Semliki National Park and the beautiful Semliki wildlife reserve lies on the southern shores of Lake Albert and is one of Africa’s most biodiverse forests and mostly noted for its bird population.
This National park is located in the far west, 50km from Fort Portal and it covers 220 sq km and its well known for the Sempaya hot springs
The Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve is subtly different and shows affinities with the northern savanna woodland with over 400 bird species coupled with a number of exotic scenery.
HOW TO GET THERE?
A direct route is via Mubende a 4 hr drive of 300km from Kampala.
Nature walks in the Park
Semuliki forest is a desirable destination for birders, with primates, butterfly species and plants since its one of Africa’s most biodiverse forests. These jungle walks always starts from Sempaya Gate and take about 2 hours ending to the Hot Springs through the rainforest with Palm Trees and partly muddy ground. While on the walk, tourists have a chance to see primates like Mangabeys and Blue Monkeys, mammals such as forest buffaloes, elephants, sitatungas, leopards, pygmy hippopotamus, crocodiles, chimpanzees and even the nocturnal primates like the potto and bushbaby, as well as birds such as Hornbills, Honey guides and Palm nut Vultures. There are also 305 species of trees recorded and 125 species are restricted to this park alone.
Sempaya hot spring
These are the park’s most famous tourist attraction and aguided walk trail leads from the road side tourist office to Sempaya Hot springs. The trail to the springs leads through a patch of rain forest where a variety of wild life is visible and alot of bird species is also seen along.These steaming small pools are a big adventure where even eggs can be boiled.
The water fall of Mungiro
This lies next to the hot springs and once you have seen the hot springs, and is the loveliest which lies in the North Rwenzori forest reserve.This place provides an excellent sight for red-billed dwarf horn bill, white-crested hornbill and massive black-casqued wattled hornbill. A nature walk a long the eastern margin can also be exciting through the red tailed monkey trail to the exposure to the far greater variety of birds other than the trail to the hot springs.
Game Drives and Game Viewing
This is an activity that is memorable because the National Park hosts many mammals such as Elephants, Buffaloes, Leopards, Bush babies. With luck you may see Hippopotamus and Crocodiles.A variety species of primates have also been recorded and more than 300 species of butterflies have been observed.
This is a must visit for birders,this is because this grants an opportunity to see all the “Semuliki specials”.Here you are granted an opportunity to sight grassland as well as forest birds, and in dry seasons there is a possibility of driving past Batuku pastoralists’ homesteads to look for crocodiles and water birds.
Local Community Visits
There are “Batwa”, a local pygmy Ituri ethnic group of people. They were the inhabitants of Semuliki Forest. Their livelihood basically depends on fruit gathering and hunting in the forest. Today there is a mixture and cultural exchange with other ethnic groups started. A community visit to the pygmy village near Sempaya Gate will enable you witness their lifestyles, traditions, dances, as well as an opportunity to buy souvenirs.
Accommodation in Semuliki National park
There are Camp sites at Bumaga with basic cottages located 2.5km away from Sempaya and Semliki safari lodge, a 5 star lodge in the park.