Terms & Conditions for The Matriarch Adventure, The Bluemoon Adventure and The Mother & Daughter Adventure
0. Introduction, philosophy and risk management
0.1. We strive to make joining this adventure a unique experience. Please read this information carefully. We are summarising our philosophy here in an effort to convey to everyone in a clear, understandable and honest way the terms and conditions under which we operate: what you can expect from us, what we can expect from you, what your rights are, and what our rights are. Before joining you should fully understand the nature of the services and facilities we provide. To do this you should read the information below in conjunction with any other material pertaining to the adventure you want to join. If at any time you have any questions at all, please just ask.
0.2. Our adventures visit distant and challenging parts of the world, often in remote regions of developing countries. Everything we do involves a certain degree of risk, which varies from adventure to adventure. Where we work, the unexpected is often the norm and it is important to realise that the most carefully laid plans can go wrong. Unlike many holiday services calling themselves ‘expeditions’, true expedition work is by its very nature unpredictable. Emergency and health services, local infrastructure and services, transport and accommodation on our adventures are often very unlikely to be of western standard. Internal flights can be delayed or cancelled, local helpers may be unreliable, the behaviour and movements of wildlife will be hard to predict, and the weather and research work may cause you some discomfort.
0.3. It is therefore essential that those who join our adventures do so with a positive frame of mind and a sense of humour. The published itineraries of our adventures, any research work and the wildlife we are likely to encounter should be seen as statements of intent, rather than contractual obligations and we reserve the right to vary the itineraries. Our aim is to offer enjoyable and challenging experiences whilst making the safety and welfare of participants our highest priority.
0.4. Our leaders are responsible for the safe and efficient running of our experiences, and the supervision of safety, health and hygiene. Achieving research aims is one of our priorities, as is your personal development, but no experience can be considered successful unless it is also conducted responsibly, safely and harmoniously, and with regard for the environment. We aim to assist participants to realise their individual ambitions within the limits of these conditions and acceptable risk. Safety of participants and protection of the environment is paramount. Achieving research aims, and fulfilling personal goals is desirable. We advise you to read carefully the description of the adventure before applying to join. If you are unsure about anything, you can contact us on
0.5. By agreeing to these Terms and Conditions you agree to participate in the adventure's activities at your own risk and to ensure that you have adequate travel and medical insurance to cover all normal travel risks and any additional risks mentioned in our information materials, including these Terms and Conditions. You agree that you have read and understood our Terms and Conditions and agree to abide by them.
1. Terms used
1.1. These Terms and Conditions set out the agreement made between Inspired Ventures Ltd (IV), also trading as Inspired Escapes, Inspired Ventures and associated brands, whose registered address is 35 Tempsford Avenue, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, UK, WD6 2PD, hereinafter referred to as, ‘We' or ‘Us' (with ‘Our’ being construed accordingly). Inspired Ventures Limited is the principal for the adventure, which is operated through our partner organisation CATHADVENTURE LLP a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales - partnership no. OC417713
1.2. When we refer to “adventures” below, we mean our expeditions, adventures and any other experiences that we offer.
1.3. "You" and "yours" means all the persons named on any booking form, or any one of them as the context requires (including anyone added or substituted at a later date). The "lead name" is the person who submitted the joining form on behalf of everyone participating in an adventure. If the applicant is under the age of 18 years at the time of application, the application must be agreed by the applicant’s legal guardian or parent accompanying the applicant (written or electronic where appropriate). The legal guardian or parent will be bound by these Terms and Conditions and will be responsible both for the acceptance of the risks and liabilities set out herein on behalf of the applicant and for the compliance of the applicant with these Terms and Conditions until the applicant reaches 18 years of age, after which if the applicant continues with the Trip/Experience then the applicant will be deemed to have accepted and shall be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
1.4. "Force majeure" means any event or circumstances which we could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include (but are not limited to) actual or threatened war, riot, civil strife or political upheaval, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather or road conditions, fire, bureaucratic obstacles, changes in schedules or mode of transport by ferry companies, airlines, bus or train operators and all similar events outside our control.
2. Signing yourself up to an adventure
2.1. Please read the Terms and Conditions below carefully. When you complete a booking form you (and any other person on whose behalf you complete the form) agree to accept all of these conditions and you acknowledge that you have read these and the relevant information materials, and agree to the matters set out in the Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability below. You also warrant that the information provided by you on the form is complete and true. When you complete a form and send it to us with a deposit or full payment, and we accept your form, a legally binding contract is formed between you and us, on the terms of these Terms and Conditions. A contract will exist as soon as we issue our confirmation note. After receipt of your form, we will send you a confirmation.
2.2. You must be 18 years old at the time of completing the joining form and possess the legal capacity and authority to join and travel on an experience with us. Any joining form for a person under 18 must be completed and signed by their parent or legal guardian. Whether you join alone or as a group, we will only deal with the lead name in subsequent correspondence, including changes, amendments and cancellations. The lead name is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of all personal details and any other information supplied to us in respect of all persons travelling, and for passing on any information provided by us regarding the experience or any changes made to it.
2.3. Please check any documentation which you receive carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact us immediately if any information, which appears on any invoice, confirmation or any other document appears to be incorrect or incomplete.
3.1. The contributions due for each adventure are advertised on our website, alongside the relevant currency. Deposits are always non-refundable.
3.2. If you join an adventure within four weeks of its departure, you should make payment in full with your application form.
3.3. If any balance is not paid by the due date, we reserve the right to cancel your place and apply cancellation charges and interest, unless a payment delay has been agreed with us in writing. Payments can be made by bank transfer.
4. Withdrawal by you
4.1. If you want to withdraw from participating in an adventure, you must do so in writing. Your cancellation will take effect from the date we receive your written confirmation. Cancellation charges may apply. The details below set out the number of days prior to the date on which your balance payment is due that we receive written notice of your withdrawal, and the percentage of the total cost that will be payable as cancellation charges. Days > % Charge | More than 90 days > Loss of deposit only (all deposits are nonrefundable) | 89 to 50 days > 50% | 49 to 0 days > 100%
4.2. The charges we retain are intended to cover advance payments and purchases we have made in the host country and/or with our field stations. Charges will always be applied, irrespective of the circumstances of the withdrawal. Please note that it is your responsibility to protect yourself against such charges by taking out adequate travel insurance
4.3. If you fail to arrive at the assembly point in time and as a result miss taking part in the adventure, no refund or compensation will be given. No refunds will be made in respect of your contribution (or compensation in respect of any independent travel arrangements) if you leave an adventure for any reason after the adventure has begun. Once an adventure has departed, no refund or compensation will be given for any unused accommodation, travel or any other feature referred to in the itinerary.
5. Change to expedition or cancellation by us
5.1. We plan our experiences months in advance and may have to make changes to our itineraries. We reserve the right to do so at any time. It is in the nature of an adventure of this kind that arrangements and participants have to be flexible and it is a necessary condition of your joining any of our adventures that you accept this flexibility. In the case of changes other than significant ones, you will have no entitlement to cancel without penalty.
5.2. If a significant change becomes necessary prior to departure, we will advise you of the change as soon as possible. Whether a change is ‘significant’ depends on the nature of the experience and may include alteration to the scheduled start or end date of the experience by more than 12 hours (but not a flight delay). When a significant change occurs, you will have the choice of either accepting the change, or cancelling your adventure, in which case we shall refund you in full. In all cases, no compensation will be payable.
5.3. We reserve the right to cancel an adventure at any time and for any reason. In particular, if the minimum number of participants required is not reached, we may have to cancel (see section 6 below). In the unlikely event that an adventure has to be cancelled by The Matriarch Adventure, you will be notified as soon as possible and (subject to clause 5.4 below) all monies you have paid to us will be refunded.
5.4. We do not accept liability for any loss arising from our cancellation or from your withdrawal, including non-refundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets or other travel costs, special clothing and equipment, visa, passport and vaccination fees, or other expenses related to the experience which you have incurred. Please note that it is your responsibility to protect yourself against airline and travel agency cancellation to and from the assembly point by taking out adequate travel insurance.
5.5. Our published itineraries and any statements about our planned work and the wildlife we are likely to encounter should be seen as statements of intent, rather than contractual obligations. During the adventure, a variety of factors including (but not limited to) political instability, war, transport difficulties, strikes, sickness, quarantine, local regulations, weather conditions, natural disasters, wildlife behaviour and movements, and other force majeure events may cause us to alter the stated itinerary, and/or incur additional expenses, and/or prevent you from seeing the species and habitats under investigation. If the experience is affected by these unforeseen events, the leader will consult the participants where appropriate and make any necessary changes, but you will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred, which, depending on the circumstances, may be recoverable on your travel insurance. We will endeavour to keep changes to a minimum, but if they are necessary they will always be made with the aims of the experience, as well as the enjoyment and welfare of the participants in mind. We will not be liable for any losses arising from changes or delays caused by any of the above factors. If, for reasons for force majeure, we have to cut short the experience, no refund or compensation will be made for any unused service or feature of the trip.
6. Insufficient numbers, small teams and surcharge policy
6.1. We aim to operate every adventure within the contribution advertised. In order to keep our contributions low and teams small, we operate with very small margins and are thus unable to absorb large cost and/or currency fluctuations. On the rare occasion of a significant increase in the price of products (e.g. fuel & equipment prices), services (e.g. research & access permits, helicopter airlifts), or exchange rates, we may consider it necessary to pass a proportion of this increase to participants. Any such increase will be notified to you as soon as we have the information. If this surcharge exceeds 10% of the contribution advertised, you may withdraw from the experience within 7 days of receiving notification and receive a full refund.
6.2. In order to minimise environmental impact and maximise research efficiency and personal development, we operate small teams with a dedicated leader. If the minimum team size is not reached, we reserve the right to add up to a 10% surcharge to the contribution. We reserve the right to cancel any adventure for which we do not have a large enough team (even with an additional surcharge) to make the experience economically viable.
6.3. If there are any problems of the sort described above, we will consult with all participants. Such issues may occur, but very rarely and most problems are apparent before the balance of the expedition contribution is due, so there is usually plenty of time for participants to consider changed circumstances.
7. Inclusions and exclusions
7.1. We will provide all the arrangements and services as detailed below from and to the assembly point in the host country. The published contribution does not include travel to and away from the assembly point. It is the responsibility of each participant to make their own way to the assembly point in time for the advertised meeting date and time. We insist on punctuality and do not accept liability for any loss arising from failure to arrive at the assembly point on time.
7.2. The published contribution for your adventure includes all of the below, where applicable: • all accommodation and base camp facilities • all meals and provisions • access to specialist research equipment • all research permit and access fees • the services of local researchers and helpers • the services of the leader • any other services or goods specifically mentioned in the adventure briefings.
7.3. The published contribution does not include the following: travel to and from the assembly point, visa and vaccination costs • personal travel & medical insurance • personal (alcoholic) drinks • telephone calls and internet access • airport taxes • private trips and excursions • anything else not specifically included.
8. Experience and fitness required
8.1. Our adventures are for everyone and there are usually no special skills required other than the ability to communicate in English. If there are special skills required, this will be clearly stated in the relevant information materials and on our website. If you are disabled, please contact us to find out about the suitability of the experience of your choice. We ask everyone to tell us what they think they can bring to the expedition so that we can make the best use of the team's skills and experience. Some degree of fitness is required, but if you are healthy and enjoy the outdoors, your fitness level should normally be sufficient. Some experiences require a higher level of fitness, and if so this will be clearly stated.
9.1. It is the responsibility of each participant to seek professional medical and if appropriate dental advice prior to departure and to be aware of and take all necessary health precautions. In particular you must comply with all advice from the relevant authorities and health professionals regarding vaccinations, inoculations and other medical and dental precautions. Health requirements and recommendations may change and you must check the up to date position in good time prior to departure.
9.2. If you have an existing or previous illness/disability which could affect your mental or physical condition during the expedition you must consult your doctor about your suitability to join the expedition. You must also inform us of any such pre-existing condition. We reserve the right at any time prior to departure to insist that you provide a medical certificate as documentary proof of your suitability to join the experience.
9.3. If you are found to have an undeclared or understated medical condition (whether physical or mental) after departure, the leader may require you to seek medical advice. If you refuse to do so, or refuse to follow such advice, the leader may require you to leave the adventure. If in the opinion of the leader your health is at risk, or you are putting the health of any other participant at risk, the leader is entitled to require you to leave the adventure, or to require that you not undertake specified activities, or to authorise your immediate evacuation and repatriation. In such circumstances, there will be no refund of the adventure cost, and we (and the leader) will accept no liability for any losses or expenses you incur. We reserve the right to recover any costs we incur, for example in connection with your evacuation and repatriation.
10. Paperwork and tickets
10.1. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of all necessary documents for the adventure, including (but not limited to) valid visas, valid vaccination certificates, travel tickets to take you to the assembly point on time, and a passport with at least six months validity beyond the date of your return travel (as some countries now insist on this). If you expect to have to renew your passport and your vaccinations before departure, you should allow plenty of time to do so.
10.1. In some cases we must notify the authorities of the host country of the whole team's passport and vaccination details. Discrepancies may result in delays to the team, fines to the individuals involved, or in the worst case cancellation of all research and access permits. In such cases we reserve the right to recover costs from the individuals involved. Your experience dossier or briefing will contain details of visa and vaccination requirements, but this information is provided without responsibility and as set out above you are responsible for ensuring you have the correct travel and vaccination documentation, if applicable.
11. Leaders, conduct and observing the law
11.1. Our adventures may take teams to remote and potentially dangerous places and the role of the leader is to oversee the safe conduct of the adventure and wellbeing of all participants, in the interests of the team as a whole. Our leaders have considerable experience, which they use to facilitate the safe achievement of the stated aims of the experience. However, no proportion of the contribution is in relation to, or in return for, professional instructing or guiding services. You acknowledge your personal responsibility for your own welfare at all times by signing the appropriate form.
11.2. Our leaders will seek to ensure that any problems are solved in the best interests of the team. You accept the leader's authority to make decisions affecting the safe conduct of the adventure and individual participants. You agree to comply with the leader’s instructions and with the laws and regulations of the host country. If you disregard these instructions and laws (in particular unlawful possession of drugs or firearms), you will be removed from the expedition.
11.3. The decision of the leader as to the conduct, itinerary, and objectives of the adventure and its members, and in respect of any disputes within the team, is final. The leader may require an individual to leave the adventure or to be confined to camp if in the leader's judgment the actions of that individual puts their own health and safety at risk, or jeopardises the safety, enjoyment or welfare of the team, or jeopardises the expedition's research aims and objectives, or puts the welfare of wildlife or habitats at risk.
11.4. Where you are asked to leave an expedition, or are confined to camp, in the circumstances described above, there will be no refund of the adventure cost, and we (and the leader) will accept no liability for any losses or expenses you incur as a result. We reserve the right to recover any costs we incur as a result of your breach of this clause 11.
12.1. Once you join an expedition, it is compulsory that you purchase a suitable travel insurance policy, which covers you fully for the activities detailed in the adventure outline, and provides cover for medical expenses, emergency medical repatriation, and loss and damage to your personal effects. You should ensure that your policy covers you for adventurous activities and/or light manual work. You are required to carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if requested by our employees or suppliers. We reserve the right to remove you from the team at any time if you fail to provide us with evidence of adequate travel insurance cover when asked to do so.
12.2. We also strongly advise you to obtain, immediately upon joining an experience, insurance that will cover you for any withdrawal charges (as per clause 4.1) that may be due in case you have to withdraw from the experience
13.1. All communal and group equipment such as research tools, tents, cooking equipment, medical kit, etc. will be provided by The Matriarch Adventure and their project partners. You will receive full training on any specialised equipment you are asked to use. You will need to provide your own clothing and personal equipment. A detailed list of personal clothing and equipment required will be sent to you in advance of the expedition.
13.2. If you cause damage or loss to any equipment belonging to us or our project partners or suppliers by your carelessness, negligence or improper use, we may recover that damage or loss from you if we consider it reasonable to do so. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover this loss from your travel insurance.
14.1. Our adventures typically involve transport of some sort (vehicles, boats, helicopters and other aircraft, etc.). By completing the booking form, you accept that the standards of safety on such vehicles and, for example, on local roads, may not be as high as those required in your home country. Please also see section 15 below in relation to the matters for which we do and do not accept liability.
15.1. We take overall responsibility for the organisation, logistical and research arrangements of your adventure, as well as providing overall leadership. However, we provide experiences in countries where standards of accommodation, transport, safety, hygiene, medical facilities and other infrastructure are almost always lower than those you normally expect in your home country. Your application to join an adventure is accepted on the understanding that you recognise and accept the hazards involved in this kind of experience, including injury, disease, loss or damage to property, inconvenience and discomfort.
15.2. Our obligations, and those of any of our suppliers or project partners who provide any service or facility included in the adventure, are to take reasonable skill and care to arrange for the provision of such services and facilities. You must show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make any claim. The services and facilities included in your experience will be deemed to be provided with reasonable skill and care if they comply with any applicable local regulations.
15.3. If you suffer injury, illness or death directly as a result of the services provided as part of your experience we may make a payment to you. However, we shall have no liability where the cause of any death or personal injury you may suffer is not due to any fault on our part or that of our agents or suppliers, because it is (a) your own fault, or (b) attributable to an event or circumstance which could not have been foreseen or avoided event if all necessary and reasonable care had been taken.
15.4. Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of two times the cost of the experience. We shall have no liability where any failure to provide, or any failure in your experience, is attributable to the factors mentioned at clause 15.3. (a) and (b) above. Our liability in all cases will be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to any relevant international convention which applies to, or governs, any of the services or facilities included in your experience. International Conventions which may apply include, without limitation: in respect of international air travel, the Warsaw Convention 1929 (as amended) or the Montreal Convention 1999; in respect of rail travel, the Berne Convention 1961; in respect of carriage by sea, the Athens Convention 1974; in respect of carriage by road, the Geneva Convention 1973; and, in respect of hotels, the Paris Convention 1962. This means that we are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitations of compensation contained in any of these Conventions or any other international conventions applicable to your experience. Other than as set out above, and as detailed elsewhere in these Terms and Conditions, we shall have no legal liability whatsoever to you for any loss or damage.
15.5. If you purchase any optional activities that are not part of your itinerary, the contract for the provision of that activity will be between you and the activity provider. The decision to partake in any such activity is entirely at your own discretion and risk.
16. Single facilities
16.1. Our costs are based on two or more people sharing. We can sometimes provide single facilities, but there may be an extra charge involved. This will become apparent as the expedition team recruits itself. Please notify us of your requirements when applying to join.
17.1. It is our sincere hope that the experience you join will live up to your expectations. However, if you have cause for complaint during the experience you must bring it to the attention of the leader who will do his/her best to rectify the situation. We cannot take action and try to make your adventure more enjoyable if you take no action during the adventure, but only write a letter of complaint upon your return.
17.2. If a problem is brought to the attention of the leader, but remains unsolved, you should write a letter of complaint within 28 days of your return. Subject to clause 15.3. above, we do not accept any liability in relation to any complaint if you fail to notify us strictly in accordance with the provisions above.
17.3. Remember that our expeditions are real expeditions, not tours. We make every effort to describe accurately field conditions in its publications and verbally, but working in what are often remote and challenging places is a delicate business, and prone to last minute changes. We accept this as part of what makes joining The Matriarch Adventure a unique experience. We are not in the package holiday business, so if that is what you are looking for, please look elsewhere.
18. Jurisdiction and choice of law
18.1. This agreement shall be subject to and governed by English law and any disputes arising out of or in connection with it shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
19.1. These terms and conditions are subject to reasonable change without prior notice.
20. Use of images
20.1. Any likeness or image of you taken on any of our adventures may be used by us, and our suppliers without charge in all media for promotional, marketing or illustrative purposes, including without limitation promotional materials such as brochures, slides or video shows, and on our internet site or social media profiles, and as an illustration in scientific publications. Any written feedback supplied to the company may also be used for promotional purposes in such materials.
21. Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability
21.1. I affirm that I am aware that taking part in an adventure with us has inherent risks, which may result in serious injury or death. I further understand that these adventures may be conducted at a site that is remote, either by time or distance or both, from medical services. I still choose to proceed with the adventure with you despite the above.
21.2. I understand and agree that neither Inspired Ventures, Cathadventure, nor our employees, officers, agents, contractors or assigns (‘‘Released Parties’’) may be held liable or responsible in any way for any injury, death, or other damages to me, my family, estate, heirs or assigns that may occur as a result of my participation in this experience. In consideration of being allowed to participate in the adventure, I hereby personally assume all risks of this experience, whether foreseen or unforeseen, that may befall me while I am a participant in the adventure, or whilst I am travelling to the adventure or back from it. I further release, exempt and hold harmless Inspired Ventures, Cathadventure and the Released Parties from any claim or lawsuit by me, my family, estate, heirs, or assigns, arising out of my participation in this adventure, including both claims arising during the experience or after.
21.3. I also understand that the adventure may involve physically strenuous activities and that I may be exerting myself during the experience, and that if I am injured as a result of a heart attack, panic, hyperventilation, drowning or any other cause, that I expressly assume the risk of said injuries and that I will not hold the Released Parties responsible for the same.
21.4. I further state that I am of lawful age and legally competent to accept this liability release, or that I have acquired the written consent of my parent or guardian. I understand the terms herein are contractual and not a mere recital, and that I have agreed to this document of my own free act and with the knowledge that I hereby agree to this waiver of liability.
21.5. I further agree if any provision of this agreement is found to be unenforceable or invalid, that provision shall be severed from this agreement. The remainder of this agreement will then be construed as though the unenforceable provision had never been contained herein.
21.6. I agree to exempt and release Inspired Ventures, Cathadventure and the Released Parties from all liability or responsibility whatsoever for personal injury, property damage or wrongful death however caused. I have fully informed myself of the contents of this liability release and assumption of risk agreement by reading it before I accepted it on behalf of myself and my heirs. I accept that completing a joining form for the adventure, is regarded as signing and accepting this liability release and assumption of risk agreement.