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Semuliki National Park lies on the floor of the Albertine rift valley 670-760m above sea level gazette in 1993 covering an area of 220 square kilometers, it was previously known as bwamba forest and is the only true low land tropical forest in East Africa representing the eastern limit of the Congo’s Ituri forest having the Congo guinea species the Semuliki valley lies between lake Edward and Albert on the rural western side of Rwenzori mountains shared between Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo the Ugandan side protects the Semuliki National Park and the Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve. The tropical lowland of the forest at 700m altitude, due to the remoteness of the park, is rarely visited.

Semuliki National Park

The park is located in several climatic and ecological zones with a high diversity of flora and fauna, it has exceptional flora the dominant tree being is the ironwood, and also contains a lot of species as the Congo guinea forest, a list of 60 mammal species is recorded in the national park most of which are endemic to the region among which are flying squirrels.it is a true haven of birds best for birding safaris, out of the 441 recorded bird species, 216 are true forest birds for example dwarf honeyguide, purple breasted sunbirds, Congo-guinea biome species found nowhere else in East Africa, it has rich biodiversity partly because its forest cover is very old being one of the few patches of refugia that predate and persisted through the days of the ice age about 1800 years ago. Primates all of which have been found within 6km of Sempaya, five species of large mammals, and 7 species of small mammals, For example, the dents Mona monkey, water chevrotain, central African red colobus. Other large mammals include buffalos, elephants, bush pigs, white-bellied duikers, and hippos along the Semuliki River to mention a few.

Semuliki National Park has beautiful catchments and attractions, begin with, the Sempaya hot springs are believed to be both female and male ones, their water is so hot in that it can even boil an egg, they are believed to have medicinal purposes, and local women commonly visit the female hot spring for fertility blessings these are enclosed by the forest and with a striking Rwenzori backup. The Park contains evidence of the older processes which include hot springs that bubble up from depth raising to 2m above the ground.

Activities like nature walk, night hikes within the forest in search of nocturnal primates, birding safaris, game drives are popular in the park, the drives go through two game tracks to explore the grassland of the Toro Semuliki animals like the waterbuck, warthogs, kobs, primate walks, boat cruise on Lake Albert which offer a great opportunity to see the rare shoebill and hippos with an extension to the Tororo Semuliki game reserve, this lies 20km east of Semuliki National Park keeping some of the park’s species especially birds the park overshadows the game reserve

The park can be visited anytime throughout the year but best during the dry seasons December –January and late June –September it relatively receives rainfall in the year with a small temperature variation. Semuliki National Park is located in western Uganda approximately 4-5hours drive from Kampala passing via fort portal-Mubende road or one can pass via Mbarara-Kasese 7-8 hours drive this route offers an opportunity to adjoin the journey together with Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Rwenzori National Park. Charter flights can be organized from Kampala (Kajansi) or Entebbe to land on the wildlife reserve.

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