Semuliki National Park

Located in a remote corner of southwestern Uganda, Semliki National Park protects an eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest and forms part of a forest continuum that stretches across the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Zaire River. Being a relatively stable forest “refugium” during the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene, this is one of the richest areas for forest birds in Africa.

A large number of predominantly Central African species reach the eastern limit of their distribution here and cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa. These 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. Although it lies a bumpy three hours’ drive from Fort Portal, birders who take Uganda safaris, Semliki National Park will be richly rewarded with some of the very best forest birding in Uganda.

Semuliki Forest Reserve was created in 1932 and upgraded to national park status in 1993.  

This 220km2 park lies on the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley just 670-760m above sea level. The 700m descent from Fort Portal town to Semuliki is one of the most scenic drives in Uganda.

The only tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa, Semuliki represents the eastern limit of the Congo’s Ituri Forest and contains numerous Congo-Guinea species at the eastern limit of their ranges.

The park’s 441 recorded bird species, including 35 found nowhere else in East Africa, 15 primate, 300 butterfly and

235 moth species make Semuliki an essential destination for serious naturalists.

The Semliki Valley is the 160km-long part of the Albertine Rift Valley between lakes Edward and Albert, on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori Mountains. The valley, which is shared between Uganda and the Dem. Rep. Congo, contains wildlife from both Central and East Africa. The Ugandan section contains two wildlife protected

areas; the forested Semuliki National Park, which has a close affinity with the jungles of the Congo basin, and Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve which contains classic East African savanna.