The park is dominated by the eastern most extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin which is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; hence one of the few that survived the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago.
The Semiliki Valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa where the forest is home to numerous Central African wildlife species making it the only tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa with 441recorded bird species and 53 mammals.
The thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms while the Semiliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River. The local population includes the Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri forest although there are four distinct ethnic groups that live near the park – Bwamba farmers live along the base of the Ruwenzori while the Bakonjo cultivate the mountain slopes, the Batuku cattle keepers inhabit on the open plains and Batwa pygmies are traditionally hunter gathers that live on the edge of the forest as a result, this park provides a taste of Central Africa without having to leave Uganda.
While Semuliki’s species have been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes like 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. Large areas of this low-lying park may flood during the wet season as a brief reminder of the time when the entire valley lay at the bottom of a lake for seven million years.
Activities & Attractions in Semiliki National Park
Hikes and Nature Walks to the Hot Springs
The most interesting thing about this Park is that trekkers/hikers are well assured to have a meal in case of hunger after a Long trail through the forests that lead to the male Hot springs and female Hot Springs which are dominated by boiling water – able to boil green Plantain and eggs. Several trails like the Kirumia, Red Monkey trail and Sempaya Nature Trail reveal several primates such as the rare deBrazza’s Monkey, grey cheeked monkey, Colobus Monkey and the red tailed monkeys
Morning, Afternoon and Late evening game drives through the tracks across the savannah grassland of Toro – Semiliki Wildlife Reserve where small forest and large savannah mammals can be spotted such as the elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, crocodiles, warthogs, Uganda Kobs as well as the pygmy hippopotamus, bush babies and Leopards for a Lucky Day can be spotted followed by the curious nocturnal species such as the white tailed Mongoose.
Cultural Encounter – Batwa rich Cultural Heritage
Mix with the Batwa Pygmy community to learn more about activities and social life style of hunter-gatherers who have depended on the forest for food, shelter, medicine and tools. The Tourism Fraternity has supported the Batwa community in preserving its Cultural heritage and as well given an alternative measure to generate their income by giving them an opportunity to be involved in the fraternity hence the Batwa have interesting traditional music instruments for their dance and drama which is very entertaining besides the production of the spectacular African Hand crafts, however currently cultural village, is currently being built so that the Batwa can demonstrate how they used to live in the forest – A very interesting Personality.
|LUXURY / HIGH-END||MID-RANGE / MODERATE||BUDGET|
|Kyaninga Loge||Mountains of the Moon Hotel||Ruwenzori View Guest House|
|-||Semiliki Safari Lodge||Rujuna Guest House|
|-||Tooro Resort||UWA Bandas and Campsite|
|-||Ruwenzori Travelers inn||kirimia Guest House|