Semuliki National Park, Wildlife Safari Adventures & Hot Springs Encounters in Uganda
Situated in Bundibugyo District after the magnificent Mountain Rwenzori-north, Semliki National Park covers the eastern part of the Ituri rain forest in DR Congo which outlived the final ice age that took place 12-18,000 years ago and is located along the Uganda and DR Congo border in the west.
The park was named after the prominent meandering Semliki river found exactly at the border of the lowland tropical rain forest with a very many different species of trees that are not located anywhere else except in these forests.
Approximately 24 of the documented 336 species have been proved of which some are in danger for example the Isolana Congolana etc. The beautiful Semliki River maps the international border and is a minor edition of River Congo.
The park consists of a thick forest that inhabits various species of wildlife as well as the local Batwa community that once belonged to Ituri forest.
The park also includes the mysterious hot springs i.e the female and male and these boil up from rock bottoms to represent the pervasive subterranean forces that led to the formation of the Great rift valley about 14 million years ago.
There are bird species that can be seen and cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa and these include the Black wattled hornbill and the Congo Serpent Eagle.
Activities at Semliki National Park Uganda
Take on a Bird watching safaris at Semliki National Park due to the exceptional encounters it offers to all that visit the park and this happens at Sempaya and Ntandi. The beautiful species of birds you will spot include the White-crested Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, pot-breasted Ibis, Piping Hornbill, Long-tailed Hawk, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Nkulengu Rail, White-bellied Kingfisher.
Black-throated Coucal, Yellow-throated Nicator, Gabon Woodpecker, African Piculet, Yellow-throated Nicator, Xavier’s Greenbul, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Icterine Greenbul, Leaf-love, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Swamp palm Bulbul, Piping Hornbill, Great blue and Ross’s Turacos etc. You will spot the shoebill stork near Lake Albert around the Kirumia River area.
Game drives at Semliki National Park involve driving around the park along different routes from one destination to another so as to spot wildlife animals in their habitats.
At Semliki there are three various tracks traversing the Savannah grassland of the Toro Semliki Wildlife reserve which makes it easy for all visitors to spot wildlife very clearly even without touching some parts of the bush and the species you will see are elephants, buffalo, kobs, warthogs, waterbucks, crocodiles, pygmy hippos, leopards etc. This activity takes place in the mornings, afternoons and nights to spot some nocturnal animals like the white tailed mongoose.
Hiking and Nature walks
Hiking and Nature walks at Semliki National Park take place along the Kirumia trail and in about 13km you will get to the Semliki River.
These oftenly take 8 hours starting very early in the morning at 8:00 am a very appropriate period since at this time, many wildlife animals are awake and preparing to go grazing in the day as well as in the afternoon. You will also see birds relocating from their nests for nuts, insects, etc.
Alternatively, you can take on the 11km Red Monkey Track which goes through the park along the eastern border where you will see the rare deBrazza’s monkeys then go to the Semliki River. Additionally, you can embark on the Sempaya nature trail that will make you transfer to the hot springs and primates in 2-4 hrs in a distance of 8km.
Hot springs Encounter
Take on a trail to the beautiful mysterious hot springs by trailing through the thick forest vegetation that inhabits primates like monkeys then later on you will reach these boiling and gushing out springs.
In case you carried some eggs with you deep them into the springs and you will be surprised at how they will get boiled in minutes.
These include the female and male spring and trailing to this will take you an hour through the thick forest where you will spot the red tailed monkeys, black and white colubus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys enjoying their habitat through jumping from one tree to another where as trailing to the female spring will lea you through the palm forest from the main road in approximately 30 minutes.