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Terms & Conditions

Schedule of electronic communication:


At the time of booking
Booking confirmation and receipt of deposit
Variation to payment schedule if applicable (eg: cruises)

~ 5 months before the tour start date
We always try to send the Confirmed Start/End dates as early as possible, however for some tours to destinations with unreliable domestic airline schedules like Madagascar, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, we may not be able to exactly confirm until a few months beforehand.


Please do not book international flights before the Start/End communication from us, as sometimes the we may need to alter the timing of a tour by up to 36 hours to match changed domestic airlines schedules.


~ 3 months before the tour start date
Invoice for remaining balance in your payment currency at the current exchange rate
Confirmation receipt of full payment, request for flight arrival/departure details, and extra hotel nights required


~ 1 month before tour start date
Species checklist
Confirmed group members
Detailed tour information, packing list, and accommodation details
Balance due on extra accommodation / surcharges / single supplements


Reservations: To make a reservation, first read our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy, then complete and return the booking form for the tour you are interested in, together with the deposit in the form of a bank transfer. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received the correct deposit payment and sent you a written confirmation. It is in your own interest to book early to avoid disappointment as we can only accept reservations in order of receipt. Bookings are welcome up to the last minute. Please contact us for details of vacancies if you are unsure.


Payment: The balance for all established bookings must be paid 60 days before the tour is due to commence. You will be sent an invoice at least two weeks before this date showing monies paid and the balance due for the tour you have chosen; if the said balance is not paid the booking will be deemed to have been cancelled. If the tour is scheduled to depart less than 60 days from the date of booking, payment will be due immediately.

Payment should be by bank transfer made to Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd. We accept payment in US Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling or Australian Dollars to our respective US, EU, UK or AU local bank accounts. Payment details are outlined in the booking form. If you expect to be away from home around the invoice date, please let us know so that we can arrange early payment.


Whichever currency you use to make the basic deposit payment must be used for all further payments. Switching of currencies is not permitted. Some specialty tours (such as cruises) might require different deposit amounts and payment schedules, which will be advised at the time of booking. Please note that we do not accept part payment of deposits or balances. After receipt of balance, we will send you written confirmation of all monies paid for your particular tour.


Cancellations: Any cancellation must be in writing and signed by whoever signed the booking form. It will take effect on the day we receive it. In the event of you cancelling your booking the following scale of charges will apply.


Period before departure and associated cancellation charge: 
Over 90 days: Loss of deposit (as stated on the website) paid for that particular tour
Under 90 days: Loss of all monies already paid for that particular tour


If it becomes necessary that we must cancel or move the dates of a particular tour, whether it be through insufficient reservations, or other factors within our control, then all deposits and other payments will be immediately refunded in full.


Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd reserves the right to cancel any tour due to travel advisories, strikes, war or other political crises, terrorism, pandemics, epidemics, natural disasters, acts of God or other events which amount to force majeure. If this occurs then we will evenly refund all monies not already paid to the relevant local agent/s. If the majority of the balance has already been transferred to local agent/s, then we may advise booking you on an alternative future tour of equivalent itinerary where the full value of your previous payments can be applied. Note that if the cancellation circumstances described above occur during a tour, then no refund or transfer to another tour is possible. Travel insurance (including cancellation insurance) is therefore essential – see below.


Travel Insurance: It is our policy that all clients must take out comprehensive travel insurance before commencement of a tour. This insurance should at least cover cancellation, accident, medical evacuation, medical costs, repatriation, and loss of effects. It should be noted that as the majority of our tours are in developing countries, passenger liability insurance covering the vehicles we hire may be inadequate. It is therefore important that your insurance cover makes sufficient provision in the event of an accident. This type of comprehensive cover is also invaluable on the rare occasions that a tour may be hindered from reaching the end point in time for booked international flights.


While not essential, it is also most advisable that travel insurance cover begins from when your booking is confirmed so as to cover any cancellation charges due to illness of yourself or close family members prior to the tour commencing.


Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd cannot accept liability for insurance costs, loss of deposits, airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets, other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for a tour, or for any insurance/rebooking costs if a tour is cancelled, cut short, or delayed from reaching the end point.


Passports and Visa Requirements: It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid passport and a visa where necessary. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end date of your tour. We accept no responsibility for your failure to comply with these regulations.


Health and Vaccinations: Our tour information sent before departure provides general health and vaccination advice only. Because of the constantly changing recommendations as to immunisation requirements, malaria risk, and vaccination certificates, it will be your sole responsibility to confirm with your GP or healthcare provider that our advice is up-to-date and recommended by your healthcare professional. All costs arising out of failure to comply must be met at your own expense. It cannot be emphasised enough that if you do have a health problem or physical limitation, you must let us know about it either on the booking form or by email so that we can be prepared in the case of an emergency.


Regardless of destination, all tour participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with three doses of vaccines approved by the United States CDC unless a medical exemption can be provided. This is essential to adequately protect any vulnerable communities we may visit during a tour. We will also follow local laws aimed at reducing the spread of COVID where these are in place on our tours.


Sharing Rooms: Bookings are accepted only on the understanding that should no room-mate be available, you will accept single accommodation and pay the appropriate single room supplement. Smokers should kindly note that smoking is not allowed in the room if you are sharing with a non-smoker. Please note that there is no absolute guarantee that single accommodation will always be available for those requesting it, especially on tours indicated to including camping or guesthouse accommodation where some degree of sharing basic rooms or facilities is usually required. Bookings are only accepted on the understanding that the participant agrees to share in the event of any lack of single accommodation at any location.


Restrictions on participation and other important details: While most tours run by Ornis Birding Expeditions are designed to either reduce or eliminate any excessive strenuous activity, it is typically necessary that all participants are able to complete walks of up to several kilometres over a wide variety of terrain, not necessarily on walking trails. While out in the field we may also encounter variable weather conditions including, but not limited to, heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, and strong sunshine. Some destinations will require early morning starts and late returns, as this maximises our opportunities to find and see certain species. Participants must therefore be in good health and agree to accompany the group on all outings where the leader cannot feasibly provide alternative arrangements. Certain itineraries may not be able to avoid multiple days of significantly long and/or difficult walks and particularly long hours in the field. These itineraries are clearly marked as on our website as “strenuous” under the “Walking Difficulty” section for each tour. If you have questions about the physical requirements of a particular tour (particularly if you have any health problems or restrictions), please contact us and we can advise as to your participation in any particular tour.


There will sometimes be the opportunity for those who wish to opt out of any particular excursion and do their own activities at their own expense (only where the itinerary and leader allow). Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd cannot provide any assurances with respect to safety, quality or other issues with respect to excursions not within the direct control or supervision of Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd. The participant assumes all risks and liabilities of his or her own activities not under the direct supervision of Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd.


Small groups call for consideration from all participants so that we may all enjoy the tour. Any antisocial or unsafe behaviour (eg: swearing, racism, homophobia, alcohol abuse, aggression, not following instructions from the leader, etc) that could be detrimental to the enjoyment of a tour by the other group members shall be deemed unacceptable. If the leader finds any person unable to conduct him or herself in a manner seen fit, then they reserve the right as tour leader to send them home. Any person dismissed will have no cause for complaint or refund, and shall bear all the extra costs of their return home from the point that they are dismissed.


Tour participants agree for their names to be published in our tour report, should it be written and published online. If a participant objects to this, they must notify the leader in writing before completion of the tour.


Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd reserves the right to decline, to accept, or to retain any person as a member of any tour for any reason.


Tour Alterations: Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd reserves the right to modify the itinerary, accommodation, number of participants, tour leader, tour vehicle or any other aspect of the tour prior to and during any tour. If unforeseen circumstances require a change to the itinerary, such a change will be discussed as much as reasonably possible with the clients, but the final decision is made by the tour leader and their professional decision must be respected. If, as a result of a change in the itinerary, clients forgo any expected opportunities to see any particular species or visit a particular place, this does not entitle these clients to any refund.


Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd will not be liable for any costs incurred by clients due to a tour returning to its final destination earlier or later than scheduled due to unforeseen circumstances including but not limited to road connectivity, political situations, natural disasters, dangerous weather, transport breakdowns and flight delays or cancellations. Clients will be required to pay for their own accommodation, food and all other expenses until the tour end point can be safely reached, and for this reason we again stress that travel insurance (including cancellation insurance) is essential.


Do not book international flight arrivals and departures without first receiving the confirmed start and end dates approximately 120 days before the tour is scheduled to start. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd reserves the right to change the start and end dates up to three days in either direction until the confirmed start and end dates have been sent out.


Group Sizes: Birdwatching is best enjoyed in a small group, and we aim to offer the best leader per group ratio around. This allows for more personal attention and better opportunities for all group members to see and enjoy the birdlife. To optimize your enjoyment and to enjoy more bird species we have restricted clients to a maximum of between 6-8 per advertised terrestrial tour, with a minimum of four for each tour to go ahead. The maximum number for each tour is shown on the respective tour page of the website. With less than four the tour may have to be cancelled, or if the clients wish to go ahead then we will add a surcharge onto the cost of the tour for it to operate. Very occasionally we may go one person over our maximum, thus enabling a couple rather than a single person to fill the tour.


Price Amendments: The price of each tour is calculated well in advance, and unexpected cost changes can sometimes occur. We reserve the right to amend the price of your tour up to the last minute subject to increases or decreases in the following items: governmental action (such as taxes, fees, dues, levies), aircraft fuel, over-flying charges, transport charges and foreign exchange rates (since the final invoice was paid). Even in this case, we will only amend the price (up or down) if changes of more than 2% are involved. Should the tour cost in your payment currency increase by more than 10%, then you will have the right to cancel the tour and be issued with a full refund of all monies paid, including your deposit.


Tour price exclusions: The tour price excludes all expenses incurred before the first official group assembly at the start of any tour and after the official end of the tour, travel insurance, passport charges, vaccination charges, visa charges, excess baggage charges, airport taxes, and meals and drinks en route to the tour. The tour price also excludes drinks (other than those provided), à la carte dishes on those occasions where the included meal is fixed-menu, snacks, laundry, telephone calls, private excursions, and anything else of a purely personal nature, including taxes, porterage, or service charges. In addition, should you decide not to accompany the group on a planned activity for any reason, you are responsible for the extra cost of any activity, accommodation, or meals while the rest of the group is involved in the planned activity. Should you arrive or depart at any time other than the official start or end of the tour, any additional expenses you incur are not included.

Tipping: Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd maintains a generous tipping policy which is at the core of our business model. Ground agents and local guides / drivers / assistants / hospitality staff are all extremely talented and hardworking, but often poorly paid. As such, we always dedicate a significant portion of the tour cost for tips and gratuities. All tips will be distributed by the leader, and we kindly request that clients refrain from additional tipping without first consulting the leader and confirming that such a gift will not result in community jealousy or cultural grievances. Any such additional tips are excluded from the tour price.


Liability: The tour participant agrees that Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd is not liable for injury, death, damage, monetary loss or loss of property as a result of participating in any tour. Participants should make their own health and travel insurance arrangements. Travel insurance should cover unplanned costs. For and in consideration of the opportunity to participate in the tour, each tour participant agrees to release, indemnify, and hold harmless Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd, its agents, servants, employees, shareholders, officers, directors, solicitors and contractors as set forth herewith. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd acts only as an agent for the passenger in regard to travel, whether by bus, boat, airplane, or by other means, and assumes no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or irregularity caused by defect in such vehicles or for any reason whatsoever, including the acts, defaults, or bankruptcies of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in the carrying out the arrangements of the tour. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd accepts no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to transport delays, sickness, quarantine, weather, strikes, war or other political crises, acts of God or other events which amount to force majeure. The tour participant shall bear all such losses and expenses.


Release of Liability: I have carefully read and accept the Terms and Conditions and the Cancellation Policy provided herein. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd gives notice that it is only an agent to the owners and suppliers providing accommodations and guest services in those establishments. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd assumes no responsibility for any delay, mishap, inconvenience, expense, injury or death or damage to property occasioned through acts of nature, detention, weather, quarantine, strikes or civil disturbances. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd reserves the right to alter the itinerary and/or substitute vessels, hotels and transportation when deemed necessary or advisable in order to successfully operate the trip. I/we acknowledge that during a trip to a destination such as this and on a tour of this nature, certain risks and dangers may be involved, including but not limited to boat travel, hiking over slippery, muddy trails and rocky trails and underdeveloped areas, the forces of nature, and accident or illness in remote areas without means of rapid evacuation or availability of medical supplies and facilities. I am voluntarily participating in these activities with the knowledge of the element of risk dangers involved and hereby agree to assume any and all risks, including injury and death. I acknowledge that the enjoyment of a trip of adventure travel is derived in part from the inherent risks incurred by travel and activity beyond the accepted safety of life at home or work and that these inherent risks contribute to such enjoyment, being a reason for my participation. I understand that many risks are beyond the control of Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd. I therefore release and discharge (and will not make a claim against) Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd and its owners, agents, employees, heirs and contractors, for bodily injury, death, property damage or loss resulting from negligence or any cause during or after participating on this tour. This release of liability is entered into on behalf of all members of my family. I certify that I have read the Terms and Conditions as well as the Release of Liability section and that I am over 18 years of age. I understand that this is a legally binding and enforceable contract and sign it of my own free will. I agree that if any portion of this agreement is found to be void or unenforceable, the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.


Complaints: In the unlikely event that you have cause to complain you should notify at least one of your party leaders as soon as possible in order that we may assist you. If you are not satisfied thereafter, please contact us in writing, stating the nature of the complaint within 14 days of the completion of the tour.


Contracts: When you sign the booking form you are entering into a contract made with Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd (ABN 83656694781 in Australia). This means that you agree to accept all the conditions of the booking. Our confirmation of your booking means that we agree to operate your tour as stated on our website, The contract is governed by Australian law and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Australian courts.


Other: Participants should prepare for the tour by reading the itinerary, and other pertinent matter recommended by Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd. Each participant is responsible for bringing appropriate clothing and equipment as recommended in the tour information.

Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd will not be held responsible for participants failing to see any particular species or failing to visit a particular place, and this does not entitle these clients to any refund.


Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd retains the right to modify these Terms and Conditions at any time.


These terms and conditions were last updated on 26/09/2023




Privacy Policy: This privacy policy will explain how Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd uses the personal data we collect from you when you use our website, contact us via email or book a tour through us.


What data do we collect?
Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd collects the following data when you express an interest in our tours; Personal Identification Information limited to name, email address, residential address, phone number. Upon booking we additionally collect the following Personal Identification Information; Date of birth, Passport Details, Next of Kin, and Special Category Information regarding any medical conditions or dietary needs in order to cater for your requirements on tours.


How do we collect your data?
You directly provide Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd with all of the data we collect. We collect data and process data when you register interest online through our contact form, email us, talk in person, or view our website via your browser’s cookies provided via Google Analytics.

How will we use your data?
Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd collects your data so that we can process your booking, list participant names on tour reports which are posted online, and email you with news and information regarding Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd. If you do not wish to receive this correspondence you can opt out.


How do we store your data?
Ornis Birding Expeditions securely stores your data within email format within IONOS mail storage facilities, and in hard copy / paper-based format stored in a secure facility. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd will keep your Personally Identifiable Data in electronic format for no longer than is necessary for the purpose it was collected. Once there is no longer a requirement to retain your data, we will delete your data. If you book on a tour, your booking form and any associated correspondence is kept for a minimum of seven years as is legally required by HM Revenue and Customs.


Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd would like to send you news and information about our services. If you do not wish to receive this correspondence you can opt out. You have the right at any time to stop Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd from contacting you for marketing purposes. If you no longer wish to be contacted for marketing purposes, please either unsubscribe via the link at the bottom of the correspondence, or notify us via email.


What are your data protection rights?
Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd would like to make sure you are fully aware of all of your data protection rights. Every user is entitled to the following:
‍The right to access – You have the right to request Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd for copies of your personal data.
‍The right to rectification – You have the right to request that Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd correct any information you believe is inaccurate. You also have the right to request Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd to complete information you believe is incomplete.
The right to erasure – You have the right to request that Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd erase your personal data, under certain conditions.
‍The right to restrict processing – You have the right to request that Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd restrict the processing of your personal data, under certain conditions.
‍The right to object to processing – You have the right to object to Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd’s processing of your personal data, under certain conditions.
If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us using details provided on the contact page on our website.


What are cookies?
Cookies are text files placed on your computer to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behaviour information. When you visit our websites, we may collect information from you automatically through cookies or similar technology. For further information, visit


How do we use cookies?
Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd uses cookies in a range of ways to improve your experience on our website, including understanding how you use our website.


What types of cookies do we use?
There are a number of different types of cookies, however, our website uses advertising cookies. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd uses these cookies to collect information about your visit to our website, the content you viewed, the links you followed and information about your browser, device, and your IP address. Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd does not share this data with third parties.


How to manage cookies
You can set your browser not to accept cookies, and the above website tells you how to remove cookies from your browser. However, in a few cases, some of our website features may not function as a result.


Privacy policies of other websites
The Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd website contains links to other websites. Our privacy policy applies only to our website, so if you click on a link to another website, you should read their privacy policy.

Changes to our privacy policy
Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd keeps its privacy policy under regular review and places any updates on this web page. This privacy policy was last updated on 26/09/2023.


How to contact us
If you have any questions about Ornis Birding Expeditions Pty Ltd privacy policy, the data we hold on you, or you would like to exercise one of your data protection rights, please do not hesitate to contact us using details provided on the contact page of our website.

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