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Travel with Confidence

Updated 4th January 2022

Travel with Confidence


The whole team would like to send a big . . .

Thank you!

. . . to all our wonderful clients and partners for your understanding and the kind words and thoughts you’ve sent our way since the pandemic began. We truly hope you have stayed safe and well.


Galapagos Specialists is part of Tribes Travel and Tribes started life in January 1998. It takes more than a coronavirus to wipe out our enthusiasm for exploring the world’s incredibly special places!

Like so many other companies, we’ve lost some of our wonderful team due to lack of business, and we’re so very sorry about that. We’re a small family and each person who’s left us has left a hole. From March 2020, we helped our travellers to defer or, occasionally, cancel. We made every effort and have in turn received some lovely comments such as the one below. Thank you!

“A travel operator just doesn’t get any better. If we could give more than 10 stars we would! Undoubtedly the best customer service we’ve ever experienced – all the more remarkable for the dreadful times we’re in with Covid.”

However, things are far more positive now and we once again have happy travellers. We very much look forward to speaking with you about planning your next holiday, and we hope the information below helps with your considerations.

With warm wishes from all of us in the Galapagos Specialists team

Tribes team


The Galapagos Specialists team is working on a rota system (from home). You can still get hold of us on the usual numbers and emails.

Contacting us

January 2022: Our team is working from home. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm. Our general email is but our individual emails are all being used too.


Is it safe to book with Galapagos Specialists?

Galapagos Specialists is part of Tribes Travel which has been going for 24 years. We are financially secure even after the past dreadful year. All our holidays are covered either by ATOL (if they include flights) or our ABTOT bond (if no flights). You can therefore book with us in the knowledge that your money is safe.

Our Covid promise for 2022

Book with us in confidence, knowing that if we are unable to run your trip due to COVID-19, you can either: change your trip to another date in 2022, move to another destination, accept a credit note for future travel, or get a full refund.
(Please note that the above applies only if we cannot run the trip.)

 Backing wildlife and people in our destinations

As Tribes, none of the countries we work with has the kind of financial support we are getting here in the UK.
Our destination partners are suffering huge financial deprivation which is, of course, badly affecting the lives of many people involved in tourism and their families.
In addition, wildlife is feeling the brunt of the lack of tourism income. Wildlife guardians (protecting gorillas in Uganda, lions in Kenya, tigers in India) have lost their funding, and poaching has increased. The environmentally-sensitive places of the world and their wild inhabitants desperately need the income from responsible tourism. Your holidays keep them alive.

So yes, this year has been tough for us all, including our business, but we need to start travelling again as soon as possible to get the money flowing into less fortunate destinations once again. Meaningful, sensitive travel can shape our world for the better. This is one of the big reasons why deferring rather than cancelling trips can be a life-saver.

If you would like to help some of the charities we work with, do get in touch and we’d be delighted to advise you of how you could donate.

FCDO Advice

The UK’s FCDO offers advice about travel. When they advise against ‘non-essential’ travel, that is just advice. It is not a prohibition law. We are legally allowed to operate trips and you are allowed to travel even with such advice in place.

Travelling in 2022

We are keeping a firm eye on all the notifications, rules and regulations around travel – which countries are open, and what entry requirements are in place.
There is no doubt that travel is different to what we’ve been used to – life in general has changed and this includes travel. Just as we all have new rules at home, all countries have new rules in order to keep people safe. All travellers will have to accept safety/health measures deemed necessary by airlines, countries, hotels, and restaurants and other services in each destination; rules covering things such as social distancing and wearing face masks where appropriate. We have been talking with our partners on the ground, and will continue to do so as things evolve.

COVID19 TESTING: Some countries accepting visitors are requiring a PCR test to prove you don’t have COVID-19. There are various private testing services now available. Each destination county differs in terms of when this test must be taken (and this changes too) but 72 hours prior to arrival is common. Travel insurance is available to cover you in case of failing such a test before departure.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: It is vital that your holiday insurance covers you in case you contract COVID-19 just before you travel or whilst abroad. Sadly, many insurance companies have now excluded COVID cover from their policies, but there are a few insurance companies offering such cover. Obviously, if you do become ill (for any reason) we will always do our utmost to support you.

AIRPORTS: It is likely that our experiences in airports will be different and you may need to allow for more time in the airport before your flight because of longer queues and safety checks.

BOOKINGED BUT DON’T WANT TO TRAVEL?: If your trip is able to go ahead but you decide you’d like to defer your trip to another date within 2022, we will help you with this. We will, however, be subject to the policies of airlines and other suppliers, and extra charges may be applicable. If you’d like to cancel instead of deferring, charges as per our normal booking conditions will apply.


Our wish is to arrange a holiday for you that not only gives you something to look forward to, but which also causes you no stress in terms of concern over losing either your holiday or your money. We will give as much advice as we can at every point. And remember, if we become insolvent (which we have no intention of becoming) you will get your money back via the ATOL or ABTOT schemes.

Take the next step...

We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday.

Call 01473 599082 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.