Sunset over limestone ridgetop bordering Alyui Bay on Waigeo Island in the fabled Raja Ampat archipelago of eastern Indonesia. Copyright © Like Wijaya
Updated May 5, 2021
The 'terms and conditions' and general information represented below offer an overview of how we work and what our tour fares include, and further serve to elucidate our obligations to you and your commitments to us. If you are browsing this document prior to enquiring, you will probably find adequate answers to many of your additional questions here. In addition, we would of course be glad to attend to any further queries that you may have. Certainly do read this section carefully prior to making a booking please, as the avoidance of any misunderstanding is to our mutual benefit.
As you will see, there is no fine print in this contract, and all aspects of our tours are regulated in considerable detail. In contrast, many travel outfits here in West Papua or Indonesia more generally either do not have published terms and conditions, or these are deliberately left vague, thereby greatly undermining your legal security and opening the door toward awkward discussions or conflict while on tour.
Quickly to ❯Tour fare ❯Air transport ❯Surface transport ❯Accommodation ❯Meals, snacks and drinks ❯Guiding services ❯Porter services ❯Freedom and flexibility ❯No tipping ❯No smoking ❯No littering ❯No collecting ❯Reservation ❯Final pro forma ❯Payment ❯Practicalities document ❯Bird lists ❯Cancellation ❯Traveling in times of corona ❯Transfers ❯Substitution ❯Reduced group premium ❯Surcharges ❯Unused services ❯Tour alteration ❯Restrictions on participation ❯Limitations of liability ❯Governing law and arbitration
Ever since the coming into force of regulation 17/3/PBI/2015, issued by Bank Indonesia (Indonesia's central bank) in order to mandate the use of the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) as the sole legal tender throughout the Republic of Indonesia, it is no longer opportune to publish tour fares at long notice on PapuaExpeditions.com and bird-watching-papua-adventure-travel.com as we priorly always had been able to do by using price quotations in foreign currency. This is because the IDR is vulnerable to both unpredictably massive depreciation as well as generally strong domestic inflation, the combination of which is impossible to competitively hedge against.
If you are interested in a Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION) tour, then kindly write in for a free and up-to-date quote. If you are enquiring from Indonesia, either as a resident or visitor, then you will be quoted in IDR as under the above regulation you would be required to fulfill payment in IDR. Conversely, if you are enquiring from outside Indonesia and hence would have to conclude your transaction and payment from overseas, then this implies an international trade transaction, which under the above regulation is specifically exempted from the requirement to use IDR and may continue to be quoted and paid for in foreign currency. In this case, we now offer two convenient possibilities for price quotation and payment: (1) in EUR for residents of the 19 member states of the eurozone (euro area); and (2) in USD for residents of all other countries and territories. However, we would be equally happy to quote you and accept your payment in IDR should you prefer this.
By default our quoted individual tour fares are based on a maximum participant support on all our tours of just six. However, depending on the nature of your enquiry, you will also receive an outline of how the tour fare would further break down per decreasing number of participants, all the way down to the minimum participant support of two where applicable. We strictly adhere to the maximum of six participants on all our scheduled tours, this policy being prompted by considerations on and extensive practical experience in: (1) the quality of the group (bird- or wildlife-watching) experience in the dense rainforest habitats predominant in West Papua; (2) the carrying capacity of fragile habitats and species sensitive to disturbance through over-visitation; (3) the capacity of accommodation infrastructure at the various field locations within our portfolio; and (4) operational logistics. Thus, we would not invoke a so-called 'couples rule' as many travel outfits tend to do, whereby both members of a couple are being accepted when the final space on a tour cannot otherwise be filled.
All our quoted individual tour fares cover expenses incurred between arrival at and final departure from the Sorong default or alternatively designated starting/ending point(s) of the tour: (1) all internal air travel within West Papua in Economy Class (see also Air transport); (2) all surface transport (see also Surface transport); (3) all accommodation (see also Accommodation); (4) all meals and virtually all snacks and drinks (see also Meals, snacks and drinks); (5) all guiding services (see also Guiding services); (6) all general (non-personal) porter services (see also Porter services); plus all levies directly relating to the providing of those services, such as (7) all government taxes, fees and permits insofar regulated through national or regional law; (8) all customary landowner fees insofar agreed beforehand; and (9) all potential tips (see also No tipping).
Thus, the tour fare explicitly excludes all expenses incurred before arrival at and after departure from the Sorong default or alternatively designated starting/ending point(s) of the tour: (1) travel insurance (see also Reservation); (2) international passport, visa and vaccination expenses; (3) return international air travel to the Indonesian capital Jakarta or alternative Indonesian gateway; (4) onward domestic air travel from Jakarta (or alternative Indonesian gateway) to the Sorong default or alternatively designated starting point of the tour in West Papua; (5) domestic air travel to return from the Sorong default or alternatively designated ending point of the tour in West Papua to Jakarta (or alternative Indonesian gateway); (6) airline excess baggage charges (see also Air transport); (7) personal laundry; (8) personal communication costs; and (9) anything else of a purely personal nature, including taxes, service charges, and potential tips relating to such items (see also No tipping).
In summary, our tour fares include a very comprehensive range of services, and, having paid for your tour, you will therefore find that very little, if any, extra spending money is needed once under our care here in West Papua.
All Economy Class internal air travel within West Papua itself is included in your tour fare and will be procured for you at this end. Wherever this is possible for the internal air travel within West Papua as part of our tours, we use Garuda Indonesia Airlines, Indonesia's national carrier and now a five-star-airline according to Skytrax. Conversely, your return international air travel to Indonesia's capital Jakarta (or alternative Indonesian gateway), and your onward domestic air travel from there to the Sorong default or alternatively designated starting point of your tour in West Papua as well as your domestic air travel from the Sorong default or alternatively designated ending point of your tour in West Papua back to Jakarta (or alternative Indonesian gateway), are excluded from your tour fare (see also Tour fare), and you are invited to procure this directly yourself (see also below).
Between ten and six months prior to tour departure, depending on the circumstances of your booking, we will send you a detailed outline of the recommended domestic flights in connection with getting to and away from the Sorong default or alternatively designated starting/ending point(s) of your tour. You should then normally be able to procure electronic tickets for our recommended flights directly yourself through the respective airlines' dedicated on-line booking systems or a third party on-line booking platform or mobile app. Alternatively, we would be happy to assist with domestic air ticketing should you prefer this, but this would incur a 10% service fee. This service fee, however, also includes all potential follow-up that might become necessary at our end in case of subsequent airline rescheduling or cancellation. We cannot assist with international air ticketing, but we would be more than happy to formulate an optimum flight plan for you, for which you can then procure electronic tickets directly yourself through the respective airlines' dedicated on-line booking systems or a third party on-line booking platform or mobile app. We recommend to procure your return international air travel around the same time as our recommended domestic flights in connection with getting to and away from the Sorong default or alternatively designated starting/ending point(s) of your tour.
To save time and enhance your comfort under all circumstances, we make use of advance on-line check-in for all internal flights within West Papua as part of the tour. This allows us to conveniently check in your checked (registered) baggage at the airport while you are enjoying your breakfast at the hotel. We then transfer you to the airport as soon as flight departure time has been confirmed, allowing you to comfortably rest in your room or in the hotel lobby instead of having to wait in a crowded airport terminal. As part of our tour organizing services, we also assist you with airport transfer, baggage handling, and personalized check-in for your final flight out of West Papua.
Finally, on most air carriers and routes in Indonesia and West Papua the contractual free baggage allowance in Economy Class is 20 kilograms for checked (registered) baggage and seven kilograms for cabin baggage. Because we provide nearly all potentially bulky and cummulatively heavy items related to sleeping and strictly necessary personal care ourselves (i.e. where these are not standard being provided at accommodations; see also Accommodation), this domestic free baggage allowance has proven to be adequate for the vast majority of our guests, and excess baggage charges can nearly always be avoided altogether.
All surface transport within West Papua as part of the tour is included in your tour fare. Potential tips for drivers also already are included in your tour fare, and we kindly ask to refrain from tipping at all times (see also No tipping).
We charter conventional (non-4WD) air-conditioned vehicles during our tours wherever this is needed and possible. However, road conditions more usually dictate the use of chartered 4WD-vehicles. The division of passengers over vehicles generally is in accordance with the 'safe seating' configuration of each vehicle, i.e. the seats that are equipped with both standard safety belt (running across both shoulder and lap) and adjustable head/neck-support. For a conventional (non-4WD) vehicle, such as the most commonly used Toyota Avanza, this implies one passenger in the individual front seat next to the driver, and only two passengers on the elongated back seat, in accordance with this vehicle's safe seating configuration. Thus, the space in the middle of the elongated back seat in between the two safe seats is not counted as a seat because it will not be fitted with a head/neck-support, although it often will have a basic safety belt (running across the lap only). For the most commonly used 4WD-vehicles, such as Mitsubishi Strada or Toyota Hilux, which are pick-up-type vehicles with open backs, this implies one passenger in the individual front seat next to the driver, and again only two passengers on the elongated back seat in accordance with these vehicles' safe seating configurations. Again, the space in the middle of the elongated back seat in between the two safe seats is not counted as a seat because it will not be fitted with a head/neck-support, although it often will have a basic safety belt (running across the lap only). Instead this space can be used to store your own day-pack inside the cabin if you do not want this to be transported in the open back covered by rain shield.
In order to reach some of the remote satellite islands, we charter reliable, multiple-engine-powered, polyester speedboats equipped with life jackets.
The chartering of surface transport implies the services of third parties outside our sphere of control. Whereas we exercise influence to uphold high levels of maintenance, we have no control, and the level of comfort may be lower than what you are used to back home (see also Limitations of liability).
All accommodations within West Papua as part of the tour are included in your tour fare. Potential tips for accommodation owners or employees also already are included in your tour fare, and we kindly ask to refrain from tipping at all times (see also No tipping).
Comfortable, good quality hotels with air-conditioned rooms featuring en-suite western toilet and hot bath/shower, are now available in all regency towns and at a limited selection of remoter destinations. We contract only the more spacious and adequately comfortable Superior or Deluxe rooms, as opposed to the Standard rooms used by most travel outfits. Hotels here invariably charge flat room rates for their twin-bedded or double-bedded rooms, regardless of whether one or two persons occupy them. Consequently, all our stated tour fares are based on double occupancy here. If you are traveling solo and prefer not to share hotel rooms, you should indicate this at the time of enquiry prior to booking as a single room supplement forcibly would apply. Unless specifically agreed otherwise and clearly stated as such on your final pro forma (see also Final pro forma), such a single room supplement applies strictly to the hotels in the regency towns and thus not to the field accommodations (see also below).
On the largest Raja Ampat island of Waigeo off Sorong we stay in a small-scale resort located on the beach-front and consisting of seven detached, air-conditioned guest bungalows (each equipped with spacious front porch, en-suite western toilet and hot shower, and mosquito nets over the beds), and a separate detached communal dining area. The resort charges flat rates for their twin-bedded or double-bedded guest bungalows, regardless of whether one or two persons occupy them. Consequently, all our stated tour fares are based on double occupancy here. Again, if you are traveling solo and prefer not to share a bungalow here, you should indicate this at the time of enquiry prior to booking as a single room supplement forcibly would apply. If single occupancy indeed is available, then your applicable single room supplement here will appear as a separate item on your final pro forma (see also Final pro forma).
In the Arfak Mountains near Manokwari we stay in a basic community-owned guest house equipped with three separate guest rooms (each equipped with en-suite western toilet and basic washing facility), a separate communal dining area, and a separate kitchen area, all under one roof. The washing facility present in each guest room here, consists of an open water tank from which to scoop water over yourself. Because temperatures are relatively low here at c. 1,600 m above sea level, we provide hot water in a separate bucket in which to mix cold water from the tank before scooping this over yourself. You would sleep in configurations of one, two or three, as the circumstances of the group configuration may require, divided over the three guest rooms, and in separate one-person beds with basic sponge mattresses. We prioritize personal rooms for women traveling solo and for couples traveling together, whereby in the latter situation, two one-person beds easily can be placed together to form one double bed, and should there be no women traveling solo or couples traveling together on your tour, then we would allocate personal rooms in the order of tour reservation (see also Reservation). Pillows are available at the guest house, and we separately provide fresh mattress and pillow covers as well as mosquito nets, but we ask that you would bring along your own light-weight sleeping bag (see also below).
Elsewhere, such as in the northern lowlands near Sentani, there are no lodging products in proximity to areas of high biodiversity value and hence there usually is no other realistic option than to walk in and camp out. We then thoroughly provide for your peace of mind with waterproof tented camps equipped with your personal raised-sleeping-platform, mosquito net and self-inflatable sleeping mattress, but we ask that you would bring along your own light-weight sleeping bag (see also below). You would sleep communally in configurations of two or three on a raised individual platform under waterproof tarpaulins. We set up a basic bush-toilet and a washing facility, consisting of an open water tank from which to scoop water over yourself.
Towels, service rolls for your personal toilet, shampoo and soap are being provided at the hotels in the regency towns, which feature en-suite bathrooms with western toilet and hot bath/shower. We separately provide these four items at all field accommodations and hence you would not need to bring these along from home. However, you may of course opt to bring along your preferred shampoo and soap, fine-tuned to your individual hair and skin properties.
In summary, where these are not standard being provided at accommodations, we provide nearly all potentially bulky and cummulatively heavy items such as mattress and pillow covers, mosquito nets, self-inflatable sleeping mattresses, towels, service rolls, shampoo, and soap ourselves, allowing you to travel as compact and light as possible and avoid airline excess baggage charges (see also Air transport). If a sleeping bag is needed on your tour, we ask that you would bring along your own light-weight sleeping bag from home. However, should you be bringing along a lot of image-capturing or diving equipment, we would be happy to organize a sleeping bag for you at this end for a small fee. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if indeed you would like to make use of this additional service or have any further questions on this subject.
All meals, virtually all snacks, and virtually all drinks taken with snacks and meals within West Papua as part of the tour are included in your tour fare. Potential tips for restaurant owners or employees or field kitchen staff also already are included in your tour fare, and we kindly ask to refrain from tipping at all times (see also No tipping).
In the regency towns there usually is a good choice of à la carte Oriental dining, a limited selection of western foods, and a variety of drinks to be enjoyed at a limited number of good quality hotels and restaurants. A buffet-style breakfast is always included in your hotel stays here, but because breakfast operation hours typically range from 06:00 to 10:00 hrs only, which overlaps with the optimum time to be out in the field, we invariably are unable to take advantage of the breakfast arrangements at hotels on half a day's or day-long excursions organized out of the regency towns. Instead, we then organize our own breakfast out in the field (see also below). We include in our tour fares all à la carte meals and all drinks normally taken with meals at hotels and restaurants in this part of the world, excluding only wines and hard liquors, which anyway rarely are available and if so, extremely expensive. A fair usage policy applies. In addition, any drinks and snacks ordered at hotels outside of set lunch or dinner times here would be a personal expense and would remain your own responsibility. However, because you will not normally be spending any significant time at hotels during the day-time, the need for such additional drinks and snacks here would be almost non-existent. If due to operational reasons (flight delay or cancellation), you nonetheless would end up spending a significant amount of time in a hotel, then we would offer you a snack and drink on the house. Kindly be advised also that there are strictly enforced government bans on alcohol in the Jayapura, Manokwari and Wamena regencies, and that beer, which elsewhere would be included in your tour fare when consumed during meals in regency towns, will not be available here. We ask to spontaneously adhere to these government bans on alcohol wherever in place and not to bring in any type of alcohol here. Smuggling alcohol into a designated dry zone is a punishable offence and could result in legal prosecution.
Out in the field, we serve a delicious blend of Indonesian (Malay), ethnic Chinese and western cuisines, which we would describe as honest home cooking, with the emphasis on authentic flavors and fresh and high-quality ingredients rather than fancy presentation. We take pride in serving tasty, healthy and nutritious meals, using foodstuffs of the highest quality, and as much as possibly can, of organic origin, skillfully prepared by a trained cook under hygienic conditions on efficient and environmentally-friendly LPG-stoves. These are veritable gourmet meals, and many of our guests and friends have commented that our meals prepared under relatively difficult circumstances out in the field, by far exceeded their prior expectations and consistently ranked higher than meals served at hotels, resorts or restaurants here in West Papua. To begin with, our meals are always served nicely warm, whereas hotel, resort or restaurant staff will not hesitate to bring out cold food to the table if this makes their lives easier, and we are not talking about dishes normally eaten cold here.
We bring you the very best the Indonesian archipelago has to offer, with signature dishes like ikan kuah kuning, a clear, mildly spicy and sourish fish soup with tomatoes, turmeric, lemon grass and Thai basil, commonly eaten in coastal areas of West Papua and the adjacent Moluccas or Spice Islands to our west, heavenly rendang or brown-curried beef stew, gulai yellow-curried tuna chunks or balado aubergine from Sumatra, a mildly sourish woku chicken or fish from Sulawesi's Minahassa Peninsula, or tempe penyet marinated and braised fermented soy bean cakes from eastern Java. We alternate with western comfort foods like spaghetti Napolitano with a grated parmesan-style cheese, black pepper beef or chicken, a tuna-mayonnaise salad, or linguini al fredo, but also so-called Peranakan dishes from the ethnic Chinese community in Indonesia, such as homemade fish or chicken nuggets in a rich asam manis sweet and sour sauce done right with pineapple, cucumber, carrot, onion, and ginger, or a sweet gingery chicken slowly cooked with palm sugar, and finally with all-time Asian favorites like red-curried beef stew or green-curried chicken stew from Thailand, Indonesian-style fried rice nasi goreng or fried noodles mie goreng and their sides, or still a Japanese teriyaki beef stew or yakiniku chicken stew. We always properly match and alternate rice, noodles or pasta, and potatoes as staple with our meals. Thus, depending on the dishes these staples accompany, rice could appear as a fluffy white rice, a fragrant yellow rice with turmeric and Thai basil, a hearty butter rice, or still a nasi lemak, slowly cooked in coconut milk, and potatoes could come as plain boiled or perhaps subsequently lightly stir-fried with rosemary or thyme, deep-fried chips, or as Indonesian-style perkedel potato croquettes. Crisply fresh regional vegetables are always abundantly represented in each meal and carefully matched with the main dishe(s). We do not have the habit of cooking vegetables to death in this part of the world, but instead use a wok to prepare vegetables quickly under high temperature to preserve their crispiness, full taste and vitamins. Depending on the type of dishes, meals may be served plated or in buffet-style, but there always will be enough food for a second and even third serving. In short, you are unlikely to lose weight on our tours. For desert there are always at least fresh regional fruits, but we will also surprise you from time to time with a flan caramel, a molten lava chocolate cake, a pan-baked pineapple with a honey-cinnamon dressing, or a vanilla panna cotta with mango or passion fruit coulis. After dinner, field kitchens close as quickly as possible for cleaning and in preparation for the following day. We will then inform you of a final opportunity to order a drink, and kindly ask not to request any additional drinks after that until breakfast time early the following morning.
As indicated in our respective tour descriptions, lunch is usually being served at the field accommodations, but on day-long excursions this is being delivered by our porters (see also Porter services) as an individually packed lunch out in the field. For our packed lunches we make use of our own reusable and individual food-grade containers, which are guaranteed to be free of bisphenol A (BPA). In contrast, most travel outfits here in West Papua, make use of disposable plastic or even styrofoam food containers for their packed lunches. These are then often just dumped somewhere in the forest and will take at least 500 years to degrade there.
Guided field days here in West Papua typically start around 04:30 hrs and occasionally earlier (see also Guiding services), and we always serve a full breakfast before heading out, so that maximum advantage can be made of the optimum time of day uninterruptedly from around half an hour before dawn to the mid-morning at c. 10:00 hrs. Breakfast is perhaps the most difficult meal to accommodate to everyone's liking because most people have very specific breakfast habits. As a starting point, we therefore provide a different kind of breakfast every morning so that there hopefully will be something to everyone's liking. We alternate pancakes with a variety of condiments including home-made mango or pineapple compote, hearty hash browns, eggs 'n sausages, breakfast cereals such as muesli, granola or corn flakes yet supplemented with condiments and fruits (typically for the earliest departures), but also some Indonesian favorites such as kolak pisang, a sweet succulent banana soup slowly cooked in coconut milk and palm sugar, or our own creations including pan-baked bananas with honey and cinnamon and coated in oatmeal flakes.
We typically plan two sweet moments outside of meals per day, one sometime in the mid-morning and the other sometime in the afternoon. We then offer homemade pies, cakes or biscuits along with a cup of coffee or tea or another drink (see also below). In addition, whenever you would be confined in bird hides for prolonged monitoring sessions, we also make sure that you would have a box with some cake or biscuits at your disposal inside.
We are very conscious about what we put into our guests' and friends' bodies. We spare no reasonable effort to serve locally grown produce originating from organic farming wherever possible. We use imported olive oil for all stir-frying and restrict locally produced palm oil, which contributes heavily to forest clearance in the lowlands of West Papua, for occasional deep-frying only, in fact the only cooking process for which palm oil actually exhibits superior properties, being more heat-resistant than any other frying oil. The use of sea salt during our food preparations is absolutely minimal, and because we use very few prepared foodstuffs, cryptic salt intake is also strongly being reduced. We provide salt separately on the table should you require or prefer a higher salt intake. We avoid the use of artifical flavoring as much as possibly can be, and the use of Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is otherwise widely used in Indonesia and in Oriental cuisine around the world, and is reported to cause headaches and other discomforts, is banned altogether. The homemade pies, cakes and biscuits that we serve typically contain at least 50% less sugar than comercially sold products here in West Papua, where sheer addiction to sugar is the norm. Finally, to firm up certain dishes, a panna cotta for instance, we use an entirely vegetable binder known as agar-agar in Indonesian, which is made from sea weed, as opposed to the usual animal-derived gelatine. In contrast, most travel outfits here in West Papua leave the preparation of meals to people who have had little or no proper training in this regard, generally exhibit poor understanding of nutrition or food hygiene, generally use irresponsibly copious quantities of salt and MSG, and usually will be compelled to cook on an open wood fire, which tends to contribute to deforestation and forest degradation around villages.
About 25% of the meals that we serve out in the field are vegetarian, and we are always happy to accommodate any individual dietary requirements that you might have. We collect detailed information on dietary restrictions and preferences in our booking form (see also Reservation) and invite you to provide us with as much as possible additional information on your preferential foods and general food habits. So please know that, if for any reason, the various foods described above do not appeal to you, we would be more than happy to offer you personalized alternatives, provided that you do provide us with all relevant information in your booking form.
Finally, an assortment of coffee, tea and hot chocolate as well as lime and orange squash are available throughout the day, as is purified drinking water processed from professional Katadyn® filters. Kindly be advised, however, that we do not normally provide canned or bottled drinks out in the field. Away from the dinner table, please always use your own personal water bottle or camel bag for drinking water refills (see also No littering).
All guiding services within West Papua as part of the tour are included in your tour fare. Potential tips for guides also already are included in your tour fare, and we kindly ask to refrain from tipping at all times (see also No tipping).
Guided field days here in West Papua typically start around 04:30 hrs and occasionally earlier where necessary, but we always serve breakfast before heading out (see also Meals, snacks and drinks). It is always possible to make the most of the optimum final hour of darkness for nocturnal birds and animals, often as we also make our way to arrive before the crack of dawn around 05:30 hrs at the bird hides set up near the display sites of the various species of bird-of-paradise, which typically will take our attention until around 09:00 hrs, sometimes a little later depending on the species targeted or overall weather conditions. Besides the not-to-be-missed display performances of the birds-of-paradise themselves, these hides also open up an intimate window of observation into the secretive lives of West Papua's many habitual ground- and understorey-dwellers, and our guides will join you inside the hides to help you come to grips with these sought-after creatures. Following a sweet moment (see also Meals, snacks and drinks), the rest of the morning is then typically being dedicated to general bird- and wildlife-watching from forest trails or a wider track. As indicated in the respective tour descriptions, lunch is being served flexibly in function of maximizing observation time, either at the field accommodations or as a packed lunch out in the field on our day-long excursions (see also Meals, snacks and drinks). We always try to accommodate a 40 minutes' power nap after lunch, but, depending on the afternoon's program, this may not always be possible. Many species of bird-of-paradise are active at the display sites between 14:30 and 17:00 hrs and some species even until dusk, and it is important to arrive at and properly establish ourselves inside the bird hides well before the anticipated arrival of the birds themselves. Depending on travel time to the targeted display site(s), there may thus not be much time left after lunch, and we may need to set out again after a quick cup of coffee or tea and associated sweet moment. If no monitoring sessions are pursued at the display sites in the afternoon, then there will be a little more time, but we typically endeavor to start out again by 14:00 hrs for general bird- and wildlife-watching until around dusk. Depending on our proximity to the field accommodation around dusk, we can then either opt to continue immediately with a nocturnal session (when our afternoon excursion would end far away from the field accommodation) or organize a longer nocturnal session after dinner in the vicinity of the field accommodation. We typically end a field day around 21:00 hrs, occasionally a little later, with a recap of the sightings of the concluded day and a thorough briefing on the excursions for the following day (see also below). Thus, depending on varying daily programs, a guided field day spans 17-18 hours (including a 40 minutes' power nap after lunch where possible) and a corresponding 6-7 hours of nightly sleep. We kindly ask to respect the minimum six hours' nocturnal rest of our guides and not to request guiding services then.
Our guides are expert bird-watchers and full-fledged all-round naturalists who have an intimate knowledge of our destinations' bird- and wildlife, their natural history, as well as the cultural anthropology of our diverse indigenous host communities, all amassed over two decades of practical field experience here in West Papua. They are fluently multilingual (including English, Dutch, French and Indonesian) and therefore are able to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with a wide audience in a pleasantly interactive and educational manner, allowing you to truly grasp the vast natural wonders of West Papua. Our digital sound library of West Papuan birds is quite simply unrivaled, exceeding 5,000 tracks all recorded by ourselves, and maximizes the outlook of coming to grips with the most elusive of species through sparing and cautious playback in the field. In addition, our guides make excellent use of a high-end field scope in order to enhance your observation experience, quickly drawing in subjects for detailed scrutiny and study. Here are guides who not only know all widely used English plus scientific bird names by heart, master every bird call in the forest, quickly put spotted birds in the scope for you or communicate effectively to put you as quickly as possibly can on a moving bird, but also will elucidate a bird's identification features in detail where needed, expand on its ecology or social organization where of interest, will identify most animals and many trees and flowering plants in the forest, enlighten you on an area's history of exploration or biogeography, or answer any questions that might spring to mind with regard to our fascinating indigenous host communities. At an appropriate time in the evening, our guides will recapitulate all bird sightings of the concluded day while going through the bird lists together (see also Bird lists) and will take ample time to answer any questions that might spring to mind then. Our guides will then also provide a thorough briefing of the excursions planned for the following day in accordance with the published tour itinerary, solicit input from each and every guest on any related individual wishes and needs, and set up a group discussion in order to fine-tune, harmonize and implement these respective individual wishes and needs (see also Freedom and flexibility). This way, you can be sure to be able to make the most of your time out in the field in accordance with your own interests, preferences and priorities. In contrast, most travel outfits engage guides with a very rudimentary knowledge of English even, which in turn hampers communication and transfer of knowledge, wastes often straightforward opportunities for meaningful and rewarding personalization, and makes for a very different kind of experience.
Finally, our guides carry a well-stocked first aid kit at all times and undergo routine training in emergency response and first-aid medical application. They also carry a Garmin Global Positioning System (GPS) and Thuraya Satellite Phone at all times, enabling them to respond adequately in the event of any emergency. Other travel outfits will not normally have such safety measures in place.
All general (non-personal) porter services within West Papua as part of the tour are included in your tour fare. Potential tips for porters also already are included in your tour fare, and we kindly ask to refrain from tipping at all times (see also No tipping).
Throughout your tour we take care of the carrying of your main luggage whenever transfering to/from air- or seaports, means of transport, hotels and lodgings in the regency towns, and field accommodations. This includes all services provided by unionized porters at air- or seaports.
On tours based entirely in regency towns or on which access to field accommodations is straightforward by surface transport (see also Surface transport) you are entirely free to opt for any of the following as your main luggage solution: (1) any medium- to large-sized duffel bag; (2) any medium- to large-sized backpack/rucksack; (3) any medium- to large-sized conventional, hardside/softside, two- or four-wheeled luggage with retractable handle; or (4) any other medium- to large-sized type of sturdy wheeled travel bag. However, on tours where access to field accommodations requires long transportation on foot under difficult circumstances, we strongly insist that your main luggage be a proper backpack or rucksack, fitted with comfortable, padded and fortified back- and waist-straps. We also strongly insist to limit weight to 20 kilograms here, which anyway corresponds with the free baggage allowance in Economy Class for checked (registered) baggage (see also Air transport).
Whenever on day-long excursions your packed lunch would need to be delivered out in the field by our porters (see also Meals, snacks and drinks) this is included in your tour fare.
Kindly be advised that you are expected to carry yourself any small backpack or rucksack, waist pouch or any other type of day-pack storing your personal valuables and equipment necessary for the day, and further are expected to assume total responsibility over this at all times. If you are unwilling to carry your personal day-pack and equipment, or intend to bring extensive image-capturing equipment that would require a personal porter at your disposal, you should indicate this at the time of enquiry prior to booking as a supplement forcibly would apply. For such day-long personal porter services, we further strongly insist to limit weight to 15 kilograms per porter.
Group travel is always a matter of giving and taking, no matter how considerate and cooperative the individual members of a group behave, but as a starting point, we always strive to accommodate each individual's wishes and needs within the general framework of a scheduled departure. This is possible because of three key characteristics of our tours. Firstly, the maximum participant support on all our scheduled tours is six only (see also Tour fare), and this tiny group size already greatly enhances the quality of the group experience as well as the personal comfort of each individual guest in the dense rainforest environment predominant in West Papua. Our high host-guest ratio (as a general rule, one tour guide for three tour participants) allows for a very high level of personalized guiding. Secondly, we always reserve adequate aditional field staff so to properly support the subdivision of a group into two even smaller groups for separate half a day's to day-long activities. This can be a three-three, two-four or even one-five split, depending on the specific activities pursued and the characteristics of the group. And thirdly, we invariably stay overnight in close proximity to the most sought-after species and this too allows for a high degree of flexibility because multiple and separate visits to key species can easily be accommodated.
Under such a framework it is thus perfectly possible for keen birders to pursue challenging species, for photographers to fully indulge in their photographic interests, for bird-of-paradise enthusiasts to dedicate more time at display sites, or for guests with a more general appetite for natural history to take separate leisurely hikes. In our experience, when organized and managed well, having a group with varying individual interests actually nearly always proves to be beneficial to every single guest, and we have operated many tours with participants with varying interests whereby everyone agreed that this worked out very well for all concerned.
Each evening our guides will provide a thorough briefing of the excursions planned for the following day in accordance with the published tour itinerary, solicit input from each and every guest on any related individual wishes and needs, and set up a group discussion in order to fine-tune, harmonize and implement these respective individual wishes and needs (see also Guiding services). This way, you would be able to optimize your time out in the field in accordance with your own interests, preferences and priorities. We would then only ask that you would spontaneously respect and loyally follow such arrangements obtained through open consultation and deliberation, and not to request last-minute changes on the day itself.
Tipping is not customary in West Papua or Indonesia more generally, and is only being encouraged by tourism outfits that essentially pay inadequate wages and rely on visitors to top up these wages. Depending on clearly defined skill levels, duties and responsibilities, our wages are 33% to 431% up from the government-prescribed living wage, which throughout Indonesia is being reviewed annually by the respective provincial administrations. In addition, we cover all meals, snacks and drinks, transportation costs, safety gear, and medical attention as needed. As such, the wages that we effectively pay out are 100% net, without any deductions. Given the fair remuneration and additional benefits that we already provide, we expect everyone who works for us, to do so to the best of his or her ability within the normal and contractually agreed working hours. If any exceptional work performance would be required outside these normal and agreed working hours, then we appropriately remunerate this ourselves as part of a declared overtime scheme, which is why we state that all potential tips already are included in our tour fares (see also Tour fare).
In order to motivate indigenous people to progress in work and life by learning and mastering new skills, our vision is that wages should rise in accordance with increasing skill level, which we carefully monitor and routinely evaluate. By introducing an alternative reward system that does not necessarily reflect a person's general skill level, not only does tipping directly interfere with our standardized, fair and transparent, skill-based wage policies, much worse even, it also greatly undermines indigenous people's willingness and motivation to persevere in acquiring challenging skills.
Finally, tipping also entails the observable negative effects of dividing and creating tensions within relatively egalitarian indigenous peoples as well as creating expectations toward future visitors that cannot always subsequently be met and further contribute to ever-increasing and above-average local inflation and inequality within indigenous communities living inside tourism hotspots.
In summary, while always well-intentioned by the tipper, tipping entails many negative side-effects, and therefore we kindly ask to refrain from tipping at all times. Remember also that while a few people inevitably are at the forefront of action while out with you in the field, there is in fact an entire team working for you behind the scenes. Consider that a donation to a local cause or project may help all these people in a much more meaningful and structural manner than individual tipping can ever be hoped to achieve. We are always happy to make useful suggestions or provide further information in this regard.
Throughout Indonesia and West Papua awareness among the population with regard to the harmfulness of tobacco smoke is rudimentary, and government regulations to ban tobacco smoke in the public arena are few and generally inadequately enforced. There is thus no legislation to support a no smoking policy on our tours, and therefore we have opted to restrict the smoking of tobacco products contractually here.
Throughout our tours we take bold measures to strictly prohibit smoking among guides, porters, kitchen staff and chartered vehicle operators while on duty. Smoking by tour participants is also strictly prohibited inside and around field accommodations and inside or around chartered vehicles. In addition, smoking by tour participants in open air is not allowed in proximity of fellow tour participants during any field excursions. If you are a smoker and would like to smoke during a field excursion, we kindly ask that you would first notify your guide and then isolate yourself from the rest of the group. We also kindly ask that you would always collect your cigarette filters and dispose of these properly in the dustbins provided at the accommodations (see also No littering). It goes without saying that smoking inside bird hides set up at display sites or smoking in the vicinity of display sites is strictly prohibited, nor would it be allowed to leave a hide to smoke outside and subsequently re-enter the hide.
Finally, since the commencement of our activities back in 2005, the number of guests on our tours who were smokers, still can be counted on two hands, but as a smoker you would evidently be most welcome on our tours as long as you would strictly observe the common sense restrictions on smoking outlined above, thereby contributing immensely to the enjoyment and well-being of everyone on the tour.
Leave only footprints! Always dispose of any personal garbage properly in the dustbins provided at the accommodations (see also No smoking). By default, all personal garbage disposed of in the dustbins provided at the field accommodations and all non-organic residual garbage from our field kitchens is always being transported back into the regency towns and disposed of there in the best possible manner. But it is important to realize and understand to the fullest that West Papua has few recycling facilities (and then only for commercially valuable materials) and no waste-processing infrastructure other than landfills, which always should rank as 'last resort only' measure in waste management. Therefore, we rigorously enforce our own policy of garbage prevention, both in the office and in the field, as part of which we ask to bring along from home your personal water bottle or camel bag for drinking water refills out in the field (see also Meals, snacks and drinks). Finally, we strongly recommend to use rechargeable batteries wherever possible and to return any used regular batteries to a proper recycling facility back home.
Take only pictures! It goes without saying that the collection of any natural history specimens or any antique cultural artefacts on our tours is strictly prohibited. Such collecting activities generally are prohibited under Indonesian law and are only being specifically permitted to academic researchers, following a long bureaucratic trajectory, and within the specific context of comparative scientific study at and subsequent acquisition by recognized natural historic and cultural anthropologic institutions.
Should you like to participate in a Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION) tour, then kindly first query us on availability. Following our confirmation, you may then proceed to make a definite booking by completing our standardized booking form and paying us 30% of the tour fare (see also Payment). Before doing so for a scheduled tour, we would always inform you of the number of standing bookings and confirmed participants. When you would book more than 18 months prior to tour departure, we would be happy to accept a 10% deposit on the tour fare, on the understanding that you would then fulfill the remaining 20% of the normally due 30% deposit around 12 months prior to tour departure. Upon receipt of your booking form and deposit, our official confirmation will be sent to you by email, attaching therein our banker's credit advice pertaining to your deposit.
For your own protection, and in line with common practice, we strongly insist that when you make a definite booking with us, you already hold or proceed to conclude travel insurance that will cover you for medical/repatriation expenses and for cancellation/curtailment charges in the event that you would have to cancel or leave the tour due to the illness of yourself, a traveling companion or a close relative back home. Most importantly, from our perspective is that you hold travel insurance that will cover medical and repatriation expenses in case you would encounter a medical emergency during your tour with us. We are very fortunate to be able to state that ever since the commencement of our activities back in 2005, none of our guests have had to make use of such an insurance, but as the saying goes, an accident hides in a small corner, and it is always best to be prepared for the worst. An additional cancellation/curtailment insurance essentially is for your own added protection and peace of mind in case that you would suddenly be prevented from joining the tour in a timely manner or altogether. That a participant, at the very last moment, was unable to join a tour, unfortunately, already happened more than once. Finally, in order to be valid, many insurance providers contractually stipulate that you should procure your insurance concurrently with your tour reservation.
Final pro forma is being sent electronically five months prior to tour departure and payment must be received by us within one month of the date of issue of that pro forma (see also Payment). We reserve the right to treat your participation in a tour as cancelled and levy appropriate cancellation charges (see also Cancellation) if the balance is not received by the due date, i.e. four months prior to tour departure.
Payment must be settled by bank transfer of the applicable IDR, EUR or USD amount directly to our corresponding Bank Mandiri IDR-, EUR- or USD-account, thereby explicitly instructing your bank that all applicable charges, at both ends of the transaction, are billed to you.
A bank transfer remains the safest and most cost-efficient way to transfer funds domestically and internationally. The SWIFT-system for international transfers in use in Indonesia and the vast majority of countries and territories around the world, is quick, accurate and secure because both the beneficiary account number and name in a transaction must match 100%. This excludes the potential fraud by third parties commonly reported with the IBAN-system used in Europe, which executes automated transfers to account numbers without verifying the beneficiary name.
We are not currently set up to accept payments by credit cards or virtual accounts like PayPal. The reason therefore is that such facilities still charge relatively high transaction fees to the seller of around 3%, in turn propelling a correspondingly upward pressure on our tour fares that we really would like to avoid.
We thoroughly prepare you for your tour with us with a comprehensive electronic practicalities document, including a detailed annotated packing list, thorough and authoritative general information that you can rely on, as well as useful travel and birding or bird photography guidelines. In order to be as up-to-date as possible, we typically send out your practicalities document around three months prior to tour departure.
We also thoroughly prepare you for your tour with us with tailored electronic bird lists that you can rely on. For your convenience we provide a detailed systematic list as well as a condensed day-to-day list for easy annotation while on tour. In order to be as up-to-date as possible, we typically send out your bird lists around three months prior to tour departure. We kindly ask to print these lists back home and bring them along if you would like to use them here in the field.
Subsequent cancellation by you of a definite booking must be notified to us per email and will take effect on the
day of our perusal. Based on our estimated expenses and losses suffered as a result of your cancellation, the following penalties
(1) four months or more prior to tour departure = 100% of the deposit paid;
(2) between two and four months prior to tour departure = 50% of the tour fare; and
(3) within the final two months prior to tour departure = 100% of the tour fare.
Please note that if the reason for your cancellation falls within the terms and conditions of your travel insurance, cancellation charges will normally be refunded by your insurance company, less any excess applicable (see also Reservation and Traveling in times of corona).
Conversely, we too may have to cancel your tour in the event of force majeure: unusual or unforeseen circumstances outside our sphere of control, including but not limited to changes imposed by rescheduling or cancellation by air, sea or land carriers, government action, industrial dispute, strikes, war or threat of war, civil strife, terrorist activity, riot, natural or man-made disaster, or severe weather conditions (see also Traveling in times of corona).
In addition, we are compelled to cancel any scheduled tour for which there are insufficient participants to allow the tour to go ahead at break-even of costs and for which a settlement in the form of a reduced group premium exceeding 20% of the quoted tour fare based on the maximum participant support of six cannot be reached (see also Reduced group premium).
In the event that we would have to cancel a tour due to circumstances outside our sphere of control or because of insufficient participant support, all tour payments received will be refunded within one month of our notification per email, and this shall be the limit of our liability. We cannot accept responsibility for any airline cancellation charges that you may face in connection with getting to and returning from the Sorong default or alternatively designated starting/ending point(s) of the tour, nor any other expense incurred in preparing for the tour (see also Tour fare).
Finally, it is important to realize and understand to the fullest that West Papua remains a destination that is generally perceived as challenging to potentially strenuous and for which prospective participants overwhelmingly plan long-term, typically making first enquiries between 24 and 18 months ahead of intended timing of travel. In our experience since 2005, it often proves problematic to recruit novel participants, especially so for longer expeditions, less than five months ahead of tour departure. This is why we send out the final pro forma five months prior to tour departure (see also Final pro forma). Our reservation, payment and cancellation policies thus simply reflect a long trajectory revealed from consumer behavior and further have been developed in the best interest of all participants. After all, any subsequent cancellation has the potential to significantly increase the tour fare for the remaining participants if no replacement can be found (see also Reduced group premium) and hence the potential loss of the deposit or (part of the) tour fare is a safeguard to ensure that participants are fully committed and would not cancel without reasonable grounds. By default, therefore, if you would be compelled to cancel your participation in a scheduled tour, what would be left of all tour payments already received from you after settlement with our suppliers of all arrangements already made for you at this end, would remain in the total tour balance for all remaining participants. This way, their reduced group premium as a direct consequence of your cancellation can either still be limited (if you would cancel before the sending of the final pro forma) or subsequently (partly) refunded (see also Final pro forma and Reduced group premium). Knowing that all your tour payments to us will normally promptly be refunded by your insurance company (see also above), our arrangement in this regard will not normally be detrimental to you in any significant way. In addition, this arrangement would work to your own benefit in the reversed situation where somebody else would cancel and, as a direct consequence, drive an upward pressure on your tour fare as a remaining participant.
The current pandemic of the coronavirus (COVID-19) confronts both travelers and travel companies worldwide with unprecedented and truly exceptional uncertainties and challenges that quite simply defy our normal cancellation policy (see also Cancellation), which was designed for very different times, and instead necessitate a highly flexible and pragmatic approach in order to minimize the risks and associated financial losses for everyone involved and as much as possibly can be.
Besides contracting the virus itself back home or while traveling abroad, there is the potential for being placed in quarantine for up to 14 days at either end upon mere suspicion of contamination, and the risk that travel suddenly might not be possible altogether due to other government action to contain or mitigate the spread of the virus at either end (lockdowns, border closures, travel bans). If you would contract the coronavirus (or indeed any other illness) back home, your cancellation/curtailment insurance provider should normally accept this as a valid reason to cancel your tour with us and our cancellation charges would normally be refunded by your insurance company, less any excess applicable (see also Reservation and Cancellation). However, if you would contract the virus (or indeed be confronted with any other emergency) while traveling here in West Papua with us, it would typically be more ambiguous whether your medical/repatriation insurance provider would be contractually obligated to assist you, because most insurances specifically exclude epidemics. The general rule is then that, if there is no specific negative travel advice to visit Indonesia and West Papua from your country's department of foreign affairs at the time you embark upon your travel, your insurance provider remains contractually liable to assist you here, but we strongly recommend to verify this critical detail in your insurance contract, and to contact your insurance company directly for written clarifications when in doubt. In addition, it remains to be seen to what extent intervention by insurance providers would remain mandatory in the event that your travel suddenly would become altogether impossible due to government action to contain or mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (quarantines, lockdowns, border closures, travel bans). Government action is usually covered in insurance contracts, but epidemics are usually specifically excluded and hence government action in response to epidemics may reasonably be expected not to be covered. Again, we strongly recommend to consult your insurance contract and liaise with your insurance company for written clarifications on the proceedings in such a worst-case scenario.
In the event that you indeed would be compelled to cancel your tour with us due to any aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and should your cancellation/curtailment insurance provider prove not to intervene, then we would position ourselves as flexible as possibly can be, and following a standard verification process with your insurance company, accept the transfer of your booking to any future tour with us without invoking our normally applicable cancellation charges (see also Transfers). Conversely, should we be compelled to cancel your tour due to any aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, then we too would in first instance appeal to your sense of flexibility and invoke a pragmatic arrangement in the form of a free transfer to any future tour with us. Should it then subsequently become clear that we would not be able to organize your replacement tour within the next 36 months, counting from the normal departure date of your cancelled tour, then all tour payments received, less any airline and accommodation penalties incurred at this end (see also Transfers), will be refunded within one month of our notification per email, and this shall be the limit of our liability (see also Cancellation).
If you wish to transfer your booking to another tour with us, this will normally be treated as a cancellation and rebooking, and the relevant cancellation charges will apply (see also Cancellation). However, if your decision to transfer revolves around the decline of a settlement in the form of a reduced group premium invoked for a scheduled tour for which there are insufficient participants, no such charges will be levied (see also Reduced group premium). In addition, no such charges would be levied when a transfer revolves around a pragmatic arrangement over COVID-19 (see also Traveling in times of corona). Any additional costs incurred as a result of a transfer, such as e.g. airline cancellation and reticketing charges or costs related to non-refundable accommodation arrangements, always would remain your own responsibility. In addition, we do reserve the right to reject any transfer should we have reasonable grounds for doing so.
Should you be prevented by reasonable cause from proceeding with your tour, you are free to find a substitute, provided that we receive immediate notification thereof per email. Any additional costs incurred as a result of a substitution, such as e.g. airline cancellation and reticketing charges, would remain your own responsibility. In addition, we do reserve the right to reject any substitute should we have reasonable grounds for doing so.
By default our quoted individual tour fares are based on a maximum participant support of six (see also Tour fare). In the event that a group of six participants cannot be raised for a scheduled tour by the time of the sending of the final pro forma, i.e. five months prior to tour departure (see also Final pro forma), we invoke an arrangement in the form of a reduced group premium aimed at ensuring that our scheduled tours will go ahead wherever economically feasible, at break-even of costs if need be (see also Cancellation). The magnitude of this reduced group premium will be determined on an ad hoc basis following a reassessment of the tour's economics against the number of standing bookings and received deposits (see also Cancellation). Where the reduced group premium is not in excess of 20% of the quoted tour fare based on six participants, acceptance of the premium is compulsory, and bookings are only accepted on the critical condition that you are agreeable to paying the reduced group premium if indeed required. In situations where the tour can go ahead only if the reduced group premium exceeds 20% of the quoted tour fare based on six participants, acceptance is optional, and should you decide to decline this settlement, you can either transfer your booking to another tour without incurring cancellation charges (see also Transfers) or receive a full refund (see also Cancellation). Naturally, in the event that additional bookings are received after a reduced group premium was imposed, we will refund accordingly.
Instead of charging flat and therefore by design overrated tour fares as many travel outfits do, we opted, right from the start, to work with a reduced group premium and to regulate this in fine detail by setting an arbitrary upper limit above which a reduced group premium is no longer compulsory. This caps your financial liability and enhances your legal security, while further ensuring the lowest possible tour fare for all participants under all circumstances, thereby treating every participant in an equal and fair manner. Remember also that, depending on the nature of your enquiry, you will receive, right from the start, an outline of how your default tour fare based on six participants would further break down per decreasing number of participants, all the way down to the minimum participant support of two where applicable. As such, you can easily calculate the magnitude of a potential reduced group premium at that earliest stage in your planning, and, if desirable, simply wait to confirm your participation in a tour until the number of confirmed participants is in accordance with your financial criteria. In contrast, most tour companies include in their terms and conditions only a vague provision on a potential surcharge in case of inadequate participant support, which essentially boils down to a reduced group premium as well, except that your financial liability will then not specifically be delimited.
Finally, to put our reduced group premium into context and perspective, since the onset of our activities back in 2005, the number of instances in which we have been compelled to invoke a reduced group premium, still can be counted on one hand only. In addition, we subsequently always did manage to make at least a partial refund by accepting additional participants up to the very last minute and even on separate sections of a prolonged tour where possible. So please do rest assured that in the rare event that a reduced group premium would have to be invoked, we would continue to do everything realistically possible to fill the remaining open space(s) and provide a corresponding refund.
We do reserve the right to initiate a minor rate surcharge at any time prior to departure in the event of extraordinary cost increases or losses incurred by us that stem directly from negative changes in exchange currency values or increases in the cost of fossil fuels. However, we are extremely reluctant to do so, and since the onset of our activities back in 2005, we have never invoked such a surcharge. In contrast, the practice of imposing last-minute and often insufficiently substantiated surcharges is relatively widespread in the travel industry.
No refund can be given for any unused service provided as part of the tour.
Our tour itineraries are comparatively detailed and have been meticulously researched in order to maximize time out in the field. Occasionally, it may be necessary to deviate from stated details, almost exclusively due to rescheduling of flight departure or arrival times, change of airline, aircraft type, destination or intermediate airport, causing variations in itinerary that have no significant effect upon the enjoyment of the tour, as well as changes to accommodation. Such minor changes are not grounds for cancellation without charges (see also Cancellation). In addition, more substantial alterations made before or after departure due to circumstances outside our sphere of control are not grounds for cancellation without charges and any additional costs that may arise would remain your own responsibility (see also Limitations of liability).
Taking part in a Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION) tour requires that you be in generally good health and of a reasonable physical fitness, being capable of sustained marching and considerable ascents on difficult terrain where necessary. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions make them known to us at the time of enquiry prior to booking. We can then counsel you on whether the tour that you have selected indeed is appropriate for you. Evidently, persons over 80 years of age should only consider participating in any of our tours if exceptionally fit.
We do reserve the right to remove from the tour any person incapable or unwilling to conduct him/herself in congruence with all prevailing national and regional laws, local regulations and customs, the additional provisions of this contract (see also No smoking, No littering, and No collecting), and the satisfactory operation of the tour in general. In this extremely unlikely and on our tours unprecedented event, we would make no refund, nor be liable to pay any compensation, and any additional travel costs involved in returning home would be your own responsibility.
As part of our contractual duty and moral obligation to exercise utmost care in making arrangements for you, we spare no reasonable effort to ensure that our tours are properly arranged and that the airlines, third party vehicle operators, hotels, resorts, guest houses, restaurants and other organizations we engage are reputable. Having said this, our prospective clients need to realize fully that West Papua remains an extremely challenging place to work in, and in order to take part in any of our tours we require that Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION), its owners and employees, its agents and operators and their respective owners and employees, be formally exempted, released and held harmless from any and all liabilities arising as a consequence of any acts or omissions on our/their part, including but not limited to negligence.
Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION) cannot accept responsibility for claims arising out of carriage by air, sea or land, or provision of hotel accommodation. We have no direct control over the carriers or providers concerned and you are subject to their terms and conditions, which are governed by international conventions excluding or limiting liability in respect of death, injury, delay, and loss or damage to baggage.
It is also important to underline here that operational decisions may be taken by air, sea or land carriers, or their regulatory authorities, resulting in delays, diversions and rescheduling. Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION) has no control whatsoever over such decisions and is therefore unable to accept responsibility over these decisions.
Finally, with special reference to our birding tours, Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION) possesses unparalleled in-house expertise about West Papua's rich birdlife, amassed over two decades of practical field experience. We do know where the specialties are, and in the field strive for all tour members to obtain satisfactory views of those most-wanted birds. However, seeing some of the more elusive species ultimately depends as much on your own eyesight and active participation in the tour, adherence to our birding guidelines (see also Practicalities document), inherently unpredictable weather conditions, and not uncommonly time-restriction, as on our skills and commitment to deliver, and a certain degree of mere luck invariably is involved in the process. Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION) therefore evidently can on no account be held responsible for any specifically targeted bird taxon or otherwise, that we may not happen to see during a tour.
Should you book a tour with Papua Expeditions (EKONEXION), then the terms and conditions set forth above constitute the entire legally binding agreement and understanding between us. This contract is deemed to have been drawn up at our Sorong office, and is governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Indonesia, the Papua Special Autonomous Region, the province of West Papua (formerly known as West Irian Jaya) and the town of Sorong. In the extremely unlikely and on our tours unprecedented event that any arising dispute, controversy or claim cannot be resolved on a friendly footing, the competent courts of justice shall be the Sorong State Court and, in case of higher appeal, the Jayapura Supreme Court exclusively.
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