Birding site in Uganda
Size: 220sq kms, Elevation: 670 to 760 Meters Above Sea Level, Birds recorded: 435 species
Habitat: Moist semi deciduous forest, most iron wood-dominant with patches of swamp forest and aquatic habitat represented by forest streams and ox bow lakes with adjacent swamps.
Semliki National Park is situated in the extreme west of Uganda, in the Bundibugyo District. It lies along the Uganda/ Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border within the western arm of the East African Rift Valley. In the Southeast are the Rwenzori Mountains, to the west is the DRC and to the north are the Semliki flats and Lake Albert further on. Semliki National Park is an eastern extension of the vast Ituri forest in DRC. It forms part of the forest continuum resulting out of the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene and therefore one of the richest areas for both flora and fauna in Africa.
Jungle life in Semuliki National Park is breathtaking especially for birders, primate, butterfly and plant lovers. The jungle walk takes one up to the meandering River Semliki, the only one of its type in East Africa. You may also see forest buffaloes and elephants, sitatungas, leopards, crocodiles, various primates and a wide range of forest and water birds. Visitors can also come with fishing facilities for sport fishing along the river.
Bird watching in Semliki Conservation Area.
Semliki Forest represents the only example of Congo-Basin vegetation in Uganda. A large number of Guinea-Congo biome species reach their eastern limits here, which is one of the richest for forest birds in the country.
No less than 131 of the 144 Guinea -Congo forest Biome species have been recorded in Semliki Forest, as well as 31 Guinea Congo Biome species, and 39 others that are only known from Semliki antional park in Uganda. Other species such as White-tailed/Piping Hornbill (also recorded in Budongo forest reserve), Capuchin Babbler and Blue-headed, Crested flycatcher are now known from Mabira forest reserve, the Orange weaver is common along the northern shores of Lake Victoria and the Red-billed Malimbe has been recorded from Kibale National Park.
Semliki forest is close to the Mt. Rwenzori ranges, and the River Semliki meanders (forming ox-bow lakes in some places) along the western border down to Lake Albert and is surrounded by swamp where four Lake Victoria biome species, including Papyrus Gonolek and Caruthers’s Cisticola are recorded. The site also has two restricted range species, and surprisingly, six Afrotropical highlands biome species; all widespread elsewhere. other interesting species include some of the continent’s most spectacular and sought-after birds such as Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Nkulengu Rail, Black-wattled Hornbill and Lyre-tailed Honey guide.