Semuliki Forest National Park

Semuliki Forest National Park is at the Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border within the western arm of the Rift valley. The park covers the eastern extension of the vast DR Congo Ituri Forest. Semuliki Forest formed part of the forest continuum during the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene age and is one of the most affluent areas for both flora and fauna in Africa.

The Sempaya hot springs have made the park a popular tourist destination in Uganda

Semuliki Forest National Park
Sempaya Hot Springs of Semuliki National Park

Semuliki Forest National Park Mammal Life

Fifty-three species of mammal occur here minus vagrants, many of which are shy, elusive and nocturnal. Conspicuous species include Uganda mangabey, Vervet monkey, Red-tailed monkey, Dent’s Monkey, Blue Monkey, Olive baboon and the De Brazza’s Monkey. Three species of colobus also occur here; Uganda red and the Central African colobus and Mantled guereza. This is also home to man’s closest relatives, the Common Chimpanzee. The fascinating nocturnal primates here include Pottos and up to three Galago species.

African forest elephants, Bush pigs, African buffaloe, Waterbuck, Nile crocodile, Common warthog, and the handsome Uganda kob are frequent in and around the edges of this park. Sitatunga, small Duiker species, Dwarf antelope, Zenker’s flying mouse are rarely encountered. At the same time, the lively and agile squirrels such as Fire-footed rope, Red-legged sun, Giant forest and Boehm’s bush squirrels are much easier to find.

Congo Forest Animals Tour
Uganda Mangabey

Semuliki Forest National Park Birding

This park harbours a large number of predominantly Central African species which can not be found anywhere else in East Africa, and these include some of the continent’s most spectacular and sought-after birds such as; the Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Black-wattled Hornbill, the Nkulengu Rail, just to mention but a few.

Although this site does not qualify for the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome, it holds six species of this biome, including several that are at the extreme south of their range such as Piapiac, Red-throated Bee-eater, and Purple Glossy-starling. Sixteen species of Guinea–Congo Forests biome also occur in the Wildlife Reserve, as do four species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome.

Uganda Primate Parks Tour Safari
Uganda Red Colobus

Other species to look out for will include; the Blue Swallow, White-throated Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Lowland Akalat, Red-throated Alethe, Fire-crested Alethe, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-eyed Puffback, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Capped Wheatear, Common Stonechat, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Oberlaender’s Ground-Thrush, Grey Ground-Thrush, Little Grey Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-throated Nicator, Western Nicator, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Black Saw-wing, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Long-tailed Hawk, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Chestnut-flanked Goshawk, Grant’s Bluebill, Afep Pigeon, Blue-headed Coucal, Bates’s Nightjar, Swamp Nightjar, Cassin’ Spinetail, Sabine’s Spinetail, White-bellied Kingfisher, Shinning-blue Kingfisher, Gabon Woodpecker, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Black-billed Barbet, White-headed Barbet, just to mention but a few.

Several butterfly species have been identified, including 46 species of forest Swallowtails and Charaxes (75% of Uganda’s total) and at least 235 species of moths are restricted to this area in Uganda.

Three hundred five species of trees occur in Semuliki Forest out of which 125 species are restricted to this area in Uganda.

Uganda-Primate-Holidays
Mantled Guereza

From Kampala, two significant roads access Semuliki; Kampala-Fortportal via Mubende which is a 4-5 hours drive and Kampala-Fortportal via Masaka, Mbarara and Kasese (7-8 hours). It is in the far west, 50km from Fort Portal.

Semuliki Forest National Park

  • Size: 220 km sq.
  • District: Bundibugyo
  • Altitude Range: 670 – 760 metres above sea level
  • Geographical Location: Semuliki National Park lies in Western Uganda across the floor of Semuliki Valley on the remote west side of Mountain Rwenzori.

Semuliki Forest National Park Tour Activities

  • Bird watching
  • Game Viewing
  • Nature walks
  • Community walks
  • Hot springs in Semuliki
  • Scenic viewing

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A Mantled Guereza monkey perched thoughtfully among the green foliage in Uganda's forest.