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”

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.

Uganda's national bird - the Crested crane

Uganda’s national bird – the Crested crane

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.

Early Sayings

The earliest and most credible 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.

Rafting grounds at Bujagali falls - Jinja

Rafting grounds at Bujagali falls – Jinja

Uganda Picked As The Best Travel Destinations In 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 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.


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