Wild about Africa - company profile & financial protection
Wild about Africa is a tour operator which specialises in a broad range of innovative and affordable small-group safari adventures without compromising on quality. We are based in the UK, although our travellers come from around the world.
Wild about Africa's background
Our parent company, Sunvil Holidays, has been a tour operator since 1970, having operated for several years before then as Cyprus Property Tours.
Wild about Africa is the sister company to Expert Africa which began in 1991, with one of the first programmes to Namibia of any UK tour operator. Expert Africa specialises in high-quality tailor-made safaris to southern Africa. A decision was made to branch out into small-group trips and so in 2003 Wild about Africa was born. Wild about Africa remains backed by the wealth experience offered by Expert Africa and a proud part of the Sunvil family of travel companies - which is one of the UK's few owner-run, independent tour operators.
Every one of our team has lived, worked or travelled extensively in Africa and all have grown to love it.
With this change of name, our management, team and everything else remained the same; we remain a proud part of the Sunvil family of travel companies - which is one of the UK's few owner-run, independent tour operators.
Wild about Africa's bonding: 100% Protection Guaranteed
All holidays in this web site conform with the bonding requirements of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) - of which we are a member. Wild about 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.
In the event that Wild about Africa should fail, any repatriation required or any refund of monies held by Wild about 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 Wild about 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
A package with no flights is made up of accommodation and other ground arrangements where clients have organised their own flights. This kind of trip cannot be covered by an ATOL bond.
In the event that Wild about Africa fails, then any suppliers who have not yet been paid for holidays which are currently under way will be reimbursed by our Bond Obligors, Travel & General, via AITO Trust which is a trade body licensed by Government for financial guarantee purposes.
Clients will, therefore, be able to complete their holiday. The Trust will also refund any monies for ground arrangements made by Wild about 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 Wild about 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
Wild about 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 covered by an ATOL bond.
In the event that Wild about Africa fails, any accommodation provider will be paid by Travel & General/AITO Trust so that any clients currently on holiday will be able to complete their trip. The Trust will also cover any monies received by Wild about 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.
Wild about 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 Wild about Africa always acts as a Principal, whether for a full Package, a Package with no flights or an accommodation only booking. This means that Wild about Africa takes full responsibility for the actions of its suppliers and that the contract is always between the client and Wild about Africa.
The company does not act as an Agent (which would mean that the contract would be between the client and the service provider abroad). Should there be a problem with any of the holiday arrangements booked with Wild about Africa, Wild about Africa would be liable for the actions of its suppliers. All contracts are, therefore, legally enforceable under UK law. Clients would not have to chase suppliers abroad.
A large number of travel providers now act as an agent for their suppliers. There are many financial benefits (less VAT) to them operating in this way but it provides no protection for the client. In the event of a problem overseas the client could be left to fight a supplier through the courts of that country.
Comparing Wild about Africa with the competition
Ultimately, buying a full package sold on one invoice is the only way of protecting yourself against the unforeseen. 2008 saw a number of companies, large and small, going out of business. If you book something other than the full package, should one element be cancelled you may find yourself in a tricky situation and out of pocket by hundreds of pounds as you could still have a valid contract with other suppliers for other elements which cannot be cancelled.
For a guarantee of 100% financial protection - book your whole trip with Wild about Africa. If you wish to consider the competition, then check their bonding carefully:
a) if you are planning to book a full package, then check out the company's credentials on the CAA's website.
b) if you are not planning to book a full package, then ask how your money is protected. Some won't understand, and others will claim by ATOL (which can't protect such trips). Beware of either response; neither company will have proper protection. Look for AITO membership to guarantee full protection.