Primate Holidays

Bird watching in Semuliki National Park

Bird watching in Semuliki National Park : Semuliki National Park, which borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo in western Uganda’s Bundibugyo district, is a good place to go bird watching safari. In 1932, Semuliki National Park was established, and in 1993 it received its national park designation. The national park covers a total area of 220 square kilometres and is a home of different wildlife species including elephants, buffaloes, bush pigs, warthogs, hippos, bush babies, waterbucks, civets, bushbucks, bay duikers, pygmy antelopes and primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabey among others.

Semuliki National Park is one of the best places in Uganda to go bird watching safari because it is a home to over 441 bird species, including 23 endemics to the Albertine Rift, 35 species from the Guinea-Congo forest biome, and migratory birds.

With the help of a knowledgeable bird guide, you can go bird watching safari in Semuliki National Park either very early in the morning or in the evening. You’ll be able to see a variety of bird species there, such as the Black-wattled Hornbill, Congo Serpent Eagle, Purple Glossy-starling, Red-throated Bee-eater, Long-tailed Hawk, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, White-throated Alethe, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-billed Barbet, Petits Cuckoo-shrike, Chestnut-flanked Goshawk, Fire-crested Alethe, White-tailed Robinchat, Blue White-throated Swallow, Common Stonechat, Cassin’s Spinetail, Little Grey Greenbul, Long-tailed Hawk, Blue Headed Coucal, Western Nicator, Double-toothed Barbet,  The Red Thighed Sparrow Hawk, Capped Wheatear, White Tailed Robin Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Crested Malimbe, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, Piping Hornbill, Swamp Palm bulbul, Red Billed Dwarf Hornbill, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, and Lemon-bellied Crombec are just a few examples. 

Best time for bird watching safari in Semuliki national park.

Semuliki National Park offers year-round opportunities for bird watching safari, but the months of March through May and September through November are the greatest because of the dry weather. Since there is less rain in the park at this time, you can see a variety of colorful migratory bird species from November to April.

The dry season months of June, July, and December to February are also good times to go bird watching at Semuliki National Park because the park’s birding trails will be dry and accessible, which will make the activity simple. 

How to get to Semuliki national park.

Semuliki National Park is located in the western region of Uganda and is reachable by road. It would take you 5 to 6 hours to go from Kampala to Semuliki National Park through Mubende and Fort Portal.

A different route that takes about 7 to 8 hours of driving takes you through Masaka, Mbarara, and finally to the park headquarters.

You can also travel to Semuliki National Park by plane. To do so, arrange for regular or charter flights through Aero link Uganda or Bar Aviation from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Semuliki Airstrip, and then take a road transfer to the park headquarters.

Bird watching in Semuliki National Park
Long-tailed Hawk

Other safari activities in Semuliki national park.

In addition to bird watching, Semuliki National Park offers a variety of other interesting safari activities. These include guided nature walks, where you can explore the park on foot in the company of an expert park guide, game drives in the Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, where you can see a variety of animals like elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, and warthogs, among others, a visit to the Sempaya Hot Springs, and cultural visits, where you can learn more about the cultures around the park.

What to pack during a bird watching safari in Semuliki National Park. 

For your bird watching safari in Semuliki National Park, you’ll need to bring a number of essentials or requirements that are used during the safari activity, including hiking boots, a field guides, a camera and spare batteries, a pair of binoculars, a water bottle, a waterproof rain jacket, lightweight clothing and a waterproof bag.

Where to stay

Since there aren’t many accommodation options in Semuliki National Park, we suggest travelers to find accommodation facilities in Bundibugyo or Fort Portal, that grouped into luxuries, mid-range and budget options like Semliki Safari Lodge, Uganda Wildlife Authority Bandas, Hotel Vanilla, Fort Motel, Aramaga Rift Valley Lodge, and Fort Heights Homestay and among others.

Bird viewing in Semuliki National Park can be paired with other safari experiences like game drives, lion tracking encounters, boat cruises on Kazinga Channel, and chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge, among others, for breathtaking and unique memories.

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