Terms & Conditions
These Booking Conditions set out the terms on which you contract with us. By placing a booking with us, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Booking Conditions.
“You” and “Your” means all persons named on the Booking Form (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date). “We”, “us”, “our” and “Bench Africa” means Southern Cross Safaris Australia Pty Ltd trading as Bench Africa.
MAKING A BOOKING
A signed Booking Form is required to request a booking. A booking request is accepted when we issue a written booking confirmation. It is at this point that a contract between Bench Africa and you comes into existence. We reserve the right to decline any booking at our discretion. No employee of Bench Africa other than a director has the authority to vary or omit any of these Booking Conditions or to promise any discount or refund.
All prices are quoted in Australian Dollars. Typically, prices are based on two passengers travelling together. Solo traveller supplements may be applicable. Special offer pricing has already been applied to the website pricing displayed, unless it is stated otherwise.
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING PRICES
Much care has gone into the composition of itineraries and prices, however circumstances beyond our control such as currency devaluation, fuel or air fare surcharges, imposition of new or amended Government charges (i.e VAT) may necessitate an increase in cost. Bench Africa cannot be held responsible for these changes. Should this occur at any time until departure date, you will be notified as soon as possible, and regardless of deposit or total payment having been made, any increase is to be paid by the client. If such increase is unacceptable, the client may cancel the booking, though, in so doing, is still liable to pay any cancellation charges imposed by our suppliers. While every effort has been made to ensure prices are accurate, please use the brochure as a guideline only, as rates are subject to change.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE
Unless otherwise stated, flights, visas, airport taxes, port taxes, city taxes, security charges, airport transfers, tipping, items of a personal nature, laundry, additional beverages and consumables are not included in the tour price.
A non-refundable deposit of 25% per person is required within seven days of us issuing your booking confirmation. We are not obliged to hold or confirm any services for you until we receive your deposit. If the price of any services increases before we receive your deposit, we reserve the right to pass on this price increase to you. This is in addition to our right to increase prices as stated above.
Some tours and arrangements may impose a higher non-refundable deposit - please check at time of booking. Note any Gorilla and Chimp permits for tours in Rwanda and Uganda are to be paid in full at time of booking and are non-refundable. Final balance of payment must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure. We are under no obligation to remind you of a payment becoming due. Travel documentation will be provided only on receipt of full payment and a signed and completed Booking Form. Documents will be despatched 2 (two) weeks prior to departure.
Payment can be made to Southern Cross Safaris Australia Pty Ltd – Trading as Bench Africa by cheque, direct deposit, Money Direct or Smart Money only. Credit cards are not accepted.
Direct Deposit – Commonwealth Bank Money Direct Code is AABI.
Southern Cross Safaris Australia P/L Smart Money Code is BISYD.
BSB: 062 099 Enett Code is 210084
ACT: 1053 6231 Cheque: GPO BOX 3435, Sydney, NSW 2000
Bookings made within 30 days of travel from Australia will incur a late booking fee of AU$50 and full payment will be required immediately.
A booking fee of AU$50 will be charged for arrangements such as hotels and car hire not forming part of a package with a minimum stay of three nights required.
CANCELLATIONS BY YOU
Cancellations must be received in writing and will take effect from the date received by Bench Africa. The following cancellation charges will apply to the tour costs.
- More than 60 days before departure: Deposit only
- 60-49 days before departure: 40%
- 48-31 days before departure: 60%
- 30-0 days before departure: 100%
These charges can vary subject to the trading terms of our suppliers as some do impose higher cancellation fees on certain tours. The non-issuing of an invoice or non-payment of deposit will not exempt clients from these cancellation fees. We regret we can make no exception to the charges and strongly recommend that comprehensive travel insurance is taken out at time of booking to cover cancellation fees.
You agree that these cancellation charges are reasonable and required to protect the legitimate business interests of Bench Africa.
CANCELLATIONS BY US
If your travel arrangements cannot proceed due to flood, earthquake, war or civil strife, acts of terrorism, hurricane, cyclone, industrial disturbance, strike, fire, lock out, epidemic, pandemic, failure or delays of scheduled transportation facilities, or other acts of God, or any law, order, decree, rule or regulation of any government authority, or for any reason whether of a similar or dissimilar nature beyond the control of Bench Africa, our agreement with you will terminate. Neither of us will have any claim for damages against the other, provided that we will refund you any payments made by you that we have not expended (or legally committed to expend) minus an administrative fee of AU$200 per person. If we provide you with any alternative services or assistance where travel arrangements are cancelled because of force majeure, then you agree the amount to be refunded to you will be reduced by the value of these services and assistance.
Bench Africa disclaims any liability to you for the costs of airfares, visas or any other expenses incurred by you as a result of cancellation of your travel arrangements by us whether due to force majeure or otherwise.
AMENDMENTS BY YOU
We will endeavour to accommodate amendments and additional requests. You acknowledge that these may not be possible to fulfil. An amendment fee of AU$50 will be levied to cover communication and administration costs for any changes to bookings. You will also be required to pay any additional costs charged by suppliers.
Every effort will be made to adhere to the published touring itinerary. Occasionally, circumstances beyond our and our suppliers’ control will force changes, amendments or modifications to the itinerary and its inclusions. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Bench Africa will not be responsible for any omissions or modifications to the itinerary or the inclusions made as a consequence of these circumstances. If you are entitled to any compensation at law for any changes or modifications in these circumstances, then you agree that any compensation you are entitled to will be reduced by the value of any alternative services we provide to you which you accept.
Bench Africa disclaims any liability to you for the costs of airfares, visas or any other expenses incurred by you as a result of any amendment or change to the tour itinerary.
No refund is given for any partially or wholly unused services/tour inclusions. No overseas supplier or associate is authorised to promise a refund on behalf of Bench Africa.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
Travelling with children under 18 years of age through certain African countries’ borders may require further documentation in addition to their valid passport. As requirements can change, please check with Bench Africa. Any information provided by us is given in good faith and may not be relied upon as being accurate and does not constitute formal advice.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Vaccinations against Yellow Fever are compulsory in East Africa, and many other countries require proof of a valid vaccination card if these countries have been visited or you have been in transit. It is also highly recommended that you take anti-malaria medication. Please consult your GP or Travel Doctor for up-to-date medical advice. A minimum level of fitness is required to be able to participate on a Bench Africa tour. In addition, some tours may require you to disclose your body weight. Please check with Bench Africa to ensure that you can meet the relevant requirements. Even if you meet the relevant requirements, this does not mean that the tour is suitable for you and is no substitute for obtaining medical advice.
Luggage restrictions may apply to your Bench Africa tour, in particular to destinations like Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana where safari vehicles or light aircrafts are utilised.
We strongly recommend that a comprehensive travel insurance policy be taken out at time of paying the deposit. Bench Africa will not accept responsibility for loss of deposit/full payment, loss or damage to baggage and personal items, personal illness or injury, medical expenses, cancellation or curtailment of your trip.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Passports must have a validity of at least 6 months longer than your intended stay overseas. Visas to some African countries are required for Australian Passport holders. They can be purchased on arrival in most countries, but please note, for entry into certain countries a visa must be applied for online prior to travel. Some visa fees are payable in US Dollars cash only. Some countries have a requirement making it necessary to have a certain number of blank pages in your passport. Please check with Bench Africa regarding visa requirements. Any information provided by us is given in good faith and may not be relied upon as being accurate and does not constitute formal advice.
For the latest government advice on travel safety and security please visit and register your holiday on www.smartraveller.gov.au
In the event of a problem with any aspect of your tour you are obliged to make a Bench Africa representative or our local supplier aware of such problems immediately. Bench Africa will only consider claims made against it in those circumstances where we or our suppliers have had the opportunity to put things right on the ground. If you notify us of a problem during travel and we haven’t resolved it to your satisfaction, then you must make any claim in writing, within 30 days from the end of the services provided by us.
Services supplied by independent suppliers
Where a third party over whom we have no direct control (Independent Supplier) is the supplier of travel arrangements that form part of your tour, you acknowledge that our obligations to you are limited to arranging for the Independent Supplier to provide those travel arrangements to you. Independent Suppliers over whom we have no direct control include but are not limited to airlines, railway and cruise operators, hoteliers and common carriers. We act as an intermediary only and you will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Independent Supplier (copies available upon request).
To the fullest extent permitted by law, Bench Africa will not be responsible to you for any loss, damage, personal injury or delay attributable to the actions or omissions of an Independent Supplier. You warrant that you will not bring a claim against Bench Africa in this regard. You are responsible for any loss or expense we incur due to any claim being brought against us in breach of this warranty.
Services we directly supply
To the extent only that we are the principal supplier to you of travel arrangements or other services which we control, then we will provide those travel arrangements and services with reasonable skill and care. We will only be responsible for our employees in the course of their employment, and for our agents and suppliers (where we are not the supplier’s agent or an intermediary for an Independent Supplier) if they were carrying out the work we had asked them to do.
We will not be responsible for any loss, damage, claim or expense caused by the acts or omissions of yourself, of any other third party not connected with the provision of the travel arrangements or services, or due to an event of force majeure.
Please note that if the travel arrangements or services which gave rise to the claim complied with local laws and regulations, the travel arrangements and services will be deemed to have been properly performed, even if this would not be considered the case in Australia.
General liability limitation
Australian Consumer Law and corresponding legislation in other jurisdictions in certain circumstances imply mandatory conditions and warranties into consumer contracts (“Consumer Warranties”). These Booking Conditions do not exclude or limit the application of the Consumer Warranties. Other than the Consumer Warranties, Bench Africa disclaims all warranties.
To the fullest extent permitted by law, the maximum liability of Bench Africa to you under these Booking Conditions, in tort (including negligence) or at law is limited to arranging for the travel arrangements to be resupplied or payment of the cost of having the travel arrangements resupplied.
We do not accept liability for any injury, damage, loss, delay, change of itinerary when required, additional expense or inconvenience caused directly or indirectly by force majeure or other events which are beyond our control, or which are not preventable by reasonable diligence on our part including, but not limited to war, civil disturbances, fire, floods, unusually severe weather, acts of God, acts of Government or of any other authorities, accidents to, or failure of, machinery or equipment, or industrial action (whether or not involving our employees and even though such actions may be settled by acceding to demands of a labour group).
By making a booking request, you are deemed to have agreed and consented to all terms in these Booking Conditions and in any other documents provided to you by Bench Africa or any other person who may have booked the tour on your behalf. If you book on behalf of another party, you represent and warrant to Bench Africa that you are duly authorised to provide the agreement and consent the other party and you agree that you will be responsible for any loss or damage Bench Africa incurs if this is not the case.
The contract between you and Bench Africa is deemed to have been made in the State of New South Wales, Australia, and shall be governed by the laws of the State of New South Wales, Australia. Any disputes shall be dealt with by a court with the appropriate jurisdiction in the State of New South Wales, Australia.
If any provision of these Booking Conditions is found to be unenforceable, then to the extent possible it will be severed from these conditions without affecting the remaining provisions.