Why is Uganda called the Pearl of Africa?

Posted by on June 7, 2018

Uganda – Has always been the Pearl of Africa

Why is Uganda called the Pearl of Africa? – Winston Churchill popularized the Phrase in his 1908 Book “My African Journey”

Why is Uganda called the Pearl of Africa? Who first named Uganda as the Pearl of Africa?  The Term – Uganda – the Pearl of Africa – was made popular by Winston Churchill in his 1908 Book entitled “My African Journey” about his trip to Uganda in 1907.

Winston Churchill became quite enthused about what he found in Uganda when he wrote “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly “the Pearl of Africa.”

Most in Uganda today attribute the name “Pearl of Africa” to Winston Churchill however almost every other Western Explorer and Discoverer spoke in glowing terms about Uganda and they also referred to Uganda as the Pearl of Africa.

Yes, Winston Churchill may not have been the one who first called Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda affected even the early explorers, that came years before Winston Churchill arrived.  They were amazed by its beauty, its natural wonders, its people. When modern travel became available tourists flocked to Uganda and fell in love with the Pearl of Africa – Uganda.

In 1858 John Hanning Speke and Richard Burton ventured through Uganda and were amazed by what they found and it was John Hanning Speke that discovered Lake Victoria as the source of the Nile, were impressed by how wide and open the streets were of the capital of the Buganda Kingdom and were amazed by the local culture and ways of the people.

The earliest and most cr edible source calling Uganda the Pearl of Africa was Henry Morton Stanley who in 1871 ventured throughout Uganda.  Frederick John D. Lugard (who saved Uganda for the British from the French) wrote, “Stanley was even louder in his praises of Uganda than Speke had been, and described it as the “Pearl of Africa” 1893

Most sources name Henry Morton Stanley as the earliest and probably most plausible source, especially in American Writings which were before Winston Churchill’s visit to Uganda in 1907 and his later book published in 1908.

Why is Uganda called the Pearl of Africa?  No matter who was the first to refer to “Uganda – as the Pearl of Africa” the reality is, that it has been known and referred to as such for over 100 plus years.

Visitors coming to Uganda in the 21st Century do not ask “Why is Uganda called the Pearl of Africa?” Minutes after getting off of the plane at Entebbe International Airport and heading out on their African Safari they would totally agree, that Uganda is the Pearl of Africa.

The words of Winston Churchill published in 1908 still ring true today in the 21st Century. For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly “the Pearl of Africa.”

The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa….what message I bring back….concentrate on Uganda.”

Why is Uganda called the Pearl of Africa?  Maybe a better question in the 21st Century would be “Why is Uganda recognized as the Pearl of Africa?

Definitely, because Winston Churchill popularized the Term “Pearl of Africa.”

Why did Lonely Planet in 2012 name Uganda as the Best Country to Visit?  Because no other country in Africa has what Uganda has – it is one of the most bio-diverse countries in all of Africa.

 Why did National Geographic pick Uganda as one of the Best Travel Destinations in Africa?  Because it is the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda – as the Pearl of Africa lost some of its luster during the days of Idi Amin, the war in the Bush Years that brought President Yoweri Museveni to power and the havoc the Lord’s Resistance Army and Joseph Kony brought to the north of the country resulting in war and a trail of tears that touched most lives there.

Since 2005 the country has been at peace, is one of Africa’s friendliest, safest, most secure, stable countries in all of Africa, the Pearl of Africa has and is regaining its luster as the one and only Pearl in all of Africa with more Tourists discovering its Natural Wonders.

Time for you to visit Uganda and see why it is Africa’s Pearl.

 Uganda to drop the Tagline – “The Pearl of Africa?”

That is what the headline in the New Vision Newspaper, Uganda’s Government Newspaper suggested.  That after a study by the University of California, Berkely pointed out, that Pearl of Africa was outdated.

Little do they know.  Pearl of Africa is synonymous with Uganda.  Try asking for Margarine in a store here and you get a blank stare, its Blue Band.  You do not ask for Laundry Detergent, but for Omo, same applies to toothpaste, Colgate no matter what the Brand.

The Pearl of Africa is Uganda, Uganda is the Pearl of Africa, others have tried changing it to the slogan “Gifted by Nature| a few years ago, though true, it was a total flop.

We think that slogan, tagline “Pearl o Africa” is timeless and certainly a lot better than terms such as “Magical Kenya” or “Remarkable Rwanda.”  Pearl of Africa triggers curiosity, and over 50 people a day visit the page you are reading, While we appreciate most of the findings and suggest by the studied people from Berkely, we also do our research and know our clients, we live and work here and know what works for us.  We have found that Pearl of Africa is the best tagline description of Uganda and we will continue to use it for a long time to come.

Uganda in the Words of Sir Winston Churchill


If you like to visit – Uganda – the Pearl of Africa – Please contact us.