Our guarantee to youWe recognise that trips to Africa cost a lot of money, and you want to be certain that you’re spending it with a reliable company. Expert Africa is part of a successful, independently-owned family of travel companies, which has been trading continuously since 1970. We have a long track record of stability, and our promise to you comes in two important parts:
Expert Africa’s Peace of mind guaranteeIn these uncertain economic times, we operate exactly same 'fair play' rules that we always worked by, including:
- Guaranteed no currency surcharges: once you have booked a trip with us, the price stays the same, no matter how the currency markets change before you travel.
- We remain owner-run and 100% independent, and are dedicated to offering high quality service and respected advice.
- Nobody at Expert Africa works on commission: our team guides you with impartial advice, then you make the decisions about your trip.
- All our trips are fully-bonded, giving you complete peace of mind. (Even if we fail, your holiday will not – see below for full details.)
Expert Africa's bonding: 100% Protection GuaranteedAll our holidays conform with the bonding requirements of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) – of which we are a member. Expert Africa offers a 100% financial guarantee for everyone who books a holiday with us. Everyone will fall into one of three situations:
1) Full packages booked
A full package is made up of any travel arrangements which include a flight element from the UK.
In the event that Expert Africa should fail, any repatriation required or any refund of monies held by Expert Africa for holidays to be provided in the future, are covered by the company's ATOL Bond (Air Travel Organisers' Licence) held by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
See precise details of our ATOL protection here: ATOL 5206.
The CAA will, therefore, arrange any necessary repatriation and any refund of monies paid to Expert Africa in advance. Payment will also be made direct to suppliers by the CAA in order to enable those on holiday at the time of a collapse to continue with their vacation.
2) Package with no flights from the UK
A package with no flights from the UK is made up of accommodation and other ground arrangements where clients have organised their own flights. This kind of trip cannot usually be covered by an ATOL bond.
In the event that Expert Africa fails, then any suppliers who have not yet been paid for holidays which are currently under way will be reimbursed by ABTA, which is a trade body licensed by Government for financial guarantee purposes.
Clients will, therefore, be able to complete their holiday. ABTA will also refund any monies for ground arrangements made by Expert Africa which have not as yet been taken but for which money has been received by the company in advance.
In this case, reimbursement covers only the elements of the holiday booked with Expert Africa. Note that this does not cover the client in the event of the failure of an airline with which they have booked their own flights.
3) Accommodation only
Expert Africa also provides a financial guarantee when accommodation only has been booked - even though this is not required by law. (This kind of trip cannot be protected by an ATOL bond.)
In the event that Expert Africa fails, any accommodation provider will be paid by ABTA, so that any clients currently on holiday will be able to complete their trip. ABTA will also cover any monies received by Expert Africa in advance for accommodation only to be taken in the future.
Again, the client is not covered in the event of the failure of an airline with which they have booked their own flights.
Expert Africa therefore covers all aspects of its turnover with a financial guarantee so that every client knows they will not lose money in the event that the company fails.
Responsibility in the event of a problem
It is important to note that Expert Africa always acts as a “Principal", whether for a full Package, a Package with no flights or an accommodation only booking. This means that Expert Africa takes full responsibility for the actions of its suppliers and that the contract is always between the traveller and Expert Africa.
Should there be a problem with any of the holiday arrangements booked with Expert Africa, Expert Africa is liable for the actions of its suppliers. All contracts are, therefore, legally enforceable under UK law. Our travellers would not have to 'chase' suppliers abroad.
We do not act as an “Agent", as a large number of travel providers – including many web-based companies – have recently started to do. There are many financial benefits (less VAT) to them operating in this way, but it provides no protection for the travellers.
Companies acting as an Agent are usually trying to avoid the responsibility and costs of being a Principle. Legally their travellers have direct contracts between the travellers and the service providers abroad. Thus, in the event of a problem overseas, such companies can legally abandon their travellers to make claims directly again a supplier through the courts of that country.
Expert Africa are members of ABTAExpert Africa is a full member (No. Y1608) of UK's best known trade association, ABTA – the Travel Association.
Contrary to popular belief, a tour operator's membership of ABTA no longer automatically provides their travellers with any financial protection. (See here for details.)
Our membership does, however, offer us (and our travellers) some protection should a trip be booked with us through an ABTA-bonded travel agent who subsequently goes bust.