10 top reasons to visit semiliki National Park
The top reasons for a tourist to visit Semuliki National Park are various activities which tourists can engage in include; game driving, birding, boat cruise, nature walk, hot springs, cultural visits, wildlife and Chimpanzee Trekking.
Semuliki National Park is located in the western part of Uganda bordering with Congo in Kabalore district in Toro on the southern showers of lake Albert, the park is most famous for Sempaya hot springs, it seats on an area of 542 square kilometers living between the Rwenzori Mountains and Kijura escarpment of lake Albert. Kubwa5 Safaris e provide you with a sequence of activities that might make your safari unforgettable in Semuliki National park as follows;
1.1 Game drives
Game drives in Semliki National park usually start very early in the morning, rarely in the afternoon and late in the evening because most of the wild animals are seen in the morning hours when they are wondering for food or evening especially cuts.This activity enables travelers at Semuliki national park to navigate through the savannah park using usually a 4 x 4 WD safari vehicles to enjoy the ultimate nature of wildlife with professional tour guides, the species to look out include, African Piculet, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Blue-billed Malimbe, Yellow-throated Nicator, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Nkulengu Rail, Piping Hornbill, blue-billed malimbe, Yellow-throated Cuckoo and Leaf-love etc.
1.2 Bird watching
Semuliki National Park is a prominent place for birding , it is rear for tourists to leave the park without spotting birds even if you are not a birder . The park harbors over 410 bird species representing 40% of Uganda total birds and over 66% of the nation’s forest bird species, Birding watching in Semuliki National park is done in different trails mostly in the forest reserves of Bundibugyo, Kirumia river trail, and Sempaya. The species include species orange cheeked, chocolate-backed, chestnut-flanked Goshawk, forest thrushes, red-chested owlet, ground hornbill, the Nkulengu rail, yellow-throated Cuckoo, piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, Leaf-love among others.
1.3 Boat Cruise in Semuliki National Park
Boat cruise in Semuliki national park are conducted from river Semuliki to Lake Albert. The river runs from mountain Rwenzori and stretches for 160km to lake Albert. By taking a boat ride on river Semuliki, you will be able to see wild animals such as bush backs, crocodiles, sitatungas, hippos among others. a variety of bird species for example the rare shoebill stock only found in swampy areas of the rift valley. Semuliki National park offers a great experience and an opportunity to cruise closer to the animals which is viewed in a distance.
1.4 Nature walks
Nature walk in Semuliki national park involves visitors making an organized arrangement with guides to walk and view different primates. In Semuliki National Park primates’ walks starts early in the morning and they start from Semuliki safari lodge where visitors are expected to encounter chimpanzees, olive baboons, Grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkey, velvet and white colobus monkey among others. while on this activity in Semuliki National park your eyes will be kept busy with bushbucks, buffaloes, and Uganda kobs running up and down.
1.5 Sempaya hot springs in Semliki National park
The Sempaya hot springs are divided into two which were named by local people as male and female hot springs. The presence of thes springs has made the park more famous and intresting for travelers to have their vacations and adventure in the park, the female hot spring Nyansimbi is the most interesting to watch and much dangerous boiling at around 2m high and it is believed that local people used to prepare food using this water, the male hot spring is called Bitente which is located in lush swampy clearing and over 12m in diameter.
1.6 Cultural visits
This an adventuring activity whereby tourists visiting the Semuliki National Park is surrounded by different tribes with different culture and norms for-example the Batwa people, these are believed to have lived in the park before it was gazetted into a national park and this was done to give space for tourism development, these people express their culture and norms to visitors through their dance,music poetry and drama at Ntandi, they also produce handcrafts which they sell to tourists, other cultural tours on semuliki include Ntoroko fishing community which entirely depends on fishing from lake Albert and fish species include, catfish, salty fish, lungfish among others. Book with Kubwa5 Safaris for the best experience.
Semuliki forest is home to 53 mammals including buffalos, forest elephants, Hippos and Crocodiles along the Semuliki River, Chimpanzee, red-cheeked mangabey, Central African red colobus monkeys and many reptiles and amphibians are found in the park. 11 of the mammals are endemic to the park, pygmy flying squirrel, Beecroft’s flying squirrel, water chevrotain, target rat, little collared fruit bat, bay duiker, forest buffalo, mona monkey.
1.8 Chimpanzee Trekking
Chimpanzee trekking is booked at Uganda Wildlife authority where you receive a permit and join the rangers who guide you through different trails, Chimpanzee habituation is a full day’s activity available at Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve. This activity is done early in the morning as chimps are still sleeping in their nests till the evening when they go back.
When to visit Semuliki National Park
The park can be accessed and visited all year round but its best to visit during the dry season for the best view and beautiful pictures.
How to access semuliki National Park
The park can be accessed by both Road and air transport From Kampala via Masaka-mbarara road which is about 180 Kilometers and takes around 7-8hour drive and Kampala Fort Portal via Mubende which also about 4-5hour drive, along the way you get to view the eye-catching Rwenzori ranges, a stop over at Lake Mburo National park for wildlife viewing a visitor can use public transport like buses or contact Kubwa5 Safaris to organise your trip in a 4WD safari vehicle which can pass through slippery and muddy trails leading to the park.
By air chattered flights can be arranged from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Semuliki airstrip and this take 2hours, this is the fastest way of accessing the park.
Mountain of the moon hotel
Kyaninga Royal cottage
Massai village guest home