Semuliki National Park covers an area of 220 square km and is one of Uganda’s newest National Parks having been gazetted in October 1993. Located about 50kms from Fort Portal, Semuliki is one of the richest areas in both flora and fauna in Africa particularly birds. To the southeast of the park are the Rwenzori Mountains, to the west the Democratic Republic of Congo and to the north Lake Albert. The easternmost edge of the Ituri forest of the Congo basin dominates a substantial part of the park.
One of the fascinating attractions at Semliki apart from the unusual panoramic views are the hot springs. These hot water springs are located at Sempaya and are accessed by a short walking trail. Often visitors try out the novelty of cooking food, particularly eggs, in the hot water of the springs. It is quite safe and an unusual experience. The temperature of the spray of the hot water is over 130 degrees Celsius while the adjoining pool discharges water at nearly a 100 degrees.
This park is also famous for its butterflies and moths. There are more than 300 species of butterflies and 46 species of forest Swallowtails and Charaxes (75% of Uganda’s total) and at least 235 species of moths have been classified as restricted.
The park wildlife consists of forest buffaloes, elephants, sitatungas, leopards, bush pig, duiker, dwarf antelope, pigmy hippopotamus, crocodile, chimpanzees and other primates and a wide range of forest and water birds.
Bird Species at Semliki consist of the Broad-billed Roller, Green Wood-hoopoe, African Grey Hornbill, African Moustached Warbler, rapacious Red-necked Falcon, Black-winged Red-Bishop, White-winged Widowbird and Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Double-toothed Barbet, Yellow-throated Leaf love, Green-backed Eremomela, Piapiac, Black-chinned Quail-Finch, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike and Western Violet-backed sunbird; the list is endless.
Sport fishing along the river is possible provided you have your own fishing gear.
By road from Fort Portal
What to do:
- Game Drives
- Visit the Hot Springs
- Primate walks and Chimpanzee Tracking
- Guided Walks- there are over 50 kilometres of foot trails
- Boat trips on Lake Albert
- Bird watching
- Visits to the local Batwa (pygmy) community
- Night game drives
Best time to go:
All year round