Saga Tours of Mali - West Africa Adventure Travel
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Terms and Conditions
Saga Tours policies for private individuals and groups

Payment of deposit and/or payment in full certifies that you understand and agree to these Terms and Conditions.

Travellers should also read Frequently Asked Questions about travel with Saga Tours.


It is Saga Tours' responsibility to provide the services listed with a tour itinerary. Saga Tours includes this information with every price quote.

All lodging is double occupancy, bed & breakfast; private baths are included whenever available. Comparable hotel substitutes will be provided if planned accommodations are not available. For single occupancy, a single supplement will be applied. Day rooms are not included unless specified. Hotel check-in time is 2:00 PM, and check-out time is 12:00 noon; day room check-out time is 6:00 PM.

Saga Tours reserves the right to make itinerary modifications or to change hotels or other tour components, if these are deemed necessary or advisable for the continuation of the tour, for safety and security reasons, or to prevent delays that would be detrimental to the tour or its members. Saga Tours is not responsible for any delays or consequences of any delays due to circumstances beyond Saga Tours' control. Saga Tours will make every effort to provide alternate and comparable services if changes are made.

For groups with independent arrivals, Saga Tours will provide two airport transfers upon arrival, and two upon departure; other arrivals and departures will be assessed an airport transfer fee. If a group member arrives late, that person is responsible for any and all transportation costs incurred in catching up with the group.

All luggage should have sturdy identification tags and should always be locked. Saga Tours personnel will assist travelers with lost luggage formalities at Bamako airport. Saga Tours will also make every effort to forward lost luggage to its owner during the tour; any costs incurred in forwarding luggage are the responsibility of the traveler.

Estimated prices to forward lost/delayed bags:
Bamako to Segou 50 Euros
Bamako to Sevare/Mopti 100 Euros
Bamako to Sikasso 100 Euros
Bamako to Dogon country 150 Euros
prices may vary with weight or number of bags

Additional ground services required as a result of international flight schedule changes, illness or emergencies are the sole responsibility of the traveler. Saga Tours personnel will do what they can to assist travelers who may need to make new flight arrangements. This is done as a courtesy and implies no responsibility on the part of Saga Tours to find or make new arrangements. The costs or penalties for any such arrangements, including extra hotel nights and/or meals, are the sole responsibility of the traveler.

Travelers must procure their own passport, entry visa(s), and health documents.

Travelers agree to comply with local laws and regulations, and to respect cultural practices observed during the tour. Travelers understand that living conditions and practices in West Africa are not the same as in their home countries. Travelers must be ready to experience cultural differences with grace.

Travelers are expected to be on time for all tour activities; there are no refunds for missed activities. If travelers miss any flights or other scheduled departures, the responsibility and the cost of rejoining the tour will be theirs.

Travelers with special needs or disabilities must inform Saga Tours at the time of booking; failure to disclose in advance any physical or other restrictions, or the need for special accommodations, will make it impossible to meet those needs. When informed, Saga Tours will make every effort to accommodate travelers, and will inform travelers of local conditions they will likely encounter.

For their own safety as well as for the smooth operation of their tour, travelers are expected to follow their guide's requests and instructions; any problems encountered during the tour should be brought to the guide's attention immediately, so that he may remedy the situation. If he is unable to do so, or you are not satisfied with the remedy, please call Saga Tours office, or report the problem to Saga Tours office prior to your departure, at latest.

Tips and gratuities, while not necessary, are accepted as a recognition of quality of service by guides, drivers, restaurant personnel. These tips and gratuities are not covered by tour fees, and are entirely at your discretion.

Health and Fitness

Travelers must be healthy, fit, and prepared to endure hot weather conditions.

Elevators are not routinely available outside capital cities, and some stair-climbing may be required. If you have an underlying medical condition, Saga Tours must be informed and you should get your physician's approval before reserving your tour.

Be advised that in case of illness or accident, Saga Tours' liability is limited to transporting the traveler to the nearest medical facility, and/or back to Bamako for an immediate flight home, at the traveler's expense. Missed activities due to illness are refundable on a pro-rata basis, contingent upon refunds provided by suppliers. Appropriate insurance coverage is recommended (see section on Insurance, below).

Yellow Fever immunization is required to enter Mali and neighboring countries—consult your doctor, travel health clinic, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Malaria is endemic throughout West Africa. See your doctor for a prescription for a malaria-prevention medication. While on tour travelers should try to prevent mosquito bites by wearing appropriate clothing, and by using an insect-repellant.

If you have special dietary requirements, please inform us; special requirements may be met with advance preparation.

For the health and comfort of all Saga Tours clients and staff, all vehicles are No Smoking.

Safety and Security

Travelers' safety and security is Saga Tours' first priority. We do not conduct tours to dangerous areas and we always work with local personnel, who are fully apprised of local safety and security conditions. We will not hesitate to make itinerary modifications at any time, if security issues should arise, in order to assure the safety of our visitors as well as our staff who implements our tours.

Please note that for safety reasons, we avoid driving after dark as much as possible. Driver fatigue is an issue, as well as the condition of the local roads (narrow, unlit, not always in good repair). Also, there are many road hazards specific to the nighttime hours: vehicles frequently without headlights, pedestrians who think they are as visible at night as during the day, and free-ranging farm animals (namely donkeys and cattle) grazing on and long the road.

Travelers are expected to exercise caution in public areas, where pick-pocketing may occur. Travelers are also expected to keep their valuables at hand at all times, and to keep their luggage locked. Saga Tours is not responsible for articles forgotten, left behind or stolen in hotel rooms, restaurants, etc. Theft is rare; in our experience, all items thought to have been stolen were in fact only misplaced.


Travel insurance is recommended, but not required; it is not included in the tour price. In case of accident, Saga Tours' responsibility is limited to transport to the nearest medical facility, and/or to Bamako for an immediate flight home, at your expense. Check your existing policies (health, homeowners, student, etc.) to see what coverage you may already have. Otherwise consult one of the specialist travel insurance companies such as Access America (800 284 8300; or International SOS Assistance (215 245 4707; You should consider coverage for medical expenses including evacuation, trip cancellation, and lost luggage or personal effects.

Domestic flights

Saga Tours utilizes the services of local agencies for domestic flights; as such, Saga Tours and Saga Tours clients are subject to the policies of these airlines.

Saga Tours is not a ticket agent for domestic flights.

For sound but unforeseeable reasons, scheduled domestic flights are sometimes delayed, postponed or canceled.

Air reservations should be made as early as possible; tickets should be purchased no later than 20-60 days prior to the flight dates, to assure availability.

Purchased tickets are the reservation confirmation; prices are subject to change until tickets are purchased.

The airline may request payment once the flight is fully reserved, in order to eliminate frivolous reservations and make seats available for serious requests.

Reservation cancellations made 15 days or less prior to the reserved flight are subject to 50% cancellation penalty.
Reservation cancellations made 48 hours or less prior to the reserved flight are non-refundable.
Tickets issued for groups of 5 or more travellers are non-cancellable, NON-REFUNDABLE.

Domestic flights may be replaced by ground transportation, if the domestic flight schedule renders flights impossible within the constraints of a tour and/or the tour dates; in this case, the missed flights are non-refundable as the ticket price will be used to make alternate land arrangements.

The Mopti arrival/departure may be canceled if there are enough passengers for a direct flight, Bamako-Timbuktu or Timbuktu-Bamako.

Occasionally, the one-way flight to Timbuktu is postponed, and the roundtrip flight to/from Timbuktu is implemented on the same day. When this happens, the time spent in Timbuktu is little more than a few hours, at best; and sometimes the flight returns immediately.

Due to the uncertainties of flying and the penalties incurred when cancelling, cancellation insurance is recommended.

See our Travel Tips page for weight limits and excess baggage fees.

Tour Prices

Saga Tours private tour prices are digressive and depend upon the size of your party; prices are provided upon request. Prices are in Euros, and are subject to change until a tour deposit is received. Prices are per person, double occupancy. Euro price conversion to US Dollars will be made at the time of payment, at the exchange rate of the day.

Tour itineraries list what is included for that tour price; read this information carefully.
Prices do not include international travel to/from Africa, passport fees, visa fees, excess baggage charges, immunizations or other medical services, non-specified meals, alcoholic or other beverages, insurance, tips for tour staff, and personal expenses.

Reservations, Payment

To reserve a tour, a deposit of 50% of the total tour price must be sent by wire transfer to our Bamako bank. We provide our bank references when a tour is booked. Upon receipt of payment we make hotel and transportation arrangements.

NB: If a tour includes flights, the deposit amount may be increased to cover the purchase price of the air tickets; purchased tickets are the reservation confirmation.

Payment of deposit certifies that you understand and agree to these Terms and Conditions.

Upon receipt of deposit, Saga Tours will send a confirmation email. Please allow at least 5-10 working days for your deposit to be credited to our account.

The balance in full is due upon arrival in Bamako, in cash (Euros, or US dollars converted to Euros at the exchange rate on the day of payment).
Sorry, we do not accept credit cards, checks, or travellers checks.

NB: Please be advised there is a variable 5-20% commission on travellers checks in Mali.
Be sure to also bring your purchase receipt, some banks will not cash travellers checks without the purchase receipt.

For tours beginning outside Bamako, the balance also is to be paid by wire transfer and is due 30 days before the tour start date.

Pre-season bookings (to lock-in the current season prices) require 50% deposit payment to book, with the balance due 30 days before the tour start date.

NB: Once a tour is booked and hotel reservations are made, there is a fee of 50 euros for each hotel reservation change; new reservations are subject to availability.

Payment of deposit guarantees the land price of your tour; domestic airfare is subject to change by the carrier at any time until purchase of tickets, beyond the control of Saga Tours.

Cancellation Policy, Refunds (as of 5 March 2009)

Saga Tours' cancellation policy is as follows:

cancellation received
60 days or more, prior to tour start date
full refund of payment minus 100 euros administrative fee, bank fees, communication fees, and reservation cancellation penalties, if any
cancellation received
30 to 59 days prior to tour start date
refund 75% of payment
minus bank fees, communication fees, and reservation cancellation penalties
carry-over up to 100% of payment to a future tour*
minus bank fees, communication fees, and reservation cancellation penalties
cancellation received
15 to 29 days prior to tour start date
refund 50% of payment
minus bank fees, communication fees, and reservation cancellation penalties
carry-over up to 75% of payment to a future tour*
minus bank fees, communications fees, reservation cancellation penalties
cancellation received
less than 15 days prior to tour start date
no refund
carry-over up to 50% of payment to a future tour*
minus bank fees, communications fees, reservation cancellation penalties
no-showno refund
no carry-over
* Future tour must be taken within one year of original tour start date; carry-over to be applied in the country/countries where cancellations were effected. No carry-over beyond one year; carry-over is non-transferable, non-refundable.

Refund or carry-over is the client's choice.

Cancellation penalties include, but are not limited to, non-refundable deposits to our suppliers, to confirm/guarantee reservations.

Flight cancellation penalties are applied as outlined above.
Missed services due to late arrival are non-refundable.
Voluntary changes or cancellations by travelers of tour days or services during a tour are non-refundable.
Cancellation insurance is recommended.

Prior to departure, Saga Tours reserves the right to cancel a tour, and will provide a full refund of all payments. FYI: Saga Tours has never canceled a tour, but would do so at its sole discretion should travelers' safety be of concern. Saga Tours is not responsible for expenses incurred by travelers in preparing for a canceled trip.

Once travelers are in-country, Saga Tours will provide comparable alternate tour arrangements, if the cancellation of a particular tour is deemed necessary. Should travelers elect not to accept these arrangements, this will constitute voluntary refusal of services, and no refunds will be given. Pro-rata refunds will be made if alternate arrangements are not comparable to the original tour services.
Please note: Domestic flights may be replaced by ground transportation, if the domestic flight schedule renders flights impossible within the constraints of a tour and/or the tour dates; in this case, the missed flights are non-refundable as the ticket price will be used to make alternate land arrangements.

Cancellation by individual members of group tours is handled on a case-by-case basis, as it may require recalculation of the tour price, depending on the number of individuals cancelling (the reduced size of the group may affect the per-person price).

General Disclaimer

Travelers must understand and accept that participation in any tour may entail certain unpredictable risks and dangers, notably but not limited to river excursions, desert excursions or treks (on foot, horseback or by camel) in any location. Animal behavior is unpredictable and may cause personal injury. Road accidents can occur anywhere.

Please be aware that precautions are taken to guard against all such dangers, but your safety cannot be guaranteed. Participation in any tour is at your own risk.

Please note, we advise all travellers to arrange for medical and repatriation insurance for the length of their stay in Mali/West Africa. In case of illness or accident, our liability is limited to transporting travellers to the nearest medical facilities, and/or back to Bamako for an immediate flight home, at the traveller's expense.