Access to Semuliki National Park
Semliki National Park is located in Uganda within the Albertine Rift. It is one of the less-visited national parks in Uganda but will fully rewarding travel experience especially for you who is traveling to Uganda as a destination. The park lies within the Western arm of the famous Great Rift Valley cuttings across Semliki Valley, western of Rwenzori Mountain. The park is largely occupied by the Ituri forests that follow the Congo basin. This unique national park is the only low land tropical forest in East Africa. Unknown to very few people, Semliki national park is divided into two; the national park which protects an extension of Ituri Forest in DRC, and Tooro wildlife reserve, a mixture of tropical rainforests and grassy savannah plains where chimpanzee tracking takes place.
Access to Semliki National park involves the routes that you can use to reach Semuliki National park for your vacation. There are different routes that travelers can use to access Semliki National park. Most of the routes are so explorative and visitors you can overlook different sites of interest on the routes taken. The selection of the routes depends on the guidance of the travel operator and the budget of the visitor. Importantly Semuliki National park can be accessed through the use of road transport and air transport.
There are two major road routes that visitors can use from the city center Kampala to Semuliki National park. Both routes are rewarding as there so many features that can be explored, visitors. visitors will always get thrilled with the mesmeric stopovers can be adorned on the way. These routes include;
Kampala- Mubende- Kyegegwa-Kyenjonjo -Fort portal (359kms)
This is the shortest route for you to access Sumuliki National park. It will take about 300km to reach Fort Portal; you will drive for about 59km to arrive at the junction leading to Semuliki National Park.
By using this route, you can enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the mighty Rwenzori mountains as well as different crop plantations as you proceed to Fort portal. In the fort portal, you will experience the unspoiled city in Uganda and you can make a tour to Tooro kingdom place and have a chat with the youngest king in Uganda Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru. This journey will you will drive for about four to five hours. Buses, private and taxis cars are numerous in Kampala city that uses this route with most common ones being Link buses that operate Kampala fort portal express.
The park is situated in Bundibugyo about 59 km from Fort portal which takes between 2 and 3 hours on the jarring road to arrive at Sempaya Gate. Along the way there is a lot to see as the different Rwenzori ranges, the beautiful view of the floor of the Albertine Rift valley, Some times in the wet season the road especially in the mountainous region are bad hence would need more time to access the park. But currently, the road is being broadened to quicken transport.
Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi – Kasese-Kibale Park (630km)
This route is slightly longer compared to the above but with eye rewarding experiences. En route to the park using this route expect to have an opportunity to make a stop at the equator line at Kayabwe and again toward Kasese town for another equator line. Further, with this route, you have to enjoy shot distances off the road to enjoy Lake Mburo National park just before Mbarara for zebras and giraffes after along the way just 3km to Mbarara city, you can make a stopover at Igongo culture center with a wealth of history of all Ankole region of Uganda.Kampala Mbarara via Kasese Fort-portal with 465km (7-8 hours) is long though it offers a more adventurous experience even before reaching Semuliki National park as you can have a stop to Lake Mburo National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, the Rwenzori Mountains National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park around Kasese.
Those using public transport means need to get ataxi to Bundibigyo from Fort portal town and stop at SempayaSemuliki National park. The park offices at Ntandi are away 5km away from this gate. Sometimes public transport to Bundibugyo is not reliable and you may need to wait a while before the taxis and minibusses heading to Bundibugyo especially in the evening.
You can as well use charter planes services to access Semuliki National park available at Entebbe international airport or at Kajjansi airfield. These can airlift you up to Kasese airfields and Nyakisharara airstrip in the Mbarara district.
Travelers will take a charter plane from Entebbe/Kajjansi rear Kampala city and fly to Kasese airstrip, from here a private transport means can be arranged to fort Portal which is 75km and then to drive for about 52km on tarmac road towards Bundiubugyo wh6ich6 will lead to Sempaya gate. Semuliki National Park headquarters at Nandi is further 5km from the gate along the same route to Kibale forest National Park.