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Butterfly watching in Semuliki national park

Butterfly watching in Semuliki national park: With over 448 butterfly species, the park stards out to be the best area for butterfly watching in Uganda

Butterfly watching in Semuliki national park

Butterfly watching in Semuliki national park: With over 448 butterfly species, Semuliki national park starts out to be the best area for butterfly watching in Uganda. Semuliki national park is a protected area in Bundibugyo district western Uganda where Uganda Wildlife Authority manages and controls all activities within the park. This park was gazetted as a national park in 1993 to protect different wildlife species and many attractions that were in the park at the time.

Semuliki national park comprises tropical lowland forest with trees evergreen and then swampy vegetation. The national park is known for hosting over 435 bird species, 53 mammals, and 9 primate species. The same park harbors over 448 butterflies with some not seen anywhere in the country but within this park.

In Uganda, Semuliki national park stands out to be the best area for butterfly watching because of the high number of species that have been recorded here. Tourists interested in butterfly watching should visit Semuliki national park for they will leave the park satisfied because there is plenty to see than you can ever imagine.

Which butterfly species are in Semuliki national park?

Charaxes fulvescens, common glider, cymothoe cyclades, variable diadem, aletis helcita, cymothoe confusa, andriasa contraria, soldier commodore, lycoa Acraea, polyptychus carteri, biston abruptaria, nemetes sailer, euphaedra rattrayi, violet banded palla, euphaedra hollandi, mulberry hawkmoth, blue monarch, choroclanis virescens, belenois solilucis, bicyclus alboplagus, African leaf butterfly, common glassy Acraea.

Veined swordtail, angular glider, euphaedra alacris, peneleos Acraea, plain vagrant, common blue banded forester, pikachu moth, becker’s creamy yellow glider, little pansy, savanna pathfinder, catuna crithea, euphaedra alacris, cymothoe ochreata, common mother of pearl, forest glade nymph, widespread forester, euphaedra eberti, cucumber moth, sarothroceras banaka, euphaedra hybrida, tailed bush brown, mung bean moth.

Charaxes pollux, marcipalina umbrosa, bicyclus, euriphene saphirina, euphaedra edwardsii, square winged red charaxes, African caper, coffee berry moth, variegated pearl, painted pearl, marcipalina conjuncta, mylantria xanthospila, spiny bollworm, boisduval’s tree nymph, small black bush brown, haritalodes polycymalis, amata marina, common pathfinder, cadarena pudoraria, bicyclus mollitia.

Neuroxena ansorgei, hill bush brown, chirinda bush brown, toothed stately bush brown, Bethune baker’s bush brown, simple orange forester, dark yellow forest sylph, gregori’s brown pansy, rhodope dotted border, fulvous hawk, common ginger white, blue diadem butterfly, rhipidarctia crameri, common palm forester, zebra pyrale, common nephele, orange streak Acraea, and chiasmia fulvisparsa to mention but a few.

Activities to do in Semuliki national park before and after trekking

Bird watching

Over 435 bird species live in Semuliki national park and this has made it one of the best birding destinations in western Uganda. Birding is one of the most done activities within Semuliki national park by birders who visit the western region of Uganda. The activity is guided by armed ranger guides and a birding guide helps to take you to areas with a good number of birds.

Birding in Semuliki national park introduces birders to bird species such as Great blue Turaco, Xavier greenbul, Ross’s Turaco, Fire-crested Alethe, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Long-tailed hawk, Black-dwarf hornbill, White thighed hornbill, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Orange Cheeked waxbill, swamp palm bulbul, Grant’s bluebill, Rufous-sided broadbill, Forbe’s plover, Black-Dwarf hornbill, and Red-billed Dwarf hornbill.

Other bird species include Green-tailed bristlebill, Shoebill stork, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Crested Malimbe, Black-Dwarf hornbill, Leaf-love, Spot-breasted Ibis, Gabon woodpecker, Long tailed hawk, Chestnut owlet, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Red-bellied malimbe, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Crested Malimbe, White-throated Blue Swallow, Orange-tufted sunbird, African pygmy goose, and Congo serpent eagle among others.

Chimpanzee trekking in Semuliki park

Chimpanzee trekking is available in Semuliki national park but it’s not so popular the fact that a few chimps live within this park. Chimpanzee trekking in Semuliki national park involves trekkers going into the jungle where they start looking for where the chimps could be. The activity starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the activity.

Armed ranger guides lead the trekkers in the jungle where they look for chimpanzees for 4 to 5 hours or even more. While searching, trekkers are able to meet different attractions of the park. When the chimps are located the trekkers do get 1 hour to be around them which comes with opportunities of taking photos, recording videos, and watching them do daily activities among others.

Community tours

Community tours in Semuliki national park are mostly done in the villages of Batwa which are near the park. Ntandi and Boma villages are some of the areas where tourists can meet and interact with the Batwa people. A visit is led by a local guide from the community that does the work of a translator to easy communication between the two.

When tourists arrive at the homes of the Batwa, they are welcomed by traditional dancers who entertain them through dance and drama. They are taken to different homes to meet different local who tell different stories about their culture and what they do for a living. The elders are there to tell stories of long ago and after everything, you still get entertainment from the local dancers.

Visiting the hot springs

Two hot springs are within Semuliki national park and tourists can visit them during other butterfly watching trips in the park. Tourists walk for a few minutes to get to the hot springs inside the park. The female hot spring is the most visited because its waters are too hot and it has a geyser that pours out water. A ranger guide will tell you different stories of how the hot springs came up while cooking some ages for you.

Best time to go

The best time to go to Semuliki national park is during the dry season. The dry season happens from June to September and December to February when the park is experiencing little or no rainfall. During this time, the vegetation is too short with good views of butterflies, and other animals, and at the same time the walking trails are dry and easier to navigate.

Tourists can still visit Semuliki national park for butterfly watching in the rainy season from March to May and October to November. Tourists coming in this time will enjoy discounted accommodation facilities and tour packages but they should be ready for heavy rainfall at any time of the day. The vegetation is tall with unclear views of wildlife and the trails in the park are muddy.

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