441 Reasons for a Birder to Visit Semuliki National Park

441 Reasons for a Birder to Visit Semuliki National Park

441 Reasons for a Birder to Visit Semuliki National Park

Are you a hardcore ornithologist or just a simple birding fanatic who is just looking for a stunning birding destination? Regardless of what you’re, it’s only right that you get that spectacular destination that will give a thrilling birding expedition you have been yarning for so long. If you get me then let’s get down to business as we make a Uganda safari to Semuliki National Park Uganda.  Getting to Semuliki National Park should really  be as easy as having a cup tea as it is located in Uganda which is found in the East African region on the African continent on the geographical coordinates of 00o40’39” N 30o03’40” E. Semuliki National Park lies 360km or 5-hour drive from Kampala city the capital of Uganda in Bwamba county in the southwestern district of Bundibugyo. Semuliki National park is bordered by Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, Ntoroko district in the north, Semuliki wildlife reserve in the northeast, mt Rwenzori in the south and Kabarole district in the east. Semuliki National Park covers an area that is found in the Albertine rift valley basin lying between relatively flat surfaces and gentle slopes with its highest point being 760m or 2,490ft above sea level and its lowest point being 670m or 2,200ft above sea level.

Getting Semuliki where it is today

The conservation journey of Semuliki National Park has been one full of trials and tribulations, successes and failures hence it has been anything but merry. Semuliki journey can be dated back to the colonial times of Uganda precisely in 1932 when the Imperial British government declared the area as a crown forest reserve, later on after about 6 decades in 1993, the government of the young republic of Uganda designated Semuliki forest reserve a national park covering an area of 220 sqkm to protect its rich bio-diversity.  Semuliki faced its toughest challenge yet between 1997-2000,  when this newly created park was at the center stage of the political instability that existed in the region of Bundibugyo district when the Allied Defence Forces rebel group over powered the park rangers and occupied the park offices but these were later defeated by the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces which is the Ugandan national armed force by the year of 2001 hence restoring peace and sanity in the park and the entire region at large.

The birding destination you should never fail to make in a lifetime

Given Semuliki’s perfect geographical positioning between the great Ituri forests of Congo, the low ranges of the Rwenzori mountains coupled with the savanna plains of the Albertine rift and with two river systems at its boundaries  i.e. Semuliki river on the Uganda D.R. Congo border and also river Lamia entirely in Uganda with both of them flowing into lake Albert, Semuliki becomes the perfect to place for an astronomical number of wildlife biodiversity to breed and thrive to the fullest of capacity. Its, therefore, doesn’t surprise that a safari Uganda to Semuliki National park puts you at the center stage of encountering several unique Uganda safari attractions in Semuliki National Park while on your Uganda tour here.

Some of the 441 reasons for you to visit Semuliki National Park

Some of these tourist attractions in Semuliki National Park that await you on your safari in Uganda to Semuliki include several of the 441 bird species in Semuliki of which 216 are truly forest birds, these include

  • Nkulengu rail,
  • Yellow-throated cuckoo,
  • Piping hornbill,
  • Black dwarf hornbill,
  • Red-billed hornbill,
  • Red-rumped tinkerbird,
  • African piculet,
  • White-throated blue swallow,
  • Maxwell’s black weaver,
  • Lemon billed crombec,
  • Orange checked waxbill,
  • Red-chested Owlet,
  • Bates’ Nightjar,
  • Chocolate-backed,
  • White-bellied and African Dwarf Kingfishers
  •  Red-billed Dwarf,
  • Spotted, Lyre-tailed
  • Zenker’s Honeyguides,
  • Gabon Woodpecker,
  • Red-sided Broadbill,
  • Green-tailed Bristlebill
  • Sassi’s Olive

Besides bird species Semuliki still offers other tourist attractions here such as  the 2 hot springs of Sempaya and a walk to these hot springs comes with very ear-catching local folklore story behind their existence which will leave you fascinated by the ancient natives level of intelligence which coined up this story, 53 mammal species that range from large mammals like forest buffaloes, elephants, civets, leopards, water chevrotains, the pygmy flying squirrel and 9 species of duikers are still up for grabs on your Uganda safari tour adventure to Semuliki National Park. Primatologists should expect to entertain by several monkeys species here like the grey-cheeked mangabeys, Ugandan red colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and chimpanzees,. On the fringes of the park are 4 different communities of people i.e. the Batwa, the Bakonjo, Bwamba and Batuku Semuliki still caters for its visitors who are cultural fanatics.

With all these attractions at your disposal while on your Uganda wildlife safari to Semuliki expect to have an exciting safari in Uganda adventure as there are numerous Uganda safari activities in Semuliki national park besides birding. Some of these other tourist activities in Semuliki include Uganda cultural safari encounters with the Bakonzo and nature walks. In order for you to maximize your Uganda safaris tours experience in Semuliki National Park you need to make an overnight stay in any of the numerous Uganda safari lodges in Semuliki national park. Some of these Uganda hotels in Semuliki include luxury lodges like Semuliki safari lodge, Ntoroko game lodge, Kyaniga safari lodge which is located near Semuliki. Mid-range lodges that can be used while on a safaris Uganda to Semuliki national park include Kirumia guest house, Bumuga campsite.

The weather updates in Semuliki National Park

Given Semuliki’s successful marriage of both the great Ituri Congo basin forests that extend intoSemuliki from their eastern side with the truly tropical low land forests on the lower ranges of the Rwenzori, Semuliki integrates these 2 totally different tropical forests to come up with a blend of its own which is unique. The tropical rainforests of Semuliki are believed to be one of the oldest forests in East Africa as they are carbon-dated to have existed as way back as the Pleistocene age or ice age which dates back 25,000 years. These forests experience an equatorial tropical climate with an average temperature range of 18-200C, minimum temperature range is 17-20OC and maximum temperature range is 26-30oC. The annual rainfall amount received in this forest ranges between 1400-1900mm or 55-75 inches throughout the year with most of it received in two periods of double maximum between March-May and between September – December. The humidity levels range between 77-88% every day.

Who to contact for your Uganda wildlife safari to Semuliki National Park?

If you are interested in a safaris Uganda to Semuliki National Park there are various tour companies in Uganda that offer Uganda safaris tours to Semuliki for birding experience and these include Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd and Wild Gorilla Safaris

Here are of the Uganda safari Packages organised by these companies to Semulikii and other destinations





1 Day Mgahinga Birding Safari Uganda Safari / 1 Day Uganda Birding Safari in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.-Uganda Safari News

1 Day Mgahinga Birding Safari Uganda Safari / 1 Day Uganda Birding Safari in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.-Uganda Safari News


Overview of the 1 Day Mgahinga Birding Safari Uganda Safari / 1 Day Uganda Birding Safari in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

This 1-day Uganda birding safari gives you an opportunity to meet several of the 180 bird species and also an epic cultural encounter with the Batwa inside Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is found in southwestern Uganda about 500km or 12-hour drive from Kampala the capital of Uganda. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to wide biodiversity of species such as mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and 180 bird species as well as the fascinating Batwa people who are believed the earliest inhabitants of these forests. Given long drive time from Kampala to get to Mgahinga which makes a 1-day safari to Mgahinga quite impossible, this 1-day birding safari Uganda will begin from Kigali the capital of Rwanda which is quite close to Mgahinga Gorilla Park as it lies only150km or 3.5hours of a drive from  Kigali.

Highlights of the 1 Day Mgahinga Birding Safari Uganda Safari / 1 Day Uganda Birding Safari in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Transfer from Kigali to Mgahinga Gorilla Park, engage in a birding session then an afternoon Batwa cultural experience.

Detailed itinerary of  the 1 Day Mgahinga Birding Safari Uganda Safari / 1 Day Uganda Birding Safari in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Kick starts off this incredible adventure to Mgahinga National Park with an early morning pick up after early morning breakfast at your hotel in Kigali and this leads on the start of an awesome road trip adventure through the rolling hills of Rwanda. This road adventure is fascinating as your eyes are in for a treat of the truly magical experience loaded with a lot of sightings that will leave you breathless as you get to view the mountain gardens on the hills of Rwanda. you may also meet the many Rwandan children running to school in case the school term is open. This road trip to Mgahinga National Park on your birding safari Uganda via Kigali Rwanda is a very comfortable one as it is done on the tarmacked road all the way to Cyanika border which is about 125 km away from Kigali the capital of Rwanda. Cross into the Ugandan territory on this Uganda tour and be fascinated by the towering hills and the never-ending winding corners as you drive towards your final destination. On arrival to the park headquarters begin your birding expedition which puts you on a search mission of several of the 180 bird species such as African paradise flycatcher, black kite, cape robin chat, pin tailed whydah, speckled mousebird, African olive pigeon, African swift Ruwenzori batis, Ruwenzori nightjar, Ruwenzori turaco and many others. After about 3 hours of birding return to the headquarters for a short debrief then transfer to any of nearby safari lodges for lunch buffet. After this nice lunch, expect to be stunned by the Batwa way of life as you engage in a nice cultural experiential visit to the Batwa. Find your way to Batwa’s jungle clinic and get enlightened about how the Batwa used to heal themselves of their ailments. As you climax, this cultural exchange with the Batwa, engage in a spectacular signature Batwa cultural performance that comes with Batwa dances and singing.  After this Batwa cultural exchange experience, embark on a road trip back to Kigali and this concludes your tour to Uganda in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

On your next Uganda tour, visit Semuliki national park have a cultural encounter with the Bambuti people who have a striking semblance to the Batwa as they have also lived in the forests of Semuliki in Uganda on the Uganda Congo border for quite a long time. During this safari in Uganda to Semuliki National Park, you are in for a birding adventure of a lifetime as Semuliki National Park has over 441bird species with many Congo biome endemic species as well as Albertine rift endemics. On your Uganda safari tour to Semuliki National Parkyou are free to choose to lodge in of the Uganda safari accommodations in Semuliki National Park Uganda such as Semuliki Safari Lodge, Ntoroko Game Lodge, Mountains Of The Moon, Kirumia Guest House And Bumuga Campsite. Getting to Semuliki national park is possible by both road and air transport. Using road transport, Semuliki National Park is 360km away from Kampala while a flight to Semuliki National Park lasts for about 3 hours from Entebbe international airport.

Here are some other short packages in Uganda



1Day Uganda wildlife safari Murchison Falls national park Uganda / 1 Day Murchison Falls Wildlife Safari In Uganda with Birding- Uganda Safari News

1Day Uganda wildlife safari Murchison Falls national park Uganda / 1 Day Murchison Falls Wildlife Safari In Uganda with Birding- Uganda Safari News


This 1 day Uganda wildlife safari gives you a chance to explore the world’s most powerful falls Murchison Falls National Park as you engage into 2 spectacular game drives over the savanna plains of Murchison Falls National Park.

Preview of 1 Day Uganda wildlife safari Murchison Falls national park Uganda / 1 Day Murchison Falls Wildlife Safari In Uganda with Birding

Murchison Falls National Park is located in Uganda which is found in the East African region on the African continent on the geographical co-ordinates of 02o11’15”N 31o46’53”E. Murchison Falls National Park lies 305 kilometers or 5-hour drive away from Kampala capital city in north western Uganda in the districts of Nwoya, Masindi, Kiryandongo and Buliisa. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s biggest park spanning an area of about 3,893sq kilometers. This vast expanse of conservation land is dissected by the mighty river Nile on its coarse to the Mediterranean Sea where it pours its waters. This led to the creation of the northern and southern banks of this national park. The existence of the Nile river in this game park is pivotal to the existence of animals as it provides a constant water source for them and it also nourishes the grass along its banks hence providing an all year round source of grass for browsing animals. 

The highlight of this 1 day safari Uganda is the one in the world wild game drive that puts you in prime position to have an encounter with the wild game that freely roams the plains of Murchison falls national park and these include 4 out of 5 of africa’s big five game which are lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes. Other wild game you will find here include the plain zebras, the Rothchild’s giraffes, Uganda kobs, oribi, bush backs, jackson’s hartebeests and waterbucks. In the afternoon engage in a spectacular boat cruise to the bottom of the falls as you site numerous of the water bird species that are found here 

Highlights of the 1 Day Uganda Birding Safari in Murchison Falls / 1 Day Murchison Falls Safari in Uganda.

Kick-off this tour with an early morning pick up from your hotel in Masindi and Packwach then transfer to Murchison Falls National Park, 1 day Uganda safari is the one in the world wild game drive that puts you in a prime position to have an encounter with the wild game that freely roams the plains of Murchison falls national park and these include 4 out of 5 of Africa’s big five game which are lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes.  Engage in an afternoon boat cruise over the Kazinga channel and watch several birds that roam the skies over the waters of the Kazinga channel.

Detailed Itinerary of the 1 Day Uganda Birding Safari in Murchison Falls / 1 Day Murchison Falls Safari in Uganda.

Wake up very early in the morning to the incessant but beautiful twittering of some of the 1060 bird species that call the pearl of Africa their home. Have a nice cup of coffee to get you energized for the day head on this 1 day safari in Uganda. Pick up is done from your hotel in either Masindi or Packwach then embark on a wonderful safari to Uganda road adventure that lasts between 1.5-2.5- hours depending on the point of pick up. As you enjoy this tour in Uganda road trip to Murchison Falls National Park on a clear day, take time off to take a glance to the left side and marvel at that splendid sunrise that will definitely warm your spirit up. Keep your eyes in the window and glance at the lush green landscape that gives you a sneak pick what’s to come ahead. 


On arrival here, transfer to one of the numerous game drive tracks and begin your memorable short Uganda tour with a transfer to any one of the numerous game tracks like Pakuba, Buligi, Victoria, commonwealth for a spectacular Uganda wildlife safari encounter. As you do this gamed drive, have your eyes glued out as you might chance a site to the king of the jungle the lion as he goes about his daily rounds, also watch out for the spotted leopards that are usually found here. Don’t miss the site of the largest land mammals the African bush elephants as they browse the lands here, the stubborn cape buffaloes also traverse these plains so just keep an eye  out for them, the tallest land mammals the giraffes are also just around the corner as well as the Burchell zebras and many more such as antelopes.T

The Spectacular Boat Cruise

After 2-3 hours retreat to one of the lodges found in this great paradise then enjoy a nicely crafted lunch that will tartalise your taste buds as a compliment on this1 day Uganda safari tour. Brace yourself for a second round of pure bliss as you transfer to the Paara jetty for a spectacular boat cruise that will give you a memorable encounter with numerous water bird species such as the king fishers, goliath herons and the shoebills. Enjoy a relaxed cruise over the Victorian Nile waters as you approach the gigantic and thunder roaring Murchison falls at their base formed after a wrestling through an 8m ravine before fall tumbling 43m below and forms a plume of spray forming dramatic but beautiful scenery that has been ironically termed as the Devils Cauldron.  The end of this birding session over the waters of the Nile ends this birding safari that has seen us explore Murchison falls national park. Climax this Uganda safari tours with a return journey to your lodge.

Where else in Uganda to do get a truly magical Uganda wildlife experience?

Uganda is known as the pearl of Africa and you can decide to extend your Uganda tour to other Uganda safari destinations like Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park Uganda, Semuliki National Reserve Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda and all this can be done by buying any of our safari Uganda packages like 



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

Situated in a remote corner, of southwestern Uganda, Semuliki National park protects the eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest. 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 are privileges to be birding in the true birders haven.

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.



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!























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