Semliki National Park covers 220 square kilometers and is located in the Albertine Rift Valley, north of the Rwenzori Mountains, close the Congolese border. At 700m above sea level, the park is Uganda’s top birdwatching destination. The park is mostly forested, reaching east to the Ituri forest of the Congo Basin.
As indicated by the oil palms that shade the thatch cottages, the majority of the park’s vegetation originates from central Africa, not east Africa. The Uganda-Congo boundary is formed by the Semuliki River, a smaller counterpart of the Congo River. This park is home to Batwa (pygmies) from the Ituri forest.
Attractions in Uganda, Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park is home to 24 tree species, including Isolana Congolana and Ejacis Guinness. At least 435 bird species have been identified, 40 of which are unique to Uganda. There are 63 mammals in the park, including leopards, elephants, buffaloes, flying squirrels, pygmy antelope, and six varieties of bats; there are also at least 9 species of primates, including chimps, vervet monkeys, and blue monkeys.
There are 374 butterfly species in Semuliki National Park. The park’s huge number of butterfly species is due to its forest location and diverse ecosystems, which include grassland, forest swamp, Savannah woodland, bush land, warm savannah, and warm woodland. The springs in Semuliki National Park provide critical mineral salts to animals and attract birds from all over the world.
Uganda Tourism Activities in Semuliki National Park
On a walk from Sempaya gate to the Semliki River, you can see birds, butterflies, flowers, and trees. Male and female hot springs in the park can boil eggs in minutes. Other activities include game viewing, pygmy visits, and primate viewing.
Semuliki National Park lodges/accommodation.
Stay at Semliki Safari Lodge and Ntoroko Game Lodge (luxury) or nearby Fort Portal or Bundibugyo. People who want to remain in the park should consider camping.
Accessibility to Uganda’s Semuliki National Park
The main roads from Kampala to Fort Portal, particularly the Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara road, provide opportunities to explore Lake Mburo National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, and Queen Elizabeth National Park. The road from Kampala through Mubende is shorter though through local villages and Toro teamplantations.
Fort Gateway Town is a popular tourist destination. From here, a 2-3-hour drive on the Bundibugyo road takes you to the Sempaya gate (52km). A 5-kilometer journey from the Sempaya gate leads you to the park headquarters at Ntandi.
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