The Semliki Valley is a little corner of Congo poking into Uganda. The only tropical lowland rainforest in East Africa is a continuation of the huge Ituri Forest in the DRC and forms a link between the heights of East Africa and the vast, steaming jungles of central Africa. The Semuliki National Park covers 220 sq km of the valley floor and harbours some intriguing wildlife, though sightings are difficult due to the thick vegetation. It’s most famous for its primordial hot springs.
Birdwatchers come to look for over 440 birds, particularly the central African species, such as the Congo serpent eagle, residing at their eastern limits. At least 133 of the 144 Guinea–Congo forest species have been recorded here and nearly 50 species are found nowhere else in East Africa. There are nine primate species, including De Brazza’s monkey, and many mammals not found elsewhere in Uganda, such as Zenker’s flying mice. Both the resident elephant and buffalo are the forest variety, smaller than their savannah brethren.