In 1908, Winston Churchill published a book entitled “My African Journey” this was about his trip to Uganda in 1907 and made the famous term “Uganda – The Pearl of Africa”. He was quite enthused about what he found in Uganda when he wrote, “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for the profusion of brilliant life – birds, insects, reptiles, beast – for vast scale – Uganda is truly “the pearl of Africa”.
While most Ugandans attribute the name “Pearl of Africa to Winston Churchill, however other European explorers felt similar, they spoke volumes about Uganda and referred to it as the Pearl of Africa. John Hanning Speke and Richard Burton in 1858 traversed through the Buganda Kingdom and were amazed by what they saw. John Speke discovered Lake Victoria as the source of the Nile. He got impressed and surprised by the local culture and people’s way of living.
Speke’s western Uganda circuit was popularized through the movie “Mountains of the Moon” his discoveries were later proven by Samuel and Florence Baker.
The most credible source of Uganda the pearl of Africa was Henry Morton Stanley, he twice ventured throughout Uganda long before Winston Churchill. In fact, Fredrick John D. Lugard well known for saving Uganda for the British from the French wrote, “Stanley was even louder in his praises of Uganda than Speke had been, and described Uganda in 1983 as the “the Pearl of Africa”.
Most sources point to Henry Morton Stanley first and probably the most credible source of the Pearl of Africa. As it’s also in most American writings, this was way before Winston Churchill’s visit in 1907 and published his book “My African Journey” in 1908.
Describing “the Pearl of Africa” in the 21st Century
Being one of its kind countries, Uganda is a country with rich biodiversity above any country in the world making it a country gifted by nature and the following are reasons why this East African nation is truly “the Pearl of Africa”.
Warm friendly people
Ugandans are known to be the most hospitable people in the world; the friendly welcome follows a concept of traditional African culture where the host assumes responsibility for the well-being of the visitor(s). The friendliness and a warm welcome are also reflected in a way how the very first Europeans to Africa were welcomed by different kingdoms in Uganda, like explorers, missionaries among many and Winston Churchill found that in 1907. Much as there was a language barrier but at the moment Uganda is Africa’s Best English-speaking Country even Winston Churchill noted that in his book.
The Weather is the best in the world
Those who have traveled to Uganda can witness this; the country has the best weather in the world. In fact, Winston Churchill wrote; “the climate is different…from all of Africa”.
Because of attributes such as the Equator, Lake Victoria, sitting on a high Elevation, the Rwenzori and Elgon Mountains, the Virunga Volcanoes are the reasons behind its beauty and excellent all year long hence the Pearl of Africa and favorite holiday destination.
There are two major rainy seasons that’s April – May and then October, November, and part of December, but even during this rain seasons, it can still shine since much of the rain showers in the night or morning hours as a result Uganda believed to be the greenest nation in the world and yes, the pearl of Africa.
Uganda is a tropical paradise
In Winston Churchill’s book “My African Journey” writes; Uganda is from end to end one beautiful garden, where the staple food of the people grows almost without labor. Does it not sound like a paradise on earth? Concentrate on Uganda…it is the pearl of Africa.
Being Africa’s Tropical fruit basket, get the taste of Uganda while on a safari visit then you will bear witness to why the pearl of Africa is a tropical paradise. The best and fresh Pineapples in the world, Large Papayas, different kinds of bananas, tasty passion fruits are truly Africa’s tropical fruit basket.
Uganda’s stunning scenery amazes every visitor, a case in point Winston Churchill wrote, “The kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale, the scenery is different…from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa…what message I bring back…Uganda the Pearl of Africa”.
The country’s scenery from elsewhere in Africa, those who have visited the country will agree with me. In fact, the lonely planet calls Uganda “Africa Condensed” meaning what you can find elsewhere in Africa is in one country Uganda. In 2012 Lonely Planet chose Uganda as “Best Country to Visit”, CNN Travel chose Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park as “Most Beautiful Place in the World”.
The Rwenzori Mountains, Bwindi Impenetrable forest, and Lake Bunyonyi appeared in the Blockbuster Movie, “Black Panther” the country is the source of the longest river in the world, the Nile River running through it. The Virunga volcanoes that have Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and in 2019 was declared 3rd “Must photograph the location in the world.” That’s why Winston Churchill was right when he wrote, the scenery is different…hence the Pearl of Africa.
The country with rich biodiversity
One of the world’s most diverse countries, this was recognized by Winston Churchill in his 1908 published book,” for magnificence, for variety of form and color, for the profusion of brilliant life – bird, insect, reptile, beast – for vast scale – Uganda truly the Pearl of Africa”
From the high mountains in the north to the beautiful savannah grasslands and the rush thick rain forests in the south is what describes Uganda. Gifted by nature as some people call it, Uganda makes the world’s top ten countries when it comes to biodiversity though it’s landlocked and just the size of Oregon state in the USA.
With a variety of climate zones, Uganda is home to the Big Five and the special Two. On a safari in Uganda, you will see the Big Seven that includes elephants, Buffalo, Rhino, Leopard Lion, then Mountain Gorillas, and Chimpanzees. Others include; Hippos, Nile crocodile, Antelope, and over 1,160 bird species elusive shoebill stork inclusive, butterflies, and then the endangered Rothschild Giraffe as if that is not enough, you will be amazed by the lush green, Rivers, and big Lakes looking like an Ocean.
The slogan “The Pearl of Africa” is Uganda’s brand label and no other African country brands the same way. In a broad view this slogan was not created by the Uganda government, or the ministry of tourism, not even hired marketing agency. Gifted by nature is the only effort but it never equated to the Pearl of Africa brand. You can never separate the “Pearl of Africa” and “Uganda.”
Winston Churchill’s visit to Uganda was to see how the British can economically benefit from Uganda as their protectorate but not to promote tourism by popularizing Uganda as “the Pearl of Africa” his book “My African Journey” sparked interest from among big-game hunters who as a result frequently visited the country.
Much as the term ‘the Pearl of Africa’ was used to describe the country’s wealth and riches for exploitation. Today “the Pearl of Africa” is used as a country’s tourism slogan that describes the uniqueness and one of its kind as an African safari destination. Today many tourism-related businesses associate with the slogan as they see a term that describes excellence such as – The Pearl of Africa hotel among many.