Safety Updates

 

Travel is all about getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. But we are committed to keeping you safe while you get out there and Run Wild. So there are times when we might have to cancel trips or change itineraries to avoid those pesky problem areas (you know who you are).

•  Geckos makes these kinds of decisions based on info from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) travel advisory. We also check with our local operators, who are on the ground and can give us up-to-the-minute info on the mood and feel within country. We also consider info from other foreign government websites including Britain, Canada, New Zealand, United States and World Health Organisation.

•  Geckos tours will not operate if the Australian Government travel advisory reaches Level 5 - Do not travel

•  Where possible and safe to do so, Geckos will change itineraries to avoid trouble areas (we'll let you know if there's additional costs)

•  Decisions to cancel or change itineraries are made on a rolling basis, because situations and DFAT advice can change at any time.  Where the advice is temporarily at ‘Do Not Travel’, we will review the status of our tours approximately 2 weeks before to departure.

Israel Trips and Safety Situation

Based on advice of DFAT and other government travel advisories we have decided to continue to run all Israel departures as scheduled for August 2014. We will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with our local operator.

We have contingency plans in place should the need arise to re-route or cancel trips.

If you have any queries about your trip, please contact your local travel agent.

Thailand - Bangkok protests

Since the start of November 2013, there have been a number of political demonstrations that have taken place in locations around Bangkok and other parts of Thailand.

After many months of protests, on 22 May, Thailand’s army chief announced a coup d’etat. This means the seizure of power from government and that the Thai military are now in control of the country to restore order and put political reforms in place.  As Martial Law was enforced around the country, a curfew was put in place nationwide, however as of 13 June 2014, the curfew has been lifted.

Both of Bangkok’s airports are continuing to operate as normal. An official information desk has been set up at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

Since the Coup began on 22 May there have been sporadic pockets of demonstrators who have taken to the streets to voice their opposition against the coup. These anti coup demonstrations are on a small scale and in no way reflect the demonstrations experienced in the past, nor do they impede on the daily day-to-day functions of the city.

The demonstrations to date have been none violent and are peaceful which reflects the current atmosphere in Bangkok. These small pop-up gatherings are being dealt with by the military and are being monitored closely to maintain public peace and order. On the whole the military are keeping a low profile on the streets and are not overly visible to the general public.

All services continue to function as normal with most businesses and offices continuing to operate. Shopping malls have resumed their normal opening hours 10:00-22:00 and the public transport systems including the BTS Sky Train, the MRT Subway and the Airport Rail Link continue to operate.

All emergency services are operational at all times including medical services.. As per Thai law all visitors to Thailand should carry some official ID on them throughout their stay

We encourage all passengers to stay away from all protest areas and to check their hotel notice boards in Bangkok for the most update information on protest areas; which are updated regularly.

We continue to monitor the situation very closely with our local office in Bangkok and since the protests began in November 2013 we have been able to run all Geckos groups with limited disruption.  Our night time sightseeing programs have resumed normal operating schedules and restaurants, bars and entertainment venues are operating as normal.

If you require any urgent assistance once you are in Bangkok please call our emergency phone which is staffed by our local Thailand office.

Geckos’ Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722

Last Updated 06 July 2014

 

India

On the 1st  May an explosion occurred on a train at Chennai train station in southern India.

We can confirm that no Geckos travellers were in the area at this time.  At this stage all trips will continue to operate as normal.

We will continue to monitor the situation through Geckos’ team on the ground and will update this information as required.

Last Updated 06 May 2014

 

China

On the 30th April a bomb has detonated at a train station in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang, China.

We can confirm that no Geckos travellers were in the area at this time.  At this stage all trips will continue to operate as normal.

We will continue to monitor the situation through our team on the ground and will update this information as required.

 

Avalanche on Mount Everest

On Friday April 18th at around 06:45 local time an Avalanche struck in an area known as the "popcorn field", just above Everest base camp at 5,800m (19,000ft).

We can confirm that no Geckos travellers were involved in the tragic event and all groups are safe and accounted for.  At this stage all trips will continue to operate as normal. We will continue to monitor the situation through our team on the ground and will update this information as required.

Our thoughts go out to all those involved.

 

Mombasa and Nairobi

We are aware of the recent events in Nairobi and Mombasa over the last week.

Kenyan authorities announced enhanced security measures across Kenya on 31 January. These include enhanced security checks at all Kenyan airports.

To date our trips have not been affected and we expect to continue to operate all of our trips without any interruptions. However travel times to and from the airport can be as long as 4 hours so please leave plenty of time to make your flight. We recommend that travellers avoid visits to public places in Nairobi and Mombasa at this time. We also recommend that you book private arrival and departure transfers for your trip.

In conjunction with our local office in Nairobi, and Government travel advice we will continue to monitor the situation carefully. Any changes will be updated on this site. If you do have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your booking agent.

Geckos Nairobi Office can be reached on the following: 24 hour number +254 733 523 813

Last Updated 2 April 2014

 

Earthquake in Chile/ Tsunami warning

You may have heard the news of the recent Earthquake in Chile, which has since triggered Tsunami warnings for the Pacific coast of Latin America and Ecuador in particular.

We have been in direct contact with our local operator in Ecuador and Peru and at this stage they have advised the Tsunami is not a threat to any of our clients currently travelling or to those that are about to commence travel.

We will continue to monitor this situation through our ground team as well as the travel advice provided by the UK and Australian governments. We will post more information on this site as it becomes available.

Last Updated 2 April 2014

 

Guatemala - Pacaya Volcano

Guatemala's Pacaya Volcano, located near Guatemala City and Antigua, erupted on Saturday 1 March. Some flights to Guatemala City have been cancelled, although at this stage there is no interruption to our trips. We will continue monitoring the situation and will let you know if there are any changes to this advice. The optional activity to climb the volcano has been suspended.

Last Updated 5 March, 2014

 

Update on Sinai

The increased unrest in the Sinai area has triggered new travel advice to some areas of Egypt by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The safety of our passengers, leaders and operators remain our top priority. With this in mind, we are working with our local operations team to review our itineraries in Egypt.  

Travellers on affected itineraries will be contacted directly with confirmed alternative arrangements.  If you do have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your booking agent.

We will continue to monitor this situation through our ground team as well as the travel advice provided by the UK and Australian governments. We will post more information on this site as it becomes available.

 

Kunming (China)

On 1 March 2014 a knife attack at Kunming station in South West China killed 29 and injured over 130. No Peregrine/Geckos travellers were in the vicinity at the time and Peregrine does not have any groups visiting Kunming until April 2014.

Last Updated 5 March, 2014

 

Indonesia

Mount Kelud, a volcano in central Java, has erupted resulting in heavy volcanic ash fall up to a 40-km perimeter and reports of ash plume rising to a 15 km (45,000 ft) altitude. The alert status was raised to the highest level. Indonesian authorities have urged people living within 10 km of the volcano to evacuate from their homes and evacuation shelters in areas around the volcano. The volcanic ash from a major eruption in Indonesia has closed three international airports including Bali, Yogyakarta and Surabaya as darkened skies cross a large swath of the country's most densely populated island.

At the moment we have a few group tours running in this area. We have contacted them all and they are safe and sound. We will remain in contact with them also with any clients that will be passing or coming into this are the coming days. Being low season this are only a few tours in the region at this period of time.

If you have any inquiries, please contact our local operator in Indonesia on: +62 (0) 811 380 3820 (hotline no: 4 – Edy)

Last Updated 14 February, 2014

 

 

Nepal

The EU has recently chosen to highlight the safety record in Nepal and as of 5th December 2013, all Nepalese registered carriers have been included on an EU list of ‘Banned Airlines’ In response to general concerns over the safety record of Nepalese carriers, in 2011 and 2013 a consortium of leading adventure travel companies asked independent air safety experts to visit Nepal to assess the suitability of the available air carriers. Following these comprehensive audits it was decided to restrict our use to just three approved carriers, which are Yeti Airlines, Tara Air and Buddha Air.  

It remains our firm policy to only use these three approved carriers for our customers and further audits will take place regularly. For emergency situations, we also have an approved list of helicopter companies for our use. Whilst acknowledging the safety issues identified by the EU, we believe we have taken all possible measures to reduce the risk to our customers of flying within Nepal. We would like assure that our customers’ safety remains our number one priority at all times.

Last updated 6 Jan, 2014