Wildlife and Birds in Semuliki National Park : Semliki national park is one of the few somewhat virgin tourism destinations in Uganda, it cuts across Semliki valley, western of Mountain Rwenzori and it is largely occupied by the Ituri forest that extends from the Eastern parts of Congo following the Congo Basin. This park covers an area of 220 square km at an altitude of 670-760metres high above sea level. It is also listed as the oldest and also bio diverse forest compared to all as it also survived the ice age that happened 12000 to 18000 years ago.
The park is basically located within the famous Albertine Rift and it is separated from the Ituri of Congo by Semliki River thus leaving it to lie in the Great Rift Valley’s western arm. Mountain Rwenzori ranges do separate the park from the other part of East Africa and in the long run create a very amazing scenery around it.
The fact that the place is surrounded by mountains and forests, it attracts a lot of rain. On Average Park receives 1,250 mm of rain fall, there are peak rainy seasons which come in from the months of March up to May and then return around September to December. During the wet seasons, there are several parts of the park that flood and then the temperature often ranges from 18 to 30 °C but there is always relatively a little bit of variations every other day.
This kind of environment favours the growth and survival of the different wildlife, the birds and the vegetation cover. These are the tourist attractions that travellers are interested in seeing when they visit Semliki or any other national park in the country. Semliki national park is known for its amazing wildlife species, the bird life, the amazing cultures experience that involves visiting the Batwa also called the Bambuti people. You can learn about their culture when you visit their communities. You can also go visit the hot springs which are associated with lots of legends and many more other attractions. Although all activities are equally amazing, the game drives and the nature walks seem to be the most frequently done activities and they are intended to give you an opportunity to see variety of;
Bird life living within the boundaries of Semuliki national park
This place offers the best Africa’s forest birding adventure, from Sempaya and Ntandi, you can expect excellent results of bird watching adventure. There are over 441 different bird species living within in Semuliki national park and this total represents about 40% of the total number of bird species living in Uganda and also represents 66% which is 216 the number of the country’s forest bird species. The number increases with the number of riverine habitats and those that are found along the edges of the grassland in the east of this park. There are 46 Guinea-Congo biome bird species which cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa and 35 of these are only found in 2-3 other parts of Uganda. There are 5 Albertine Rift endemic species, the different species to look out for include the white crested hornbills, Nkulengu Rail, red billed dwarf hornbill, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, the Piping Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Great blue and Ross’s Turacos, Black-casqued Wattled Horbill, there are the Red-rumped Tinkerbird, the African Piculet, Yellow-throated Nicator, the White-throated Blue Swallow, Leaf-love, the Swamp Palm Bulbul, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, the Crested Malimbe, also the Red-bellied Malimbe and the Blue-billed malimbe as well as the Lemon-bellied Crombec. There is also the Chestnut-breasted Negro finch and the Orange-cheeked Waxbill among so many other species as you will see them during the walk or game drive, Wildlife and Birds in Semuliki National Park.
Game viewing in Semliki is one of the most selling activities
An early morning game drive is often more rewarding because at that time the animals are out to graze before it becomes too hot for them that they have hide back under shades. With your guide, you will follow the tracks, there are 3 tracks in this park that cross through the grasslands of the popular Toro Semliki wildlife reserve as it was originally known
There are 53 different mammals that live in this forest, 27 of these are the large mammals. 11 out of the 53 are endemic to this park for example the pygmy antelopes and the 2 flying squirrel species. The forest is also a home to that really peculiar water chevrotain also called the fanged deer.
The different animals that found a home Semuliki’s Ituri forest include the small forest and the large savannah elephants, there are lots of buffaloes but these are the smaller type of the other large savannah-dwellers, there are different antelopes like the waterbucks, Uganda kobs, warthogs, there are also reptiles like the crocodiles, different lizards and snakes too.
The pygmy hippos are often seen along the banks of water sources; leopards are rare but lucky ones get to see them during the game drive. There are different primate species living in this forest which makes it a great place for primate watching. Such primates include the chimpanzee, the black and white colobus monkeys, the baboon, the grey-cheeked mangabey, vervet, the Central African red colobus, Dent’s mona monkeys, blue, red-tailed and the de Brazza’s, among others. The nocturnal animals and primates that you may see if you happen to have a night Uganda safari game drive. You can expect animals like the pottos, the bushbaby, the owls, bats and others.