SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK – Birding safari guide

Where is Semliki National Park Located in Uganda?

Situated in a remote corner, of southwestern Uganda, Semliki National park protects an Eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest and forms Part of the forest continuum that stretches across the Democratic republic of Congo to Zaire River. Being a relatively stable forest “refugium” during the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene, this is one of the richest area for forest birds in Africa. A large number of predominantly central African Species reach the eastern limit of distribution here cannot be found any where 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 who make it to Semliki national park will be richly rewarded with some of the very best forest birding in Uganda.

District : Bundibugyo

Size : 220km2

Elevation: 670m-760ma.s.l

Habitat : moist semi deciduous forest mostly Ironwood –dominant (cyanometre Alexandria ) with patches of swamp forest and aquatic habitat represented by forest streams and oxbow lakes with adjacent Swamp .

Status : National park since 1993 (formerly Bwamba forest reserve)
Birds Recorded : 400 species

Timing : Rain falls year round and birding is good any time although the peak breeding season is just after the Jan-Feb “dry” Season .
Time required 3 -4 days .

Key species:
Spos-breased Ibis , hartlab’s, Duck, chestnut-flanked Goshwak, red-thighed sparrow hawk , long-tailed hawk , forest francolin. Nkulengu rail, Western Bronze-Naped Pigeon, black collared Lovebird, yellow –throated cuckoo, red chested Owlet , bates’ nightjar, Chocolate-backed ,White –bellied and African Dwarf kingfishers , White crested black Dwarf , Piping and Black-wattled Hornbills, Red-rumped Tinkerbird , spotted , lyre-tailed, and Zenker’s Honey guides, African Piculet, Gabon wood pecker, Red sided Broad bill, white –throated Blue swallow, Green –tailed Bristle bill, Sassi’s olive, Xavier’s swamp, simple and eastern bearded Greenbuls, yellow throated , Nicator ,capuchin, Babler, Northern bearded, scrub Robin, Forest and grey ground thrushes, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Brown-crowned Eremomela , Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher , Ituri Batis, Red-eyed Puffback , Black winged Orioles, chestnut-winged Starling , Orange-tufted Sunbird, Maxwell’s Black weaver , Blue-billed ,Crested and red-billed malimbes, pale- fronted and chestnut breasted Negrofinches, Grant’sBluebill.

Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an othinology book for better indentification of Uganda birds. We also encourage you to participate in efforts that encourage avian conservation of Uganda tourism.

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