Hunt Cancellation Policy

The hunt cancellation policy of your hunting safari is probably furthest from your thoughts as you browse through hunting gear catalogues. However the unexpected may happen so make sure you have all the details in writing before you send your deposit.

Cancellation policies vary immensely from outfitter to outfitter, from no refund whatsoever to a multi-tiered time frame of various percentage refunds.

A typical hunt cancellation policy maybe:

  • If the hunt is cancelled by the client more than 6 months before the start date, the deposit will be returned in full or may be carried over to a rescheduled and booked hunt the following year.
  • If the hunt is cancelled by the client less than 6 months before the start date, the deposit may be forfeited unless the hunt is rescheduled and booked for the following year.

In most cases the outfitter will also accept a substitute hunter if one can be found at the last minute.

Most cancellation policies refer to the deposit but if you cancel after the final payment is made (possibly 60-90 days ahead of the start date) the whole hunt cost may be lost unless it can be rebooked at a later date.

If you are doing a hunt with different outfitters at different locations on one safari, they may each offer different cancellation terms. Check if this may be the case.

Check for administrative cost and bank charge deductions from the refund.

Most outfitters publish cancellation policies that only cover what happens if the client cancels his hunt. It may occur rarely, but you should know what to expect if the outfitter cancels your hunt for some reason. In most cases, the outfitter will bend all ends to get you a similar hunt with someone else or refund all your costs (less administrative charges).

It is most important and strongly recommended that you take out trip cancellation insurance.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Most travel insurance policies say they include trip cancellation coverage but you would be well-advised to read the small print carefully before purchasing a policy.

There are often exclusions that apply to trip cancellation or trip interruption that preclude benefits from being paid out. These may include:

  • Travel arrangements cancelled by airlines and tour operators
  • Any changes made by the insured person
  • Any changes to the insured persons financial circumstances
  • Any government regulation changes
  • Any changes to the insured person before the effective insurance date
  • Failure of the tour operator, carrier or agency to provide the arranged travel plans

This seems to exclude most usual eventualities leading to trip cancellation, so it might be necessary to buy additional 'cancel for any reason' cover. An additional policy should cover a percentage of the losses incurred if a trip is cancelled within certain date parameters.

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Page Updated: Feb 2024

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