Semuliki national park is located in the south-western part of Uganda in the remote western side of the Rwenzori. The park covers 220 square kilometers. It is a home to one of Africa's ancient forests that survived the last ice age creating thick dense forests with temperatures rising to a humid 30C and souse by an annual 1240mm of rain. There are possible routes to the park the shortest one is from Kampala, via Mubende to Fortportal which just about 4-5 hours’ drive (180km) the other alternative route is from Kampala, -Fortportal via Masaka , Mbarara and Kasese takes about 7-8 hours, this route is so rewarding as you will be in position to meet very may attraction on the way like the equator crossing, Lake Mburo national park or queen Elizabeth national park. Semuliki national park is known as the most newly Uganda created national park being established in 1993 after being a forest reserve since 1932. Semuliki valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. It is a home to 53 mammal species such as okapi the forest zebra, the water chevrotain, hippos and crocodiles can be spotted out along the river banks.
Over 442 bird species are said to be living at the park and this gives a total of 40% out of the total bird species that live in Uganda and most of the bird species that inhabit the park are not be found elsewhere in east Africa such as; Congo Serpent Eagle, Black-wattled Hornbill, Long-tailed Hawk, Lyre-tailed Honey guide, and the Nkulengu Rail. The park also houses different primate species including-tailed, black and white colobus monkey, red, vervet, grey- cheeked mangebey, olive baboon and Dent's Mona monkey and the chimpanzee which shares a high percentage with human set up. The forest also is a home to the local population which includes a batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. While at the park, you can enjoy as many activities as you can let us examine some of the activities tourists can enjoy.Sempaya Hot Spring are Semuliki’s most famous attraction, the ‘’male’’ spring known as Binte, has a diameter of about 12 metres and is set in a lush swampy clearing while the ‘’female’’ spring, known as Nyasimbi, meaning ‘’the female ancestors’’, is a boiling geyser which spurts bubbling water and steam up to two meters high. The hot spring has a temperature of up to 103o Celsius and the steam cloud that rises from it can be seen from a distance of up to 2 kilometres
Since this park houses almost a half of the countries bird species, it is no doubt that it’s a good place for watching various species over 442 bird species are recorded at the park. Sempaya and Ntandi provide excellent viewing of the birds including the white-crested Hornbill, red Dwarf Hornbill, piping hornbill, yellow throated Nicator the list is endless.
Game drives are among the most interesting activities done at the park, as the park is a home top over 50 species of mammals. Three tracks cross the savannah grassland of toro semuliki wildlife reserve. Game drives can be done either in the morning or in the evening games to see include elephants, waterbuck, warthog, buffaloes, Uganda Kob various species of primates among many more.
Hiking and nature walks
Exploring the park on foot is an interesting activity, follow the 13kms Kirunda trail which runs through the forest to the Semuliki River it sets from the morning at 8:00am and it can go to up 8 hours you will come across various species of birds on your way. Nature walk is guided by a ranger guide to give you relative information on all forest flora and fauna.
Cultural encounter and trail
This is another interesting done activity at the park for those who are interested in learning more about the African culture and life. Meet the batwa group of people who have most of the years lived in the forest they depended on Semuliki forest for food and shelter, medicine and tools. Ounce you visit this community they will take you through their techniques like fire making skills, hunting skills and also explain to you their history of life.
Where to stay
Semliki Safari Lodge - up-market
Mountains of the Moon (Fort Portal) - up-market
Rwenzori View Guest House (Fort Portal) - mid-market