Congo Biodiversity bird species in Semuliki National Park – Uganda safari News

Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semuliki Valley on the remote, Western side of the Rwenzori Mountains. Semuliki park is part of the Guinea-Congo biome, the only lowland semi-deciduous forest in Uganda with a spectacular scenic beauty enhanced by the presence of hot springs found within the park.

A total number of 53 mammal species have been recorded of which species of large mammals and 7 species of small mammals have not been recorded in other parks including the recently discovered Bongo Antelope. Eight species occur nowhere else in Eastern Africa such as, mona monkey, forest buffalo, bay duiker, beecroft’s flying squirrel, pygmy flying squirrel, little collared fruit bat, water chevrotain and target rat. The park also habits over 300 butterfly species and a few of them can be spotted in the forest during nature walks.

Semuliki National Park Uganda is home to nine primate species, including De Brazza’s monkey, and many mammals not found elsewhere in Uganda, such as Zenker’s flying mice. Both the resident elephant and buffalo are the forest variety, smaller than their savannah comrades.

The area that Semuliki National Park covers is a distinct ecosystem within the larger Albertine Rift ecosystem. Of the 1047 birds in Uganda, 440 bird species (43%) are found in Semuliki National park. Albertine Rift Endemics such as the Dwarf Honey guide and Purple-breasted Sunbird can occasionally be sighted. All these has attracted a big number of tourists for Uganda safaris particularly for activities like Uganda wildlife safaris, Nature walks, Uganda birding safaris,Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris, Uganda cultural safaris and Uganda adventure safaris.

Some of the Congo Biome species /Congo Biodiversity species in Semuliki National Park

In this article we have described five bird species including; Long tailed Hawk, Lyre tailed honey guide, Congo Serpent Eagle, Nkulengu Rail, and the Black wattled Hornbill.

Long tailed Hawk

An adult Long Tailed Hawk adult as seen in the picture is characterized by lighter grey on the cheeks and veil, and darker on the wings. The rump is smoke grey, sometimes with white spots; the upper tail coverts pure white. The tail is black, graduated, the feathers tipped white and with four irregular crossbars of white. The primaries and secondaries are brown, barred black and notched with white on base of inner webs. The chin and lower throat are grey. The underside of wings and tail are barred black and white. The eyes are reddish yellow, the cere and feet pale yellow.

The immature Long Tailed Hawks are blackish brown above, including the upper-tail coverts, with tawny markings. The tail is broadly banded black and brown above, black and white below, perhaps shorter than that of the adult. The under parts are white, sometimes almost unmarked, sometimes with large blackish spots on breast and sides.

The long-tailed hawk primarily eats squirrels, especially scaly-tailed squirrels and small birds. It can also hunt chicken in the villages close to the forest. It kills prey by breaking the neck. This bird is also known to attack hammer-headed fruit bats. Its strong legs and feet suggest its main prey are mammals.

The mating season occurs in July and August, when the pair build a nest on a high tree.

Lyre tailed honey guide

The lyre-tailed honeyguide is named after the lyre, a stringed instrument that is played by plucking the strings. Its tail looks similar to the U-shaped instrument.

Lyre-tailed honeyguides are dull-colored birds characterized of a long, lyre-shaped tail which is U-shaped, and two middle pairs of retrices. It has paired flight feathers of the tail, which extend from the tail edges that are curved outward at distal ends (away from the point of attachment). Its outermost retrices are narrow and short. The birds also have a white under surface about the tail normally seen as they fly, olive-green upperparts, and whitish under parts.

Most honeyguides sexes look alike however, the males and females of the Lyre tailed honey guide look different with respect to their plumage. Females show some gray streaks on the rear underbelly, and their tail is not as large. Adults are about 6 inches (17 centimeters) long and weigh between 1.7 and 2.2 ounces (47.0 and 61.5 grams).

Lyre-tailed honeyguides are located in lowland tropical rain forests, primary forests and their edges, secondary forests, and plantations. They eat beeswax, bee larvae, termites, insects, spiders, and fig fruits.

Lyre-tailed honeyguides are not believed to migrate. The mating display of lyre-tailed honey guides is very interesting. Males fly around while singing several “pee-pee” notes, which go into “ve-bek, ve-vek.” They then go into a rapid and steep dive with their tail feathers spread out. These feathers brush against the wind to make a “kwa-ba kwa-ba” series of sounds. Males may also fly up and down in spiral movements.

Congo Serpent Eagle

The crown and mantle are blackish brown, with brown sides to the neck and a broad brown collar. The rest of upper parts are dark chocolate brown. The tail is light brown with six broad blackish bars. The wing coverts are blackish, the lesser coverts tipped with white. The primary flight feathers are dark brown on outer web, light brown on inner, with a black tip and black bars. The cheeks are light brown, throat darker, and a black moustachial streak, and a black streak down centre of throat. Under parts are mostly white, with large round black spots. Mid-belly and under-tail coverts are pure white. The thighs are closely barred sepia and white. Under-wing again largely white, with some sepia and black spots and bars, the flights pale brown with darker bars. The eyes are dark brown or grey, cere yellow, legs and feet yellow. The males and females sexes are similar in size.

In the immatures the crown and mantle are basally white, the terminal half of the feathers ferruginous, and the tips black. Under parts are closely spotted with round ferruginous and blackish spots, which disappear gradually with age.

Lowland tropical rain forest. This is a bird of dense evergreen forest with large eyes that enable it to catch prey in the dim light of the forest.

Its diet consists mostly of snakes and lizards, including chameleons and toads. Sometimes its diet is evidenced of small mammals, however, these could have been swallowed with snakes which had eaten them earlier. Food is taken on the ground, or in trees, probably by dropping on it from a perch.

Nkulengu Rail

The Nkulengu Rail is a species of bird in the Rallidae family. It belongs to the monotypic genus Himantornis. It is found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda.

Black wattled Hornbill

A Black wattled Hornbill is just one of the many species of large forest Hornbills found in Uganda. These huge birds or adult species are about 90cm in length and they make a huge noise with their wingbeats, often the first thing alerting you to their presence.

Uganda safari package options 

1 Day Ngamba Island day trip
2 Days Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari
 2 Days Murchison Falls safari
3 Days Kidepo Uganda wildlife flying safari
6 Days Uganda gorilla tour
8 Days Uganda tour
13 Days Uganda Rwanda gorilla trekking safari


Amazing chimpanzee experiences in Semuliki National Park Uganda – Uganda safari News

Amazing chimpanzee experiences in Semuliki National Park Uganda – Uganda safari News

Semuliki National Park is endowed with a variety of attractions that people on Africa safaris have enjoyed on their safaris Uganda. Semuliki National Park Uganda is found in the western Albertine Rift valley on the Uganda and Congo’s western border. There are various activities one can take part of on their safari Uganda including Uganda birding safaris, nature walks, Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda adventure safaris and Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris among the many.

Travelers that have undertaken Uganda chimpanzee trekking tours have found it an awesome and exciting experience. This activity involves movement of visitors through the forests to look for and observe Chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Uganda is endowed with over 5700 Chimpanzees that live in the western part and they are distributed in various areas like Kibale National park also known as the Primate capital of the world, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and not leaving out the Semuliki National park Uganda.

There are around 250 chimpanzees in the Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve and most of them are under a study/research by the Indiana University, however, they are available for chimpanzee trekking safaris Uganda. A number of chimpanzees are under habituation which eases tracking them.

What are chimpanzees?

Chimpanzees are amazing animals, the males in most cases grow to 1.7 meters high and are 70kg in weight; the female chimpanzees are smaller than the males. They have hierarchies they follow in most cases every group is led by the dominant male chimpanzee called the Alpha male.  They share around 98% of the human DNA, the live in families, and societies with leaders, they can make solutions for any problems, they function with sounds, gestures, facial expressions, and other non-verbal communications just like humans. In fact the main distinction between them and humans is just that they don’t speak!

A glance about chimpanzee trekking safaris in Semuliki National Park

Chimpanzee trekking tours Uganda and chimpanzee habituation safaris in Uganda’s Semuliki National park is not as tiring as Uganda gorilla safaris, since the landscape in Semuliki is not so rugged. Hence tracking them needs no experience or fitness, though there are cases where moving fast in the forests is need and also a bit of running if you are to catch up with these animals. Also chimpanzees can be seen trying to move just as human beings in the open grasslands especially when they are in search of food, this an amazing experience watching them do such in the wild.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience in Semuliki national park

Chimpanzee habituation is a full day’s activity available at Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve. It is booked prior at Uganda Wildlife Authority where you receive permit and join the ranger guides with researchers. Here you join the researchers as they follow chimps from early morning as they leave their nests to lake evening when they get back to nesting. The idea is for chimps to be acquainted with human beings and eventually join the group that will be available for chimp tracking.

During chimpanzee trekking in Semuliki National Park

On the day of trekking chimpanzees, visitors need to be briefed by the rangers/guides about the behaviors of the chimpanzees, what to do and what to expect. Trackers are organized in groups of 8 and can have one hour with the Chimpanzees. There is nothing as amazing as watching your closets relatives in the wild play, eat, take care of others, make nests among other things.

Chimpanzees in Semuliki are not as many as those in Kibale National Park hence there will be need of moving further to look for them just in case they are not in the nearby places, but with this there is nothing to worry about since as you trek you are led by rangers who are more informed about them and where to find them.

What to carry

Trekkers need to wear long sleeved shirts since it is to move in the forests, carry enough bottled drinking water, packed lunch, water proof cameras, hats and other things as told by your guides.

There are also other things you can see during the trek or after such as birds including the hornbills, the Sempaya hot springs and other primate species like the black and white colobus monkeys, the red tailed monkey, and the grey-cheeked monkeys. Other Uganda safari tour activities in Semuliki National Park include;

Bird watching in Semuliki national park

The park’s main attraction is bird watching because of its location in the Albertine rift valley, low land forest and its central African species. In fact, it hosts Central African bird species that you cannot find anywhere else in East Africa. Semuliki national park is home to 441 bird species, 46 of Guinea-Congo biome species found nowhere else in East Africa. The species to look out for include; Shoebill, dwarf honeyguide, Yellow throated Cuckoo, yellow-throated Nicator, Great blue and Ross’s turaco, purple breasted sunbird, orange weaver, white crested hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, African Piculet, Swamp Palm Bulbul etc. The Shoebill is often sighted at Lake Albert while in the canoe birding. More areas for birdwatching in the park include; Sempaya, Ntandi, Kirumia trail, Semuliki River etc.

You can add a Uganda wildlife safari or short Uganda wildlife safari to your Uganda gorilla trekking tour itinerary.  Other activities you can add to your itinerary include; water rafting, horse riding, boat cruises, a Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari, a Uganda golden monkey trekking safari, a Uganda birding safari and many more depending on your choice.

Uganda safari Packages include;

4 days Uganda gorilla trekking safaris

5 days Uganda gorilla & chimpanzee trekking safaris

8 days Uganda wildlife safaris

12 days Uganda Rwanda cycling safari

16 Days Uganda primate adventure

Adventure Africa with a hike to the True birder’s haven – Uganda safari News

Adventure Africa with a hike to the True birder’s haven – Uganda safari News

Endowed with an extension of the Ituri rain-forest of Congo, Semuliki National Park lies in the Western Albertine rift valley in Bwamba County, a remote part of the Bundibugyo District, in the Western Region of Uganda. Semuliki National Park Uganda is endowed with rain forests which are an extension of the Ituri rain-forest of Congo, swamp vegetation, rivers, bird species, flora and fauna among other features. Nature walks and hiking safaris Uganda is the best Uganda safari activity normally done by travelers interested in Uganda adventure safaris. It is the only way you can do and see to see various things in and around this park. Other activities that can enable you enjoy this park is a Uganda birding safari because this park is a true birder’s haven.

Habitats in Semuliki National Park

30 species of butterflies have been identified, including 46 species of forest Swallowtails and Charaxes (75% of Uganda’s total) and at least 235 species of moths have been classified as restricted. There are also 305 species of trees recorded, of which 125 species are restricted within Semuliki National park alone. Over 441 species of birds have been recorded.

Nature walks in Semuliki National Park

Nature walks can be done following various trails in Semuliki national park which offer a great access to the savannah grasslands, rain forests, and the swamps in the park, as you start the nature walk you will be with a skilled guide who is well informed about the different things along the trails, this will give you a memorable experience in the wild. Some of the trails include;

Kirumia Trail

The 13 km Kirumia Trail goes through the middle of the forest towards River Semuliki. Hiking it roughly takes 8 hours beginning at 8am. This trail starts from Kirumia which is just about 8 Kilometers from the Park headquarters in Ntandi. Varieties of birds can be seen on this trail and is most recommended trail for bird watching and butterfly watching as well as many varieties of butterflies do breed on this trail since it has good forest canopy. Number of woodland birds such as the black and white casqued hornbill can be spotted on the trees alongside the rails.

Red Tailed Monkey/ Primate Trail

The 11km Red Tailed Monkey Track extends to the eastern border of the park then proceed towards the Semliki River. A nature walk there takes you through an encounter its populated red tailed monkeys hence the name. other primates include; baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, and grey checked mongabeys.

Since the trail starts from the Sempaya tourism site and stretches into the forest, it gives you the provision to reach the Semuliki river and end up from the park headquarters.

Birders are also able to see number of forest and woodland birds along this trail other mammals seen there include the duikers, forest elephants, forest buffaloes and some other antelopes can be seen on some occasion. The trail has good canopy however its muddy due to the fact it is a tropical region situated in the Congo basin with a lot of trees having the roots just on the ground surfaces as a breathing means. Care should always be taken of where to step, if not so, your shoes might end up be swallowed by mad.

Sempaya Nature Trail

The 8 km Sempaya nature trail takes you for a Uganda adventure safari to spot the hot springs as well as the primates in this park. You may opt to cut this trail shot by just moving from the Sempaya tourism center and slop down to view the hot springs both the male (Bamaga) and the female (Nyansimbi). The water in these hot springs boils at a temperature of 100°C and it can be experimented by cooking eggs or bananas in this water.

The hike lasts 3 hours and can be done in the morning and afternoon. It is so interesting and a great one to use specially the primate, butterfly and birder lovers.

This trail also gives you a great chance to view the mountain Rwenzori rangers on the back ground and view of the Semuliki valley.

Nyabsurogo Gorge Hike

The Nyaburogo gorge at Semuliki National Park that starts right away from the reserve headquarters. It covers a distance of about 7 km. This hike takes you through the gorges including the Savannah, woodland and a forest within the gorge. The gorge habits a number of wildlife including number of bird species such as Ground hornbills, Arrow marked Babbler, Tropical Boubal, Black-headed, Bushrike, Luhdres Bushrike and umbers of primates can be sited as you hike within the trails in the gorges. Some of the primates including Vervet monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys and Baboons which are common alongside the road as you start the trail.

The Batwa cultural trail.

This trail stretches near the Ntandi park headquarters to the forest where it leads to the batwa cultural sites where ceremonial activities such as circumcisions, meetings, kingship, and other cultural maters are performed from.

Generally, the length of the nature walks/hikes is totally dependent on which trails you took, what activity you are doing and the weather conditions of the area. So sometimes it can be a few hours or a full day.

Hiking tips

Visitors are advised to have enough drinking water, sturdy shoes/boots, rain jackets, packed lunch, binoculars, cameras, long sleeved shirt, hats, travel guide books and other things as you are briefed while on trip.Top of Form

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Unfold the amazing nature safaris in Uganda! – Uganda safari News

Unfold the amazing nature safaris in Uganda! – Uganda safari News

Make your Africa safari tour very adventurous! During your Africa safari, make use of your Uganda safari guide, ask all questions where you need answers. Be curious and find out how somethings started existing? During your safari in Uganda or Africa wildlife safari to Semuliki National Park Uganda, you will visit the Sempaya hot springs found in this park.

This park is blessed with Male and Female hot springs that have attracted a good number of tourists there.  As part of your adventure, you will interact with the locals around Semuliki National Park, who will entertain you with their cultural performances as well as tell you stories about the place. The hot springs are one of the attractions in Semuliki National Park Uganda that are sought by many tourists on Uganda safaris. These hot springs, commonly known as the Sempaya hot springs are a must see during your western Uganda safari tour

Most of the tourists who visit Uganda and go to this park, are normally interested in Uganda birding safaris and Uganda wildlife safaris. The name “Sempaya” originated from a Kiswahili phrase Sehemu mbaya (the difficult side) owing to the steep challenging rocks and terrain during the construction of the Fort Portal Bundibugyo road along the ridges of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Stories behind the existence of the Sempaya hot hot-springs 


Scientists describe a hot spring as a spring produced by the emergence of geothermal-heated groundwater from the earth’s crust. The believe Hot springs are formed when water comes into contact with the heated rock underneath. When water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it is heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks. In other words, Hot springs are formed by cracks extending down towards the exceedingly hot temperatures of the mantle, and water seeping downwards is heated and forced back up under pressure to bubble.

Tales told by the local people

The locals of this park have a very different folk story to tell and it totally differs from the scientist’s technical explanation about the hot springs. According to Mzee Adonia Balinsanga the head of the Bamaga clan, the site of the steaming male hot spring is historical and a treasure to the whole society. He said that once upon a time, the Bamaga women had one time gone to fetch firewood from the forest, and on their way, they sighted a strange hairy man dressed in bark cloth, having a spear and a dog moving in a zig-zag formation around that location where the hot springs are. Because of fear, the women ran back home to tell their husbands about this man. Their husbands met and decided to pick and take him to their homes and after sometime, they got him a wife from the same village.

safaris Uganda This man whose identity was known as Biteete, was a hunter in life. He continued to go hunting in the wild because it is what he was used too. So, one time he went out to hunt but never returned home. His wife and other people who used to stay around him kept wondering where he had gone. So, after three days of missing, the men of the village went out to search for him in the village but failed to get him. So, as they passed by the present day male hot spring, they only found a spear but no traces of the man nor his dog. They assumed he had disappeared from the same spot where the women had found him. These men ran back to tell the wife (Nyansimbi) about what they had found out. In confusion, the wife also ran to the forest never returned.

safaris Uganda In the subsequent search, only her clothes were found at the present day female hot spring. This was how the two springs became to be known as the male and female hot springs and to-date the Bamaga believe their female ancestors live beneath the female hot spring while their male ancestors live at the male spring. This is why the Bamaga until today perform annual rituals at the springs to appease their ancestors and the national park allows them access these places.

After your short Uganda safari tour to the hot springs, you can also add a short Uganda wildlife safari to your itinerary or a long Uganda wildlife safari or even a Uganda gorilla safari. If you are not interested in Uganda wildlife safaris, you can undertake a Uganda birding safari, a cycling safari in Uganda,a chimpanzee trekking safari, a golden money trekking safari, nature walks, a Kampala city tour, a Jinja city tour, or just an adrenaline adventure in Jinja where you will enjoy horse back riding, water rafting, boat cruise, quad biking, cycling, kayaking and many more depending on your choice during your safaris Uganda.

Did you know Semuliki National Park Uganda has 4 of the major Africa safari activities? – Uganda Safari News

Did you know Semuliki National Park Uganda has 4 of the major Africa safari activities? – Uganda Safari News

Semuliki National Park, also known as “The true birders’ haven”, deceits within the western arm of the East African rift valley in Western Uganda. Semuliki National Park Uganda 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.

Semuliki National Park safari accommodation in Uganda – Uganda safari News

Semuliki National Park safari accommodation in Uganda – Uganda safari News

Semuliki safari lodge

Semuliki Safari Lodge is one of the artistic Uganda safari accommodations for tourists in Uganda. Semuliki safari lodge is situated in the Semuliki Valley Wildlife Reserve, formerly called the Toro Game Reserve, in the Western Rift Valley. It is the only accommodation place in over 500 square kilometers of wilderness, offering a truly private experience.

It was attractively built out of local traditional materials that gave it a gorgeous look without losing all important comfort. Tourists on Uganda safaris to Semuliki National Park for activities like Uganda birding safaris , Uganda wildlife safaris use this lodge for accommodation. Its structure is built out of local materials and has a feeling of traditional rustic without losing that all-important comfort.

The lodge has large canvas tents with permanent thatched roofs and each tent includes en-suite bathrooms with running water and private verandas with a stunning panoramic view. Imagine lying on a hand carved four poster bed draped in muslin. Persian carpets and other soft touches ensure that this is far from roughing it in the bush. The lodge offers a homely environment at the lodge with sofas piled high with soft cushions, loads of books to read and hospitable welcoming staff.

Facilities at this lodge

Guests in Semuliki safari lodge stay in large canvas tents with permanent thatched roofs. Each tent contains an en-suite bathroom with running water, hot water, four-poster beds, mahogany floors, electric lighting and a private veranda offering stunning panoramic views.

Four tents enjoy views over the Savannah and the escarpment, while the other four tents enjoy views over the forest and the Rwenzori Mountains.

The restaurant

Semuliki safari lodge Food served at the lodge is freshly made, their fore very ideal for clients. From the bread baked daily, to the soups, the delicious dishes and desserts. While visitors at the lodge may choose to do nothing and relax by the pool which overlooks the mountains, or participate in a number of Uganda safari activities in and around Semuliki National park Uganda that are offered at the lodge.

How to get to Semuliki Safari Lodge

By road

Semuliki safari lodge is approximately 5 hour’s drive from Kampala. 3 hour’s drive from Queen Elizabeth National Park and 1-hour drive from Fort Portal town.

By air

It takes a duration of about 1-hour from Entebbe to the airstrip near to the lodge.

All National Parks in Uganda have Uganda safari accommodation facilities where tourists on Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris, Uganda gorilla safaris or Uganda gorilla trekking safaris, golden monkey trekking safaris, Uganda adrenaline adventures, launch cruises can enjoy,

Tips on how to best enjoy your birding day in Semuliki National Park – Uganda Safari News

Tips on how to best enjoy your birding day in Semuliki National Park – Uganda Safari News

Are you planning to visit Semuliki National Park Uganda on your short Uganda wildlife safari. Enjoy your Uganda birding safari day in the “The true birders’ haven”; Semuliki National Park that lies 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. This park covers an area of about 220 square kilometers in western Uganda; Bundibugyo district.

In order to do this one day birding safari Uganda, our client is required to spend a night in areas close to the park; in Fort portal or Kasese. Departing for Semuliki National Park from Kampala via the Kampala-Mubende-Fort portal road, it is about 300km driving for about 5hours. While using the Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Kasese-Fort portal road which is about 510km taking a drive of about 8hours. Because of these long hours, it prompts you make a decision of spending a night in the areas around Semuliki National Park.

How to spend your Uganda birding safari day in Semuki National Park

Enjoy this spectacular drive with views of Lake Albert and the legendary Mountain Rwenzori ranges on your way to Bundibugyo town. Semuliki National Park has a great location within western Albertine Rift valley region and is situated at the eastern section of Ituri forest that connects Uganda with river Congo.

Semuliki is a site for bird lovers with approximately 400 species of birds; mainly forest birds. There are approximately 300 species of trees have been recorded in the forest and more than 52 mammal species including 11 diurnal species in the park.

Upon arrival in the park, you will do a nature walk through the forest with a guide where you will be able to see variety of birds as well as animals with in the park. In addition to birds, you will encounter with primates such as the grey checked mangabey plus the red-tailed monkey. This activity will take around 4 hours.

From there you will visit the Sempaya hot springs. These natural springs and have a geyser shooting high from an 8-meter-wide hole at a very high temperature. Of all hot springs in Uganda, this is the largest in the whole of Uganda. On this very trail, you may identify a couple of bird types such as the blue breasted kingfisher and Frasier’s ant-thrush. You will also experience egg boiling in the hot springs; an activity you will never forget. After transfer back to your hotel

After your birding tour in Uganda, you can continue to other parks like, Kibale National Park, Mountain Rwenzori National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Lake Bunyonyi Uganda and many more depending on choice.

The Bambuti pygmy Uganda cultural experience – Uganda Safari News

The Bambuti pygmy Uganda cultural experience – Uganda Safari News

Nestled in the Albertine Rift at the northern base of the Rwenzori Mountains, the forested Semuliki National Parks Valley is a haven for rare birds and mammals. This alone has put on the top Uganda’s most visited destinations by people on Uganda birding safaris during their Africa safari holiday. Semuliki National Park protects an eastern extension of the Congolese Ituri Forest making it one of the alluring ornithological destinations in Uganda, with roughly 400 recorded species being Guinea-Congo biome endemics known from no other locality in East Africa.

The Batwa/Bambuti pygmies in Semuliki National Park Uganda

When we trace the roots of the stone age period, the closest relatives to the stone-age people in Uganda are the Batwa and the Bambuti. The Bambuti are often referred to as pygmies and they are believed to have been the original inhabitants of the Rwenzori Mountain areas before the arrival of the Bantu. Their original home is said to have been the Congo forest. Their language is called Kumbuti. It is said to be very complex and difficult to learn.

Although some people believe that the Bambuti pygmies are closely related to the Batwa around Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These people are even smaller in number than the Batwa Pygmies and have more interesting activities that include growing and smoking of marijuana. The similarity between the Bambuti Pygmies and the Batwa Pygmies is that they all once lived within Forests, were hunter-gatherers and were all evicted from their ancient homes.

They live by hunting and gathering and they do not have permanent dwellings. They tend to be semi-sedentary, camping for a time where food can be obtained. However today, this is probably so because there is no longer much scope for survival by hunting and gathering because of increased population encroachment on gathering grounds.

The way of life of the Bambuti

The Bambuti are nomads always on the move from place to place, hunting and gathering. They are said to be cannibals and their average height is about 1.5 meters. They have a light bronze colour and a beautiful complexion. They have the same curly, wooly hair as their Bantu neighbors. Their faces are broad, their nostrils wide and their lips are extraordinarily thick.

Their huts are built in the same model as Bantu huts but are made of leaves, not grass. They round, very short, and with a small entrance so small and low that they crawl on their hands and knees when entering and getting out. Their huts are temporary due to their nomadic life.


Their diet is basically composed of meat. Often, they supplement it with bananas and sweet potatoes which they obtain by bartering meat for them with Bantu neighbors. They obtain their food by hunting and they are very skilled at it. When in the forest hunting, a dozen of them will make less noise than that of the animal being tracked.


Their dress is composed of a belt wound round the waist, with a piece if bark cloth attached to the belt in the middle of the back, brought down between the legs and fixed against the belt front. This type of dress suits both men and women but it is not very common for the Bambuti to put on clothes.


The Bambuti‘s economy is just as simple as their general way of life. They are wanderers by nature with no fixed residence. Their chief means of subsistence is meat and the forests where they live abound with elephants, monkeys, lizards and some antelopes. The Bambuti prey on these animals and several others which the forest contains.

As one would expect, the Bambuti have no home industries. Their mode of life is purely subsistence and they do not seem to be troubled by lack of home comfort. If a Mwambuti can find some where to sit and a skin to sleep on, if he has eaten and drunk he finds nothing to trouble the world for.


When on their normal travels, the women carry all the family property. They also do all the work including construction of huts. The man only carries his spears and arrows. The men do the hunting and really excel at it.

For visitors on short Uganda wildlife safaris, the main focal point on their safari Uganda to Semuliki is the steaming Sempaya hot springs, which are reached via a short walking trail along which a full seven species of forest hornbill may be seen, among them the immense black-wattled hornbill, along with the likes of Nkulengu rail and swamp greenbul. Common primates include grey-cheeked mangabey, red colobus, black-and-white colobus and red-tailed monkey, and bush pig, forest buffalo, chimpanzee, sitatunga, white-bellied duiker and water chevrotain are also present.


Bird watching safaris in Uganda – Uganda safari News

Bird watching safaris in Uganda – Uganda safari News

Uganda is an equatorial country of astonishing distinctions suitable for exploring on your Africa safari or Uganda safari. No other area in Africa can match its amazing diversity of habitats ranging from arid semi-deserts, rich savannahs, lowlands and montane rain forests to vast wetlands, volcanoes and an afro-alpine zone, and covering an altitude from 650 to 5000 meters.

This richness is reflected in the number of birds per square kilometer the highest than any other country in Africa! Given the small size of the country, which is approximately 235,000 square kilometers, Uganda boasts a national bird list of over 1008 species. This represents more than half the bird species that can be found in the whole of Africa.

What is the checklist Ugandan Birds?

Are you wondering what bird species enrich the colorful birdlife in Uganda? Then have a look at Uganda’s complete Birding List of Uganda in Adobe PDF format (165 kb), with a total of 1062 species.

Birding sites in Uganda


Uganda has an area contiguous with the Great Guinea / Congo Basin rain forest on its western border. Subsequently there are a number of west and central African bird species occurring in Uganda that are not found elsewhere in East Africa.

There are more than 700 forest reserves in Uganda. One particular region is the Albertine Rift Endemic area, which has 38 species of birds confined to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo. Of the Albertine Rift Endemic areas, Uganda has 25, mostly confined to the forests of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the southwest.


Uganda has 30,000 square kilometers of wetlands. Not less than 210 species, ranging from the Shoebill and African Skimmer to the endemic Fox’s Weaver, are found in these wetlands. More to the above are four Papyrus endemics; the Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler and Papyrus Yellow warbler. And a White winged Black Tern roost of 2-3 million birds in the Entebbe area (Lutembe bay).


In Uganda savannahs vary from the remote, semi-dessert, dry thorn-scrub region of Karamoja in the northeast, to the richer fertile savannahs of the western rift valley. Queen Elizabeth National Park has a bird list of 604 species, the highest for any protected area in Africa.

Which bird species are in Semliki?

Common species in Semuliki National Park Uganda include the, Spot-breasted Ibis, Hartlaubs’s Duck, Chestnut-flanked Goshawk, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Long-tailed Hawk, White-bellied and African Dwarf Kingfishers, White-crested, Black Dwarf, Red-billed Dwarf, Piping and Black-wattled Hornbills, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Spotted, Lyre-tailed and Zenker’s Honeyguides, African Piculet, Gabon Woodpecker, Red-sided Broadbill, White-throated Blue Swallow, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Sassi’s Olive, Yellow-throated Nicator, Capuchin Babbler, Northern Bearded Scrub Robin, Forest and Grey Ground Thrushes, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Brown-crowned Eremomela, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Red-billed Helmet -Shrike, Red-eyed Puff-back, Xavier’s, Swamp, Simple and Eastern Bearded Greenbuls, Forest Francolin, Nkulengu Rail, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Red-chested Owlet, Bates’ Nightjar, Chocolate-backed, Black-winged Starling, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Blue-billed, Crested and Red-bellied Malimbes, Pale-fronted and Chestnut-breasted Negro finches, Grant’s Bluebill.

There are many more different birding destinations in Uganda however, you can enjoy a short Uganda wildlife safari, a gorilla trekking safari Uganda, a chimpanzee trekking safari Uganda, horse riding Jinja, water rafting Jinja, kayaking in Jinja, a Kampala city tour, a Jinja city, and many more Uganda safaris or Uganda tours.

All Questions answered about the True Birder’s Haven; Semuliki National Park – Uganda safari News

All Questions answered about the True Birder’s Haven; Semuliki National Park – Uganda safari News

Situated in a remote corner, of southwestern Uganda, Semuliki National park protects the eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest. It is strategically situated in Western Uganda, along the Congo border following River Semuliki and the Western arm of the Albertine Rift Valley.

Semuliki National Park, also known as the “True Birder’s Haven”, is among Uganda’s wonderful safari protected destinations that suits tours for tourists interested in Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda’s birding safaris, as well as adventure safaris in Uganda. his park covers an area of about 220 square 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 has a large number of mainly central African Species that cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa. These include some of the continent most spectacular and sought-after birds such as Congo Serpent eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Nkulengu rail, black-wattled horn bill, and Lyre-tailed honey guide. Although it lies a bumpy three hour’s drive from Fort portal, Birders on Uganda birding safaris who make it to Semuliki national park Uganda are privileges to be birding in the true birders haven.

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.

Unique bird species only found in Semuliki National Park

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!

The best time for a birding safari in Uganda in Semuliki National Park

Uganda has one of the best climates in Africa and in the whole world. Uganda is gifted with a tropical like climate where bird watching can be done all year round. However, the best time to visit Semuliki while on a Safari in Uganda is during a relatively dry season. This is because during the wet season, there may occur heavy rains leading to flooding of some areas of the park. During the wet season, the walks trails become slippery for visitors and the roads are slippery too and not suitable for a game drive. The rainy season occurs between the months March to May and then from September to December. The breeding season however, is during the month of June and this is when the birds are very colorful.

Dress code for a Uganda birding safari tour in Semuliki National Park Uganda

Since birding is done in forested and bushy places, wearing long-sleeved shirt and trousers is necessary so as to protect your body from scratches.

Visitors are advised to wear trekking shoes since you will have trek through bushy and slippery trails during the rainy season. In most cases the trails used need hiking shoes.

Tourists should carry a sweater and a rain coat since the temperatures in the forests are low or it might rain at any time.

Carrying a hat and sun glasses for protection from the scotching sun is important.

Bring a small bag where you can pack your bottled drinking water for it will help you during birding.

You will need birding binoculars and birding guide book for better identification of Uganda safari birds.



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