SEMULIKI VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Located in the far western part of Uganda, Semiliki Valley is located at the bottom of the Albartine Rift and it forms a section of the Ituri Forest that extends into Central Africa and is possibly the thickest jungle in the whole of East Africa.
Consisting of the Semuliki Wildlife Reserve plus the Semuliki National Park, it provides gorgeous natural sceneries, fine bird watching and hot springs. It is the only park in the whole of Uganda dominated by lowland forests.
The Valley is intersected into two parts by the foothills of the northern Rwenzori. In the extreme northeast close to Lake Albert lies the Semiliki Wildlife Reserve. Semiliki National Park lies in the west and prides in it abundant lowland jungle that stretches into the adjacent D.R.C.
The rainforest in central Africa supports various types of birds, mammals plus plants some being endemics of Uganda like the pygmy antelope.
There are two spectacular hot springs rich in minerals (the Sempaya Hot Springs) worth visiting which jet out boiling water of 130°C to heights of two meters. Amazingly you can boil an egg in utmost 10 minutes. In addition the spring are a good source of good quantities of salt which many a animals gather to lick at including some aquatic birds.
- More than 60 types of mammals live in this park among which are 11 species are endemic to this area alone in the whole of Uganda.
- Among the big herbivores are: elephant, pygmy hippopotamus, forest buffalo, nine types of duiker and sitatunga.
- 8 primate species like chimpanzees, De Brazza’s monkey, red-tailed monkey, baboons, black & white colobus monkey, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey and vervet monkey.
- 435 types of birds, with 45 edemas of the area plus 9 hornbill species
- 216 of the birds are forest birds.
- 300 types of butterflies among which are 75% of Ugandan species
Forest walks and bird watching are the most popular activities in Semuliki.
It is possible to visit Semuliki all year round. But remember that it is a rainforest and conditions become more difficult in the wettest months (March - May).
SEMULIKI WILDLIFE RESERVE
Semuliki Wildlife Reserve offers vast and wild scenery and is Uganda’s oldest protected area.
It is essentially a grassy savannah and acacia woodland that stretches from the Rwenzori foothills to the marshy edges of Lake Albert and covers an area of 545 km2. Pre 1970s, the reserve held phenomenal quantities of wildlife and the largest lions in all Africa.
Nowadays, things are on the mend but still have a long way to go. The lions are making a come back and leopards are already well established. Uganda kob, reedbuck, buffalo, elephant and waterbuck are sighted with increasing frequency.
Approximately 400 bird species are present including the Abyssinian ground hornbill and leaflove. Shoebill storks are also regularly spotted from boat trips on Lake Albert, along with colonies of red-throated bee-eaters.