Terms & Conditions
Please read these booking conditions carefully, they form an important part of the contract for your travel arrangements.
All programmes advertised in our brochures and on our website are operated by Mala Volunteering (Pty)Ltd which is a register company domiciled within the borders of South Africa and under South African law. All travel arrangements are sold subject to the following conditions (“Booking Conditions”):
Please Note: Adequate and valid travel insurance is compulsory for all customers and it is a condition of the Company accepting your booking that you agree to have obtained adequate and valid travel insurance for your booking by the date of departure. You are strongly advised to insure yourself against any possible risk that may occur and in particular to ensure that you have sufficient insurance in respect of expenses, injury, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and dependent relatives. You are required to carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested. You should ensure that you are covered for the complete duration of your travels and that there are no exclusion clauses which limit cover for the type of activities included, or the altitudes attained, in your travel arrangements.
To make a booking you can contact us in several ways; directly over the telephone, via our Website, or through an approved Travel Agent. The person making the booking must be 18 years old or over and possess the legal capacity and authority to make the booking and accepts these booking conditions or have a parent/legal guardian sign on their behalf. You will need to pay a non-refundable deposit (which includes an administration charge) at the time of booking which is US$300 billed in South African Rands(ZAR), using the current foreign exchange rate from www.xe.com. Please note that depending on when you book, you may be required to pay the full balance of the travel arrangements at the time of booking. Upon receipt of your deposit/full payment, we will start to process your application. However, if you withdraw your application at any stage, the deposit remains non-refundable. If we accept your booking, we will issue a confirmation invoice/letter. A contract will exist between us from the date we issue the confirmation invoice/letter or if you book within 7 days of departure the contract will exist when we accept your full payment. When you receive the confirmation invoice please check the details carefully and inform us immediately if anything is incorrect. Names on travel documents must exactly match those in your passports. Your personal safety is of paramount importance to us and therefore it is imperative that you advise us at the time of booking of any condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect your or other people’s enjoyment of your placement or booking.
Please note that by confirming your booking both parties recognize that you are not an employee of Mala Volunteering (Pty)Ltd.
Payment: All payments are quoted in United States dollar.
We accept two methods of payment: (deposit and final payment)
Credit Card Payment: This is done via a safe and secure website. We will generate an invoice for you, which you will receive via email. The email will link you to our secure credit card portal for payment.
Bank Transfer: You may wish to pay via a bank transfer (wire) Please note that we will require the full amount; you will be responsible for the transfer fees. This can take up to 7 working days to reflect into our account. Please follow up with us once this transfer has been processed.
Changing Your Booking:
If, after our Confirmation Invoice has been issued, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, for example change to another program or change departure date, we will try to make the change subject to availability but it may not always be possible. Any request for changes to be made must be in writing from the volunteer and received as soon as possible.
Please note that you have one free date and/or program change subject to availability and rate changes once you have secured your booking. Thereafter you will be charged USD$100 for a date or program change. Changes made within 30 days of your scheduled arrival date will be liable to a fee of USD$200 and subject to availability and rate changes.
Please note that once a booking is made and the deposit has been received, that booking is non-transferable to another person as a deposit or balance payment.
Should You Wish to Cancel Your Booking:
Should you wish to cancel your volunteer experience (this includes both programs and add on tours), the below table will apply:
Cancellations 60 days or more: full refund less the non-refundable deposit.
Cancellations 30 – 59 days: you will forfeit 50% less the non-refundable deposit
Cancellations 8 – 29 days: you will forfeit 75% less the non-refundable deposit
Cancellations 1 – 7 days: no refund.
For all add on tours, if a volunteer cancels less than 2 weeks before the volunteer will forfeit 100% of the cost.
Please note that if you fail to join a tour after departure or leave prior to its completion, no reimbursement whatsoever will be made.
If We Change Your Booking:
We reserve the right to make changes to your booking (including without limitation to any of the facilities, services or prices described in our brochures or website). We will endeavour to advise you of any changes known at the time of booking. We plan the arrangements for your booking many months in advance and may occasionally have to make changes, most of which are minor and we will advise you of them at the earliest possible date.
We strongly recommend that you make no travel arrangements or incur any costs until such time as you have paid the deposit and confirmation of your bookingis received. If you make such arrangements, which you are then unable to use due to a change in your itinerary we shall not be liable to you for the cost of those arrangements.
Volunteer Southern Africa provides returning volunteers with a 10% discount and volunteers that sign up for two or more programs with a 5% discount.
All and any discounts will be applied to the total value of the program.
Visas, Health, Passport, Travel Documentation:
Whilst we are able to provide basic advice to customers regarding passports and visa requirements, you should check with the appropriate Embassy or Consulate for the exact requirements for your chosen destination. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct passport and visas to gain access to any country/region included in the travel arrangements which you purchase from us. If you fail to do so, we have no liability to you for any cost, loss or damage which you suffer, nor will we refund you the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements. In some cases, countries will refuse entry to customers who have criminal records. Should you be concerned about this, please check with the Embassy or Consulate of the countries to which you are travelling. We cannot accept responsibility for any failure to comply resulting in any costs or fines being incurred and we advise you to check with your passport office or the Consulate in question if you have any queries. Customers travelling overland to certain destinations may need to also pass through controls of other countries en-route so this should be allowed for with any passport/visa applications.
Many countries do not issue visas specifically for volunteers and where you are not undertaking paid work and are entering as a volunteer you will generally be advised to enter on a tourist visa. Please note that you must check with the relevant embassy prior to travel of the current requirements. If you undertake any paid work and do not have the correct work visa you may be asked to leave the country as a result. In these circumstances you will not be entitled to any refund or alternative placement from us.
A booking is accepted on the strict understanding that you undertake to comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange, drug and all other regulations of any countries visited during the program, as well as all hygiene, safety and security rules. In addition, many of our programmes have their own rules and behaviour guidelines, which are intended to ensure your safety and enjoyment of the program. You will be advised of any specific program rules either in your pre-departure information, or during your orientation.
If you commit any illegal act when on the program or if in the reasonable opinion of the program leader or our In Country Co-ordinator your behaviour is disruptive, threatening or abusive or is causing or likely to cause danger, upset distress or annoyance to others or damage property we may terminate your travel arrangements at any time without any liability on our part. Full cancellation charges will apply.
We will consider special requests such as dietary requirements, or upgrading accomodation preferences when you book. We will tell you whether there is a charge for the request. This is subject to availability and must be confirmed in writing.
Police / Criminal Record Check:
When signing up to any project involving work with children, or vulnerable adults, you are agreeing to undergo a Police/Criminal Record Check to ensure your suitability for the placement and will be asked to complete a CRB disclosure application form (full details of this process and the application form will be provided to you). We reserve the right to delay, or postpone, your program until the Police/Criminal Records check has been completed. Should you fail the Police/Criminal Records check for any reason, you must either amend your placement to a project that does not require a Police/Criminal Record Check or cancel your placement and the charges contained within the “if you change or cancel your booking” will apply.
Buddy List and In-Country Support:
By agreeing to our terms and conditions you consent that we may provide the email address that you have supplied to us to other participants travelling on the same program as you on the same dates. Providing you with a buddy list enables you to communicate with other members of your group before departure should you wish to. We will remove your email address from the list only if we receive written instruction from you to do so. Please note, you will only be sent a Buddy List for specific group programmes.
All customers are expected to ensure that they are fit and able to complete the itinerary of their chosen program as described on the website prior to booking. Anyone suffering from mobility impairment, 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 booking. Customers aged 17 or under will be required to provide a written parental consent form before a booking will be confirmed. Failure to make such disclosure will constitute a breach of these booking conditions and result in such persons being excluded from the booking in which case all monies paid will be forfeited.
Flights & Transfers:
It is your responsibility to arrange and pay for any flights, including any internal flights to your destination. We cannot be held responsible for any action, negligence, or event relating to the purchase, or operation of such flight tickets, or flights that you purchase. Furthermore, we will not be responsible for any costs, or refunds, due to changes, or delays in such flights.
Most programmes include a meet and greet /transfer service upon arrival. In the event this is not included in your chosen booking, you will have to cover the costs of making your way to the program joining point. Please check your pre-departure guide for specific airport information.
Where you are responsible for purchasing your own flights and transport you agree to advise us of flight arrival details and of any changes that may be made to your arrival details at the earliest possible opportunity. Should you arrive outside the agreed start date/time for your program, or do not advise us of your correct arrival details including, you may have to cover transfer costs.
The accommodation and board basis will be contained within individual program details. It is your responsibility to advise us of any special dietary requirements. Please be aware that accommodation, food and facilities that you will be provided with will be of a local standard. Please note that you may be required to share a bathroom and/or bedroom.
Volunteer Code of Conduct:
This code of conduct sets out the standards of behaviour that is expected of volunteers, not only by the Company as a volunteer placement organisation, but also by the In-Country Coordinators, the homestay families and providers of accommodation and, most importantly, the projects that we work with.
The Company is fully committed to responsible volunteer travel and sustainable tourism. This code of conduct is designed to help you achieve the most out of your placement in a safe manner. It also ensures that the organisations and people we work with are treated with respect and that consideration is given to other cultural aspects during your placement.
Please note that breaches of the code of conduct may result in your placement being terminated without compensation.
In General, you Must;
- Listen to, and follow the advice or requests of your In-Country Coordinator;
- Understand that you are a representative of not only the Company but also your country of origin and act accordingly;
- Agree to a zero tolerance policy towards the possession and use of illegal substances. If you are found in possession of, or are under the influence of such substances, you will have your placement contract terminated immediately;
- Respect, and seek to understand, the culture of the country you are placed in. This involves being tolerant of the customs and behaviours of the local people (your coordinator can explain the cultural norms and advise you.);
- Follow your project rules; respect your family and local community regarding consumption of alcohol;
- Be aware of potentially different attitudes towards sexual relationships in the country which you are volunteering and understand the effect that any such relationship may have on individuals and the local community;
- Treat all people with respect and dignity;
- Dress appropriately at all times with regard to the culture you are living in;
- Not engage in political demonstrations or illegal activities;
At the Project, you must;
- Endeavour to maintain a positive mental attitude throughout your placement;
- Act as a conscientious member of the project team. You are relied on as a dedicated member of the team;
- Abide by all the rules of the project at which you are volunteering and respect other members of staff and your peers;
- Work hard to achieve not only your own personal goals but also those of the project and the people and / or organisation that you are helping;
- Listen to, and follow, the instructions of your supervisor / contact at the project in addition to those of your In-Country Coordinator;
- Inform your supervisor / contact at the project if you are at any time unable to fulfill the duties to which you have committed
- Treat with care all of the materials that you use during your placement;
Accommodation, you must;
- Respect local custom and abide by the rules of the accommodation in which you are staying;
- Check with either the homestay family or owner of accommodation before inviting anybody to your room;
- Be aware that overnight visitors are not allowed;
- Respect the accommodation you are using and pay for any damage you may cause to the property;
- Keep your room clean and tidy;
- Not smoke in your accommodation;
- Stay at the accommodation allocated to you;
- Settle any outstanding bills before leaving the accommodation;
- Pay your food/accommodation as soon as you arrive in country (where applicable);
- Be aware that there will be no refunds for food/accommodation if you decide to go on trips or leave early