It was gazzated in October 1993 and it’s one of the richest areas of floral and faunal diversity in Africa, with a diversity of bird species
While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes.
Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.
There are a lot of activities you can do and things you can see in this park and am going to break down most of these in this below.
Sempaya Hot springs
This is the most popular site in Semuliki National Park and a safari to the national park without visiting the hot springs is surely incomplete.
A Short-guided walking trail from the Sempaya Information Centre leads you to the cluster of hot springs at Sempaya.
This eye-catching site has its largest geyser spouts up to 2 meters high from a low salt sculpture opening.
While on the trail to the hot springs through a patch of the forest you can encounter red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and black and white colobus monkeys.
There is another hot spring, which is more of a broad steaming pool than a geyser; it is located on the far side of the swampy clearing.
Semuliki National park is one of Uganda’s birding destinations with a variety of bird species, a lot of birds migrate to this park because of the abundance of food in the park.
The Common bird species in this area are – Spot-breasted Ibis, Hartlaub’s Duck, Chestnut-flanked Goshawk, Red-thighed Sparrow hawk, Long-tailed Hawk, Forest Francolin, Nkulengu Rail, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Red-chested Owlet, Bates’ Nightjar, and the Chocolate-backed.
Other species include the White-bellied and African Dwarf Kingfishers, White-crested, Black Dwarf, Red-billed Dwarf, Piping and Black-wattled Hornbills, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Spotted, Lyre-tailed and Zenker’s Honeyguides, African Piculet, Gabon Woodpecker, Red-sided Broadbill, White-throated Blue Swallow, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Sassi’s Olive, Xavier’s, Swamp, Simple and Eastern Bearded Greenbuls, Yellow-throated Nicator, Capuchin Babbler, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Forest and Grey Ground Thrushes, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Brown-crowned Eremomela, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Red-billed Helmet -Shrike, Red-eyed Puff-back, Black-winged Starling, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Blue-billed, Crested and Red-bellied Malimbes, Pale-fronted and Chestnut-breasted Negro finches, Grant’s Bluebill.
These are a lot of bird species for one are and this makes it the best location for a birding safari.
Game viewing is more exciting when in the open savannah grasses of Semuliki national park. A drive around Semuliki National park brings you closer to the marvelous beauty of nature.
During the Semuliki National park drive, you will experience or get to know more about the Rift Valley. It’s also covered by a forest that has a reach diversity of wildlife like monkeys and birds.
On this trail, you will encounter the Batwa, this is the mail cultural encounter in Semuliki national park.
The Batwa are an indigenous cultural group that depend on the Semuliki forest for food, shelter, and medicine. The Batwa have had a hard time adapting to the civilized way of leaving since it took them so long to leave the forests.
Due to the decline of this dependence on the forest because of tourism, the Park offers an alternative source of income to the Batwa, this is through allowing them to display their cultural history to tourists.
They do music and dance performances at Ntandi to amuse their tour visitors. In addition to this, they also produce beautiful handicrafts for sale.
How to get to Semuliki valley national park
Semuliki national park is a 6-hour drive to from the Ugandan capital Kampala. There are two major routes to take on this journey, the Kampala-Fort Portal route via Mubende and Kampala-Fort Portal route via Masaka, Mbarara, and Kasese.
Both private and public means of transport can be used to Fort Portal and any public transport heading between Fort Portal and Kasese can drop you there.
Where to Stay
Semuliki safari lodge in Semuliki valley is one of the best safari lodges you will find in the National park.
There is also Kirumia guesthouse, located 10 kilometers from the Bundibugyo highway and Bamuga campsite located 3km from the Sempaya gate.
A Ugandan safari to Semuliki National park would bet the best getaway from the noisy street. You can get to enjoy a sit in the warm water from the hot springs, get to see a lot of wildlife including monkeys, and if you are a bird lover this park has a variety of bird species.
As you trek the Uganda hot springs and tours, we at Friendly Gorilla safaris encourage you to always stay safe. This is why we compile information to help you better plan your Uganda safari.