Travelling to Uganda to watch gorillas in their natural habitat is a magical adventure that few people get to experience. That’s why, at The Insurance Emporium, we were so excited to be able to send two people on this once-in-a-lifetime trip as part of our competition! It’s often confusing working out what you need to take when going on a trip like this. As well as packing, there’s visas to sort, vaccinations to have and much more! That’s why, before they set off on their adventure, we spoke to our winner, Vanessa, and her travel companion, Sallie, to see if they’d ticked everything off their travel checklists.

Into the wild…

Vanessa was very surprised to discover she’d won the trip to Uganda to go on a gorilla safari. She said: “When I first saw the email telling me that I had won this trip, I thought that it was a hoax. I was overwhelmed and humbled when I spoke to The Insurance Emporium’s Marketing Manager, who confirmed that it was true.” Vanessa had to pick a companion for the trip, which is where Sallie came in. Sallie said: “When Vanessa phoned me and asked me if I was doing anything on 29th November to 6th December, I thought she was planning her annual Christmas visit! Not a trip to Africa!” Sallie quickly accepted and now the pair are excited for all the sights ahead of them, especially the gorillas!

Travel checklist

In the run up to their trip, we asked Vanessa and Sallie how their packing was going. There are a few essentials to take when travelling to Uganda, as well as handy extras that could add to the enjoyment of the trip, so we asked Vanessa and Sallie if they are taking the following…


Vanessa: “I need to buy or borrow a camera. Like most people, I use my phone these days. The camera will have to have a Wi-Fi feature because so many people want to see photographs of the gorillas.”

Sallie: “I have a little Fujifilm camera.”

Walking Gear

Vanessa: “My walking boots are making the journey with me. I always wear them to travel as they take up so much room. They will have to be scrubbed as clean as possible because I don’t want them to be a biosecurity risk! I’m taking light clothing to walk in so that I can layer up. I have bought a very light waterproof jacket because my usual jacket is very bright – it wouldn’t exactly blend in with the rainforest!”

Sallie: “I am a keen birdwatcher, so I have hiking boots, a walking jacket, long walking trousers and various long-sleeved tops. I have binoculars too.”

Travel vaccines

Vanessa: “I’m pretty much up to date with most of my vaccinations as I work in healthcare. A Yellow Fever certificate is compulsory for Uganda, so I’ve got that. I shall also be taking antibiotic cover for malaria.”

Sallie: “I got a Yellow Fever vaccination and the all-important certificate to go with it – you can’t get into Uganda without it – and all the other jabs. There is a national shortage of Hepatitis A vaccine at the moment, so we travelled to Birmingham, 30 miles away, to get a jab. My husband has been very helpful in this and I’m glad I’m not doing it all by myself.”

Travel insurance

Vanessa: “I sorted my travel insurance out very quickly and easily with your good selves. I know this sounds like an advert but it really was the simplest application that I’ve ever made.”

Sallie: “Travel insurance for the over 60s in the jungle was an essential first step. No one wants to become ill or have an accident but we all know of people who have, and being airlifted out is an expensive business.”

Travel guide

Vanessa: “I’m not actually taking a travel guide with me for two reasons. The first is that we have had an amazing itinerary arranged for us. The second is that there is so much information online for me to look at beforehand. I’ve carried books with me in the past and never used them!”

Sallie: “I haven’t sorted out a guide book yet but, as our local library is very good, I’ll see what they can lend me. I know that part of our journey is on a small lightweight plane, so we have a baggage allowance of only 15kg – that limits what I can take anyway.”

We wish Vanessa and Sallie the most magical of adventures in Uganda and we are excited to hear how their holiday went when they get back!

Are you planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip away yourself? If so, it might be worth getting travel insurance to cover you in case anything goes wrong. The Insurance Emporium’s travel insurance* includes a range of benefits, such as unlimited Medical Expenses on Black policies. If you think this could get your holiday preparations off to a flying start, visit The Insurance Emporium today!


*The Insurance Emporium Travel Insurance is provided by Insure & Go Insurance Services Ltd. and underwritten by MAPFRE ASISTENCIA COMPAÑÍA INTERNACIONAL DE SEGUROS Y REASEGUROS, SOCIEDAD ANONIMA.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. We make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. We will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. We will not be liable for any loss, injury or damage arising from the display or use of this information. This policy is subject to change at any time.

Leave a Reply