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Bird Species That Make Semuliki the Truly Remarkable Uganda Birding Safari Destination

Are you a birding fanatic looking for your next birding destination to visit? Grab your pair of binoculars and birding list and jump on the next available flight to visit Uganda– the truly remarkable birding safari destination which every birder shouldn’t miss for an epic birding escapade.  Uganda is splendid birding destination a Uganda birding safari can only be compared to a kid’s visit to Disney land as it spoils with numerous spectacular bird species for you to look out for during your Uganda tour.

Uganda quite a small country that can only be compared to Great Britain or Oregon state in the United States of America in size. What Uganda lacks in terms of landmass it surely compensates with its wide range of wildlife biodiversity that you can find on your Uganda wildlife safari.  Since we are talking about birds, Uganda is truly a remarkable birding adventure as its home to close to 1070 bird species. This makes Uganda home to over half of all the bird species in Africa and about 13% of the entire world’s birds. If you undertake a Uganda birding watching safari expect to encounter several of these birds many of which are endemic species to this Pearl of Africa.

In order for you to enjoy an epic Uganda birding tour make a Uganda safari to Semuliki National Park- the true birders’ haven. Semuliki national park is located in Uganda which is found in the East African region on the African continent on the geographical coordinates of 00o40’39”N 30o03’40”E. A birding watching safari to Semuliki National Park takes you on a 360km or 5-hour road drive from Kampala city the capital of Uganda to Bwamba county in the southwestern district of Bundibugyo.

bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, Ntoroko district in the north, Semuliki wildlife reserve in the northeast, mt Rwenzori in the south and Kabarole district in the east, Semuliki National Park Uganda covers an area that is found in the Albertine rift valley basin lying between relatively flat surfaces and gentle slopes with its highest point being 760m or 2,490ft above sea level and its lowest point being 670m or 2,200ft above sea level. Semuliki National park integrates the equatorial tropical forests of Ituri with the lowland forests of Uganda.

Semuliki is one of the highly revered birding safari destinations in Uganda given the numerous bird species that are found here. For me to really explain to you why this Semuliki National Park is a destination you should give some serious consideration while on a bird-watching safari Uganda escapade, let me highlight just a few of the 441 bird species you’re likely to run into while in Semuliki on a Uganda birding tour.

  • Nkulengu rail– The Nkulengu rail, is one of the highly sought out Uganda safari attraction in Semuliki national park. This bird has a body length of about 43cm and a female Nkulengu rail has an average body weight of 390grams. This species of bird has a mottled plumage colour that is similar to that of the francolin birds. The Nkulengu rail makes a sound call of a rhythmical antiphonal duet with a series of phrases of 6 notes described as “ko-kwaw-zi-k”
  • Yellow-throated cuckoo-The other Uganda tourist attraction in Semuliki National Park a birding destination to die for is the Yellow-throated Cuckoo. This bird has an average body length of 19cm weighing in at 30g. the male yellow-throated cuckoo is bronze washed dark coppery on the neck side. This bird makes a clear flute-like whistle of 9-12 notes on the same pitch with the first note being the longest.
  • Piping horn bill– The piping hornbill is 45cm long with a medium to smallish pied hornbill, it has a white underpart and rump and the male piping hornbill has black wings with its central secondaries being broadly white-tipped and the outer tail is also white-tipped. This bird makes calls with fast series of nasal barks in a “kehkehkehkeh…” voice call at a speed of c. 8 notes per second.
  • Black dwarf hornbill– The black dwarf hornbill is a small bird that has an average of 32cm and males have an average weight of 96.6-135g while females weigh less at an average of 83.4g. It has a black hornbill with a white eye stripe and a tail with a white tip. The black dwarf hornbill makes a voice call with 2-3 high pitched whistling notes or a single high piping notes.
  • Red-billed hornbill– This species has a body length of 35cm and males weigh in at 124-185g while females weigh between 90-151g. They have spotted wing coverts and their outer tail is white. Their bills are long slender and red in colour. This species makes a high pitched single clucking notes in contactor low-intensity alarm that becomes or intense and irregular when alarmed with a “kok-kok-kok-kok-kok” sound.
  • Red rumped tinker bird– This is a small forest bird with a body length of 12-13cm and weighs 14-21.1g. both male and female tinker birds have glossy black upperparts with yellow wing bars and a red rump. The red-rumped tinker bird makes a voice call of unbroken series of a “pop” notes at 1.3 notes per second.
  • African piculet– This is a small bird species with a body length of 9-10 cm. this species also resembles the Crombec species but the African piculet males have their foreheads between chestnut to rufous colour. The African piculet makes a high trill “ti-ti-ti-ti-ti” sound call.
  • White throated blue swallow– This species is 14-17 cm long, the white-throated blue swallow has glossy dark blue upper parts with a bright chestnut crown, white throat and greyish-white underparts and underwing coverts. It has a forked like tail that is blackish blue.
  • Maxwell’s black weaver– It has a body length of 13-15cm and weigh between 25-30g. the male maxwell’s black weaver have plumage black with glossy upper parts with nape feathers that have white bases. This species of weaver birds make a soft sizzling call with a “chick chick”
  • Lemon billed crombec– It has a body length of 8cm and weighs 8-9g. lemon-billed Crombec have a short bill with a lemon color and their underpart are yellow in color. The male species has an olive grey head with pale grey ear coverts and the upper parts are also olive grey. The lemon-billed crombec makes high piercing notes of “tsiuu-tsiuu-tsiuu”
  • Orange checked waxbill– This species has a body length of 10cm weighing between 6.5-9.6 g. the male species has an orange patch from the lores to the superciliary area and also its ear coverts are orange. They have a nape grey forehead that merges with a brown mantle and back. The orange cheeked waxbill makes a nasal and strident “zee” or chi-dee-chi”

With all these bird species and more, Semuliki national park is indeed a truly remarkable birding destination. However its not only Semuliki that will give a birding experience to remember for a lifetime because Uganda is well gifted with other various birding destinations such as Queen Elizabeth National Park which is home to 600 bird species hence being Uganda’s largest birding destination hence being Uganda’s biggest birding destination, Lake Mburo National Park has 475 bird species with endemic bird species that aren’t found elsewhere like the Karamoja apalis. Murchison falls National Park is equally endowed with 450 bird species.

With all these attractions at your disposal while on your Uganda wildlife safari to Semuliki expect to have an exciting Uganda safari adventure as there are numerous Uganda safari activities in Semuliki national park besides birding. Some of these other Uganda tourist activities in Semuliki National Park include Uganda cultural safari encounters with the Bakonzo and nature walks. In order for you to maximize your Uganda safari tour experience in Semuliki National Park you need to make an overnight stay in any of the numerous Uganda safari accommodations in Semuliki national park. Some of these Uganda hotels in Semuliki include luxury lodges like Semuliki safari lodge, Ntoroko game lodge, Kyaniga safari lodge which is located near Semuliki. Mid-range lodges that can be used while on a safaris Uganda to Semuliki national park include Kirumia guest house, Bumuga campsite. If you are interested in a safari Uganda to Semuliki National Park there are various tour companies in Uganda that offer Uganda safaris tours to Semuliki for birding experience and these include Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd and Wild Gorilla Safari.

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