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The fifth edition of the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide (download it here; 10 MB) has already spread across Rwanda and Uganda. This week we plan to get it to Akagera, Buhoma and Fort Portal while all other essential locations have pretty much been covered.
Not every advertiser/distribution point has plentiful booklets at the moment. We will restock as soon as we can but we expect to quickly meet the standard problem: the Pocket Guide is on high demand and its 10,000 copies run out too fast. (It is rewarding to bring our booklets to distributors and see their excitement about them; they know their customers want them.)
That’s why we have started our preparations for the December 2017 edition, and we plan to have three booklets per year in the future.
Will this be enough to meet the demand? Let’s hope so! Producing the booklet is a time-consuming project and we don’t know how many issues advertisers are willing to finance, but we will endeavour to reach the point where the Pocket Guide never completely runs out.
What’s new in the current edition
The previous four editions (we have been publishing annually since 2013) talked to people already in Uganda/Rwanda; our main target were expats and domestic tourists. However, the Uganda Tourism Board liked to take them to international trade fairs and we felt we had to think about global audiences too.
Moreover, we are in the business of making our transboundary region a destination by itself, therefore it is only appropriate that we offer visitors information that becomes useful the moment they land in Kigali/Entebbe.
“Now including Kampala, Kigali & Nabugabo” says the new cover. We have given Rwanda’s capital four pages, including a map, while Kampala got just one. We need to admit: determined to publish in July we ran out of time and will give Uganda’s capital city more love in December.
“OK, the capitals, but why Nabugabo?” you might ask. Lake Nabugabo is a lovely stopover on the way to the Gorilla Highlands; Lake Mburo National Park will be added in the future.
Opening the booklet, you will notice the total redesign. Yakub Ibrahim (Rwanda) got inspired by the Gorilla Highlands initiative during the November 2016 Bootcamp and proposed to take the booklet into a more magazine-like direction. We gave him the opportunity, of course!
What’s in store for December 2017
In addition to expanding our coverage of Kampala (see above), we would be happy to do the same with Gisenyi. But but but that depends on advertising from there. While our booklet prioritises useful content over ads, it does rely on advertising dollars. Twice so far we have utterly failed in attracting any advertiser interest from Gisenyi, or any Silverchef cooking competition participation… The rest of 2017 will be devoted to the one last attempt to get Gisenyi on board. It’s a pretty location for an extra night on sandy beaches, still not vital to our region.
We are demanding towards our advertisers (which other publication prescribes what should be in the text?!) but we do listen to them. For a very long time there has been a request to include images in our classified section, and in December that option will become available to all.
text and photos: Miha Logar