About Semuliki National Park
Semuliki National Park Uganda is found in the Bundibugyo District of western Uganda. It is one of the newest national parks in Uganda and in October 1993 was made as a national park which covers an area of 194 kilometers2 on 75 sq. miles of East Africa’s only lowland tropical rainforest is found in the park. Semuliki National Park stretches across the floor of the Semuliki Valley along with the western parts of the Rwenzori Mountains. Semuliki national park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the Ituri Forest of Congo, of which it is among Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests and also one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years back.
The park is surrounded by 4 ethnic groups such as Bwamba farmers who stay along the base of the Rwenzori, the Bakonjo cultivate the mountain slopes of Rwenzori, Batuku cattle keepers occupy on the open plains, and Batwa pygmies who live on the edge of the forest and traditionally hunter-gathers.
The park is the richest place of fauna and flora diversity in Africa plus many bird species of about 441 birds. The park is protected by Uganda Wildlife Authority and all tourist attractions entire conservation of the park is controlled by UWA.
Semuliki national park is assisted by the Semuliki River, which is about 160 kilometers long Semuliki River overflow from the Rwenzori Mountains to Lake Albert and the Nile, this evidencing ancient geographer who saying that the Nile flows from a snow-capped mountain in the heart of Africa.
The Semuliki Valley contains several features in central than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms, the Semuliki River is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is a natural habitat to various Central African wildlife species, and also a home of the Batwa pygmy community that comes from the Ituri. Therefore Semuliki national park provides a taste of Central Africa as well as Uganda.
Semuliki national park is the only park which is found in lowland tropical forest in East Africa, with over 441bird species, 63 mammals, 9 primates, 374 species of butterflies, 336 plant species, 40 of it are restricted in the park, and it is among the best top birding destination which attracts most of the visitors to visit Uganda.
The park experiences an average rainfall of 1,250 mm in Uganda, this starts between March to May and from September to December. During the wet season, most of the areas in Semuliki experience flooding, and its temperature varies from 18 -30 °C (64 to 86 °F), with relatively small daily variations.
Activities within the park.
Tourists in Semuliki national park can do bird watching as it is among the best destinations in Uganda with over 441 bird species, game drives around the Savannah grassland, hiking Kirumia Trail which takes about 13 kilometers, and hot springs which the most trending activity in the park, and visitors use this hot water to boil their materials. In 2016, Semuliki National Park is upgraded as 68th out of 120 things to do in Uganda. That is why Semuliki national park is among the best safari destination which attracts most of the tourists to visit Uganda.
Semuliki National Park has the Semuliki River and Lamia, which are provide water for many animals. There are also two hot springs in a hot mineral encrusted swamp that is the female and male hot spring. They attract a large number of shorebirds and their water is mixed with salt which also forced many animals like Forest buffaloes that are always seen coming to leak the salty waters of the hot springs.
Semuliki National Park hosts over 441 bird species like the lyre-tailed honeyguide. Among these birds, 216 are true forest birds, including the rare Forest Ground Thrush and Sassi’s Olive Greenbul plus 9 species of hornbills in the park.
Semuliki National Park has about 63 mammal species, which include the forest buffalos, hippos, leopards, elephants, bush babies, Mona monkeys, water chevrotains, civets, and the pygmy flying squirrel. With 9 duiker species including the bay duiker, and there are also over 374 butterfly species.
This has made the park to be among the unique destinations one should not miss out on tourism safari in Uganda due to its amazing tourist attractions like Sempaya hot spring which has a memorable experience.
After visiting Semuliki national park, you can plan to visit Kampala for a city tour, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for gorilla trekking, Kibale forest national park for chimpanzee tracking, Mgahinga gorilla national park for tracking the rare golden monkey. Or you can go and do mountain climbing in the majestic Rwenzori, and many other national parks.