Terms & Conditions - African Encounters

Terms & Conditions

Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully. By booking a tour with us, you are deemed to have agreed to these booking conditions (which constitute the entire agreement between you and us) and your booking will be accepted by us on this basis. The services to be provided are those referred to in your booking confirmation.

African Encounters Ltd operates safaris in regions where standards of accommodation, transport, safety, hygiene, medical facilities, and other infrastructure may, at times, be lower than those you would normally expect. Please bear this in mind when making your booking. 

When assessing whether safaris will operate African Encounters Ltd uses information from our local partners in Africa, in conjunction with advice from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (www.safetravel.govt.nz). 

By booking with us you acknowledge your decision to travel on an African Encounters safari is made after due consideration of relevant travel information that may be made available at any time and you agree to assume the risks associated with the trip.

Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory on an African Encounters safari. You must provide us with your insurance details before departure and bring a copy of your insurance policy with you on tour.

Prices & Surcharges

We often publish our prices more than a year in advance. Between that time and the time of your trip’s departure, we may be faced with cost increases (e.g. foreign currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, increases in cost of services). In the event of a change in costs, we reserve the right to apply a surcharge up to 95 days prior to the tour departure.  

Our tour prices are subject to variable and seasonal pricing, both of which are standard practice within the travel industry. The most up-to-date pricing in New Zealand dollars is available on our website, with options to also view pricing in Australian dollars and US dollars.

Your Details

In order for us to confirm your travel arrangements, you must provide all requested details on the Booking Form. These include but are not limited to, full name as per passport, date of birth, nationality, passport number and expiry date, and any pre-existing medical conditions you have that may affect your ability to complete your travel arrangements. We also require international flight details to coordinate your arrival and departure transfers.

Age & Health Requirements

Our tours are suitable for travellers of reasonable fitness and mobility, and we have no upper age limit. However, all guests must satisfy themselves prior to booking that they are fit and able to complete the itinerary of their chosen tour. Please contact us if you wish to discuss this.

You MUST disclose prior to or at the time of the booking of a tour any medical conditions or allergies, including food allergies, that you suffer. Disclosure is important and relevant because it may affect our willingness to accept your booking, and may also affect any advice that we provide in relation to any proposed tour.

We are able to provide details on mandatory health requirements; however, we are not medical experts. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain proper and detailed medical advice at least two months prior to travel for the latest health requirements and recommendations for your destination.

Authority on Tour

At all times the decision of your African Encounters tour leader or representative will be final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the tour. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the tour immediately, with no right of refund. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange, and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our responsible travel guidelines.

How to Make a Reservation

Upon receipt of your completed Booking Form and a deposit of 25% of the total tour price, you will receive written confirmation of your booking and your comprehensive Essential Safari Information. A booking will not be accepted until the deposit has been received. This deposit is required by our suppliers in Africa to cover internal flights included in your itinerary, National Park fees and permits, and to secure accommodation, and is non-refundable.

Cooling Off Period: We have implemented a Cooling Off Period whereby you can cancel your tour and receive a refund of your deposit if the cancellation is made within 2 weeks (14 days) of your deposit. After this 2-week cooling off period your deposit will become non-refundable. We highly recommend travel insurance to protect you against cancellation in the event that you are unable to proceed with your booking.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to the tour start date. In the event that the balance of the tour price is not paid by the due date noted on the invoice, African Encounters reserves the right to cancel the booking.

PLEASE NOTE: All safaris (excluding international airfares) must be booked directly with African Encounters. We have in the past tried to accommodate working with third parties and have unfortunately experienced clients being given incorrect or misleading information. As your Africa travel specialists, we strive to ensure our clients can enjoy their safari without the stress and confusion resulting from incorrect information. 

Cancellation Fees

Most cancellations happen due to unfortunate circumstances, such as sickness or bereavement, but we cannot adjust our policy for these circumstances. We have in the past tried to accommodate these events, but the cost of covering these cancellations was financially unsustainable. Sourcing replacement guests is difficult and campaigns to fill last-minute spots rarely succeed. For this reason: If you wish to be covered for cancellations, this must be organised with an external insurance provider. 

Cancellation 95 days before trip departure:  Full trip payment will be refunded, less your deposit.

Cancellation 94-61 days before trip departure: 50% of your trip payment will be refunded. 

Cancellation 60 days or less before trip departure: No refund applies.

Any refund, be it part or whole, will be based on the payment originally received in our bank account – that amount is the gross amount on which any refund will be based. If the client leaves the tour voluntarily after its commencement, there will be no refund. There are no refunds for any part of the tour not used, including (but not limited to) meals, activities, or any other services included in the tour description.

Minimum numbers

African Encounters exclusive Signature Safaris are personally escorted in Africa by company founder and director Karen Platzer for groups of 4 or more participants. For groups smaller than 4 people the tour will be locally guided by our partners in Africa.

African Encounters Small Group Departures are regular scheduled departures locally guided by our long-term partners in Africa and operate with a minimum of 2 participants.


You are responsible for arranging comprehensive travel insurance. Your travel insurance must cover at least the following: cover against trip cancellation, plus cover for personal liability, injury, medical emergencies and medical evacuation, and unlimited repatriation expenses.

We will not be responsible for any uninsured costs arising as a result of your safari being impacted by pandemics or illness. You must provide your insurance details with a copy of your policy including emergency contact number and policy number to African Encounters before departure. Failure to do so may result in you not being able to join the trip.

Single Travellers

Single travellers do not pay the single supplement (which is charged by accommodation providers) providing they opt to travel on a “twin share” basis i.e. share a room with a fellow traveller of the same sex.

Single room option: We offer the option of booking a single room on request. In this case, the single supplement, as charged by our accommodation providers, will apply. Please note that, due to the limited number of rooms in the small camps and lodges we use, we cannot accept more than one single room request per safari. Early booking is essential!

Special Dietary or Medical Requirements

We will do our best to accommodate specific dietary requirements, but cannot guarantee that we will successfully manage all dietary needs or be able to cater to specific allergies.

While African Encounters will do its best to accommodate medical requirements, the expectation is that clients will be responsible for their own arrangements. Clients are advised to bring their own personal medication / first aid kit.

Visas, Passports, Inoculations

Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour finish date. Advice regarding visas or inoculations will be provided in your pre-departure information, however they are your responsibility, so please make sure you have the appropriate ones. You must carry a valid passport and have obtained all of the appropriate visas and travel documentation for the countries you will visit during your tour.

We are not responsible if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct passport, visa or other travel documentation.


All meals, activities, accommodation, transport, and guides as stated in each tour’s itinerary.

Not Included

Visa fees, international flight costs, meals or activities not stated in the itinerary, airport taxes, personal items, vaccinations, tips or gratuities, laundry, telephone, minibar, personal travel insurance.


African Encounters reserves the right to take photographs and/or videos of you during the trip. You agree the Company may use any such photographs and/or videos for business purposes without payment or other consideration. 

Data Protection

African Encounters will use its best endeavours to protect your personal information. However, you acknowledge that the company will, in order to provide the services in question, need to provide some of the client’s personal information to third parties, including overseas tour suppliers.


We hope you won’t have any complaints but should you encounter any problem on your tour it is always better to try and solve it on the spot with your tour manager who will normally be able to take appropriate action. If at the end of the trip, you feel your complaint has not been properly dealt with you must notify us in writing within 30 days of the end of your tour.


Travelling with African Encounters requires flexibility and understanding that changes may be made to the itinerary if circumstances necessitate. For any forced changes to itinerary or accommodation, we will endeavour to provide the closest possible equivalent available to us.

The Guide: Clients are expected to respect the authority of the guide/leader/local operator at all times. African Encounters reserves the right to accept or reject any individual as a group member at any time.

African Encounters works in partnership with ground operators, whose local expertise is invaluable to the execution of our tours. While we make every effort to work with reliable and reputable third-party operators, African Encounters cannot assume responsibility for any actions or omissions of third parties that result in personal injury, property damage, or other loss to our clients.

While African Encounters offers adventure experiences that by their nature may involve certain risks, we are committed to providing our clients with safe and enjoyable experiences. We expect our clients to understand the physical requirements of the adventure and to be in good health before undertaking our trips. Although we ask clients to confirm their physical fitness and that they do not have undisclosed medical conditions, it is ultimately the client’s responsibility to ensure they are medically fit for the trip.

While you acknowledge that you undertake our trips at your own risk, we want to assure you that your safety is of utmost importance to us, and we will endeavour to ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place.

By booking a safari with African Encounters, you agree to abide by these terms.

This contract between African Encounters and you, the client, including these Terms and Conditions, are subject to and are to be construed in accordance with the laws of New Zealand. In relation to any dispute between the parties, the company and the client agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of New Zealand.

Last updated: 07 September 2023. For bookings prior to this date, please refer to your Terms & Conditions.