Well, last year was a mess wasn’t it? So let’s put that in the box, forget about it and move on 🙂 Firstly, can I just say that we are hugely hugely grateful to each and everyone of you for being so flexible, supportive and understanding throughout the last 12 months. There were times when I forgot that I was a wildlife photographer and photojournalist and felt I’d just turned into – along with Carrie – an administrative machine….and we’re both hoping that we’re never going to go through that again! However, everyone’s calm demeanour, general “never-say-die” attitude and relaxed approach certainly made the conversations we were repeatedly having with lodges/camps/operators and the like a lot more straightforward. Thank you! To help, we have frozen all the prices on all the trips, despite the prices we are being charged having gone up. Our trips have always been about raising funds for charity and giving you an experience, not earning a living. This is why they became a very late addition to my career, and one that we’ll be tailing off in 2022. Hopefully in the short time I have personally guided, or had one of my excellent (and better!) colleagues lead trips in that 5 year period will have given you an insight into what a photography tour should be like, what you can get out of it, what you can achieve on location and what you can ask of any future tour you book elsewhere. We will always be here to help point you in the right direction of course, and can still arrange personalised trips using our vast network of guides that all know “how” I like to work – so feel free to get in touch if that interests you. I will also, from time to time, have an opportunity to take a group with me on assignment too in the future. These will be trips on which I will not be there to tell you what buttons to press 🙂 but will give you the chance to get to some places that perhaps you might not be able to achieve otherwise from a cost or logistics perspective. Small groups of like-minded people will be the order of the day, and as such if this is something that’s of interest, send me an email and I’ll make sure you stay on the list when such opportunities arise. They won’t be regular as they will be dependent on the work I’m carrying out – but when it’s possible, I’ll certainly give you the chance to come along.
2021 and 2022
Ok, so, by now everyone will have been contacted, re-booked/re-assigned or refunded according to what people wanted to do moving forward with their trips. However, I thought I’d underline again here a few bits and pieces with regards to status of trips etc, so at risk of repetition:
As we sit today, all trips scheduled to run in 2021 (unless you’ve been informed by us otherwise) are RUNNING.
- IF your trip CANNOT TAKE PLACE and this is because of FCO restrictions – UK clients only; or borders closing/preventing entry; enforced quarantine on arrival) then you will be given the chance to re-book to 2022. We will make the final call on every trip as and when we can to avoid issues, but cannot cancel trips months and months in advance. As is practice across industry, we are looking at around 4-6 weeks from departure date that a final call by us will be made. If you are unable to re-book, then you will be refunded.
- PLEASE keep up with your payments – your money is safe as if your trip is cancelled or postponed, it can be re-allocated to ’22 or refunded. However, if a payment is not made on schedule, we are duty-bound to let the t&c to kick-in and it will count as a cancellation by yourself. If you opt to cancel before we have delayed or rescheduled a trip, or request to postpone when we’ve not given the option (basically because it is too early to make a decision if a trip will run or not), we will do our best to help. However, if we have no scheduled equivalent trip for you to go on in ’22, we will have nothing to put your money against and it would end up being a cancellation – costing you your deposit.
- It is your responsibility to comply with any entry requirements of the country you are visiting. Most likely this is a PCR-test that may be required 72 hours prior to arrival. Please check the relevant government websites for updated information and do bear in mind that it can frequently change. If you get a positive test, and your trip is running (ie there are no government restrictions on travel/entry etc as outlined above), then you would not be able to travel of course. This would be the same for any health condition that is discovered and prevents you taking up a holiday. In this instance, you would need to claim from your travel insurers. There would be little we could do to help at that late stage – but of course we would provide you any documentation you might require.
- PLEASE also make sure, just as a general courtesy, that if you’re feeling ANY Covid-type symptoms whatsoever, that you get yourself tested prior to going away. You will be travelling with a small group, and it’s down to each and everyone of us to ensure we are not putting any of our fellow travellers at risk. All the camps and lodges have their own protocols in place which they will advise on arrival. For most destinations you are travelling to, a negative PCR test is a requirement anyway for arrival, so at least that should provide a level of comfort for all those on your trip 🙂 Where that is NOT the case of it being a requirement by the country you are visiting, and we decide that close contact within transport in particular is unavoidable, we may ask you (as well as us too!) to get a test done as a reassurance. We are evaluating that and taking advice.
I know it all sounds draconian, but it’s always worth re-stating the facts. We are of course hopeful that by the time your trips are running this year (April onwards), we will be in a vastly different place anyway and all the above will become less of an issue. Remember, we’re trying to make these experiences happen for you, and have called in numerous favours already to re-book and re-schedule. Many thanks.