- Do you run any scheduled departure trips?
No. But we do run the occasional ‘event’ (such as the Wellness Weekend Retreats). All our tours are offered to private groups if you are 2 or more. The Amphitheatre Slackpacker is one trail that you can even do on your own. We do try to facilitate individuals joining smaller groups if both parties are happy about the arrangement.
- How fit do you need to be to participate in one of these hikes?
Whilst our distinction is an ‘active’ edge to your holiday, our aim is to get you to challenge your comfort zone. For many people, the idea of an ‘active holiday’ sounds more like a penance, and that is fine – you are not our market . But we are also NOT a boot camp. We fully appreciate that the age, fitness and ability of our guests comes in a wide spectrum; so we have endeavored to put together a diverse offering to ensure there is a trip within everyone’s reach. Having young families ourselves, we also have a good understanding for children’s abilities, endurance and strengths, and we are trying to establish more family-friendly adventures for both the youngest and oldest members of the family.
- Can you book our flights and car-hire?
Due to the personal documentation and legalities, we leave these bookings up to you. However, we provide all the advice you need on public and private transport options, best airports to fly into etc. On certain tours we can also book transfers with reliable providers with whom we work with, if they are not already included in your tour package. Just about all of our tours include a return transfer to your start or finish point where you have left your vehicle or will connect on with other transport options such as flights or coach.
- Can you arrange our whole South African holiday?
Why not. We have slackpacking tours in the provinces of KZN, Eastern Cape (highlands and Wild Coast), Free State and the Western Cape. Many international travelers book two (& sometimes even more) of our trails and we are also happy to make the accommodation bookings between, but we are not an accommodation-only booking platform.
- Do you offer tailor-made itineraries?
Most of our hikes and cycle trips can be customized a fair amount – such as more or fewer days, lay-days and alternative lodgings. We pride ourselves on trying to make a trip happen within your time and other constraints, but obviously within reason and within the restraints of the tour itself – for example: sometimes there is no other option but to self-cater; or no more ‘comfortable’ accommodation upgrade in the area.
- Can you take credit card payments?
Yes, if you are paying from Overseas. We use a third-party transfer service, Exchange 4 Free (link https://exchange4free.com/) to receive forex payments. They are on online money transfer service offering better exchange rates than the banks and generally NO transfer or commission fees as you pay into their local holding account.
Via Exchange 4 Free you can chose to pay by:
1) EFT: this will entail you doing an eft transfer in your currency to their holding account in the same currency and will not incur any international wire fees, unless you are from the US - in which case, please request the options.
2) Credit or Debit card: Provided it is a Visa or Mastercard, you can chose to pay via credit or debit card online. This will incur a 2.5% service charge, which WE will add to your invoice total & send you the E4F payment request with this service charge included (as it deducted our end).
You will need to provide some details for us to generate the payment request through this platform.
If you are a South African resident or paying from a South African bank account, an electronic bank payment (EFT) is our preferred method of payment.
- How do we confirm our booking and what are your payment terms?
On your written go-ahead for a trip, we will invoice you. If it is under 12 months for the trip we will request a 50% consolidated securing ‘confirmation’ deposit and the 50% balance to be settled 4 weeks prior to the trip. Please note that we request a single consolidated group deposit / balance payment, so someone needs to act as the group leader or treasure, collect payment from their friends and then make the consolidated payment to us. I’m afraid we do have to insist on this, to effectively keep-up and on-track with our accounts. Our Covid-adjusted Cancellation & Postponement terms are here
- What are your Standard Cancellation Terms
Cancellation of any booking must be received in writing and fully acknowledged by Active Escapes CC in writing.
If a booking is cancelled with the consent of Active Escapes (AE), AE reserves the right to retain 20% or R500/per cancelled person (whatever is the greater) of the total tour amount as a Booking & Administration Fee.
Should a person cancel a tour and cannot find an immediate replacement, with
A) 4 weeks or more notice – 25% of the total tour amount is forfeited.
B) If ACTIVE ESCAPES has less than 4 weeks’ notice, the cancellation fee, payable by the client will be as follows:
- 27-21 days prior to the trip: 50% of the total tour amount
- 20 – 14 days prior to trip: 60% of the total tour amount'
- 13 – 0 days prior to trip: 100% of the total tour amount
C) Under special circumstances, the 50% deposit may be transferred to another tour or event, to take place within 12 months of the cancelled tour/event. However, a 20% or R500 (whichever is the greater) Booking/Admin fee will still apply.
- Do you have Covid-adjusted booking and cancellation terms?
Yes. In the light of the Covid 19-pandemic, in which despite our best efforts, none of us can determine our national and international travel policies, Active Escapes' approach to all trips that have been or are being booked are:
1. Flexible booking & postponement terms up to one week before travel if a member of your party has contracted Covid, been in direct contact with a person that has, or there are new travel restrictions imposed: you can postpone without penalty for up to 6 months.
On previous bookings taken, our policy has been:
A. Please Postpone rather than cancel. We will enable NO penalty postponements for up to 12 months (from the original date booked) - i.e. you will get exactly the same trip at 2020 rates as you would have paid this year. We can also postpone up to 18 months, but after 12 months, the 2021 rate increase will apply. Your deposit paid will be kept as a ‘voucher’ in essence, and you can even chose another trip with Active Escapes, though preferably we’d hope you keep to the same trip to support the same persons who are losing this booking now.
B. Cancellation: if you chose to cancel, we will facilitate this with as minimal penalty as possible - hence we are offering all our tour groups that are chosing to cancel a full refund less 10%, on which we honour to pay the suppliers their portion of this small cancellation fee. Refunds will be paid back in ZAR (Rands) as received