Semliki Forest National Park

This is one of Ugandas latest National Parks that was gazetted in October 1993. It is found in the extreme west of Uganda, lying on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Western Rift Valley. Semliki National Park occupies a flat to gently undulating landscape between 670 -760m above sea level. Semliki national park is a home to a large number of predominantly Central African species that are not found anywhere in East Africa. These include the continents most interesting and sought birds such as the Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honey guide, Black-wattle Hornbill, etc.

The park is found in specific in Bundibugyo district. With an area of 220 sq km and covering the eastern section of the vast Ituri Forest, the park forms part of the forest continuum where the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene are experienced. Semliki national park is therefore one of the richest areas for both flora and fauna in Africa especially bird species.

What to do:
Semliki national park has interesting scenery that is made up of hot springs, and tropical forests among other ideal attractions. At Mungu Ni Mukubwa in the mountains, the road offers beautiful scenic views of the flowing Semliki River, hot springs and the tropical rain forests up to Ituri forest in DRC. These two hot springs (male and female) located in a tract of hot mineral encrusted swampland are blessed with many bird species, insects, various primates and a wide range of large mammals for example buffalos and elephant.

The two meters jet of hot water with about 130C and a pool of 12m diameter of oozing boiling water at 106C can boil food especially eggs in the natural boiler within a short period of time. Sport fishing can also be done along River Semliki so visitors can come with their fishing facilities. There are also guided forest walks that start from Sempaya Gate and take about 2 hours via the male and female Hot Springs, through the rainforest with Palm Trees and on partly muddy ground. This forest is a botanists paradise as there are 305 species of trees recorded and 125 species are restricted to this park alone.

Where to stay:
This national park has got limited accommodation facilities. For the up market, there is Semliki Safari Lodge in the park. For the budget traveler, there is basic accommodation in Vanilla Hotel and Rainbow Hotel.

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