Semuliki National Park | Private Safaris East Africa

Explore Semuliki National Park

The park’s stance came into being in 1993 following a declaration by the Ugandan government’s Forest Department which saw it transform from its initial forest reserve into a national park, making it the newest national park in Uganda. It is located in Bwamba County, which is a remote part of the Bundibugyo District in the western Uganda. The park is also one the least areas in Africa that are well-endowed with diverse flora and fauna, numerous bird species and beautiful wildlife. The area is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

 

Semuliki National Park is situated at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). To the south-east, lies the Rwenzori mountains, while Lake Albert lies to the park’s north. The park is further located on a flat to gently undulating landform that ranges from 670 to 760 M above sea level and lies within the Albertine Rift in the western arm of the East African Rift.

 

Semuliki National Park experiences an average rainfall of 1,250 mm, with peaks in rainfall from March to May, and from September to December. Many areas of the park experience flooding during the wet seasons. The temperatures at the park vary from 18 to 30 °C with relatively minimal daily variations. The park draws its water from two bordering rivers – Semuluki and Lamia Rivers. It has also two hot springs in a hot mineral encrusted swamp, which includes Mumbuga, which resembles a geyser in its 0.5m high fountain shape. The spring attracts numerous shorebirds and acts as a source salt for many animals

 

Semuliki National Park boasts more than 400 bird species which include the lyre-tailed honey guide, the rare Forest Ground Thrush, and Sassi’s Olive Greenbul. Nine species of hornbills have also been recorded in the park. The park, on the other hand, has over 60 mammal species that comprise of forest buffalos, leopards, hippos, mona monkeys, water chevrotains, bush babies, civets, elephants, and the pygmy flying squirrel.

Sempaya Hot Springs

Semuliki National Park comprises of two hot springs; Bitende a male one, measuring 12 meters in diameter and Nyasimbi, a female boiling geyser. She perpetually spouts hot bubbling water, with its steam reaching about 2 meters in the air. The community living by boil their foodstuffs, that include eggs and plantains in the hot-spring pools as its water temperature levels can reach up to 1060C.

Bambuti Pygmies

The pygmies reside on both sides of the Semiliki River and are close relatives of Basu pygmies that live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo rather than Batwa pygmies who live around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Both the Bambuti and Batwa pygmies are believed to have been evicted from their ancestral forests, where they practised hunting and gathering as a way of life

Wildlife Experience

Wildlife sightings include elephants, lions, buffaloes, Uganda kob, waterbucks, warthogs and crocodiles, the elusive leopard, the pygmy hippo, the elusive bushbabies, bush pig, water chevrotain, buffalo, sitatunga, white-bellied duiker or dwarf antelope, Beecroft’s anomalure among others.

Birding

With over 400 bird species, Semuliki National Park is best poised to provide bird lovers with a great opportunity to sample various bird species that range from Black Weaver, Crested Malimbe, Red-bellied Malimbe, Blue-billed Malimbe, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Nkulengu Rail, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill to Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill and much more.