Semliki National Park
Semliki National Park
Semliki National Park covers 220 sq km and lies along the Congolese border following the Semliki River, within the Western arm of the Albertine Rift Valley, in the North of Rwenzori Mountains.
The park has an average altitude of 700 m above sea level and it is the leading birding destination in Uganda. Most of the park area is largely forested and it extends eastwards to the great Ituri forest of Congo Basin.
The thatch huts in the park are shaded by the oil palms of West Africa; this proves that most of the vegetation in this park is from the central Africa rather than east Africa. The international boundary of Uganda and Congo is formed by the Semliki River-a small version of river Congo. The local people in this park include the Batwa (pygmies) that originated from Ituri forest.
- Best visited in dry season
- Uganda, East Africa
- Can rain any time
- Good fitness level required
Attractions in Semliki NP
Semuliki National Park has over 336 species of trees of which 24 tree species are only found here and these include; Isolana Congolana and Ejacis Guinness. At least 435 bird species have been recorded in the area and 40 of them are only found here in the whole of Uganda.
The park is also home to a count of 63 mammals, like leopards, elephants, buffaloes, the flying squirrels are also found only here, pygmy antelope and six types of bats; at least 9 species of primates are found in this park namely Chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys among others.
The species of butterflies are recorded to be 374 in Semliki National park. This wide range of butterfly species in the park is due to the forest location and varied habitats such as grassland, forest swamp, Savannah woodland, bush land, warm savanna, warm woodland and an extensive system of hot.
The various number of host spring is Semliki National Park give important mineral salts to animals and attracts masses of various birds from all over the world.
Natural Forest walks from the headquarter at Sempaya gate down to the river Semliki, enjoying bird watching, butterflies, flowers and trees. The park has the Male and the Female Hot springs and its springs can even boil eggs in just minutes to prove how hot they are.
Game viewing, Visit the pygmies, Chimpanzee Tracking
Where to stay
At this park accommodation can be got at the Semliki safari lodge & Ntoroko Game Lodge (Luxury) or choose to get accommodation from the nearby towns like Fort portal or Bundibugyo town, for those who wish to stay in the park, camping is the best option.
How to get there
From Kampala, the major roads take you up to fort portal and these are mainly the Kampala through Masaka-Mbarara road which offers chances of visiting lake Mburo National park, Rwenzori mountains National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and queen Elizabeth National Park. Then there is also the Kampala via Mubende road which is much shorter.
Fort portal town is a hub that connects you to different tourism destinations. From here, a drive for about 2-3 hours in a 4X4 WD using the Bundibugyo road will take you up to Sempaya gate (52 km), form Sempaya gate, a 5 km drive ahead takes you up to the headquarters of the park at Ntandi.
It is also possible to use public means from Kampala to Fort portal Town, pickup trucks heading to Bundibugyo district and you can disembark the truck at the Sempaya Gate. The post is clear and visible