skip to Main Content

Semuliki National Park, which was established in 1993 and covers an area of 220 square kilometres, is located on the Albertine Rift Valley floor at a height of 670 to 760 metres above sea level. It was formerly known as Bwamba Forest and is the only authentic lowland tropical forest in East Africa, marking the eastern boundary of the Congo’s Ituri forest, which is home to the Congo guinea species. The Semuliki valley, which is shared by Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is located between Lakes Edward and Albert on the remote western slope of the Rwenzori Mountains. On the Ugandan side, the Semiliki National Park and the Toro-Semiliki Wildlife Reserve are protected. Due to the park’s isolation, visitors are infrequent to the tropical lowland of the forest at 700 metres above sea level.

Semuliki National Park

A list of 60 mammal species is recorded in the national park, the majority of which are endemic to the area, including flying squirrels. The park is located in several climatic and ecological zones and has a high diversity of flora and fauna. Its dominant tree is the ironwood, and it also contains a number of species as the Congo guinea forest. Out of the 441 bird species that have been identified, 216 are real forest birds, making it the ideal place for birding safaris. Examples of these include dwarf honeyguides, purple-breasted sunbirds, and Congo-guinea biome species that are unique to East Africa.

Because Semuliki National Park is one of the rare refugia that predates and survived the ice period roughly 1800 years ago, it has a very old forest cover, which contributes to its high biodiversity. Primates, including the Dents Mona monkey, water chevrotain, and central African red colobus, have all been discovered within 6 km of Sempaya. Primates also include five species of big animals and seven species of small mammals. Buffalos, elephants, bush pigs, white-bellied duikers, and hippos along the Semuliki River are just a few examples of other huge creatures.

Sempaya hot springs, which are believed to have both female and male counterparts and whose water is so hot that it can even boil an egg, are among the stunning catchments and attractions in Semuliki National Park. Local women frequently travel to the female hot spring for fertility blessings, and both are surrounded by a striking Rwenzori mountain range. Hot springs that pop out from the earth up to 2 metres above it are among the earlier processes’ remnants found in the park.

Popular activities in the park include primate walks, boat cruises on Lake Albert, nature walks, night hikes through the forest in search of nocturnal primates, birding safaris, and game drives that travel through two game tracks to explore the grassland of the Toro Semuliki animals like the waterbuck, warthogs, and kobs. The Tororo-Semuliki game reserve is located 20 kilometres east of Semuliki National Park.

The park is open all year long, although the ideal times to come are in the dry seasons (December–January and late June–September), when there is generally little change in temperature and rainfall. The travel to Semuliki National Park from Kampala takes around 4-5 hours through the fort portal-Mubende route or the Mbarara-Kasese road in western Uganda. This route, which takes 7-8 hours to drive, gives travellers the chance to add Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Rwenzori National Park to their itinerary. From Entebbe or Kampala (Kajansi), charter planes may be arranged to land in the wildlife reserve.

Back To Top