Semliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. Semliki National park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. The Semliki Valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is home to numerous Central African wildlife species, and the local population includes a Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. As a result, Semliki National Park provides a taste of Central Africa without having to leave Uganda.
Birds List: Species to look out for here include the Nkulengu Rail, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued Wattled Horbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, Leaf-love, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Crested Malimbe, Red-bellied Malimbe, Blue-billed malimbe, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, Orange-cheeked Waxbill.
Wildlife: forest elephants and buffaloes which are smaller versions of their savannah-dwelling relatives, primates including the chimpanzee, baboon,grey-cheeked mangabey, black-and-white colobus, Central African red colobus, blue, red-tailed, de Brazza’s, vervet, and Dent’s mona monkeys. Nocturnal primates include the potto and bushbaby. Hippos and crocodiles are common along the Semliki River.
What to do in the Park • Birding at Sempaya, Ntandi , Kirumia River, and Lake Albert where shoebill stork is regularly seen. The Forest walks are also good for tracking water birds. • Sightseeing; the outer “male” and the inner, “female” hot springs, dominated by a boiling geyser. Eggs and (green plantain) can be cooked in these boiling. • Visit to the Batwa Community • Game drives done in the morning, afternoon and at night. • Hiking and Nature Walks in Semuliki. The 13km Kirumia Trail runs through the heart of the forest to the Semuliki River. This 8 hour round trip starts at 8am and is perfect for birders. The 11km Red Monkey Track follows the park’s eastern border – a stronghold of the rare deBrazza’s monkey – to the Semliki River. Along the 8km Sempaya Nature Trail, you can view the hot springs and primates. This 2-4 hour hike can take place in the morning or afternoon.
Accommodation we use: Semliki Safari Lodge Minimum Days for the trip: 2 Days