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Make No Change-Keep “Uganda the Pearl of Africa” as the Tourism Slogan

Posted by on February 29, 2020

Uganda is and will be “The Pearl of Africa,” A Slogan that says it all.

Keep and Promote the Tagline-Uganda “the Pearl of Africa” – it’s synonymous with Uganda

Uganda the Pearl of AfricaMake No Change-Keep “Uganda the Pearl of Africa” as the Tourism Slogan. In June of 2018, the New Vision Newspaper in Uganda had this Article Headline – “Researchers tell Uganda to drop ‘Pearl of Africa’ tag. The subline stated: US-based University of Berkeley researchers and stakeholders in the tourism sector have agreed to change the brand to ‘Small Africa.’ Or a recent local online newspaper article in May of 2019 that suggested. The failed “Gifted by Nature” Tagline. The slogan would be revived.  Breathtaking Uganda is also an option in the minds of some since it is being used in a Domestic Tourism Campaign.

Who will assist rebranding Uganda’s Tourism Image?  Wise men and women from the West (with their financial interests at stake) will help Uganda to market itself as a Premier Tourism Destination through a magical rebranding. 

Hired marketing gurus, whether Ugandan or Foreign, lack the passion that someone such as Winston Churchill had, the reason. He was a Tourist who came to Uganda through Kenya, but it was Uganda that he fell in love with, and he went beyond a Tagline”the Pearl of Africa,” and he defined it terms befitting his time and audience. He explained why Uganda was the Pearl of Africa in a Book -“My African Journey.”  The Uganda Tourism Board, Ministry of Tourism needs to do the same in the 21st Century – Define Uganda in Terms of Tourism beyond mere slogans,

President Museveni, someone who is committed to Tourism himself chimed in on the Pearl of Africa Debate when he wanted to copyright the tagline “Pearl of Africa” when a North African Country began to use it.

We think that President Museveni would be the last person who would settle for a Tagline such as “Uganda-small Africa.”  Uganda – is Africa condensed into one country, small Africa does not tell you that.

  Why then in 2019 Tourism Officials with few proven marketing skills, relying on Western Tourism Agencies fueled by the dollar and not by passion, want to throw away “the Pearl of Africa”? A slogan that they have not used, defined, and promoted do not take our word for it, search for the Official “Visit Uganda” Tourism website. 

We would have at least named the Website “Visit Uganda – the Pearl of Africa” – they do not mention it – do a site search on the Site for Pearl of Afric, unless they recently changed something, the results will be 0.

Uganda – the Pearl of Africa – a Timeless Tagline

Do not mess with the Slogan “Pearl of Africa” – Define why it stands out as Africa’s Pearl

Reality- Taglines alone do not Bring Tourists to Uganda or any other Country:

  • Taglines alone are marketing a Country – they at the most influence. I never bought a car because the slogan was “zoom-zoom.”
  • The Quality of the Experience is foremost. Uganda offers what no other Safari Destination offers-Define it.
  • Use what you have and build on it – “the Pearl of Africa” puts Uganda into a league of its own – explain why Uganda is the Pearl of Africa and why it is a Total and Complete Safari Destination.
  • Know the audience you are trying to reach. Do not assume – that produces nothing.
  • Focus on the Leisure Tourist (foreign and domestic) that wants to go on an African Safari. Focus on increasing the number of National Park visitors, rather than on arrivals, that counts as a tourist anyone from Kenya or Rwanda visiting their Uncle or Aunt in Kampala.
  • Remember – no one is coming to Uganda because of a Tagline – they come because of influencers – friends who have visited, Social Media Post (In 2019 Uganda was named the 3rd most photographed country in the world-no Ugandan Tourism officials have taken advantage of it, maybe because it was free.
  • Use the Awards and Accolades that Uganda has received use them in promoting Uganda.

Uganda’s Tourism Obstacles is not a Tagline – but Perceived Images accentuated by news reports and photos:

Uganda makes world news for all the wrong reasons, such as the recently isolated kidnapping of an American Tourist, the images of Bobi Wine, or Kizza Besigye being arrested. If anyone has promoted their cause and made either one a Martyr like figures in the eyes of the world, it is Uganda’s overzealous Security Forces.

Uganda is known by most in the world, not for the beautiful realities found in this country but through the lingering Ghost of Idi Amin.  Uganda is seen by many as a dangerous place, a place of where strange viruses and diseases come from, a place where guerillas dwell, where Gay Travelers will be arrested and put into prison

Few potential Visitors know that Uganda is one of the most welcoming and Friendliest Countries in Africa.  They do not know that Uganda is the most ethnically diverse country in the World, where refugees are not turned away at the border,

Uganda has over one million refugees in the country. They do not know that Uganda is safe and secure; there are no mass shootings; there have been no terrorist attacks on hotels or anywhere else.  They do not know that Uganda is one of the most Biodiverse nations in the world, that Uganda has the most remaining Mountain Gorillas, has the most Chimpanzees in East Africa.  They do not know about the Mufumbiro  Mountains that cook, the Virunga Volcanoes, or the tallest Mountain Range in Africa – the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon.  They do not know that the River Nile has its source in Uganda and runs through it.

Uganda’s answer to increasing Tourism Numbers is not changing a Tagline and rebranding.  The problem that Ugandan Tour Operators face -the Elephant in the Room is the image- the perceptions that people have about Uganda. The current, though new Election Season and how authorities deal with the opposition do not help us in Tourism, but then,  who is asking? It would be nice to see a gentler response to those with opposing views.

Keep Uganda  “the Pearl of Africa” There is no better Tagline:

President Museveni himself, a person who used the slogan “no change” in an election Wanted to have Pearl of Africa registered as a copyrighted Trademark.  The Wise Advisors from the West have stated that the Pearl of Africa lacks meaning for 21st Century Travelers and Tourists, according to the New Vision and that Tourism Stakeholders (AUTO did not send out a Tagline Survey to its members) have agreed with the Researchers from the University of California – Berkeley.

Some local Tourism Experts have suggested that Pearl of Africa is not descriptive enough – One could ask them, do they think that “Magical Kenya or Remarkable Rwanda is descriptive enough.  One has to go beyond the slogan and define it through what Uganda, the Pearl of Africa has to offer.

Define what is the Pearl of Africa:

Uganda – the Pearl of Africa needs to be defined, described, and promoted. In the last few years, Uganda became the Mountain Gorilla Destination of choice, and the Ministry of Tourism had nothing to do with it. That change came about when Rwanda gave Uganda a gift – they doubled their permit price. Meanwhile, Uganda Wildlife Authority remained level and did not give in to the Greed Factor, but kept the cost of permits at 600 USD.

They were even more level headed when they chose not to raise permit prices for 2020. How did this happen-  Social Media, Accolades from National Geographic putting Uganda on ht UK Cool list because of Gorilla Trekking, Newspaper Articles, Tour Operator websites in Uganda informed potential trackers that Uganda was affordable and safe for Gorilla Trekkers.

Similar success stories can be replicated and created elsewhere in Uganda from Kidepo Valley Park to Lake Mburo National Park and everything in between.

Rebranding is Costly and Risky – Dust off “The Pearl of Africa” – it is already a known Brand:

Rebranding is costly; the so-called foreign Marketing Experts do now work for free. A rebranding is expensive, Uganda has the example of the failed “Gifted by Nature” campaign that went down like a dud with no resulting increase in tourist numbers.

A new brand takes years to develop, and is it the Cornerstone of Tourism marketing.  Does any visitor to the US, UK, Australia, Germany remember the Tourism tagline?  More already know – Pearl of Africa.

” Improve marketing of the Pearl of Africa with UWA, Uganda Tourism Board, the Ministry of Tourism, the Uganda Media Centre, every Embassy website, TUGATA, AUTO, USAGA, Entebbe Airport, Tour Operators get everyone on board with the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda is and will be “the Pearl of Africa.”

Kabiza Wilderness Safaris will continue to market Uganda as the Pearl of Africa on every page of its website.  For us, the tagline “the Pearl of Africa” has proven to be best, right, and profitable, and no matter what bureaucrats, foreign tourism marketers may come up with – for us – no Change, the timeless Pearl of Africa remains.

Our “Why is Uganda called the Pearl of Africa? It Is viewed over 50 times a day.  On our home page- ‘The Pearl of Africa” is featured.  We do one thing only create Memorable Safaris in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.  Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, has been and continues to be our Focus.  We do not dabble in Safaris all over Africa, and we focus on Uganda, which is best described as the Pearl of Africa. 

We have the empirical evidence that the Pearl of Africa is the right formula for Tourism success, we have prevailed and prospered and grown, finding our niche in Ugandan Tourism. No matter what – our Brand of Choice is “Uganda – the Pearl of Africa.”

No matter what, Uganda has moved away from what we called “Accidental Tourism,” where visitors accidentally wind up in Uganda on their own, not because of any advertising from the Ministry of Tourism and Uganda Tourism Board. For that, we are thankful, but throwing away “The Pearl of Africa.”  One is motivated to ask, “What are you thinking?”

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.” Winston Churchill 1908 

Uganda in the Words of Sir Winston Churchill



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