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Winston Churchill first coined the term “The Pearl of Africa” after visiting Uganda in 1907 and writing about it in 1908;

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.”

With over 10% of the world’s bird species being found in Uganda, and with a large percentage of these under threat, we decided to feature some of these birds in our conferencing and banquet sector in order to raise awareness as to their plight.  With many species endangered or listed as vulnerable, we are working with the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre to promote knowledge and understanding of these beautiful creatures. 

A percentage of all the profits made from our conferences are donated to UWEC.

Please click on the birds for further information.

ShoebillThe unmistakable, prehistoric-looking shoebill is one of the most impressive birds to be found in Africa.  A mysterious inhabitant of impenetrable marshes, this tall wading bird is undeniably dominated by its fantastically unique ‘shoe-like’ bill, from which its common name derives.  In Uganda, the Shoebill may be impacted due to habitat alteration caused by exploration for oil and pollution caused by the disposal of agrochemicals and tannery effluents into Lake Victoria. 

Africa has a large number of Weavers, but the Fox Weaver is endemic to Uganda.  The male is more brightly coloured than the female and can often be seen guarding their tree-top nests.  It is at risk from habitat degradation as it tends to prefer wetland areas which have of recent been drained or filled and is listed as near threatened.

As its name suggest, this bird is found in the North Eastern area of Uganda as well as some parts of Kenya and Tanzania.  It is commonly sighted as part of a pair, and sing as part of a duet, alternating their notes and pitch.  It prefers to live in thorny scrub areas which are being encroached upon due to cultivation and livestock farming.

Found in the Budongo forest of Uganda as well as Congo, the Ituri Batis is a very small bird which does not differ in appearance much between males and females.  Its white underbelly and black head make it easy to spot, although it tends to be restless and forages high within the canopies of trees.   Fortunately, the population trend appears to be stable although there have been limited studies made.

The Rails are a large family of approximately 130 species and one of the most widespread of birds, being found globally, with the exception of Antarctica.   The Nkulengu is found in Uganda and other parts of Western Africa.  They are a foraging bird, and inhabits dense lowland rainforest where it can easily find the insects that make up its diet of choice.  Loss of habitat has caused the species to be listed as vulnerable.

The Grey Crowned Crane, also known as the Crested Crane, has been a symbol of Uganda for more than 100 years, having been chosen by Sir Frederick Jackson in 1893 for its beauty and elegance.  The Crested Crane stands at an average of 3 feet tall and likes to nest in wetland areas.  It is known for its elegant “dance”, seen mainly in the breeding season.

Surprisingly, the Crested Crane is listed as endangered, despite its protected status in Uganda.  The main reason for this is the shrinking of their natural habitat due to human encroachment, and numbers have plummeted in recent years.