Home > COVID-19 Traveller Advice & Payment Policy

The coronavirus pandemic has created exceptional uncertainty for travellers and tour operators alike, particularly in the matter of rights when customers book and pay for a wildlife tour.

Blue Sky Wildlife is a digital advertising platform, or online marketplace, connecting travellers with tour operators specialising in wildlife tours around the world. We advertise and/or take bookings/payment on selected (not all) tours organised by tour operators based both within and outside the EEA who advertise on our site.

Blue Sky Wildlife also offers the independent traveller the option to contact the tour operator directly via an enquiry form prior to booking. The traveller then has the choice of paying through Blue Sky Wildlife (Blue Sky Wildlife Bookings) or paying the tour operator directly (Direct Tour Operator Bookings).

We offer travellers the following advice about their entitlements, depending on how their wildlife tour has been booked:

Blue Sky Wildlife Bookings

For bookings made between 1st June to 31st August 2020.

For selected “Book Now” set-departure tours advertised on the site the traveller can opt to make an initial 10% deposit (and subsequent balance payment) to Blue Sky Wildlife between 1st June to 31st August 2020.  That deposit and balance payment will automatically be covered by our Worldwide Traveller Protection.

In addition, if the tour operator has agreed to process the booking of a private or custom tour (ie, something other than set-departure) through Blue Sky Wildlife our COVID-19 Policy will also apply.

COVID-19 Policy

If you book directly for selected wildlife tours via our online payment (“Book Now”) platform between 1st June to 31st August 2020, the following adjustments to our standard booking terms will apply.

For tours scheduled between 1st July to 31st December 2020.

  • 15 days prior to the final balance due
    • Fully refundable deposit if you have to change your travel plans, no questions asked nor quibbles
    • Flexibility to move your travel dates within a period of 12 months from the original booking date
  • 15 days after final balance due
    • If your government authorities advise against all but essential travel to the destination of your choice and/or your tour has to be cancelled by the tour operator, we will offer the option of either postponing your tour or receiving a full refund minus cancellation charges (e.g. credit card fees)
    • If you are unable to travel for any other COVID-19 related reason (e.g. non-governmental advice) we will offer either:
      • A travel credit for the full amount issued for use with the tour operator that your tour was originally booked with valid for up to 12 months from the cancellation date.
      • Or 50% of the full amount paid, refundable with no questions asked nor quibbles (for example, if you paid US$1,000, US$500 would be refunded)

For tours scheduled between 1st January to 30th June 2021.

  • 30 days prior to the final balance due
    • Fully refundable deposit if you have to change your travel plans, no questions asked nor quibbles
    • Flexibility to move your travel dates within a period of 12 months from the original booking date
  • 30 days after final balance due
    • If your government authorities advise against all but essential travel to the destination of your choice and/or your tour has to be cancelled by the tour operator, we will offer the option of either postponing your tour or receiving a full refund minus cancellation charges (e.g. credit card fees)
    • If you are unable to travel for any other COVID-19 related reason (e.g. non-governmental advice) we will offer either:
      • A travel credit for the full amount issued for use with the tour operator that your tour was originally booked with, valid for up to 12 months from the cancellation date.
        Or 50% of the full amount paid, refundable with no questions asked nor quibbles (for example, if you paid US$1000, US$500 would be refunded)

For tours scheduled after the 1st July 2021 our standard booking terms apply.

Please note that all payments made to Blue Sky Wildlife are covered by our Worldwide Traveller Protection in collaboration with The Travel Vault while for travellers based in the EU (incl.United Kingdom) you are also protected under the Package Travel Regulations.

Direct Tour Operator Bookings (advisory only)

Tour operators are doing all they can to ensure that wildlife tours can proceed where and when it is safe to do so.  Refer to How Wildlife Tour Operators are Adapting to Coronavirus as Travel Restrictions Ease for information on some of their measures.

However, the timing of when tours can start up again will vary from country to country.

  • Our advice if you have an existing booking:
    • If you are in a financial position to do so, Blue Sky Wildlife would advise you to postpone the tour to a later date with a flexible arrangement
    • Refer to your travel agreement or contract with the tour operator to verify your contractual rights in the respective country you have booked to travel to
    • If Blue Sky Wildlife can assist, please contact us via email: hello@blueskywildlife.com

Operators will be keen to offer you a range of options to enable you to book tours for when you ease out of lockdown and give yourself a dream holiday to look forward to. You need to be confident that you don’t stand to lose either the tour or a substantial amount of your money.

  • Our advice for future bookings:
    • Ask upfront and for a reply in writing on what the COVID-19 booking terms are with that tour operator (they will vary)
    • Enquire about 100% refundable deposits and establish the balance payment deadlines
    • Ask whether they will issue a travel credit and/or the ability to move the booked tour to a later date? And what would the expiry date be on transferring the booking?

Please note: If payments are made directly to tour operators, Blue Sky Wildlife accepts no financial responsibility whatsoever. However, we will endeavour to assist/mediate, if needed, although we cannot guarantee a satisfactory outcome.

Version I - June 2020