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!























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.


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