Semuliki National Park stretches through the base of the Semuliki Valley on the isolated, western side of the Rwenzori Mountains. The park is controlled by the easternmost addition of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin which is one of Africa’s most earliest and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to persist the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago.
The Semuliki Valley covers several landscapes connected with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are covered by West African oil palms; the Semuliki River (which makes the transnational border) is a small description of the Congo River, the forest is household to abundant Central African wildlife species, and the indigenous residents are the Batwa pygmy community that came from the Ituri. Therefore, the park offers a taste of Central Africa when you’re still in Uganda.
Well as Semuliki’s wildlife species have been increasing for over 25,000 years, the park holds indication of even long time developments. Hot springs boil up from the lowest point to show the dominant underground forces that have been forming the rift valley since 14 million years ago.
Climate and When to Visit
Northern Kibale is the park’s rainiest area, getting a average rainfall of 1700mm every year, this is more so in March-May and September-November. The climate is normally pleasing with annual temperature range of 14-27oC throught the year. Temperatures are high in the south of the park where the topography droplets fall on hot rift valley surface and forest gives way to open savannah. Therefore the best times to visit the park is during the month march, may September and November although the park can be toured all the year throught, you just need to study and be aware of the weather changes and come when prepared, Uganda has got the best climate ever.
Semuliki national park can be accessed by using two main roads from Kampala. Although 4×4 vehicles are suggested for you to be used.
From Kampala to Fort Portal through Mubende which covers a distance of 180km or a 4-5 hour drive hence being the shortest route.
From Kampala to Fort Portal through Masaka, Mbarara to Kasese which covers a distance of 465km and takes 7-8 hours’ drive. This route offers the opportunity to have enroute visits such as at Lake Mburo National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, Queen Elizabeth National Park.
and Rwenzori Mountains National Park .
The Park’s Sempaya Gate is 59km from Fort Portal. To reach Ntandi where the park headquarters are found can take about 6 kilometer drive on the road; journey was a sluggish and rough 2-3 hour drive on a narrow road that stretches over the northern Rwenzori. The route is presently being broadened and reappeared to make the journey littler and more relaxed.
ACTIVITIES IN SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK.
Game Drives in Semuliki
Three trails cross the plain grassland of Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve. Lesser forest and bigger savannah elephants are frequently gotten, together with buffalo, crocodile, waterbuck, warthog and Uganda Kob. With blessing, you may even get small hippopotami, leopards and indescribable bush babies. Game drives in the Wildlife Reserve are done in the morning, after lunch and at nighttime; after dark, tourists may come across inquisitive nocturnal species such as the white-tailed mongoose.
Birding in Semuliki
Birders who visit Semuliki will be pleased with some of Africa’s best forest birding. Sempaya and Ntandi offers outstanding watching of the birds including the, Yellow-throated Nicator, Piping Hornbill Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Great blue and Ross’s Turacos plus the White-crested Hornbill, The area around Kirumia River is another top birding spot. The shoebill stork is frequently viewed at nearby stations on Lake Albert and nature walks are good for tracking water birds.
Hot Springs in Semuliki
The hour-long trajectory to the outside, “male” spring clues through a covering of forest where black-and-white colobus monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey and red-tailed monkeys can be found. A tree house en route offers a terrestrial view.
A 30-minute trek through palm forest from the main road clues to the inside, “female” spring, conquered by a boiling fountain. Eggs and matooke can be prepared in these boiling waters and adored by hungry hikers.
Hiking and Nature Walks in Semuliki
The 13kilommetres KirumiaTrail starts from the heart of the forest to the Semuliki River. This 8 hour curved trip begins at 8am and is best for bird watching.
The 11kilometres Red Monkey Track leads to the park’s eastern boundary a headlock of the rare deBrazza’s monkey to the Semuliki River.
Along the 8km Sempaya Nature Trail, where you can see a number of primates species and the hot spring. This 2-4 hour hike can take place in the morning or afternoon.
Cultural Encounters in Semuliki
The Batwa’s hunter-gatherer way of life means that they have continuously been reliant on on Semuliki forest for shelter, food, medicine and tools, however this is foundation to change as a result of collaboration with other indigenous communities.
Tourism offers another source of earnings for the Batwa, and provides them the chance to sustain and present their ironic cultural antiquity through music and dance presentations at Ntandi. They also make complex handcrafts for sale.
A boma, or cultural village, is presently being constructed so that the Batwa can show how they used to live in the forest.
National Park Bandas and Campsite
Sempaya Rest Camp – Coming soon
TORO-SEMLIKI WILDLIFE RESERVE
Semliki Safari Lodge
Mountains of the Moon Hote
Ruwenzori View Guesthouse
Rwenzori Travellers Inn
Palace View Hotel
Youth Encouragement Services
Semliki Guest House