130 meters above sea level. It has a record of 260 bird species and no birder should miss birding watching here. Mabamba swamp is the best place in Africa and in Uganda to see the

Semliki National Park and Wildlife Reserve

Semliki National Park and Wildlife Reserve – Things to do and see – Accommodation

Semliki national park, in Uganda is located within the Albertine Rift. It is one of the less visited national parks in Uganda and lies within the Western arm of the famous Great Rift Valley. Semliki national park cuts across Semliki Valley, western of Rwenzori Mountain. The park is largely occupied by the Ituri forests that follow the Congo basin. This unique national park is the only low land tropical forest in East Africa. Unknown to very few people, Semliki national park is divided into two; the national park which protects an extension of Ituri Forest in DRC,  and Tooro wildlife reserve, a mixture of tropical rainforests and grassy savannah plains where chimpanzee tracking takes place. Tooro Wildlife reserve is Uganda’s oldest reserve and it is home to both central African and East African species.

Abundance of wildlife in Semliki National Park

Semliki National park is 220km2 with altitude of 670m-760m above sea level with River Semuliki being the international boundary between Uganda and DR Congo.  The reserve was created in 1932 and was upgraded to a national park status in 1993. It is known as the oldest and most bio diverse forest that survived ice age that happened in 12-18000 years ago.

Although, many people who come for a Uganda safari rarely visit Semliki National park, it is home to 441 recorded bird species, making it a bird watching safari haven for bird watchers. It is also home to 53 mammals that include elephants and buffalos.

When to visit Semliki National park

Semliki National park can be visited throughout the year. It is surrounded by mountains and forests and attracts a lot of rain. Averagely, this national park receives 1,250 mm of rain fall.  March to May and September to December are the peak rainy seasons. A 4 x 4 WD vehicle is highly recommended since the heavy rains come with heavy floods and may make it impassable during activities. The park temperatures range between 18 to 30 degrees C.

Wildlife safaris and Activities of Semliki National park

Semliki National park has got variety of what to offer a tourist on a wildlife and game watching safari. The national park is popular for the amazing wildlife species, the rare bird life, cultural experience that involve a visit to the Batwa also known as the Bambuti people in the Semliki area. During the visit, you learn about their culture and day to day lives. You can also go visiting the amazing hot springs which are associated with lots of legends and many more other attractions. Although all activities are equally great, wildlife game drives and guided nature walks seem to be the most popular activities in the park

Bird watching in Semliki National park:

Semliki National park is surely one of the best birding places in Uganda, Africa. Bird watching of rare species is one of the biggest attractions in this national park’s riverine habitat and grassland. Over 441 bird species are recorded in this conservation area with 40 per cent of the country’s bird species and 60 per cent of the country’s forest birds. There are about five bird species that are endemic to Semliki National Park, forty-six Guinea-Congo biome species found nowhere else in East Africa.
Bird species to look out for here include the bizarre looking Shoe Bill in the mashes of the lake. There is the ground hornbill, the Nkulengu rail, yellow-throated Cuckoo, piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued WattledHorbill, Red-rumped Tinker bird, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, Leaf-love, and Swamp Palm Bulbul among others. You will be guided by very professional and knowledgeable bird watching guides who can spot these birds even from a distance or tell by their calls.

Wildlife safari game drives in Semliki National park

Safari game drives using 4 x 4 WD customised safari vehicles is one of the most popular activities in the park. Semliki National park caters for every tourist. Visistors who are not interested in birds can for for early morning game drives since the park is home to 53 mammals 27 being large mammals. Eleven species are endemic to the park and these include the pygmy antelope, two flying squirrel species and the peculiar water “fanged deer”.  On a lucky game drive, you may spot forest elephants which are smaller and darker than the savannah elephants, forest buffaloes, which are also smaller versions of their savannah relatives. Semliki forest is also very rich with primates that include chimpanzees, grey-cheeked mangabey, black-and-white colobus monkey, the Central African red colobus monkey, blue and red-tailed monkeys, among others and, warthogs, baboons. There are also leopards which are really rare to see. Don’t forget to look out for the elusive black wild pig. On the wildlife game drive, with your guide, you will follow 3 tracks in the national park that cut through TooroSemliki Wildlife reserve.

For the more adventurous visitor, there are night game drive activities for the nocturnal animals and primates that include pottos, the bush baby, bats, owls among others

Boat ride on the Semliki River to Lake Albert

Visitors can go for guided boat rides on Semliki River which is a 160km long River that runs off from the Rwenzori mountains also known as the ‘The Mountains of the Moon’ and continues to Lake Albert and the Nile, proving ancient geographers’ claims that the Nile flows (in part anyway) from a snow-capped mountain in the heart of Africa. The River is a miniature version of Congo River and Water bucks, Sitatungas, lizards, Nile crocodiles and pygmy hippos are often seen along the banks of the water. On the way to or from the park, visitors can watch the river meander across the rift valley from roadside viewpoints and hike through the forest to its banks.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Chimpanzee habituation like chimpanzee tracking takes place in Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve and the activity takes a full day.  A chimpanzee habituation permit must be obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Chimpanzee habituation is the process of making chimpanzees feel comfortable with the presence of human beings and once fully habituated; they are ready to be tracked.

Chimpanzee tracking experience

Chimpanzee tracking takes place in Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve and this activity should not be missed on a visit to Uganda. The forest is home to different primate species living in this forest which makes it a great place for primate watching and these 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 guide transfers you the research camp for briefing about chimpanzee tracking. After that briefing, you walk towards Kijura observation point, tracking chimpanzees. This can take 4-6 hours and you will follow where the chimpanzees are and where they nested previously. During the tracking, you will also spot several birds and some times forest buffalos and elephants and lion. You will be with the chimpanzee for one hour and later return to the lodge

Sempaya hot springs in Semliki

While in Semliki National park, a visit to the famous Sempaya hot springs is a must. There are two types of hot springs in the park; the female and male hot springs. The male hot spring is known as Bintente is 12m in diameter and is in a lush swampy clearing while the female hot spring is known as Nyasimbi which means female ancestors. The female hot springs are the hottest, most dangerous and still erupting boiling at (103°C) which spurts bubbling water and steam up to two meters high. The steam can be seen from as far as 2km away. Local people used to cook their food in these boiling hot springs and you too have an opportunity to cook green bananas and eggs in the boiling water and consume them. During the walk, look out for birds and red tailed, grey cheeked mangabey and black and white colobus monkeys displaying their monkey acrobats

Nature and Hiking walks in Semliki National park

Visitors can go for guided forest walks on well developed natural trails. There are 3 main trails that visitors follow on a guided nature walk in Semliki National park.

Below are the three main nature trails:

Sempaya nature trail: This leads to the Sempaya hot springs, through a patch of forest. There is a big possibility of coming across the different types of monkeys in the forest like the black-and-white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and grey-cheeked mangabey. On your way to the male hot springs, you will stopover at a tree house where you view the abundant birdlife and beautiful scenery of the forest.

The Kirumia trail: This is a 13 km trail. It is the best trail for bird watching since it ends up to the Semliki River across the forest.

Red monkey trail: The red monkey trail is 11 km long and it follows the park boundary to the east and ends up at the Semliki River. Look out for the rare DeBrazza monkey, only found in this park in Uganda

Batwa Cultural experiences

One of the great opportunities while visiting Semliki is The Batwa trail experience, letting you experience the lives of the pygmies who lived in this forest before it was made a national park, and meet their king; king Nzito and his queen. They now live around the park boundaries but sometimes they visit the forest in search of medicines. They will demonstrate how they lived in the forest, how the hunted, how the got food, the hunting tools they used, how they lived and danced.

Every October, they have an annual Bamaga Cultural festival. The festival gives the visitor a sneak peek into the lives of mountain people which gives you an opportunity to peek into the life of the mountain of Bundibugyo and the special attachment they have to the hot springs.

Fishing on River Semliki 

Another activity visitors can do is fishing on river semliki which is a major river, 140 kilometres long, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda in Central and East Africa. Fish to catch and release is Lung fish, cat fish, and salty fish among others

Accommodation      in     Semliki     National  park

Semliki Safari lodge– Luxury lodge- The oldest lodge in the Semliki area

Ntoroko Game Lodge– Mid range lodge located in the reserve side

It is only 3 hours from Fort Town to Semliki, visitors can visit Semliki and stay overnight in Fort Portal town.

Accommodation in Fort Portal

Kyaninga Lodge– High end

Mountains of the moon Hotel– Semi-luxury

Rwenzori View Guest house- Budget

Transport to Semliki national Park

By road transport

You can reach the park from Kampala – Fortportal and then Semuliki national park. It takes 55km from Fort Portal town and 8 hours from Kampala

By air transport

You can take scheduled or chartered flight from Entebbe to Kasese with our partners Aerolink

Recommended safaris to Semliki National park

Bird watching in Uganda Where to go birding in Uganda

Bird watching in Uganda is one of the most popular activities in the country. Uganda is a popular birding destination in the whole of Africa, well known for its diversity of bird species, with a number of them that cannot easily be spotted in any other part of the African continent, and some are endemic to Uganda only.

Great Blue Turaco
There are many birding destinations in Uganda, making the country one of the best birding destinations, with more than 1010 bird species that can be seen even on a classic Uganda safari. The 10 national parks of Uganda are the largest homes for most bird species in the country. The best time for spotting most of these birds is early in the morning and late in the evening.

Best Bird Watching Destinations in Uganda:

Queen Elizabeth National park
Queen Elizabeth National park is a habitat for 550 bird species, making it one of the most popular birding destinations in Uganda. The park is located in Kasese district in the Southern part of the country, covering a total land area of 1978 sq km, on an altitude of 900 meter. It is up to 1845 meters at the peak of the Western Rift Valley’s Eastern Escarpment. It has most semi-deciduous forest, moist thicket and riparian forest and a river-line bush land, open woodlands, rivers, open grassland, seasonal and permanent lakes as well as lakes, which all male a perfect habitat for birds that call this park home.

Queen Elizabeth National park.  has many water birds such as African fish eagle, long tailed cormorants, white faced whistling ducks, pick and white backed pelicans, spur winged plovers, African Jacana, squacco heron, water thick knee, yellow backed weavers, the black crake, knob billed duck, yellow billed and spoon billed storks, different types of king fishers like the pied and grey headed king fishers, and so on. These birds are commonly spotted from the boat safari a long the Kazinga channel which connects lakes Edward and George.
Other species of birds here include black-ramped buttonquail, Collard Pranticles, papyrus canary, verreauv’s eagle-owl, black bee-eater, squacco heron, African fish eagle, swamp fly-catcher, long-tailed cormorants, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, White winged terns, White-winged Warbler, shoebill, African skimmer, papyrus gonolek, and the thin-tailed Nightjars

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is Africa’s number one birding spot and has a record of 357 bird species that include 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics, making the forest a birder’s paradise. Bwindi is located in South Western Uganda, on the edge of the Western Rift, 1,160 – 2,607 meters above sea level. Among these endemics include the highly globally threaten species like the Shelley’s Crimsonwing and the African Green Broadbill.
Other Albertine Rift endemics inlcude strange weaver, Archer’s Robin chat, Regal sunbird, purple breasted Sunbird, Red faced woodland wabler, Rwenzori double collared Sunbird, Dusky Crimson-wing, Lagden’s Bush shrike, Yellow eyed black Flycatcher, Grauer’s Rush wabler, blue headed sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Neumann’s wabler, Montane Masked Apalis, Kivu Ground Thrush, Stripe breasted Tit, Red throated Alethe, Handsome Francolin, Yellow crested Helmet Shrike, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Night jar.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National park is Uganda’s smallest national park at a size of 33.7 sq km, located in South Western Uganda bordering Rwanda and Congo forming the Virunga ranges.
The park is a bird’s haven with a record of 115 bird species, with 14 of the 24 species of the Albertine Rift Endemics, and 39 of the 88 bird species of Afro tropical highlands in Uganda.

Mgahinga Gorilla National park is not only a birding paradise, but like Bwindi Impenetrable National park, is also home to endangered mountain Gorillas, with one habituated gorilla family open for gorilla tracking.
Other wildlife like Golden monkeys which can also be tracked, forest elephants, bush bucks, jackals, Egyptian mongoose, spotted hynas, buffaloes and different types of special cats call this park home.

For active travellers, three volcanic mountains are found here. These include Mt. Muhavura at 4127 meters above sea level, Mt. Sabinyo at 3645 meters above sea level and Mt Gahinga at 3475 meters above sea level

Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Parkis located on the Uganda Kenya border and is an important water catchment for Nzoia River which flows into Lake Victoria and for Turkwel River that flows into Lake Turkana. It is 4,200 meters above sea level. The mountain has unique features like flat topped basalt called the Koitobos and lava tube caves.

The mountain has over 240 recorded bird species, making it one of the best birding destinations. These bird species include 3 of the eight Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Area species, five of the thirteen species of the Sudan-Guinea biome species, 19 of the 43 Guinea Congo Forests biome species, 47 of the 70 species of the Afro-tropical biome, and quiet a number of the Sudan-Guinea Savannah biome species that occur in Kenya have been recorded here. The park is also home to Sharpe’s longclaw, a globally threatened species along with some regionally threatened and range restricted species; Gypaetusbarbatus, Stephanoaetuscoronatus, Francolinusstreptophorus, Sarothruraaffinis, Bubocapensis, Glaucidiumtephronotum, Indicatorconirostris, Phyllastrephusbaumanni, Kakamegapoliothorax, Sheppardiapolioptera,Campephagaquiscalina and Cisticolahunteri, Francolinusjacksoni respectively.

Mount Elgon vegetation is characterized by wet montane forest dominated by Oleacapensis and Aningeriaadolfi-friedericii grading into Olea, Podocarpusfalcatus forest, a zone of mixed Podocarpus and bamboo Arundinariaalpina, and the Hageniaabyssinica zone with giant heath Erica arborea and Erica trimeraelgonensis. Afro-alpine moorlands occupy the highest parts of the mountain, with tussock grasses such as Festucapilgeri, bogs of Carexrunssoroensis, giant groundsels and giant lobelias. Open wooded grassland with Erythrina and Combretum covers part of the lower, drier north-eastern slopes.

Among other activities in Mount Elgon is sport fishing on River Suam, mountain hiking and game viewing of Elephants, Buffaloes, Water bucks, monkeys, and giant forest hog among others

Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National parkis the smallest savanna park of Uganda’s national park at 260 sq km at an altitude of 1,280 – 1,520 meters above sea level
313 bird species have been recorded in Lake Mburo National park. It is situated in swamp finged lakes which provide a perfect habitat for countless birds that include the African finfoot and the Red-faced Barbet.

It has Acacia woodland that favours great savannah bird species. Birds recorded here include the elusive Shoebill stork and White-winged Warbler; other species to lookout for are; the Crested, Coqui, and the Red-winged Francolins, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Harlequin and Blue Quails, Common Button Quail, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Blue-napped Mousebird, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, the Nubian, Buff-spotted, Brown-eared, and the Grey Woodpeckers, Trilling, Stout, and Wing-snapping Cisticolas, Red-necked spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, African-wattled Plover, Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufous-chested Swallow ,Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-winged Bishop, Chubb’s, Carruther’s and a number of other Cisticolas, the Lesser and Great Swamp Warblers, etc

The lake itself also home to animals like crocodiles, Hippopotamuses and birds like Pelicans, Black Crake, Common Squacco, Striated, Goliath, Purple, Black-headed, Grey, and Black-headed Herons, Great White and Pink-backed Cormorants, the African Fish Eagle, Shoebill stork among others.

Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale National parkis 766 sq km at an altitude of 920 – 1,590 meters above sea level and is located in South Western Uganda. 37 bird species have been recorded here that include the Green Breasted Pitta, which is one of the 10 highly thought after birds of Uganda. Kibale National park is also a habitat to Chubb’s Cisticola, Black-capped Waxbill, Africa Shrike-flycatcher, African Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Green-pigeon, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Wood Owl,African, Rwenzori, Abyssinian Hill-Babbler, Alpine Swift, Ashy Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Black Bee-eater, Black Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Black-and-white Mannikin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Black-billed Turaco, Black-billed Weaver, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, African Dusky Flycatcher, Black-headed Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, African Citril (Western Citril), Black-throated Apalis, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-throated Roller, African Blue Flycatcher, Bocage’ Bush-shrike, Bronze Mannikin, Zebra Waxbill, Bronze Sunbird, Brown Illadopsis, Brown-capped Weaver, Brown-chested Alethe, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Brown-headed Tchagra, African-pied Wagtail, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Yellow-billed Barbet, Afep Pigeon, among others

Apart from bird watching, Kibale National park is popular for chimpanzee tracking and chimpanzee habituation. It is the primate capital of the world and apart from chimpanzees, it is also home to other primates that include GuerezaColobus, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, L’Hoest’s and Red-tailed Monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, among others.

The park is also home to forest elephants, bush pigs, buffalos, Pigs and Buffaloes and on rare occasion Blue, Harvey’s and Peter’s Duickers may be spotted.

On guided night walks, you may come across Potto, Bush Babies- Spectacled Demidoff’s and Thomas’s Galagos, Lord Derby’s Anomalure, African Civet, Kibale African Golden Cat, and Common Genet cat.

Murchison Falls National park
Murchison Falls National Parkis the largest national of Uganda and is located in North Western Uganda. It is 3,840 sq km at an altitude of 650 – 1,292 meters above sea   level. 460 bird species have been recorded in Murchison Falls National Park and it ranks 9th of Africa’s birding sports. It is named after the famous Murchison Falls which are with the park and are a result of the Nile River forcing through a narrow gorge.

Wholly Necked Stork

The banks of the river are donned with wildlife and birdlife. Wildlife include elephants, giraffes, crocodiles, African Cape buffalo, water buck that come to the river to drink water, but these can also be seen on during game drives on the Savannah plains of the national park.
The river is also flocked by birds that include pied and giant king fisher, African fish eagle, snake dada, bee eaters, among others.

In the Southern part of the park, there is Budongo Forest which is home to some primates that include chimpanzees. The Park is a habitat to 20 species from three non-qualifying biomes, 11 species of the Guinea Congo Forests, 6 species of the Afro tropical Highlands and 3 of the Somali Masai biome. A boat safari to the Nile delta is highly recommended for bird watchers. You are likely to be rewarded with the shoe bill stork, African skimmer among others.

Other birds in the park include the Silver Bird, Blue-napped Mouse birds, Grey-crowned Crane, Bluff-bellied Warblers, Goliath Heron, Black-headed Batis, Black-headed Gonolek, Green-winged Ptyilia, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Long-toed Plover, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Saddle-billed Stork, Spotted Mourning Thrush, Spotted and Verreaux’s Owls, Long-tailed and Pennant-winged Nightjars, standard-winged Nightjar, White-backed Night Heron and Pel’s Fishing Owl.

Other activities in Murchison Falls National Park include sunrise and night game drives, sport fishing of Nile Perch and tiger fish, guided nature walks in Rabongo Forest, hike to the top of the falls and chimp tracking in Budongo forest

Budongo Forest Reserve
Budongo Forest Reserve was gazetted as a Central Forest Reserve in 1932. It is a semi-deciduous moist tropical forest and it is a habitant to over 335 bird species. It is Uganda’s biggest forest reserve and the scond most important forest after Semliki National park. The forest is home to 24 small mammal species of which 9 are primates, 46 tree and shrub species, 289 butterfly species and 130 month species.

The rare bird species found here include Pubel’sIlladopsis, Nahan’s Francolin, and the Chocolate–Backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing, White Wagtail, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Little Crake, Yellow-billed Barbet, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Lemon-bellied Crombec, African Moustached Warbler, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-throated Greenbul, African Citril, African Golden-breasted Bunting, Black-crowned Waxbill, Bronze Mannikin, Black-billed Bluebill, Black-winged Red Bishop, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Spectacled Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Compact Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Red-headed Weaver, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Purple Starling, Purple-headed Starling, Splendid Starling, Northern Puffback, Black-headed Gonolek, Tropical Boubou, Isabelline Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Western Violet-backed Sunbird and many more.

Semuliki National park.

Semuliki or Semliki National park is 220 sq km, at an altitude of 800-900 meters above sea level, with a most semi-deciduous forest, mostly ironwood, with a swamp forest in some parts and forest streams and oxbow lakes
The park is a birder’s paradise with about 400 bird species recorded here.

Semuliki National park is located on the Uganda DRC border within the Western Rift Valley, covering the Eastern extension of Ituri forest, making it one of the richest parks for flora and Fauna in Africa, making it very favourable for birds found here that include some of Africa’s highly sought after birds such as the Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Black-wattled Hornbill, the Nkulengu Rail, etc. There is a single, unconfirmed report of the globally threatened Lesser Kestrel.

Other bird species to look out in Semuliki National Park include 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-thighedSparrowhawk, 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, among others.

Apart from birds, 53 mammals species have also been recorded here, many of which are shy, elusive and nocturnal. These include Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Vervet, Red-tailed monkeys, Olive Baboon and GuerezaColobus, rare De Brazza’s Monkeys and Chimpanzees which are more heard than seen. The park is also home to some of the Nocturnal primates that include Pottos and Galagos. With luck, there chances of seeing Elephants, Bush pig, Water Chevrotain, Buffalo, Sitatunga, White-bellied Duiker or Dwarf Antelope, Beecroft’sAnomalure or Zenker’s Flying Mouse. There are also squirrels such as Fire-footed Rope or Red-legged Sun Squirrel, the Little Collard Fruit Bat and the Target Rat living in this forest

A number of butterfly species has also been recored here and these include 46 species of forest Swallowtails and Charaxes (75% of Uganda’s total) and at least 235 species of moths have been classified as restricted. There are also 305 species of trees recorded, of which 125 species are restricted to this park alone.
Tribes of people found here are The Pygmies “Batwa” who settled near the Ntandi some years ago, the Bwamba, Bakonzo, Babwitsi, Batooro, and Babutoku.

Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Parkgazetted in 1962 to commemorate Uganda’s independence, is 1,442 sq km, at an altitude of 1,220 – 2,750 meters above sea level and has a record of 480 bird species. Kidepo Valley National park is in North Eastern Uganda, bordering Kenya and Sudan between the hills of Karamoja and Nageya Valley. Its vegetation consists of montane forest, grassy plains, open tree savannah, thick miombo-like woodlands and the rocky outcrops.

Kidepo Valley National parkis home to 28 bird species from the Somali-Masai and Sudan–Guinea Savanna biomes and these species are endemic to this area in the country. With a whooping record of 480 species in total, the park has the second-highest bird record of any Ugandan protected areas, after Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is also the only IBA located entirely within the Somali– Masai biome. It supports some of the rarest species in Uganda, such as Black-breasted Barbet and KaramojaApalis.

Birds to look out for include Silverbird and small bands of Yellow-billed Shrike, the Vinaceous Dove, Hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, Mosque Swallow, the Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Little Weaver and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, the Yellow-rumped Seedeater, Clapperton’s Francolin, Black Coucal, African Moustached and the Broad-tailed Warblers, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-rumped Waxbill.

Other birds include the Common Ostrich, Secretary Bird, African Swallow-tailed Kite, Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Fox Kestrel, Stone Partridge, Clapperton’s and Heuglin’s Francolins, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Kori, White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover, Four-banded Sand Grouse, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-crested Turaco, White-bellied Go-away bird, White-faced Scoops Owl, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Little Green Bee-eater, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, the Abyssinian Ground, Eastern Yellow and Jackson’s Hornbills, Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Singing Bush lark, Red-winged Lark, Ethiopian Swallow, the Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin’sWheaters, African Grey Flycatcher, Foxy and Red pate Cisticolas, KaramojaApalis, White-bellied Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Northern White-crowned and Yellow-billed Shrikes, Slate-coloured Boubou, Fan-tailed Raven, Superb Starling, Red billed Oxpecker, Eastern Violet backed, Pygmy and Beautiful Sunbirds, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow-spotted Petronia, White-headed and White-billed Buffalo Weavers, White-browed and Chestnut- crowned Sparrow Weavers, Grey-capped Social and Speckle-fronted Weavers, the Green-winged, Orange-winged and Red-winged Pytilias, Black-bellied and Black-faded Waxbills, Steel-blue and Strawtailed Whydahs, and the Brown-rumped Bunting, are just a few of the 480 bird species in Kidepo Valley National Park.

Kidepo Vallay National park also has 80 mammal species 28 of which are not found else where in Uganda and include Bat-eared Fox, Carcal, Cheetah and Klipspringer. Other animals include Lesser Kudu, Grant’s gazelle and Beisa Oryx have not been seen at all in recent times and were presumed to be locally extinct. The larger animals include the Elephant, Common Zebra, Buffalo, Bohor Reedbuck, Waterbuck and Kongoni.

Predators include the Spotted Hyena, Leopard and Lion which are frequently seen during morning and evening game drives. The Oribis are abundant in the Narus Valley, whilst the dry thorn thickets in the north are home to Guenther’s DikDik. The Senegal Galago and Sidestriped Jackal may be found in the rest camp at night and White-tailed Mongoose is common but more likely to be see on a night drive.

Botanical Gardens in Entebbe
Birding watching can also be done in the botanical gardens in Entebbe, the only national botanical garden in Uganda. The gardens were established in 1901, located at the shores of Lake Victoria.
The garden is home to different types of water, open country and woodland bird species which include the Pink-backed Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Yellow White-eye, Purple-banded Sunbird, African Jacana, Lesser Jacana, Yellow-billed Duck, Glossy Ibis, African Open-billed Stork, Malachite Kingfisher, Blue-checked Bee-eater, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Black Crake, Long-tailed Cormorant, Crowned Hornbill, Vieillot’ Black Weaver, Woodland Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, the Africa and Red-billed Firefich, Black-and-white-Casqued Hornbill, Senegal Coucal, Little Stint, Little Weaver, Striated Heron, Ruff, Gull-billed Tern, White-winged Tern, Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoos, Northern Crombec, Tambourine Dove, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Little Grey Greenbul, Water Thick-knee, Madagascar Bee-eater, Egyptian Goose, Black-headed weaver, Slender-billed Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Black-headed Gonolek, Ruppell’s Long-tailed Sterling, Grey-Headed Sparrow, the Spur-winged Lapwing, among others. The gardens are also a habitat to primates that include the black and white colobus monkeys, butterflies, and different plant species

Mabamba Wetland swamp.       
Mabamba wetland swamp is 2,424 ha at an altitude of 1,130 meters above sea level. It has a record of 260 bird species and no birder should miss birding here.  Mabamba swamp is the best place in Africa and in Uganda to see the elusive and bizarre looking shoebill stork which can be seen here any time of the day through out the year.  7 of the 12 Lake Victoria basin biome are also found here.

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