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Visit Semuliki National Park for Birding in Uganda & Primate Tracking Safaris in Uganda

Semuliki National Park is located in Bwamba County, a remote part of the Bundibugyo District in the western part of Uganda. Semuliki was recognized as a Uganda national park in the month of October 1993, and it happens to be one of the smallest and newest national parks.

Semuliki National Park lies on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Rwenzori Mountains National Park borders the park on the southeastern part and Lake Albert on the northern extreme.

The park is found within the Albertine Rift and in the western arm of the East African Rift. It is lying on a gently flat land escape which ranges from 670 to 760 m (2,200 to 2,490 Ft.) above sea level.

Historically from the year 1932 to the year 1993 when this Uganda safari park was gazetted, the area currently occupied by Semuliki Park was protected and managed as a forest reserve by the colonial government before being taken over by the Ugandan government’s Forest Department.

It was created and gazetted into a national park by the Ugandan government in October 1993 and the main aim was to protect the forests as an integral part of the protected areas of the Western Rift Valley.

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Travel infromation about Semuliki National Park

Semuliki Valley National Park receives an estimated average rainfall of 1,250 mm (49 in) with its rainy season being from the month of May and from September to December.

During this rainy season various areas in the park are unaccessible due to the floods and the temperatures at the park keep changing from 18 degrees to 30 degrees.

Semuliki National Park is located in the boarders of the two rivers i.e. Semuliki and Lamia rivers, These Rivers are have for so long acted as watering places for the various fauna and flora in the park.

National Park covers an area of 220 kilometers squared and it has diverse ecosystem within the larger Albertine Rift valley. The park is also strategically positioned at the junction of various climatic and ecological zones, and this has enabled the park to have a high variety of animal and plant species as well as other various small micro-habitats.

The largest proportion of the plant and animal life in the park are also found in the Congo Basin forests and most of these unique species reach the eastern limit of their range in the area that is covered by Semuliki National Park.

The vegetation that occupies the largest part of the Semuliki National Park is mainly medium altitude moist evergreen to semi deciduous forest and the most common plant species in the forest is the tree Alexandra Cynometra and besides this, the park contains some tree species which area evergreen and swamp forest communities.

The park also has two hot springs in a hot mineral encrusted swamp. One of the springs is Mumbuga spring (female) and it is mainly occupied by boiling like geyser which ends up forming a 0.5 m high fountain, the second spring also called male spring looks like a broad steaming pool which is about 10 meters long and can be accessed by trail which takes thirty minutes.

In terms of human population, the forests in the park are of great socio-economic valve to the traditional human communities that have lived in the park for long. The local people practice subsistence agriculture and use the park's forests to supplement their daily requirements.

Handsome of the natural products they extract from the forests include bush meat got after killing wild animal, fruits and vegetation from the plant life, herbal medicines mainly used to cue diseases, and construction materials used by locals to build shelter for themselves.

The local population is increasing at a rate of 3.4% per year. The high population density and declining agricultural productivity combined with an unavailability of alternative sources of income means that the local population is dependent on the park's natural endowments.

The forest also plays an important cultural and spiritual role in local people's lives. The forests are also the home of approximately, one hundred people of the Batwa tribe and this tribe continuously lives as hunter-gatherers.

Past practices of the managing authorities that excluded the local people created lack of support for conservation from the nearby communities. This reduced the effectiveness of conservation practices and contributed to the occurrence of illegal activities.

From the year 1990s, the Ugandan governing body in charge of protecting and conserving the national parks also called UWA have involved the local communities in park planning.

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Uganda's birding, bird watching and hiking gem. Visit Semuliki National Park for Uganda Birding & Wildlife Safaris