandemic. We appreciate your patience whilst we all try to manage what is proving to be the worst period that our industry has ever experienced.
New Policy for The Next Four Months will be as follows:
• Anyone travelling between 1st April and 31st July 2020 can postpone to any time or season for future dates up until the end of July 2021.
• In the event that guests are travelling after July 2020 will be too early to predict as it will depend on border closures. We are currently dealing with immediate travel plans and guests travelling until the end of July 2020.
• African Bush Camps will retain the 20% deposit paid for the original booking and will apply standard payment terms to the revised dates.
• If guests are unsure of their future travel arrangements, we will automatically provisionally book them for the same dates but for 2021. This will be subject to availability. In these instances, provisional bookings will be held for 90 days.
• Should guests want to postpone travel after the “Curl Up” period, our standard cancellation fee will apply. This will depend on whether the border closures and/or travel bans have been lifted. We recommend that guests wait until 45 days prior to their confirmed date of travel in order to monitor the global status of travel restrictions.
• Once a booking has been postponed to new dates in 2020 or 2021, our standard cancellation and payment terms and conditions will apply to the new travel dates.
• There are no penalties for postponements and no surcharges for change of season, except for bookings that have been made on our “Once in a lifetime special”.
Guests that booked the “Once in a lifetime Special” and choose to postpone to a future date, will be subject to a rate increase in line with our 2021 rates. This will be subject to the revised dates of travel.
We once again thank you all for your support especially during this difficult period.