Semliki National Park Uganda

Semliki National Park Uganda

Semliki national park Uganda is situated within the remote Semliki valley, site of the Sempaya hot springs, and named after the river which forms the Congolese border; Semliki National Park protects an extension of Congo’s vast Ituri Rainforest and is of particular interest to birders with 40 essentially Congolese species found nowhere else in Uganda. The forest harbors many mammals ranging from widespread forest dwellers such as elephants, chimpanzees to the rather more localized De Brazza’s monkey, and pygmy antelope.

Size of Semliki National Park Uganda

Semliki national park is located west of the main capital Kampala and it sits in the base of the Congo basin covering an area coverage of 221 sq km bordering Congo’s Ituri forest and the international borders are lined by River Semliki which is a great habitat for endangered wildlife and birds.

Location of Semliki National Park

In the west, about 50km from Fort Portal which is the main business center and famous tourist hub for traveling looking to trek chimpanzees in Kibale national park and enjoy the explosive craters.

How to get to Semliki National Park

Semuliki is one of the most easily accessible national parks in Uganda and that its activities do not require the services of a vehicle travellers can visit the park all year round

By road.

The national park can be accessed via Mityana- Mubende- fort portal road which is approximately 380 km from Kampala which can take between 6-8 hours via Karugutu to Bundibugyo.

By air.

There are scheduled flights to either Kasese airstrip which is 160 km to Semliki national park or Toro Semuliki airstrip in the game reserve which is about 60 km drive to the national park.

Things to do in Semliki National Park

Semliki is a top birding destination in Uganda and many birders are always impressed with the species the park holds some of which are not seen anywhere in Uganda.

Guided Nature walks

Tourist can enjoy guided nature walks to see the Sempaya hot springs which are some of the park’s iconic attractions in the park and this active boiling water is an effect of the volcanic activities in the lower part of the Rwenzori Mountains and clients can see both the male and the female in the walk.

Special birding Tours

The Semliki Basin is considered Mecca for birders. Nowhere else in Africa will you find as many varied habitats. Semliki National Park – the western-most edge of the central Africa rainforest – borders the fabled Mountains of the Moon, the Rwenzori Mountains, with their mist-shrouded forests, and the Semliki Wildlife Reserve rolls away to one of the Great Lakes of Africa: Lake Albert. All of this is nestled within the walls of the Western rift valley.

Semliki Basin there are 441 bird species including 46 Guinea-Congo Biome species found nowhere else in East Africa, and 5 species endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley only. Some of the stars include the Nkulengu Rail, Yellow-Throated Cuckoo, Piping Hornbill, Red-Rumped Tinkerbird, African Piculet, White-Throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Lemon-Bellied Crombec, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Crested Malimbe, Blue-Billed Malimbe, Chestnut-breasted Negro Finch, and Orange-Cheeked Waxbill.

Visiting the pygmy

The Batwa’s hunter-gatherer lifestyle means they have always been dependent on the Semuliki forest for food, shelter, medicine, and tools, though this is beginning to change as a result of interaction with other local communities.

The Batwa’s hunter-gatherer lifestyle means they have always been dependent on the Semuliki forest for food, shelter, medicine, and tools, though this is beginning to change as a result of interaction with other local communities.

Tourism offers an alternative source of income for the Batwa and gives them the opportunity to maintain and display their rich cultural history through music and dance performances at Ntandi. They also produce intricate handicrafts for sale.

A Boma, or cultural village, is currently being built so that the Batwa can demonstrate how they used to live in the forest

When to visit Semliki National Park

The climate is generally pleasant with a mean annual temperature range of 14-27oC. Temperatures are highest (and rainfall lower) in the south where the terrain drops down onto the hot rift valley floor and forest gives way to open grassland.

Dry Season: June to September is the driest time and temperatures average 80°F (25°C) when most animals remain near water, but be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms at any time. The hot dry time is January to February and is a good time to visit.

Rainy Season: It rains anytime from October to December and March to May when the forest is flooded and swampy making activities challenging

Where to stay in Semliki National Park

There is a 4 basic UWA Bandas at the park headquarter where visitors can stay and also a camping ground is available for travelers with their own equipment but clients can stay at the nearby Toro Semuliki game reserve in Semuliki safari lodge which is an upmarket lodge or they can stay in fort portal and drive to the park in the morning


Guided nature walks
sempaya hot springs
Bird watching
Visit the Pygmy’s
Visit semuliki River
Visit Toro- semuliki reserve


How to get to Semliki national park


3 Days Semliki birding safari
4 Days Semliki and hot springs safari
5 Days Semliki and shoebill safari


Best time to visit Semliki national park


Semuliki safari Lodge
Aramaga Rift valley lodge
Mountains of the moon lodge
UWA bandas in Ntandi
Rwenzori view guest house


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