Terms & Conditions

These booking conditions were published in June 2010 and apply to all bookings made thereafter. They form the basis of your contract with Naturally Africa Volunteers (a trading name of Naturally Africa Limited registered company number 5166643) and you should therefore read them carefully. Where we act as an agent only (e.g. international flight arrangements or any other arrangements which do not form a package under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992) your contract will be with the supplier of the service concerned and we cannot accept any liability for those services. The booking conditions of the supplier(s) concerned will apply to your booking. No contract exists until we send written confirmation of your volunteer placement, or booking to you.

  1. Booking Procedure
  2. Your Financial Protection
  3. Insurance
  4. Flights and Travel Services
  5. Tickets and Travel Documents
  6. Special Requests and Medical Conditions
  7. Pricing
  8. Brochure Accuracy
  9. Passport, Visa and Health Requirements
  10. Amendments by You
  11. Cancellation by You
  12. Changes by Us / Service Providers
  13. Cancellation by Us / Service Provider
  14. Complaints Liability
  15. Additional Information
  16. Criminal Record Check
  17. Privacy Policy
  18. Conduct & Behaviour
  19. Law & Jurisdiction

1. Booking Procedure

Bookings can be made in person, in writing, or by telephone. You (the lead person) must be 18 years old or over and if making a booking on behalf of a group you accept these booking conditions on behalf of everyone in your group.

When booking you must complete the application forms required, or provide the necessary information requested for your programme. The person signing the application form will be responsible for all payments in respect of the booking. At the time of booking Naturally Africa Volunteers requires a deposit of £175 per person, or the full amount if within ten weeks of departure. If your programme requires a different amount of deposit to be paid the relevant information will be specified in the programme description. The balance of the full amount will be required ten weeks before your departure. If the balance is not paid in time we reserve the right to cancel your volunteer programme and travel arrangements made with us and retain your deposit.

You may be required to provide further documents, or complete additional forms in order to join your chosen volunteer programme. If you do not return these forms, or provide this information within the timeframes outlined, Naturally Africa Volunteers reserves the right to postpone or cancel your programme and levy any cancellation charge as set out in section 11.

Sometimes we are unable to confirm certain arrangements straight away (e.g. when accommodation is only available on request). In this case, a contract for the services concerned will only come into existence once we have specifically confirmed those services have been booked.

Please ensure you check all the details of your booking confirmation and inform us straight away if anything appears to be incorrect, as it may not be possible to make changes at a later stage.

All payments made by cheque must be made payable to Naturally Africa Ltd Trust Account.

2. Your Financial Protection

The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 for Naturally Africa, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following:

  1. non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK;
  2. non-flight packages commencing and returning to a country other than the UK; and
  3. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the UK, which are sold to customers outside of the UK.

1, 2 and 3 provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled. 1 and 3 provides for repatriation. Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Naturally Africa.

3. Insurance

It is a requirement of our booking conditions that you take out full, comprehensive travel insurance both for protection against misfortune that can occasionally occur and for your own peace of mind. This cover must include emergency air evacuation and repatriation. We will require you to provide details of your insurance prior to your departure, including the name of the insurance provider, policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact number. You will not be accepted on to your volunteer programme if this information has not been provided. Please remember that your deposits are non-returnable, so it is wise to take out insurance at the time of booking. You should ensure that there are no exclusion clauses which limit cover for the type of activities included in your programme.

Naturally Africa is an Appointed Representative of Milsom Howard Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are therefore authorised to sell you travel insurance should you wish to purchase this through Naturally Africa.

4. Flights and Travel Services

Naturally Africa Volunteers will be happy to recommend an ATOL bonded flight provider to help you with your flight arrangements. If you choose to accept the flight option that they offer, you will become a direct customer of the flight provider and will enter into a contract with them. Flights do not form part of your volunteer programme package booked with us, and we do not accept any liability in relation to your flight booking. In the unlikely event that we have to cancel your programme, we cannot offer any refund for any flights you may have booked with a flight provider.

The flight provider will inform you of the deposit required for the flights and will notify you of the date that the balance is due. Please refer to the terms and conditions of the flight provider, regarding changes or cancellation. Complaints about your flight should be referred to the airline or flight provider.

Please note the timings of air, sea and rail departures given on booking are estimates only and are subject to change. If you fail to join the programme at the appointed time, we shall not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by you in order to meet up with the group.

5. Tickets and Travel Documents

Pre-departure information, tickets and travel documents, unless collected from us, are normally sent by email (to reduce the amount of paper used), or dispatched by normal Royal Mail services at least 28 days prior to departure, unless you make a last minute booking. For bookings made within 28 days of departure we aim to dispatch all necessary documents and tickets within 7 days of receipt of the required application forms and payment from you. If you require the added speed and security of recorded delivery or courier service this can be arranged and the cost of this will be added to your invoice. We cannot accept any liability for late or lost tickets and documents if normal post is used.

6. Special Requests and Medical Conditions

If you have any special requests, or dietary requirements, please inform us as soon as possible in writing, and preferably at the time of booking. Although we will endeavour to meet any such request, we regret that we cannot guarantee to do so and there may be an additional charge for doing so. Failure to meet such special requests will not be a breach of contract on our part.

If you have any medical conditions or disability which may affect your participation in your chosen volunteer programme, or travel arrangements you must advise us in writing at the time of booking giving full details. We will pass those details on to any relevant partners and service providers. If we, or our partner organisations, feel unable to properly accommodate your particular needs, we reserve the right to decline/cancel your booking. We may, at our discretion, request that you provide a reference from your GP, confirming that you are medically fit for travel and to participate in your volunteer programme. If during the programme it becomes apparent that you have failed to provide us with relevant medical information, we reserve the right to remove you from the programme without refund.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have any medication or other treatment that you may require during your programme.

7. Pricing

Naturally Africa and our service providers have the right to increase, or decrease the prices of unsold volunteer project spaces and travel arrangements at any time. The current price will be confirmed at the time of booking, although we reserve the right to correct errors thereafter.

All prices are shown in pounds sterling and are per person with shared accommodation unless otherwise stated.

The price of your travel arrangements can vary due to changes in currency exchange rates, government action such as changes in VAT, fuel prices, or any other factors beyond our control. We will absorb any increases up to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements (excluding travel insurance premiums and amendment costs). Any increase above 2% and up to 10% will be charged to you. If the increase is more than 10% of the price of your travel arrangements you will be given the option to pay the increase, switch to another programme if available, or cancel and receive a full refund less any amendment charges. Should the price of your travel arrangements go down due to the changes mentioned above, by more than 2% of your programme cost, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection in place.

Where any surcharge has to be paid it will be payable with the balance of the cost of the arrangements in question, or when specified on the surcharge invoice, whichever is the later.

Service providers can also increase prices. We will notify you of any increases as soon as we become aware of them. You may then have the option to pay in full immediately to secure the rate applicable at the time of booking, or pay the increased price by making payments on the original balance due date.

8. Brochure Accuracy

Every care has been taken to ensure that the details on our website, in our brochures, or on any other marketing materials are correct at the time of printing, or publishing. If we are informed of any changes to these details we will try to advise you as soon as possible and before your departure. However, it is possible that accommodation suppliers, excursion operators etc. may suddenly withdraw a facility temporarily or otherwise. This is regrettably beyond our control and we are unable to accept liability.

9. Passport, Visa and Health Requirements

We will provide basic advice, regarding details of the passport, visa and health requirements for travel, as applicable to British Citizens. All information is for guidance only and you must check the relevant websites for up to date advice before you travel. Non British Citizens and British Citizens not holding a full passport must consult their Embassy, Consulate, or the British Foreign Office to check the applicable requirements. If you have any existing medical problems you should consult your doctor. Requirements may change and you should check the up to date position with the relevant embassy or consulate in good time before departure. It is your responsibility to obtain proper and detailed medical advice and to ensure that you have the correct visa documents to gain access, or pass through, any country or region included in your volunteer programme and travel arrangements. If you fail to do either, we have no liability to you, for any cost, loss or damage which you suffer as a result and nor will we refund the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements.

Whilst we are able to advise you on mandatory health requirements for the country that you are travelling to we are not medical experts. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain professional and detailed medical advice at least two months prior to travel, regarding the latest health requirements and recommendations for your destination. Where you do not do so and are either not allowed to enter any country, or suffer personal injury or death as a result, we have no liability to you for any cost, loss or damage which you suffer nor will we refund you the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements.

10. Amendments by You

If after booking you wish to make changes to your programme, or travel arrangements we will do our best to accommodate your request, depending upon availability. We will need your request to be confirmed in writing by the lead person. There will be a £25 per person administration fee and you will also be asked to pay any costs we incur in making the changes. Please note that no credit or refund will be due for any unused services provided in the cost of your programme. If you decide to alter your travel arrangements whilst abroad this is your own responsibility and neither Naturally Africa Volunteers, nor our partners or agents are responsible for any extra costs, or difficulties that may arise with onward travel as a result of such alterations. Any amendments made within 10 weeks of departure may be treated as a cancellation by you.

11. Cancellation by You

You may cancel your travel arrangements at any time. We must receive written notification from the lead person. Since we incur administrative and other costs in cancelling your travel arrangements, you will have to pay the applicable cancellation charges up to the maximum shown below.

Period before departure within which written cancellation is received
Amount of cancellation charge shown as a % of your total programme costs
More than 70 DaysDeposit Only
Between 70-32 Days50%
Between 31-15 Days75%
14 days or less (or failure to join your programme)100%

Depending on the reason for cancellation, you may be able to reclaim these cancellation fees, less any excesses, under the terms of your insurance policy. However, cancellation charges must be paid before they can be claimed from insurers. Please note that some airline tickets and transfers may have a 100% cancellation charge. Any refunds do not include the price of your insurance premiums.

12. Changes by Us / Service Providers

We plan your volunteer programme and travel arrangements many months in advance. Therefore, occasionally changes may need to be made and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most of these changes are minor and we will advise you as early as possible.

Should we need to make any major changes we will advise you at the earliest possible opportunity and provide you the option of accepting the change, or joining an alternative programme and travel arrangements of a comparable standard, if available. If you accept alternative arrangements you agree to pay or receive a refund in respect of any price difference. Alternatively, you may cancel your travel arrangements and receive a full and prompt refund of all monies paid to Naturally Africa Volunteers.

Service providers generally reserve the right to change arrangements both before and after a booking has been confirmed. We will notify you of any changes as soon as we are notified of them, but we cannot accept any liability in relation to any change.

13. Cancellation by Us / Service Provider

It is very unlikely that Naturally Africa Volunteers will need to cancel your volunteer programme or travel arrangements booked through us. However, should a situation occur where cancellation is necessary we reserve the right to do so. This may be as a result of war, threat of war, riot, civil strike, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions or other circumstances amounting to force majeure.

All programmes are dependent on a minimum number of persons booking the programme. If that number is not achieved, we reserve the right to cancel the trip.

If we are unable to provide the booked volunteer programme, and/or travel arrangements, you can either receive a refund of all monies paid to us, or accept an offer of alternative arrangements of comparable standard from us, if available.

Except where a major change or cancellation arises from circumstances amounting to force majeure, or due to minimum numbers not being achieved, we will pay you the compensation outlined below:

Period before departure
Compensation per person
More than 55 daysNil
Between 55 and 43 days£10.00
Between 42 and 28 days£20.00
Between 27 and 15 days£30.00
14 days or less£40.00

We recommend that you do not make travel arrangements to your point of departure, book any connecting travel that is non-refundable or non-changeable or incurs penalties, or incur any costs in respect of visas or vaccinations until we have confirmed your booking.

Service providers generally reserve the right to cancel arrangements at any time. We will notify you of any cancellation as soon as we are notified of it, but we cannot accept any liability in relation to any cancellation. We will not be held responsible if the rare occasion should arise, where a service provider, or partner organisation goes into liquidation/receivership.

14. Complaints

Naturally Africa Volunteers, our partner organisations, suppliers and their staff will make every effort to ensure that your volunteer programme and any travel arrangements booked through us are enjoyable. However, if you have a problem during your programme, please inform the relevant contact person (e.g. your project co-ordinator) or our representative/agent (where there is one) within 24 hours to put things right. If your complaint cannot be completely resolved locally, you must contact Naturally Africa Volunteers by email (info[@]volunteerafrica.com), or telephone (+44 (0)208 123 0301) from Africa. We will then try to resolve the problem for you. It is only if our in-country representatives and Naturally Africa Volunteers are aware of a problem at the time it occurs that we will have the opportunity to put things right.

Failure by you to notify us and our relevant representatives of any difficulties at the time will prevent us solving the problem and may seriously affect your legal rights. It may even result in any refunds, or compensation to which you may be entitled, being reduced or extinguished.

If the matter cannot be resolved in the above manner, your written complaint must be registered with Naturally Africa Volunteers within seven days of leaving your programme, or completing your tour (even if you have not returned home). Please quote your booking reference and provide all other relevant information and documentation. Correspondence will be acknowledged and dealt with in accordance with English Law. Please bear in mind our need to investigate matters raised with partner organisations, suppliers or agents involved.

15. Liability

We will accept responsibility for your volunteer programme as an “organiser” under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 as set out below. Subject to the other provisions of this section 15, we accept responsibility for ensuring that your travel arrangements, which you book with us, are supplied as described by us. If, after departure, your package is not provided as promised, due to the fault of our employees, agents or suppliers, we will pay you appropriate compensation, if this has affected the enjoyment of your trip. However, our liability in all cases shall be limited to a maximum of twice the value of the element not supplied. The level of such compensation will take into account all relevant factors including the invoice price of the programme, any steps it was reasonable for you to take to minimise the inconvenience/damage suffered and the extent to which the deficiency or improper performance can have affected your enjoyment of the programme.

Please note that we will not be liable for any injury, illness, or death or consequent losses suffered by you or any member of your party, unless you are able to prove that such injury or illness was caused by lack of reasonable care and skill on the part of ourselves or our suppliers in the performance of our obligations under our contract with you. It is a condition of the payment of compensation that you notify us of any complaint or claim strictly in accordance with clause 14 and, further, assign to us any rights that you may have against any third party in connection with your claim. You must co-operate with us and our insurers in this regard. If you suffer a personal injury, death or serious difficulties as the result of an activity which does not form part of the package you booked with us – including for example any additional services or facilities provided to you by a hotel or any other supplier which was not included as part of the original contract between us – we will not be liable to pay you any compensation but will offer you such advice and guidance as is reasonable in all the circumstances provided we are advised of the incident within 90 days of the occurrence. We will not be responsible where you do not enjoy the programme or suffer any other problems because of a reason which you did not make us aware of when the programme was booked.

In all claims of whatever nature we will not be liable where the alleged loss or damage results from any of the following: i. the fault of the person affected or any members of their party or ii. the fault of a third party not connected with the provision of the Volunteer Programme which we could not have predicted or avoided or iii. an event or circumstances which we or the supplier of the service in question could not have predicted or avoided even after taking all reasonable care.

Important notice in respect of limits on liability. Our liability will also be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to (a) The contractual terms of the companies that provide the transportation for your travel arrangements. You acknowledge that all of the terms and conditions contained in those ‘Conditions of Carriage’ form part of your contract with us, as well as with the transport company and that those ‘Conditions of Carriage’ shall be deemed to be included by reference into this contract; and (b) All relevant international conventions, particularly the Montreal, Athens and Paris Conventions, which limit the amount of compensation that you can claim for death, injury, delay to passengers and loss, damage and delay to luggage. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitation of compensation contained in these or any conventions.

You can ask for copies of the transport companies’ contractual terms, or the international conventions, from our offices.

The promises we give to you regarding the services we have agreed to provide or arrange as part of the contract, and the laws and regulations of the country in which your claim or complaint occurred, shall be used as the basis for ascertaining whether or not the services in question have been properly provided. If the services in question which caused the claim or complaint complied with the local laws and regulations applicable to those services at that time, the services shall be treated as having been properly provided. Such shall be the case even if the services did not comply with the laws and regulations of the UK which would have applied if those services had been provided in the UK.

Where we are found liable for loss of and/or damage to any luggage or personal possessions (including money), the maximum amount we will have to pay you and your party is £25 per person in total.

If you purchase any optional activities that are not part of your pre-booked itinerary, the contract for the provision of that activity will be between you and the activity provider. The decision to partake in any such activity is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about, or problem with, any optional activity purchased in resort your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to us.

16. Additional Information- Volunteer Travel

We operate volunteer and travel programmes in regions where standards of accommodation, food, transport, safety, hygiene, medical facilities and other infrastructure may, at times, be lower than those you normally expect. The accommodation and board basis will be described within individual programme information. You may be required to share a bathroom and/or bedroom and these may differ, or be more cramped than the standard you are accustomed to.

Your booking is accepted on the understanding that you realise the hazards involved in this kind of programme, including injury, disease, loss or damage to property, inconvenience and discomfort. The nature and philosophy of this type of travel is such that allows alternatives and a substantial degree of on-trip flexibility and it is a condition of booking with us that you accept this. Changes to your programme, or itinerary may be caused by local political conditions, flight cancellations, mechanical breakdown, weather, border restrictions, sickness, or other unforeseeable circumstances. Our itineraries are given merely as a guideline and are not a contractual obligation on our part.

You agree to advise us of flight arrival details and of any changes that may be made to your personal, or arrival details at the earliest possible opportunity. Should you arrive outside the agreed start date/time for your programme, or do not advise us of your correct arrival details, you may be required to cover transfer costs.

17. Criminal Record Check

By accepting these Terms & Conditions you are agreeing to undergo and provide us with an enhanced Criminal Record Check to ensure your suitability for any volunteer programme involving work with children, or vulnerable adults. We can assist you to obtain this. We reserve the right to delay, or postpone, your programme until the Criminal Records check has been completed. Should you fail the Criminal Records check for any reason, you must either amend your programme to one that does not require a Criminal Record Check, if available, or cancel your placement. The latter will be considered a cancellation by you and the applicable cancellation charges, as outlined in these Terms & Conditions, will apply.

18. Privacy Policy

Our Privacy Policy forms part of our Terms & Conditions and by accepting them you are also confirming that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy. This is available on our website at www.volunteerafrica.com/privacy-policy.

19. Conduct and Behaviour

Naturally Africa Volunteers aims to ensure that our activities are responsible, have minimal impact on the destinations in which we operate and where possible benefit the local communities, and natural environment. We appreciate your help in achieving this objective.

We expect you to behave responsibly and appropriately and to comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange, drug and all other regulations of any countries visited during your programme. General behaviour guidelines or codes also apply to many of our volunteer programmes and will be provided with your pre-departure information, or on arrival at your project. These guidelines are intended for your benefit and to ensure your safety and enjoyment. They help to maintain a positive dynamic within the group and a good relationship with the local communities. Please make sure that you read these and adhere to the advice provided.

If the staff of Naturally Africa Volunteers, our partner organisations, agents, or in-country representatives believe your conduct to be disruptive, dangerous, or an annoyance to other volunteers, customers, employees, or another third party, we reserve the right to terminate your programme and travel arrangements with us. We accept no liability for any cost, loss or damage which you may suffer in these circumstances, nor will we refund the cost, nor compensate you for any unused portion of your travel arrangements.

20. Law & Jurisdiction

This contract, and any other claim or dispute arising from or related to this contract, will be governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any claim arising out of it.