Terms & Conditions
Website usage terms
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the content and pricing on our website is as accurate as possible, Stubborn Mule Travel can not accept liability for any inaccuracies.
All the website content is copyright of Stubborn Mule Travel and can not be reused without written permission, which should be agreed prior to any publication.
The photographs on this website are copyright of the owners and should not be used by third parties. All the photographs have been obtained in good faith from our staff, customers, libraries and in-country partners. We believe all required clearances and fees have been satisfied but if for any reason you believe this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Booking terms & conditions
All holidays on this website are operated by Stubborn Mule Travel Limited (referred to hereafter as SMT) and are sold subject to the following conditions.
1 – Your contract with SMT
To secure a booking, SMT requires a non-refundable deposit of 30% of the tour cost or full payment if travel is due to commence within 56 days. This payment is deemed to be confirmation that the Client has read and accepts the SMT Booking Conditions. Clients booking by telephone, facsimile, e-mail or over the internet will be deemed to have read the booking conditions and accepted them. A booking is accepted and becomes definite only from the date when SMT has confirmed acceptance by issuing a Booking Confirmation or Invoice. It is at this point that a contract between SMT and the Client comes into existence. Before your booking is confirmed and a contract comes into force, SMT reserves the right to increase or decrease prices. SMT reserves the right to decline any booking at their discretion.
The contract is between SMT and the Client, being all persons named on the booking as travelling or intending to travel with SMT. The person making the bookings (which is subject to these terms) warrants that he/she has full authority to do so on behalf of all persons named, and confirms that all such persons are fully aware of and accept these conditions.
The contract, including all matters arising from it, is subject to English law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. No employee of SMT other than a director has the authority to vary or omit any of these terms or to promise any discount or refund.
2 – Payment for your holiday
The balance of all monies due, including any surcharges applicable at that time, must be paid not later than 56 days before departure. If payment is not received by the due date, you could be liable for normal cancellation fees, furthermore we reserve the right to treat the booking as cancelled by you at any time up to the date of departure. If we do not treat the holiday as cancelled, we reserve the right to charge a fee for any late payments. It is important therefore that you pay the balance by the due date or advise us in writing of any cancellation in accordance with clause 5.
3a – Changes by You
A change of departure date or any change to the itinerary agreed upon at the time of booking or any change to the persons travelling, must be requested in writing by the person who made the original booking and accompanied by an administration fee of £50, as well as payment for any additional costs resulting from the change(s), unless the request is within 56 days of departure in which case cancellation fees will be applied as detailed in Clause 5a (below). Whilst every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate changes and additional requests, their availability cannot be guaranteed.
3b – Changes by Us
While SMT will use its best endeavours to operate all holidays as advertised, by entering into this contract the Client accepts that it may prove necessary or advisable to vary or modify a holiday or its contents due to prevailing local conditions.
SMT reserves the right at any time to cancel or change any of the facilities, services or prices described on the website and in the agreed itinerary (including flights, transport, accommodation, excursions or other arrangements) and to substitute alternative arrangements of comparable monetary value without compensation and accepts no liability for loss of enjoyment as a result of these changes. If a service or facility becomes unavailable due to circumstances of force majeure and no alternative arrangement of comparable monetary value is available, SMT will substitute the best alternative available and will refund the Client for any cost saving or charge the Client for any additional costs incurred.
If a major change is known to us, the Client will be told at the time of booking.
If a major change becomes necessary SMT will inform the Client as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before departure.
Whilst the specific definition of a major change will depend on the individual holiday and circumstances, a major change may be broadly defined as cancellation of the holiday, change of start or end city or omission of a major component. When a major change is made the Client will have the choice of accepting the change or arrangements, purchasing another available holiday or cancelling the holiday and obtaining a full refund. Provided that the major change is not because of force majeure compensation will be paid as follows;
Period of Notification prior to departure
More than 42 days
42 – 28 days
27 – 14 days
13 days – Date of Travel
Force Majeure means any event which SMT or its supplier could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include war, threat of war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, epidemics, health risks, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire or adverse weather conditions, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes imposed by cancellation or rescheduling of flights by an airline or main charterer, the alteration of airline or aircraft type, or other similar events beyond the control of SMT.
SMT is not liable for any penalty charges associated with ‘supersaver’ type connecting rail or airfares, in the event of a change to a holiday departure time, date or airport.
4 – Substitution of Client
If any member of the party is prevented from travelling because of the death, injury or serious illness of the passenger, close relative or friend, redundancy or jury service, it may be possible to transfer the booking to another suitable person (acceptable to SMT) provided that written notice is given at least one calendar month prior to departure. An administration fee of £50 per person will be levied plus any costs imposed by SMT’s suppliers. Airlines may impose 100% cancellation charges and the cost of a new ticket.
5a – Cancellation by You
The Client may cancel the booking at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to SMT in writing. Written notification is essential even if verbal notification of an intention to cancel has been given. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by SMT. In addition to the charges shown below airlines may impose 100% cancellation charges and the cost of a new ticket.
Period before departure within which written notification is received
56 days or more
55 – 28 days
27 – 14 days
13 days or less
Cancellation Charges shown as a percentage of the holiday price
Forfeit of deposit, including any flight deposit paid
50% of total cost
75% of total cost
100% of total cost
In addition to the above cancellation charges, the full insurance premium together with any existing administration fees is also payable in the event of a cancellation by the Client. If the reason for cancellation is covered by the insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges.
5b – Cancellation by Us
SMT reserves the right to cancel a holiday in any circumstance but, except for force majeure or the Client’s failure to pay the final balance, will not cancel a holiday less than 56 days before departure. Unless the Client fails to pay the final balance SMT will, upon cancellation, return all monies paid excluding payment for travel insurance and administration fees or offer an alternative tour of comparable standard and will pay compensation according to the scale shown in paragraph 3b above save that no compensation will be paid if cancellation is because of force majeure. A full refund of monies paid to SMT as well as any compensation as detailed in Clause 3b if applicable will be the full extent of SMT’s liability. We shall not be liable to you for any incidental expenses incurred by you as a result of any arrangements that you may have made.
6 – Surcharges
Prices quoted on this website are based upon a currency conversion rate of £1 = US$1.3. SMT reserves the right to increase the holiday cost to take account of the following items; government action, including the cost of park or entrance fees, currency, transportation costs, including the cost of itinerary amendments in the interests of Client safety, fuel, overflying charges, airport charges and increases in scheduled airfares. SMT will absorb a sum equal to 2% of the holiday cost excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges should a surcharge be necessary. The Client will have to pay any sum in excess of this 2% but if the surcharge results in an increase of more than 10% of the holiday cost excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges the Client may cancel the booking within 7 days notification of the surcharge and obtain a full refund of all money paid to SMT except for any holiday insurance premium and amendment fees.
SMT reserves the right to correct errors in both advertised and confirmed prices. This will be done as soon as SMT becomes aware of the error. Should there be an obviously incorrect price shown we will issue a new invoice and will not be bound by the price quoted on the incorrect invoice.
7 – Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is mandatory for all Clients whilst on a holiday operated by SMT. Clients together with their personal property including baggage are at all times solely at their own risk. Clients are wholly responsible for arranging their own insurance. A suitable insurance policy should provide adequate cover for medical expenses arising through illness or accident prior to or during the holiday, including evacuation and repatriation in an emergency (minimum £2,000,000 of cover), and loss of holiday monies through cancellation or curtailment of the holiday for insurable reasons. SMT are able to assist Clients in obtaining a suitable insurance policy and where the Client declines to purchase the policy offered by SMT (or if applicable the travel agent) he or she may be required to complete and sign an indemnity form absolving SMT (and if applicable the travel agent) of all possible liabilities which may arise due to the failure to take out adequate insurance cover. Clients making their own arrangements should ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for the type of activities in their tour. Clients should satisfy themselves that any travel insurance arranged through SMT is what they require and should arrange supplementary insurance if need be. The travel insurance cover automatically provided with credit card purchases does not provide adequate cover as standard. Proof of adequate insurance may be requested at the start of your tour and failure to provide this may result in the Client being prevented from joining the tour.
Please note that insurance premiums are not refundable or transferable in any circumstances.
8 – Passports, Visas and Vaccinations
It is the responsibility of the Client to be in possession of a valid passport, visa permits, inoculations and preventative medicines as may be required for the duration of the holiday. Information about these matters or related items is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of SMT.
Passport and visa requirements may change and the Client must check the up to date position in good time before departure. A full British passport presently takes approximately 2 to 6 weeks to obtain. If the Client is not a British citizen or holds a non British passport, they must check passport and visa requirements with the embassy or consulate of the country(ies) to or through which they are intending to travel.
We cannot accept any liability if the Client is refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on the Client’s part to carry all required documentation including an acceptable passport and any necessary visa(s) and/or health certificate. If failure to have any necessary documentation results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty being imposed on us or costs or expenses being incurred by us, the Client will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.
9 – Age, Fitness and Participation
All Clients are expected to satisfy themselves prior to booking that they are fit and able to complete the itinerary of their chosen holiday as described on the website or in the itinerary. No unaccompanied minors (those under 18 years of age) can be accepted on holidays operated by SMT however minors can accompany their parents or guardian on holidays operated by SMT. SMT reserves the absolute right to decline a booking at their discretion.
Clients agree to accept the authority and decisions of SMT’s employees, tour guides and agents whilst on tour with SMT. If in the opinion of such person the health or conduct of a Client before or after departure appears likely to endanger the safe, comfortable or happy progress of a holiday, the Client may be excluded from all or part of the holiday without refund. In the case of ill health SMT may make such arrangements as it sees fit and recover the costs thereof from the Client.
It is the Client’s responsibility to ensure they seek professional medical advice before travelling and to be aware of and to take all necessary health precautions and preventative measures. Details are available from the Client’s GP surgery and from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (www.nathnac.org). Information on health is contained in the Department of Health leaflet T7 (Health Advice for Travellers) available from the Department of Health by telephone on 0870 1555455 or via its website www.dh.gov.uk and from most post offices. Health requirements and recommendations may change and the Client must check the up to date position in good time before departure.
10 – Local Laws
All participants in holidays operated by SMT are expected to obey the laws and regulations of the countries visited and any failure to do so will relieve SMT of all obligations that they may otherwise have under these booking conditions.
11 – Illness or Disability
Anyone suffering from illness or disability or undergoing treatment for any physical or medical condition must declare the true nature of such condition at the time of booking and make arrangements for the provision of any medication or other treatment which may be required during the holiday. Failure to make such disclosure will constitute a breach of these booking conditions and result in such persons being excluded from the holiday in which case all monies paid will be forfeit.
If the chosen holiday includes a cruise or excursions or transfers by boat of any sort the Client must make it known at the time of booking if he/she is unable to swim. This will not prevent the Client from participating in the holiday but will enable SMT to take additional precautions for the Client’s safety at such times as may be appropriate.
12 – If you have a Complaint
If the Client has a complaint about any of the holiday arrangements the Client must bring it to the attention of the tour guide or other representative of SMT at the time so that they may use their best endeavours to rectify the situation. It is only if SMT is made aware of any problems that there will be the opportunity to put things right. Failure to complain on the spot will result in the Client’s ability to claim compensation from SMT being extinguished or at least reduced. Should the problem remain unsolved a complaint must be made in writing to SMT within 28 days of the completion of the holiday.
13 – Our Responsibilities
The holidays operated or supplied by SMT have been designed to provide participants with an exposure to the true nature of the environment visited and therefore involve an element of personal risk and exposure to potential hazards over and above those associated with normal ‘package’ holidays.
All bookings are accepted on the understanding that such risks and hazards are appreciated by the Client and that they undertake all tours, treks and other activities at their own volition.
- Where the Client does not suffer personal injury, SMT accepts liability should any part of the holiday arrangements booked with SMT not be supplied as described on this website and not be of reasonable standard. In such a case, SMT will pay reasonable compensation if the Client’s enjoyment of the holiday arrangements has been adversely affected but will pay no compensation if there has been no fault on the part of SMT or its suppliers and the reason for the failure in the holiday arrangements was the Client’s fault, the actions of someone unconnected with the holiday arrangements or could not have been foreseen or avoided by SMT or its suppliers even if all due care had been exercised.
- Where the Client suffers death or personal injury as a result of an activity forming part of the tour arrangements booked with SMT, SMT accepts responsibility unless there has been no fault on SMT’s part or its suppliers and the cause was the Client’s fault, the actions of someone unconnected with the holiday arrangements or one which neither SMT nor its suppliers could have anticipated or avoided even if all due care had been exercised.
- SMT’s acceptance of liability to pay compensation pursuant to clauses 13(i) and 13(ii) is limited, in the case of air travel, rail travel, sea travel or hotel accommodation, to the amount set out in the provisions of, respectively, the Warsaw Conventions as amended by the Hague Protocol 1955, the 1961 Berne Convention, the 1974 Athens Convention and the 1962 Paris Convention.
- SMT’s acceptance of liability in clauses 13(i) and 13(ii) above is subject to assignment by the Client to SMT of the Client’s rights against any agent, supplier or sub-contractor of SMT which is in any way responsible for the unsatisfactory holiday arrangements or the Client’s death or personal injury.
- This programme is issued on the sole responsibility of SMT and has been compiled with reasonable care. It is not issued on behalf of, and does not commit any airline whose flights form part of the arrangements. Where air travel on inclusive holidays in this programme is available by scheduled carriers, their responsibility is limited in accordance with their conditions of carriage.
When assessing whether holidays will operate, SMT uses information from local offices in conjunction with advice from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure.
14 – Flight Bookings
The prices shown on this website do not include international flights. SMT will use its best endeavours to ensure that all flight prices are correct at the time that they are quoted. Once a deposit is paid on an airfare, it guarantees that a booking is being held for you, it DOES NOT GUARANTEE the fare. The fare can only be guaranteed when the flight booking has been paid for in full and a ticket has been issued. Flight bookings cannot be transferred.
- In accordance with EU Directive (EC) No 20111/2005 Article 9, we are required to bring to the Client’s attention the existence of a ‘Community List’ which contains details of air carriers who are subject to an operating ban within the EU. The Community list is available for inspection at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_en.htm. We are also required to advise the Client of the actual carrier(s) (or, if the actual carrier(s) is not known, the likely carrier(s)) that will operate the Client’s flight(s) at the time of booking. Where we are only able to inform the Client of likely carrier(s) at the time of booking, we will inform the Client of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) after the Client’s booking has been confirmed will be notified to the Client as soon as possible. If the carrier(s) with whom the Client has a confirmed reservation become subject to an operating ban as above as a result of which we/the carrier are unable to offer the Client a suitable alternative the provisions of clause 5 will apply.
- We are not always in a position at the time of booking to confirm the flight timings which will be used in connection with the Client’s flight. The flight timings shown on our website and/or detailed on the Client’s confirmation invoices are for guidance only and are subject to alteration and confirmation. Flight timings are outside our control. They are set by airlines and are subject to various factors including air traffic control restrictions, weather conditions, potential technical problems and the ability of passengers to check in on time.
- Specific instructions relating to departure and travel arrangements will be sent with the Client’s air or other travel tickets approximately 2 weeks before departure. The Client must accordingly check the tickets very carefully immediately on receipt to ensure the correct flight times. It is possible that flight times may be changed even after tickets have been dispatched – we will contact the Client as soon as possible if this occurs. It is the Client’s responsibility to check the return flight times whilst the Client is travelling as we may not able to contact the Client once s/he starts travelling.
- Any change in the identity of the carrier, flight timings and/or aircraft type (if advised) will not entitle the Client to cancel or change to other arrangements without paying our normal charges except where specified in these conditions.
- If the Client’s flight is cancelled or delayed, their flight ticket is downgraded or boarding is denied by the airline, depending on the circumstances, the airline may be required to pay the Client compensation, refund the cost of the Client’s flight and/or provide the Client with accommodation and/or refreshments under EC Regulation No 261/2004 – The Denied Boarding Regulations 2004. Where applicable the Client must pursue the airline for the compensation or other payment due to them.
15 – Your Financial Security
Your payment to Stubborn Mule Travel Ltd is made directly to a clients’ trust account, supervised by an independent trustee. The trustee is a Banker, Chartered or Certified Accountant, or Solicitor appointed by the Travel Trust Association, a trade association that provides financial protection for the consumer. Your funds are held in this account and may not be released unless you receive your holiday or your funds are released to another company that becomes responsible and provides for your financial protection. This means that in the very unlikely event that Stubborn Mule Travel ceases to trade, your money is safe. For more information and to verify our membership (Q0176) please visit www.traveltrust.co.uk
ATOL Protection – T7608
When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.
We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).
If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.