Semuliki National Park is located in Bwamba County, a remote part of the Bundibugyo District near Fortpotal in western Uganda. It’s about 5-6 hours drive from Kampala to Fort Portal via Mubende about 382kms .while Kampala to Fort Portal via Masaka, Mbarara, and Kasese to Fort portal is about 510kms (6-7 hours). It was made a National Park in October 1993, and is one of Uganda’s newest national parks in Uganda.
Semuliki is the only park in Uganda of mainly tropical flat forest, the forest is very dark and quite flat, Semuliki river attracts many animals, the park is a home to eight species of primates such as chimpanzee, black and white colombus, blue monkey, 400 birds and 300 butterfly species, elephants buffalo leopard, bushy baby and flying squirrels are also found. While hippos and crocodiles are found in the Semuliki River. This is the only place in Uganda where you can do a spot lit night drive.
Areas of interest at semuliki national park.
Semapaya hot spring The Sempaya Hot Springs are Semuliki’s most well-known attraction. So this makes it different to other national game parks in Uganda.
Semuliki River. Here visitors can view hippo and crocodiles, Visitors can also watch the river wonder across the rift valley floor from roadside viewpoints and climb through the forest to its bird-rich banks.
Sempaya Ntandi Road. Here bird lovers can watch birds plus monkeys high up in the forest shelter as well as night hikes deep into the forest. In Ntandi, local Batwa dancers put on traditional performances for visitors.
Toro- Semiliki Wildlife Reserve. Is Uganda’s oldest reserve, its where chimp trekking commence and it can also provide a better view for bird watching.
Activities carried out at Semuliki National Park include;
Birding in Semuliki.
Tourists who are more interested in seeing birds should go to Semuliki National Park. Sempaya and Ntandi provide excellent viewing of the birds including the White-crested Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Piping Hornbill, Yellow-throated Nicator, Great blue and Ross’s Turacos. The area around Kirumia River is another top birding spot.
Chimpanzee tracking. This is also another activity that can be carried out while at the Park.Other primates can also be seen during the track such as black and white colombus, blue monkeys. Together with a guide who will help to give educative information not only to the chimps but also to other species that live in the forest
Game viewing. Smaller forest elephants and larger savannah Uganda kob, warthog, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, can be seen, you may even see pygmy hippopotamus, leopards. Wildlife trips can take place in the morning, afternoon and at night. Visitors may come across curious night species such as the white-tailed mongoose, standard night pennant winged night jars.
Cultural encounter. In that visitors have a chance to share their cultural norms with the people who live in the area; these are the Bamba and Bakonjo. Share how they have managed to live in the forest, how they practice farming, dressing codes, dancing practices among other practices.
Spot fishing can also take place along the river for those who come with fishing facilities
Boat rides. Tourists are given an opportunity to ride boats along Semliki River and the eastern shore of Lake Albert. Bird watchers have the chance to spot many of the native 425 bird species. It also offers one of the best chances in Uganda of spotting the shoebill stork, and you are sure to see many hippos along the way.
Forest jungle walk is also another activity to be carried out in park.
Semuliki Safari Lodge, The lodge is situated in the Semuliki Valley wildlife Reserve part of the western rift valley. Built out of local materials which provide accommodation facilities to the visitors.
Hotels and Guesthouses
Fort Portal the near by town, their various up market and budget hotels, with mostly en-suite facilities, dining and bars. They offer convenient accessibility to the National park. These include, Rwenzori View Guesthouse, Hotel Soka, Rujuna Hilltop Guesthouse, Sunrise Hotel and Mountains of the Moon Hotel.
There is a campsite at Mumaga, about 3kms form the Sempaya gate, preparation of meals is in order. There is also provision for one to bring and prepare his/her own food at the site. Cooking utensils are also available for hire.