Eko Tracks is a travel company organized under the laws of the state of North Carolina, USA as a Limited Liability Company (Eko Tracks). The following terms as used in this Terms and Conditions Agreement shall be considered synonymous: tour, trip, expedition, safari, program and project, all of which refer to the arrangements being booked with Eko Tracks. Additionally, the following terms: client, guest, participant, student, volunteer, member, passenger, and traveler all refer to you, the traveler.
These Terms and Conditions apply to all tours and programs booked and arranged by Eko Tracks. In addition, the Terms and Conditions of the in-country tour operators; other tour companies, travel agents, service providers or wholesalers of travel also apply. Please read the information below carefully before completing the reservation form. Once signed and received your reservation form is proof of the binding contract between you and Eko Tracks. The Terms and Conditions Agreement conveys to every client the terms and conditions under which we operate.
Limitations of Liability
Eko Tracks contracts independent tour operators to provide services for tours, including transportation, accommodation, guiding services and other related travel services. Eko Tracks has no control over and assumes no responsibility for the actions of any independent contractors and that no independent contractor has the authority to make commitments for, or on behalf of Eko Tracks. Eko Tracks shall arrange and book a program or tour, and together with the local operator will take every reasonable precaution to ensure the safety, well-being and satisfaction of our clients. International travel and tours carry a certain amount of inherent and unavoidable risk and even danger. Some of our tours and programs go to somewhat remote and potentially unsafe places. Our subcontracted operators have considerable experience in the activities and areas they operate in. The role of the operator is to facilitate the safe and successful conduct of the program or tour, as well as the well-being of all clients, however, the operator cannot protect you against all risks. In the event of disputes within the group, the operator’s decision will be final. Eko Tracks does not guarantee the safety, nor can it delineate fully or control the risks, including those risks not specifically foreseeable at this time, in any way associated with the overseas travel, and living in a foreign country.
Eko Tracks, its owners, and employees assumes no responsibility for any discomfort, injury, trauma, illness, death, loss, or damage to person or property, delay or change in air or other services, howsoever caused, irregularity, inconvenience or additional expenses derived during or associated with the participation in the program or tour, in connection with any service resulting directly or indirectly from: defect of any vehicle, act of God, act of war, insurrection, revolt, terrorism, government restrictions and regulations, or other civil uprisings or disturbances, military action, quarantines, strikes, weather, sickness, wars, detention, annoyance, delays, thefts, pilferage, force majeure, wild animals, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, overbooking, travel advisories, discrepancies or changes in transit, hotel and other services over which it has no control, occurring in either the country of origin, destination or through passage, or through the acts or default of any company or persons engaged in conveying the passengers or in carrying out the arrangements of the tour. All such losses or additional expenses shall be the sole responsibility of the client on the tour.
By signing the Booking Agreement, you acknowledge this danger and assume all risks of injury, and acknowledge your personal responsibility for your own welfare at all times.
Program or Tour Participation
Our aim is to offer enjoyable tours whilst making the welfare and comfort of our clients our highest priority. The local operator is responsible for the safe and efficient running of the tour, and the supervision of safety, health and hygiene.
Eko Tracks reserves the right to accept or decline any individual from participating on any of our programs or tours for any reason. We will not discriminate against any individual because of race, religion, sex, sexual preference or nationality. If at any time you have any questions regarding this Agreement, we encourage you to seek the advice of an attorney.
A minimum age of 18 years or older is required to be able to participate in any study abroad, internship or volunteer program. Participants need to be in reasonable health and fit to ensure a rewarding experience.
Reservation and Payments
All prices are subject to change without notice and at any time by Eko Tracks. Prices are not guaranteed until a deposit has been paid by you or on your behalf. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars and must be paid in U.S. dollars.
We advise you to carefully read the itinerary and description of the program or tour, and Terms & Conditions before making a reservation. If you are unsure, you are welcome to contact our office.
To book a program or tour, each client is required to complete and sign their own reservation form. The Application Form must be submitted well in advance to ensure availability. By signing the Application Form, the client certifies that he/she does not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for him/her, other tour participants or the tour as a whole.
A deposit must be received by our office at least 2 months prior to the start of the program or tour. Upon receipt of your reservation and deposit, we will, subject to availability, reserve your place on your selected program or tour. We will send you a Letter of Notification and a Field Preparation Plan which will help you prepare for the program or tour.
If the balance is not paid by the due date, we reserve the right to cancel your place on the tour and apply cancellation charges. If you apply for a tour after the due date, you are required to send the full amount with your reservation form.
Additional pre- or post-tour nights at the place of departure or at the meeting point in the host country, and transfers to/from the hotel are at the client’s own expense.
Jurisdiction and the Law
When submitting your reservation form or application form, you confirm that you have read and understood all the terms and conditions herein and agree to abide by them. These terms and conditions are subject to reasonable change without prior notice and the terms and conditions listed here shall at all times be considered the binding terms and conditions irrespective of other terms and conditions in circulation.
You are reminded that it is entirely your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of all the necessary travel documents to participate on the program or tour, including but not limited to a passport with at least 6 months validity after departure from the host country, valid visas (where applicable), air tickets to take you to the host country on time, and valid vaccination certificates. If you expect to have to renew your passport and your vaccinations before embarking on the tour, you should allow plenty of time to do so. Discrepancies may result in delays of the program or tour or in the cancellation of participation of the responsible client(s). In such cases we reserve the right to recover costs from the individual(s) involved.
Participation in a tour requires that you be generally in good health. It is entirely the responsibility of each client to ensure that they have taken adequate medical and dental precautions for the tour they intend to join. In particular the client must comply with all advice from the relevant authorities (e.g. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov) regarding vaccinations, inoculations and other medical and dental precautions. Any required vaccinations must be recorded by the client’s health practitioner on a valid vaccination certificate which the client must carry in his/her possession throughout the tour. We cannot assume responsibility for the accuracy of any medical information and accept any information provided by you as true, and are under no duty or obligation to confirm the truthfulness of any of the information contained therein. If you have an existing or previous illness/disability, which could affect your mental or physical condition during the program or tour you must consult your doctor about your suitability to join the tour and we reserve the right to refuse you as a participant.
It is essential that persons with any pre-existing medical condition(s) and/or related dietary restrictions make them known to us well before departure. We reserve the right at any time prior to departure to insist that you provide a medical certificate as documentary proof of your suitability to join the program or tour.
It is a condition of booking a tour that the sole responsibility lies with the client to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependents and traveling companions for the duration of the tour and all activities detailed for the program or tour. This insurance has to provide cover for, but not limited to, the following eventualities: in-country medical treatment and, if necessary, emergency medical evacuation and/or repatriation, damage, theft or loss of personal baggage, money and goods, cancellation or curtailment of the program or tour. We will take no responsibility for any costs for losses incurred or suffered by the client, or client’s dependents or traveling companions, with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above mentioned eventualities. Clients will be charged directly by the relevant local service providers for any emergency services they may require, and may find themselves in a position unable to access such services should they not be carrying the relevant insurance coverage. We reserve the right to remove you from the tour at any time if you fail to provide us with evidence of adequate travel insurance cover when asked to do so.
Airfares and Delays
It is the responsibility of each client to arrive at the meeting point in the host country at the scheduled date and time. Eko Tracks is not liable for additional costs incurred by the client as a result of any changes in airline schedule or delays and which may necessitate additional nights being added to your tour, airfare changes, cancellations, overbooking or damage or loss of baggage and property. Any and all claims for any loss, injury or damage suffered on any airline must be made directly with the airline involved and not Eko Tracks. If a client is unable to use any part of, or all of the services provided in the itinerary, then there are no refunds due.
If a client fails to arrive at the meeting point in time and as a result is unable to participate in the program or tour, in part or fully, no refund or compensation will be due. Once a tour has departed, no refund or compensation will be given for any unused accommodation, travel or any other feature contained in the safari information. This also applies to all extensions and independent travel arrangements that clients have made.
Inclusions and Exclusions
Eko Tracks will provide the reservation and arrangements of the tour in the host country as listed on the website and other marketing material. The published tour cost includes the largest portion of in-country travel, accommodation, meals, and access fees, services of the local operator; and any other services or goods specifically mentioned in our tour itineraries.
The cost of the tour does not include any other items and specifically excludes passport, visa and vaccination costs, health insurance, personal travel insurance, airfares, airport taxes, additional (alcoholic) drinks and food, telephone calls, private trips and excursions, and anything else not specifically included.
All our tours prices are based on a per person sharing accommodation basis. It is often possible to arrange single facilities, but these will be at an extra charge. Please notify us of your requirements when applying to join a program or tour.
While our local service providers strive to ensure that all reserved accommodation is available as planned, we are responsible for a refund either in part or in whole, if any accommodation, excursion or activity is unavailable and a reasonable alternative is not found.
Eko Tracks offers tours to distant and challenging parts of the world, sometimes in remote regions of the host countries. Here, the unexpected can happen and it is important to realize that even the most carefully laid plans can go wrong. A variety of factors including, but not limited to delayed flights, sickness, weather conditions, natural disasters, wildlife behaviour and movements may necessitate a change to the scheduled itinerary, and/or prevent you from seeing the areas, destinations, habitats or species advertised. A positive attitude and a sense of humour is always helpful in such situations.
Every effort is made to adhere to the itinerary and time schedules as close as possible and to keep changes to a minimum, but sometimes reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed necessary for the comfort and well-being of the clients. It should be noted that we may be obliged to occasionally change routes or camps on the tours as dictated by changing local conditions, which may include for example the closing of some roads or landing strips due to seasonal rainfall, changes in game migrations etc. If it is necessary to make some changes while on tour, these will be made in consultation with the clients. Eko Tracks shall not be held responsible for the outcomes of any itinerary changes or delays if caused by any of the above factors. Clients will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred, which, depending on the circumstances, may be recoverable on your travel insurance. However, we would like to stress that many problems as outlined above, are unlikely events, even in these remote areas.
If a tour guide is unable to lead a scheduled program or tour due to illness, injury etc., the local service provider reserve the right to substitute another guide/leader.
Program & Tour Conduct
Our operators do their utmost to ensure that problems are solved in a manner beneficial to the clients and the tour. Signing the reservation form indicates your acceptance of the leader’s authority to make decisions affecting the safe conduct of the tour, and/or individual group members, or putting the welfare of wildlife or habitats at risk. It also obliges you to comply with the tour leader’s instructions and with the laws and regulations of the host country. It is the client’s responsibility to familiarize him/herself with the laws of the host country. If you disregard these instructions and laws (in particular the unlawful possession of illegal substances, firearms, illegally obtained diamonds, animal or plant products), you will be removed from the tour and may in some instances be prosecuted by the host country. In such an event you shall be responsible for any and all costs incurred to travel back to your home country. In such circumstances neither the tour leader, operator or Eko Tracks shall be liable, nor is the individual involved entitled to a refund. In such circumstances Eko Tracks reserves the right to recover any costs incurred as a result.
Please be aware that our tours may take you into close contact with wild animals. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but no tour into the African wilderness can guarantee that this will not occur. We cannot be held responsible for any injury or incident on a program or tour by wild animals or otherwise. Please note that the majority of camps and lodges, especially in Botswana and Zambia, are un-fenced and wildlife moves freely in and around the camps. Always follow the safety instructions from the tour guide and the camp’s staff with regards to moving to and from your lodging and while on game activities throughout your program or tour.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you have to cancel or curtail your journey due to unforeseen circumstances, cancellations are only effective upon receipt of a written notification, signed by the client. These terms are standard for all our tours, programs, projects and expeditions.
If a client cancels his/her booked tour, program, project or expedition at any stage, the Cancellation Policy of the specific in-country provider applies. High demand and limited capacity on some programs and tours, and in some lodges and camps necessitate high cancellation fees. In addition, Eko Tracks will retain a $100 administration fee and any other charges including advance payments and purchases we have made in the host country prior to the program or tour.
Should you fail to join a program or tour after the departure date, no program or tour costs will be refunded. In the event that a client joins a program or tour after departure or leaves it prior to its completion, no refunds for any unused portions of the tour will be due. The above policy applies to all arrangements made with Eko Tracks. Additional travel expenses to the airport, if needed, must be carried by the client. In the eventuality of this happening, the client’s insurance may cover such costs, depending on the reason for cancellation and curtailment. We advise you to check your insurance policy to determine if you are entitled to a refund, under the terms of their policy.
Surcharge Policy and Insufficient Numbers
We aim to operate every tour as outlined in the tour description. On the rare occasion of a significant increase in the price of products (e.g. fuel) that is beyond our control, we may be forced to pass a proportion of this increase to our clients. Any such increase will be notified to you as soon as we have the information. An increase in the program or tour price of less than 10% due to any of the above reasons, shall not be sufficient grounds for cancellation and any refund of fees already paid for the tour. However, if this surcharge exceeds 10% of the advertised tour cost, you may withdraw from the expedition within 7 days of receiving notification and receive a full refund minus the deposit.
Eko Tracks or its sub-contracted tour operator reserves the right to cancel any tour for which we do not have sufficient numbers of participants to make a tour economically viable. If the minimum group size of 8 for tailor-made tours is not reached, we reserve the right to cancel the tour or add a 10% surcharge to the tour contribution. In the unlikely event of any of the problems described above, we will notify our clients immediately. Most problems are apparent before the balance of the tour cost is due, so there is usually sufficient time for clients to consider the changed circumstances.
Curtailment of a Tour
Eko Tracks shall not be held responsible for occurrences such as strikes, wars, acts of God, acts of government, local service provider liquidation or any other cause whatsoever that may make operation of the tour impossible, illegal or inadvisable. In the unlikely event that a tour has to be cancelled, you will be notified immediately. In such an event, any reasonable expenses Eko Tracks has incurred will be deducted from your refund. We do not accept liability for any losses arising, from or any expenses incurred by tour members in preparing for the tour, including non refundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets, special clothing, visa or passport fees, or other tour-related expenses. Such expenses may be covered by the client’s insurance.
These Terms and Conditions supersede any previous or contemporaneous understanding the client may have had with Eko Tracks on this subject, whether written or oral, and cannot be changed or amended in any way without written concurrence. By signing the Reservation Form, the client acknowledges that s/he has read and understands our Terms and Conditions Agreement and agrees to abide by it, and that a legally binding contract has been made.