BIRDING-Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park is situated in the south west on the border of Uganda and DR Congo in the Albertine rift valley, has a vast forest that joins to Congo’s Ituri forest, and with its landscape it is privileged with various flora and fauna and a variety of bird species. You cannot say you had a complete birding trip in Uganda if you have not been to Semuliki, which is among Africa’s greatest places with different species of forest birds.
This park is one of Africa’s top birding spots, where by birding is mainly done at Ntandi and around the Sempaya hot springs, also a boat ride can be taken along Semuliki River delta and Lake Albert where there are other bird species to see like the endangered Shoe bill stork. There are over 400 recorded species in Semuliki National Park and this makes it around 40% of the total number of bird species in Uganda and 66% of all forest birds in the country.
A visit to Semuliki is just like a continued tour from the West and Central Africa since mostly birds that dominate this place are majorly Central African bird species, and these birds cannot just be found anywhere in East Africa such as the Long-tailed Hawk, Lyre-tailed Honey guide, Black-wattled Hornbill, Nkulengu Rail and the Congo serpent Eagle among others.
The park also has around 5 endemic Albertine species. Birds majorly to look out for while here include; Black Dwarf Hornbill, red billed dwarf hornbill, the Swamp Palm Bulbul, the white crested hornbills, blue and Ross’s Turacos, the Blue-billed Malimbe, Great Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, the Piping Hornbill. Other birds include; the White-throated Blue Swallow, the African Piculet, Leaf-love, Afep Pigeon, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Red-thighed Sparrow hawk, Bates’s Nightjar, Sabine’s Spine tail, Yellow-throated Nicator, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Double-toothed Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black Saw-wing, the Crested Malimbe, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, the Red-bellied Malimbe, the Lemon-bellied Crombec, the Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Spotted Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Mountain Greenbul, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, and Chestnut-breasted Negro finch. And other birds will be viewed during game dives and nature walks.
Birding starts in the morning until you have explored the whole place. With the amazing and beautiful sound of birds, enter into the thick rain forests, of the park; move along the trails around the Sempaya hot springs, and the Semiliki River looking for birds.
Materials needed for birding include; binoculars, hats, cameras, sturdy shoes, pointers, the birders book among other things.
Also Semuliki National park is endowed with also different butterfly and moth species and also around 235 tree species, all these give the park a spectacular view.