Special birds to look out for in Semuliki National Park- “The True Birder’s Haven”

Semuliki National Park is among Uganda’s wonderful protected areas situated in Western Uganda, along the Congo border following River Semuliki and the Western arm of the Albertine Rift Valley. It covers an area of 220 kilometers standing on an elevation of about 800 to 900 meters above sea level. It is credited for its amazing and rewarding Uganda birding adventure safaris in Uganda.  Semuliki National Park is mainly occupied by the Eastern parts of the Ituri forests from the Congo Basin.

A Uganda birding safari one of the most sought after and exciting rewarding adventure that tourists shouldn’t miss out while on a safari in Uganda. Semuliki National Park is one of the national parks where the largest population of bird life is inhabited. This offers higher chances for birders to sight numerous birds in this rich forest.

Are you are planning for any Uganda safari? make sure you include Semuliki National Park in your itinerary. It is one of the best spots for you to catch a glimpse of distinct bird species that repay endeavors with unforgettable encounters.

Birds with an extremely limited distribution in East Africa are reasonably likely to be seen by visitors spending a few days in Semuliki National Park. Species to look out for here include the Nkulengu Rail, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Congo serpent eagle, Black-casqued Wattled Horbill, Rufous sided broadbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, Leaf-love, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Crested Malimbe, Red-bellied Malimbe, Blue-billed malimbe, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch.

What to carry on a Uganda birding safari in Semuliki National Park

Tourists need binoculars, cameras, birding clothes, bottled drinking water, comfortable walking shoes, note book and others.

Don’t miss writing a bird list like this on your adventurous Uganda birding safari!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attractions in Semuliki National Park, Uganda

Safari Uganda to Semuliki National Park, dominated by the Ituri thick forest of the Congo basin. The Ituri forest is one of the ancient bio-diverse forest with a great ecosystem within the larger Albertine Rift ecosystem. As a result, the Ituri forest has a high diversity of plant and animal species and many micro-habitats.

Fauna

Semuliki National Park has variety of Fauna; over 53 mammal species of which 11 mammals are endemic to the park. Uganda Wildlife safari game include; elephants, buffalos, chimpanzees, civets, hippos, grey cheeked manga bey, Mona monkeys, forest buffalo, bay duiker, Beecroft’s flying squirrel, pygmy flying squirrel, little collared fruit bat, water chevrotain, target rats, olive baboons, gentle blue monkeys, bush babies among the many.

Of the 1047 birds recorded in Uganda, Semuliki hosts over 435 bird species (43%) where over 40 species are Congolese and endemic to the park hence christening it the True birders Haven for those interested in Uganda birding safaris. Some of these birds include; the Albertine Rift Endemics such as the Dwarf Honey guide and Purple-breasted Sunbird can occasionally be sighted. Also, species with very limited ranges such as White-tailed Hornbill, Capuchin Babbler, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher and the orange weaver occur in the park. The park also has about 300 butterfly species. With all these wildlife species found in the forest, it makes it suitable for Uganda wildlife safaris. Sempaya Ntandi Road This 6 km section of public road runs along one of the loveliest tracts of forest in Uganda and provides good views of birds and monkeys high up in the forest canopy. Birding walks take place in Sempaya as well as night hikes deep into the forest.

Sempaya hot springs

The Sempaya hot springs in Semuliki National Park are more adventurous, exciting and most famous attraction in the park. The male hot spring, also known as Bintente, measures up to about 12m in diameter while the female hot spring; Nyasimbi, meaning the female ancestors, is a boiling geyser which sprays bubbling water. This female hot spring steam up to two meters high and the steam cloud can be seen from as far as 2km away. Local people used to cook their food in these boiling pools and the exciting bit of it is that the food gets ready for consumption.

Visitors are also given chance to experiment egg boiling after since food may take long. Boiling the eggs takes around 10mins for them to get ready. Those who wish to consume them. This is one of the most Africa adventure safaris you can ever take.

Semuliki River

The 160 km long Semuliki river, transports runoff from the Rwenzori Mountains to Lake Albert and the Nile. The muddy river is home to hippos and crocodiles, the Semuliki is a small version of the Congo River. Visitors can watch the river meander across the rift valley floor from roadside viewpoints and hike through the forest to its bird-rich banks.

 

Activities done in Semuliki National Park, Uganda

“The true birders’ haven”; Semuliki National Park, deceits within the western arm of the East African rift valley in Western Uganda. Semuliki National Park borders river Semuliki and Lake Albert in the north, Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, and Mountain Rwenzori in the south east. Semuliki National Park covers an area of about 220 square kilometers in Bundibugyo district.

Are you interested in a Uganda birding safari?

Though small, Semuliki National Park has several activities you can do on your Uganda safari but the most exciting is a Uganda birding safari in the true birders haven. Birders that safari to Semuliki National Park Uganda will with assurance have a very exciting Uganda birding tour.

The Ituri forest of Semuliki Safari National Park, is home to several bird species. The forest has over 40% of Uganda’s bird species. Uganda birders together with Uganda Wildlife Authority and Nature Uganda have recorded over 441 bird species. A few include; the spot breasted ibis, red chested owlet, hartlatus’s duck, red billed and African dwarf kingfishers, African Paulet, Ituri batis, blue billed, white crested black dwarf and many more.

Are Uganda Wildlife safaris your interest?

Besides Uganda birding safaris, in Semuliki’s thick Ituri forest, lie several wild gems that cannot let you go away without enjoying a Uganda wildlife safari tour Therefore, Uganda safari game drives are done in the park with the help of rangers and guides to enable the visitors interested in Uganda wildlife safaris enjoy their stay in the park. Wild game animals easily viewed in the park while on a game drive include; elephants, buffalos, chimpanzees, civets, hippos, grey cheeked manga bey, Mona monkeys, olive baboons, gentle blue monkeys, bush babies and many others.

Flex a bit by taking a Nature walk in the green environment

A Nature walk in Semuliki National Park is simply amazing because it gets tourists breathe air of a pure Natural environment. It’s the only chance where you will have a look at the wild insects, several butterflies, lots of birds, and variety of plant species as well.

These nature walks are also beneficial to birders for it gives them chance to get close to the birds.  No worries of where you will pass, Semuliki National Parks has several trails used by tourists pass as they hike in the park for example the Kirimia trail that gives you a lot to see.

Besides sighting lots of birds, insects, butterflies and several plant species, Nature walks are also done to the Sempaya hot springs. These amazing hot springs that can boil at very high temperatures of up to 103 degrees Celsius; have a spurt shelling up 2 meters from a wide hole of about eight meters. The most exciting activity here is boiling eggs in the hot springs.

Cultural encounters

Cultural encounters in the Ituri forest of Semuliki National Park are purely wonderful. Interacting with the Batwa community people makes you love having a home in the forest. These Batwa people found in Semuliki National Park depend on Ituri forest for food, medicine and shelter as well. They have variety of cultural norms, beliefs, beautiful ancient way of dressing in back cloth and as well as interesting traditional dances that are nice to watch. Tourists interested in Uganda cultural safaris will have the best safari memories about culture if they made their way to Uganda’s indigenous tribes.

Why it is the True Birder’s Haven!

Semuliki National ParkThe True Birders’ Haven

Throughout times tourists have visited Uganda, they have always appreciated this exploratory small land for hosting a number of the world’s secrecies. Occupying an extensional percentage of the great Congo Basin forests, Uganda hosts the true birders’ haven; Semuliki National Park. Previously this hidden treasure was innocently detoured by great number of travelers, not until the Birders haven secret was unveiled by some travelers who took a Uganda safari to this treasure “Semuliki National Park”. Since then, it has remained a great destination for travelers on Uganda safaris and tours.

“The true birders’ haven”; Semuliki National Park lies along the Uganda Congo boarder in the Semuliki Valley. Semuliki National Park deceits within the western arm of the East African rift valley bordering river Semuliki and Lake Albert in the north, Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, and Mountain Rwenzori in the south east. Situated in western Uganda; Bundibugyo district Semuliki National Park covers an area of about 220 square kilometers.

This park was formed as Bwamba Forest Reserve in 1932 and was later named Semuliki National park in 1993 under the Uganda wildlife Authority. This makes it one of the newest parks in Uganda. Semuliki National Park is suitable for a Uganda birding safari tour, due to its variety of bird species. Semuliki National Park has over 441 recorded species hence christening it Uganda’s true birders’ haven. In the 441 recorded bird species, over 40 of these species are endemic to this park alone.

Besides the Uganda birding safaris, Semuliki National Park also has variety of wild game suitable for Uganda wildlife safaris. In the park, tourists encounter animals such as; Mona monkeys, bush babies, civets, hippos, leopards, forest buffaloes and some few elephants to mention but a few.

Semuliki National Park is also home to the famous Sempaya hot springs. Tourists find the Sempaya hot springs more adventurous and exciting. The Sempaya hot springs consists of the male Bitende hot springs and the Nyasimbi female hot springs. Their hot water boils up to over 103 degrees celicius. The hot springs are mostly used by the local people who believe they have healing powers for especially skin diseases. Visitors who make their way to these hot springs are given chance to experiment egg boiling. Boiling and getting the eggs ready for consumption takes around 10mins for them to get ready.

Semuliki National Park also defends the extension of Congo Ituri rain forest and this is where the wild game found in this park habit. The Ituri forest further has over 305 tree species recorded where by 125 of them are restricted to this park. Semuliki National Park as well habits over 30 species of butterflies and 235 species of moths. The Congo Ituri forest is very dense therefore viewing the wild game animals may be a bit hard.

Semuliki National Park as region also has 4 ethnic groups of people staying in the park region. These include the Bakonjo, Bamba, Batuku and the Batwa people. The Bakonjo and the Bamba people live along the mountain slopes and in the valley respectively. These people are mainly agriculturalists surviving on cash crops like cocoa, rice coffee and potatoes plus food crops majorly bananas.
The Batuku people are found on the floor of the rift valley just north of Semuliki National Park. The Batuku people are mainly pastoralists that entirely depend on products from cattle. Products got from cattle are used during trade with their neighbors both in Uganda and in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Finally, the Batwa pygmies that are famous for their hunting and gathering lifestyle. The Batwa Pygmies have for centuries depended on the Semuliki forest for their survival. It is among the richest places with flora plus fauna in particular birds across Africa. However, their lifestyle currently is changing because of the daily interaction with other nearest local communities as well as the influence of tourism.

Semuliki National Park is called the true birders haven because it has variety of bird species that any birder would wish to have on their Uganda birding safari list.

 

How to get to Semuliki National Park Uganda

There are two major roads that can be used by visitors to Semliki National Park.

Kampala – Mubende – Fort Portal, which is 300km and about 4-5 hours’ drive

Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara – Kasese – Fort Portal, which is about 510km and about 7-8 hours’ drive.

 

From Fort Portal, it is approximately 50km to the Sempaya gate, which is estimated to be 2 hours of drive on a dirt road. While the Kampala-Fort Portal via Mubende is much shorter, the Kampala-Fort Portal via Masaka, Mbarara and Kasese presents an opportunity to visit Lake Mburo National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

From Fort Portal, A two to three hours’ drive on the rough road towards Bundibugyo will bring you to Sempaya Gate (52 Km). The Park headquarters at Ntandi is 5 Km further from the gate along the same direction.

semulikimap2

semuliki map

 

vigrx plus ingredients

  • Birds in Semuliki national park Uganda.
  • Wildlife in Semuliki national park Uganda.
  • Sempaya in Semuliki national park Uganda
  • Sempaya – Ntandi Road in Semuliki national park Uganda
  • Semliki River in Semuliki national park Uganda
  • Areas of Interest outside the Park

Birds as an attraction in Semuliki national park Uganda. Birdlife is especially spectacular in Semuliki with 441 recorded species, representing 40% of Uganda’s total bird species and 66% (216) of the country’s forest unique species of birds. The numerous birds are favored by the existence of the riverine habitat and a fringe of grassland in the east of the park. There are various un common species such as the 46 Guinea-Congo biome species which are found nowhere else in East Africa while another 35 can be seen in only two or three other areas in the Pearl of Africa- Uganda. Among these only five species are found in the Albertine Rift ecosystem. The special Species of valve to see in this area include the Nkulengu Rail, Piping Hornbill ,Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Yellow-throated Nicator , Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, Red-rumped Tinker bird, African Piculet, , Maxwell’s Black Weaver, White-throated Blue Swallow, Leaf-love, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Crested Malimbe, Blue-billed malimbe, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Red-bellied Malimbe and Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch.

Birds of Semuliki

Wildlife in Semuliki national park Uganda. The forest acts as a home to 53 mammals of which 27 of mammals are big. 11mammal species are only found in the park including the pygmy antelope and two flying species of squirrels. The park is habitat to the specific water chevrotain, known as the “fanged deer has over 60 species of mammals, including forest buffalos, monkeys, leopards, water chevrotains, hippos, bush babies, civets, elephants, and the pygmy flying squirrel (Idiuus zenkeri). 9 species of duikers are also got in the park, including the bay duiker (Cephalophus dorsalis). The park is habitat to forest elephant and buffalo which are smaller versions of their savannah-living relatives. The forest is preferably rich in the species of primates including the chimpanzee which are said to be sharing 95% DNA with human beings, baboon, Central African red colobus ,grey-cheeked mangabey, black-and-white clubs, blue, red-tailed, de Brazza’s, vervet, and Dent’s monkeys. Nocturnal primates include the potto and bush baby. Hippos and crocodiles are common along the Semliki River.

Semuliki wildlife elephants and leopards

Sempaya Hot Springs in Semuliki natonal park Uganda. The Sempaya Hot Springs are Semuliki’s most famous attraction. The Bintente which is a “male” spring is twelve meters long in diameter and is set in a lush swampy clearing. The “female” spring Nyasimbi, meaning "the female ancestors”, is a boiling geyser (103°C) which spurts bubbling water and steam up to two meters high - the steam cloud can be seen from a distance of 2km away. Local people used to prepare their local food in these boiling pools.

Sempaya – Ntandi Road in Semuliki national park Uganda. This 6km section of public road runs through one of the loveliest tracts of forest in Uganda and provides views of birds and monkeys high up in the forest canopy. The tourist’s activities here are Bird watching, nature walks as well as night hikes done deep in the forest. In Ntandi, local traditional dancers arrange cultural performances for tourists. Besides the above attractions, also visitors’ enjoy the Mungiro Falls which are found near the hot springs.

Semliki River in Semuliki national park Uganda. The 160km long Semliki River flows from the Rwenzori Mountains to Lake Albert and the Nile, proving the claims of traditional geographer’s that the River Nile flows (in part anyway) from the mountain which is snow-caped in the middle of Africa. Semliki River characterized by being, forest fringed, muddy, Broad and habitat to hippos and crocodiles, River Semliki is forms small part of the Congo River. Tourists can clearly view how the river meanders across the rift valley floor from roadside viewpoints and hike through the forest to its bird-rich banks.

river-semuliki-sunset

Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve outside Semuliki national park Uganda. In Uganda’s oldest reserve characterized with tropical rainforest that join grassy savanna and the flat plains are punctuated by deep river valleys. The unique physical feature is showed in the various wildlife species, which includes the forest mammals of Central Africa, key East African species as well as numerous birdlife. Tracking Chimpanzees starts in this area.

toro-semliki

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