Semuliki National Park is remarkably one of the untouched Uganda safari parks in Uganda. It is nestled in Western Uganda and protects the only track of the lowland rain-forest in East Africa making it one of the most stunning destinations. Semuliki National Park expands to cover a section of the Ituri Forest which also extends to the DR Congo side.
Unlike other protected areas, Semuliki National Park stands out as a home to diverse forest bird species making it one of the most sought-after birding destinations in Uganda. Semuliki National Park originally existed as a forest reserve from 1932 till 1993 when it was designated as a national park. It lies at elevation 670-760m, expanding to cover 220sq.km of land.
Species of wildlife
Semuliki National Park known for its unique eco-system, sheltering an estimate of 53 mammal species. This park inhabits a range of wildlife including hippos, squirrels, 9 duikers, leopards, buffaloes; primates like blue monkeys, grey-cheeked monkeys, chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, bushbabies, pottos.
Birds in Semuliki National Park Uganda
A huge profusion of over 441 bird species is sheltered within Semuliki National Park making it one of the outstanding birding tourist destinations. The check-list of birds to capture on a birding safari here include a long-tailed hawk, hyre tailed honeyguide, Hartlaub’s duck, African dwarf kingfisher, Ituri batis, blue-headed crested flycatcher, red-eyed puff back, yellow-throated nicator, eastern bearded greenbuls, Nkulengu rail, western bronze napped pigeon, chestnut flanked goshawk.
The other birds include red-bellied malimbe, grey ground thrush, red-billed helmet, green tailed bristle bill, chocolate backed, black-winged starling, blue-headed crested flycatcher, freckled nightjars, ayres hawk eagles, buff spotted flufftail, white-spotted flufftail, African wood owl, great sparrows, and others.
Other attractions in Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park also protects other varied species and these include an estimate of 305 species of trees, 374 colorful butterfly species, 235 species of moths, the Sempaya hot springs-where tourists can perform some experiments. This hot spring comprised of females, males, and famous for its powerful boiling rate. It is believed that within a few minutes, an egg or banana can be ready for consumption when placed.
Tour activities in Semuliki National Park Uganda
Guided nature walk
Nature walks provide a better opportunity for tourists to discover Semuliki National Park on Uganda safari holiday. This park is blessed with biodiversity that is protected within its distinct habitats and they can easily be spotted on a nature walk. There are many trails taking you to various park trails especially the red monkey trail, Sempaya trail.
Semuliki National Park is absolutely one of the best destinations worth visiting for a bird watching tour. It shelters a diversity of birds and interestingly, you stand a chance to spot the red-sided broadbill, brown crowned remotely, black collared lovebird, African wood owl, western bronze napped pigeon, shoebill stork.
Semuliki National Park also offers visitors a great opportunity to get up-close to chimpanzees while in the wild. It is an ideal chimpanzee tracking destination worth visiting on Uganda safari.
Game viewing is another exciting tour activity that tourists can enjoy on Uganda safari in Semuliki National Park. In a 4×4 rental vehicle, expect to explore a variety of wildlife ranging from buffaloes, warthogs, elephants, antelopes, birds. You can go day game viewing or night game drive.
There is also an opportunity for you to interact with Bambuti pygmies while in their community. The Bambuti pygmies live along R. Semuliki and they exist in small numbers.
Visiting the Sempaya hot springs
A visit to Sempaya hot springs allows you to explore its female (Nyasimbi) hot springs and male (Bitende). The male hot spring is 12m in diameter. Visitors come here to witness how powerful these hot springs are (known to have a boiling rate of up to 100 degrees Celsius), perform some experiments.
Places to stay on tour in Semuliki National Park
Some of the existing places to stay on safari in Semuliki National Park include Ntoroko Game Lodge, Semuliki Safari Lodge, Kirimia Guesthouse, UWA Bandas, and campsites.
Best time of the year to visit Semuliki National Park
The dry season is considered the best time of the year to visit Semuliki National Park on Uganda safari. The dry months to put into consideration when planning for a tour to this park start from June to September and December to February. Bird sighting is ideal during the wet/rainy/low season, this starts from March to May and October to November.
Accessing Semuliki National Park from Kampala
From Kampala, Semuliki National Park is about 7 hours’ drive especially if you are taking the Masaka-Mbarara through Kasese. Or take Kampala via Mityana-Mubende-Fort Portal tourism city, 5 hours’ drive. From Fort Portal, Semuliki is about 52kms away along the Bundibugyo route.
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