National Parks and World Heritage Sites

Semuliki a National Park in Uganda with Unseen before Wildlife Species

A National Park with a difference

Semuliki National Park is located in the Western Bundibugyo district along the borderline separating Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Semuliki is within the western arm of the East African Rift Valley in the southeast parts of the Rwenzori Mountains.

In the West there is the Democratic Republic of Congo and to the north are the Semuliki flats and Lake Albert.

Semuliki National Park is the Eastern extension of the vast Ituri forest in Democratic Republic of Congo.

It forms part of the forest continuum resulting from the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene and therefore one of the richest areas for both flora and fauna in Africa, especially birds.

Measuring 220 square kilometers, Semuliki National Park was gazetted in October 1993.

The park occupies a flat with gently undulating landform ranging from 670m-760m above sea level.

Since all streams and rivers from the surrounding area drain through the park, coupled with the poor drainage and topography, many areas in the park are flooded during the rainy season.

The average annual rainfall is 1,250mm with peaks from March-May and September-December. The temperatures vary from 18oc to 30oc with relatively small daily variations.

Semuliki National Park is the only lowland tropical rain forest in East Africa classified as moist and semi-deciduous.

There are 336 tree species recorded of which 24 are restricted to Semuliki National Park, to the eastern part of the range, or are shared with only one or two neighbouring forests.

They include Isolana Congolana, Nesogordonia Kabingaensis and Ejacis guineesis.

Some tree species in Semuliki National Park such as Cordia millennia and Lovoa Swynnertonii are considered to be endangered.

A survey carried out in 1999 by the forest department determined that, compared to other exceptional diversity for small mammals, birds and butterflies.

Fauna recorded include 435 bird species, which is 35 percent of all birds in Uganda.

Some birds in the park of which cannot be found elsewhere in East Africa, including some of the continent’s most spectacular and sought after birds such as horn bills and lyre tailed honeyguide.

There are 63 species of mammals, 9 species of, which are diurnal forest

These include chimpanzees, blue monkeys, and Velvet Monkeys and Olive baboon), while nocturnal primates include Pottos and Galagos.

Also found in Semuliki National Park are forest buffaloes, blue duiker, Beecroft’s flying squirrel, pygmy squirrel, little collared fruit bat, water chevrotain and target rat.