What To Do In case You Lose Your Gorilla Trekking Gears
Preparing to do gorilla trekking includes packing the right gears to use for this once in a lifetime experience but here is what to do incase you lose your gorilla trekking gears. Travelling from across the world to do gorilla trekking in Africa either Uganda or Rwanda or D.R.Congo include boarding flights.
Although you fulfill all necessary preparations for gorilla trekking, fate may befall you and you lose your baggage. Clients prepare for gorilla trekking adventure in Africa at least three to six months in advance by booking their gorilla permits, accommodation and transport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Virunga.
Clients are always advised to have the right trekking gear and they will go a long way to have things such as hiking boots, long sleeved shirts, jeans, rain jacket, sun glasses to mention but a few in preparations for their trek.
Losing your bags may alter your feeling towards gorilla trekking adventure that you have for long dreamt about. This is devastating and disorganizing especially if you have to immediately travel to either Bwindi Impenetrable national park or Volcanoes National Park.
Contacting the airline to trace your bags may be disappointing and futile. You may go into panic because all you have on you may be only the clothes you are a wearing and flipflops.
Gorilla trekking is one of the highlights on any Uganda safari or Rwanda Safari. As mentioned on many websites and journals, gorilla trekking mainly takes a minimum of three days in Uganda and a minimum of 2 days in Rwanda. Clients prefer coming to Uganda for gorillas and then connect to either Tanzania and Kenya for wild game safaris.
In case one wants to do an all round East Africa safari, he or she need atleast 3 days of uganda gorilla safari and two days on Rwanda gorilla safari before proceeding for game safari. Some tourists prefer to fly into Uganda and immediately connect with a drive or fly to Bwindi Impenetrable national Park . Others want to travel on the second day, trek gorillas on the third day and then drive or fly out of Bwindi on the forth day.
Because of the above tight schedule, clients tend to come to Uganda and sometimes God for bid, their luggage get lost as they make connections to Entebbe International Airport. It thus means that clients will have to wait for the next flight to come with their luggage and it is always on the same day when they are supposed to drive or fly to Bwindi Impenetrable national Park. By the time their luggage arrives at Entebbe Airport, they will have completed trekking gorillas. Please note that the lost luggage in most cases will be containing their gorilla trekking gear. They only get their luggage on return from Bwindi Impenetrable national Park to Entebbe on their last day.
This has tended to “kill” clients experience as they leave Entebbe/Kampala when they are angry and because they don not have appropriate trekking gear, they have to look around or buy stuff in Uganda which makes the whole tour expensive un necessarily.
Some planes/companies such as Emirates will not deliver your luggage but will give you a round about USD30.00 for that even when the cost of transporting luggage to where the clients are is more than that. Other companies like KLM will endeavour to deliver your luggage to a destination which is pretty much better. Before booking a flight to Uganda, please make sure that you check there luggage policy and make sure that it suites you.
To avoid the above, you may book to pre tour nights in Entebbe/Kampala or any entry point of your choice such that in an event of losing your luggage, you can then have time to find it before gorilla trekking.
You may as well consider to have your safari start in other savannah national parks such as Lake Mburo National park, Queen Elizabeth National park or Murchison Falls National Park before Bwindi Impenetrable National park such that by the time you arrive Bwindi Impentrable National Park, the luggage would already be there.
We can help you get your luggage only if you authorize us to do so. In instances where companies fail to deliver your luggage we can and if there is any extra cost involved, we will let you know other than failing to get your luggage getting to you.
How To Travel With Gorilla Trekking Gears
Each airline has weight allowed as free baggage allowance that you can carry in your hand luggage. You may carry some of your gorilla trekking gears in hand luggage, items that are not so bulky like safari clothes, wear hand gloves and boots and others just in case.
Carry some hard cash on you as security to use or purchase new gorilla trekking gears on ground. This is in case your bags are not traced. Rwanda has a provision for hiring some gorilla trekking gears at the ORTPN at a friendly cost.
Pack light and in bags like duffel bag that you can carry by yourself. Sometimes having alot of bags may confuse you and disorganize you too in case you have to unpack and repack. This confusion may lead you to misplace your luggage so packing light but relevantly for an Africa Safari is very important.
Pack your gorilla trekking gears in packing cubes for convenience in case you need to go through intense checkup. You may be required to unpack your belongings and in case they are not smartly packed, you may end up forgetting some at the check point.
Carry a shoe bag for your safari-tracking boost just in case they get extremely dirty while you are trekking to locate the mountain gorillas. The ground is soggy and boggy which makes the shoes dirty beyond recognition at times. You may not get time to fully clean your shoes in case you have to transfer to another lodge. Putting the dirty shoes with the rest of your clothing will stain them. you need to keep the dirty shoes in a shoe bags.
In case you loose your bags, contact your travel agent or tour operator to help you trace the bags as you proceed for your gorilla safari. At Encounter Africa Safaris we help our clients trace there bags as explained above.’
How To Prevent Baggage Loss During Gorilla Trekking
Pack light and in a potable bag in case you are travelling for a shared gorilla trekking safari like scheduled gorilla trekking safari. these sometimes include more people who you are not familiar with.
Never carry valuables in your bags and show them off. This attracts skimmer who may follow your bags and pick it before you grab it.
Do not trust anyone you are not sure about to carry your bags whether at the Airport or on arrival. There may trick stars on almost all airports. It is best to carry your belongings to the transfer vehicle. At Encounter Africa safaris all our guides who do airport pickups have cards with all the names of the group or person they are collecting from the Airport.
Carry your gorilla trekking items in a light water proof bag to keep them together even when you fall during gorilla trekking, they do not scatter in the forest.
Hire a porter to carry your bags during gorilla trekking and they will give you a push in case you need it. This is at a small fee. When you hire a porter, you change their lives because they fund they collect are used for home care like schools, scholastic materials, medical care and much more. This is only of the direct ways of giving back to the community close to the mountain gorillas.
In case you are booked on a scheduled gorilla trekking safari and you have to share a room with a stranger, do not assume they will take care of your property. On to these group tours are people booked from all walks of life with different behavior. In case you have valuables with you atleast keep them with the lodge management or never show it off.
If you do own airport pick up, use an airport taxi with recognizable sticker or marks from the exit ground of the Airport. This protects you from conmen who can rob you off your property.
Book travel insurance before departing home one with a policy that covers your belongings just in case you lose when them.
On departure day after gorilla trekking, ensure you double-check your room before departure to avoid forgetting any of your belongings here. Some lodges have staff that help clients check out but the responsibility over your property is personal.
Do not walk the street alone when you arrive in Kampala or Kigali city with your baggage not securely tied to your back. There so many picketers and snatchers in case they notice anything lose on you. Even your wallet should be very close to you and in case you have to purchase anything, do not display your moneys for everybody to see.
When Is The Best Time To Book A Gorilla trekking Safari
Gorilla trekking is open for the entire year but June to September and December to January are most visited months. This because the forest is less humid as less rains are received. The sunrays penetrate deeper to the ground reducing on the sogginess of the soft volcanic soil.
Even the trail paths are not over covered by undergrowth making it easier to navigate the already dense Virunga area. Whether trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park or Volcanoes national park, the rainfall period is the same.
In case need to clear the path arises, the ranger guide has a machete that cuts some creepers off
March to May and November are less visited gorilla trekking months but even the weather conditions tend to be extremely wet. Its rains severely sometimes the entire day with little sunlight received. This area has a dense network of rivers that overflow covering the ground and creating boggy slippery conditions.
You must pack the right gorilla trekking gears to help you go through such conditions. Although this period is less visited, baby booms are more pronounced during this time. There is enough food to feed them. In case you want a more private gorilla trekking time, this is handed to you on a silver-plate without you taking that extra mile of booking off other permits.
Its easier to be alone on a gorilla trekking family which is supposed to be shares by maximum 8 tourists. You have no other person to obstruct you from taking those intended photos of the mountain gorillas. No rash or delay when searching for the gorillas because you are the only master of the flow of the entire gorilla trekking adventure for that day.
How Safe Is Gorilla trekking In Africa
Gorilla trekking in Africa is safe especially in Uganda and Rwanda despite being an entirely jungle activity. The tourism police for both Uganda and Rwanda work hand in hand to share information about the prevailing forest condition.
Before starting every gorilla trekking adventure, you must attend briefing and such information about the security of the forest is part of what is talked about.
Everyday a team of ranger scouts goes into the forest to monitor its condition and locate where the gorillas might be feeding from that day. They do not move so far away from where they spent the night. They give a report to the park wardens who disseminate it to the rangers on duty.
Personal security is very important too because you are the first security. Never enter this thick forest without an escorting ranger guide. When with a group of trekkers, do not part from the rest because you may get lost in the jungle.
The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekkers but this does not mean delay the rest of the group because the time of locating the gorillas is unknown. You may take from two hours to about three quarters of the day depending on the forest conditions.