In October 1993 Semuliki National Park was gazetted so it is among the newest National Parks in Uganda. It its terrain is flat and gently undulating in some places at an altitude range of 670m to 760m above level. The park hosts a large number of mainly Central African species that can’t be seen in other parts in East Africa including a number of the Africa’s most stunning and largely sought-after species of birds including the Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Lyre-tailed Honey guide Black-wattled Hornbill plus the Congo Serpent Eagle.
Semuliki National park is situated in the far western part of Uganda within Bundibugyo. It is found on the border of Uganda with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the western arm of the Rift valley. it covers an expanse of 220 square kilometers and covers the eastern extension of the huge Ituri Forest. The park forms section of the forest continuum in the climatic turmoils of the Pleistocene, and it is among the richest areas for plant life, animals and mainly birds in the whole of Africa.
Accessibility of Semuliki N.P
You can reach the park from the capital Kampala through two main roads; the Kampala-Fort portal through Mubende that takes 4 to 5 hours drive or the Kampala-Fort portal through Masaka, to Mbarara and then Kasese taking 7 to 8 hours drive.
Semuliki national park offers breathtaking scenery comprised of the meandering river Semiliki, the stunning hot springs and the verdant tropical forests, among several other interesting attractions. At Mungu Ni Mukubwa as you drive up in the mountains, you will enjoy spectacular sights of the winding River Semuliki, the bubbling hot springs plus the tropical rain forests that extend up to Ituri forest found in the DRC. There are two Hot springs found in a system of hot mineral emblazoned swampland around which are numerous birds, mammals plus insects. These 2m jet of hot water at 130°C plus a pool of a 12 meter diameter that oozes with boiling water at 106°C which can even boil food particularly eggs within this natural boiler in just 10 minutes.
Nature Walks Through The Semuliki Jungle.
The Semuliki jungle-life is spectacular particularly for birders, and those interested in seeing primates, butterflies and plants. the jungle walks normally begin from Sempaya Gate and this takes approximately two hours and end at the Hot Springs in the rainforest that has Palm Trees and has muddy ground. During the walk, visitors have the opportunity to see primates including Mangabeys plus Blue Monkeys, as well as mammals including forest buffaloes, pygmy hippos, elephants, leopards and sitatungas, in addition to birds like Palm nut Vultures, Hornbills plus Honey guides. There are as well 305 tree species recorded here of which 125 species are endemic to the park.
Local Community Walks
The “Batwa”, are a local pygmy Ituri-ethnic people found close to the park. These people lived within Semuliki Forest and were essentially relying on fruit gathering plus hunting within this forest. Currently different other ethnic cultural groups have come here and these intermarried resulting into cultural exchange. Taking a community visit to the adjacent pygmy village close to the Sempaya Gate will give you the chance to witness the dances, lifestyles and traditions, and offer you a chance to purchase some souvenirs.
Birding is an additional tourism activity carried out in the Uganda safari. The different vegetation types in the park provide birders an opportunity to see various birds such as grassland birds, forest birds, water birds plus wetland birds. The area near the geothermal Sempaya hot-springs is not just very spectacular but as well offers some wonderful birding particularly in the nights.
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