Why is Uganda called the Pearl of Africa? Where did it come from?

Posted by on April 21, 2019

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 the country that they found and also referred to it as the Pearl of Africa.

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

Uganda affected, one could say infected 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 here and fell in love with the Pearl of Africa.

In 1858 John Hanning Speke and Richard Burton ventured through the Buganda Kingdom 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 Buganda and were surprised 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 the country 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 and ranks in the top 10 in the world for Biodiversity.

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

The Pearl of Africa lost some of its lusters 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.

Even Kanye West and Kim Kardashian chose to visit in October of 2018.


 A Timeless Slogan

The Pearl of Afric is a Brand, there is no other country in Africa with that label.  a Brand not created by Ugandan Government, the Ministry of Tourism or a hired marketing agency, no the only thing that they could come up was “Gifted by Nature” and that was a big Dud.

Some Pinheads have suggested that the term “Pearl of Africa” is no longer relevant, is outdated and a slogan that evokes of what the country really is should be used instead in marketing the country as a Tourism Brand.

That would lead down the same path as Coca Cola did with New Coke, only to have to come back to Original Coke a year or so later.

 The “Pearl of Africa” is timeless and certainly a lot better than terms such as “Magical Kenya” or “Remarkable Rwanda.”  Pearl of Africa – words how those in the past, including Winston Churchill, reacted upon discovering a country that they felt was a rare find such as a Pearl, a country that stood out from the others that they had seen and traveled to in Africa, a country beyond Compare.

 Defining What is “The Pearl of Africa?

1. Welcoming and Friendly People

“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.”

2. One of Africa’s most Biodiverse Countries

“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.”

3. Africa’s Premier Primate  Destination:  The greatest number of Mountain Gorillas are found in Uganda, as well the largest number of Chimpanzees found in all of East Africa.  it also has the greatest number of Golden Monkey.

4.  Abundant Wildlife and Birds:  A thriving Elephant populations, the greatest number of the  Nubian Giraffes and more, as well as over 1000 species of Birds.

 


The Pearl of Africa in the Words of Sir Winston Churchill