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Semuliki National Park Uganda

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park is located in the northern foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, south of Lake Albert, along Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Known for being “The True Birder’s Haven” and also home to the famous male and female hot springs. Semuliki National Park harbors about 53 mammal species including elephants, antelopes, bush babies, Uganda kobs, leopards, buffaloes, pygmy flying squirrel, black and white colobus monkeys and vervet monkeys.

It is also a top location for bird watching as well since 441 bird species have been identified here which accounts for 40% of all Ugandan species and 66% of all woodland species. Some of them include yellow throated cuckoo, orange cheeked waxbill, red throated bee eater, piping hornbill, kingfisher among other bird species. The Park’s woodlands are the sole authentic lowland Tropical Forests in East Africa and the furthest eastern extension of the Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin.

The Semliki Wildlife Reserve, a striking region of open savanna grassland and riverine forest, is located beyond Semuliki National Park. The reserve has a soft beauty that is only accentuated by the limited number of tourists in contrast to the park. The reserve has a high population of Ugandan kob and in addition, it is home to a dry habitat chimpanzee group, colobus monkeys, buffaloes and both forest and savannah elephants. Semuliki National Reserve has about 425 bird species including the Shoebill stork and the finest methods to see Shoebill storks in Uganda is through the boat safaris offered from the reserve on Lake Albert.


Activities in Semuliki National Park

Semuliki has a number of activities that visitors can engage in during their stay in the park and they include;

Visiting Sempaya Hot Springs

The Sempaya hot springs are one of the top reasons as to why Tourists visit this park, they have made Semuliki famous and the visitors are more fascinated by the local stories about the formation of both the male and female hot springs than the scientific explanation. The Male hot spring  about 12 meters in diameter and called Bintente whereas the female called Nyasimbi.



The park’s main attraction is bird watching because of its location in the Albertine rift valley, the low land forest and its central African species, in addition, it also hosts Central African bird species that cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa. The park is home to 441 bird species of which 46 of them are Guinea-Congo biome species found nowhere else in East Africa. Some of these species include; Shoebill, yellow-throated Nicator, dwarf honey guide, Yellow throated Cuckoo, African Piculet, Great blue and Ross’s turaco, orange weaver, white crested hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, purple breasted sunbird, Swamp Palm Bulbul among others. These birds  sighted at Sempaya, Kirumia trail, Ntandi, Semuliki River, and the Shoebill often seen at Lake Albert while in the canoe ride.


Nature walks and Hiking

Nature walks in Semuliki National Park done with the guidance of a ranger who takes you deep in to the forest as you feel captivated by the serenity of the park. These nature walks  done at the Red monkey trail which follows the park boundary to the east and ends up at the Semliki River where you will have high chances of seeing the rare DeBrazza monkey. You can as well follow the Sempaya nature trail which leads you to the Sempaya hot springs, this walk is through forests where you are likely to meet the black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and also the grey-cheeked mangabey. The Kirumia trail is also a perfect route for birders and it ends up at the Semliki River where you have opportunities to spot the shoebill while on a boat ride.


Batwa Community Experiences

The Batwa the early inhabitants of the forest before established as a National Park. A visit to this local community will unveil how they lived in the forest from hunting, gathering food and tools of how they lived and survived in the forest. You will as well enjoy their folk songs and dances.


Game drives

Game drives in Semuliki  done in 3 tracks across the savannah and grassland of Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve. Among the wildlife include Uganda kobs, savannah elephants, buffalo, waterbucks, warthogs, leopards among others.


When to Visit

Semuliki National Park best visited during the dry months of June to August and December to February.


How to Get to Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park reached by Road and also by Air.

By Road, the park is about 180km from Kampala via Mubende road.

By Air, the park accessed through Semuliki Airstrip.


Semuliki Entry Gates

Semuliki  accessed through the main which is;

Sempaya gate


Accommodations in Semuliki National Park

These are Luxury accommodations and they include;

Luxury Accommodations

Kyaninga Lodge

Crater Safari Lodge

Kijaguzo Hotel

Semuliki Safari Lodge