If you are planning to travel to East Africa, or any other region this holiday season, chances are you’ll have to contend with less than pleasant weather patterns. But above this, there a few aspects of your travel that will need to bow to Mother Nature…and may remain bowed if you don’t take a few precautions! Here are a few tips to forewarn and forearm you into the El Nino period, as highlighted by travel advisors from Jovago.com.
Airlines especially will have a tough time due to the stormy weather which will lead to cancellations, rebooking and at times emergency landings with unpredictable lay overs. This, in return will force tour organizers to craft up flexible itineraries to accommodate unseen circumstances. It’s important for tourists to notify their tour organizers of any warnings and instructions during their boarding, inflight and midair change of plans where possible. Keeping in touch throughout the journey will keep at bay any unnecessary anxiety and disruptions. Do revise and get a grip on your rights when flights go wrong, and also consult your travel insurer as well.
Hotel Cancellation Fees and rental Car Reservations
Some hotels are quite strict on check in dates – and a cancellation will ultimately result to fines. So do car rentals. To keep safe, communicate on any such concerns at the time of booking and ensure that all transaction and negotiation is well captured in your records for reference. The alternative would be to pay on arrival, but a number of properties are too wary of guest no-shows which may lead to your booking being relegated to second priorities.
Wildlife migration-in search of food, shelter and the instinct to survive
The instinct to survive in the kingdom Animalia is just as prevalent as is in the human race. Therefore, your safaris, deep fishing troops and wildlife sporting patterns may change. Wildlife will tend to move to higher grounds to keep off flooding plains while migratory birds may be harder to sight. Also the new temperatures caused by the excessive cooling and heating on the ocean floor will affect marine lifestyle. All this factors will definitely call for knowledgeable and keen tour guides, as well as some patience from the tourists.
Power interruptions during rainy weather is nothing strange to the larger population; but that could also move a notch higher during the predicted El Nino period.
To counter this, take advantage of the lit hours to fully recharge your gadgets, pack assorted power back up devices and a battery powered lamp if need be. Also note that internet and cable transmission are also likely culprits of this new weather.
Changing terrains -safari drives, hikers, mountain climbers
Regardless of the many times you’ve been on a particular route; do not underestimate the effects of heavy rains on terrains. You can check your track by keeping contact with people or websites with updated information on the route and ensuring that your car, whether self or rental is in tip-top conditions to lower the risk of incidents on the road or safari. However successful your record holds, this season may also not be the best for hikers and mountain climbers. Stay safe than sorry.
Beware of Flash Floods
Especially if planning a visit to Hells Gate, and some marked out areas in Naivasha – Rift Valley region. Flash floods are known to rise up to their title with utter vengeance. Again, this is not the time to attempt gulley scaling adventures along the escarpment.
Soaring seas and breaking river banks
Seaside resorts, lake shores and cottages overlooking scenic waterfalls all sound like a fairytale for any vacationer. But the predicted rains may just be one new reason to reconsider your dream destination; if at all the weather man warns against storms, gushing winds and breaking river banks, ensure the safety of your guests by completely locking out areas that may be deemed risky.
Tourists should also be vigilant and look out for reviews that tell of floods, leaking roofs and lightning prone structures for own safety.
Epidemic outbreaks are quite common during the rainy season as free flowing water is at high risk of being contaminated. It’s therefore critical for both travelers and residents to watch out for their personal hygiene and feeding habits. I’d recommend that you pack your water purifying device to be safe. Also, mosquitoes and other types of menacing insects such as the infamous Nairobi fly will certainly flourish in this weather; sleep under a treated mosquito net and keep your repellant close.
Traffic snarl ups and impassable roads
Nairobi is especially on the rush against time to get the city drainage system and storm water management in place. All fingers crossed, this will keep at bay well documented seasonal floods that have claimed lives and property in the past. Hotels will also notice that more than ever, guests will be very keen on location and accessibility of your property. Do what you can; clear any debris blocking waterways around your premises and join hands with the authorities to ensure that roads to your concierge are clear and well drained.