Semuliki National park is situated in Bwamba County, an isolated part of Bundibugyo district in far Western Uganda and was gazetted in 1993, making it one of the most recently established National Parks in Uganda. This Park spans at 220 square kilometers/22000 hectares and is one of the biodiversity richest regions in terms of wildlife, bird and tree species. Over 53 mammal species including 8 primate species, 441 bird species (more than 60% of which are forest bird species), over 300 butterfly species and several plant/tree species call this Park home. This park is also known for the breathtaking Sempaya hot springs (male and female hot springs) that capture the attention of all tourists who visit this Park.
How to Reach Semliki National Park
Semuliki National Park is situated in the remote Bundibugyo district and the most common route to access the Park includes Kampala-Mubende-Fortportal to Bundibugyo then finally to the Park Headquarters at Ntandi.
Therefore, Semuliki National Park is one of the best places tourists can visit for nature walks/hiking and the most common hiking trails include the 8 kilometer Sempaya Nature trail, the 11 kilometer Red-monkey track and the 13 kilometer Kirumia Hiking trail that lead tourists to different attractions such as primates, birds anmd butterfly species and the popular Sempaya Hot springs.
The Semuliki dale inhabits many features corresponding to the Central Africa features rather than Eastern Africa features, which make this National park so outstanding. These include huts are shadowed with the West African Palms, the Semuliki River (that acts as the International borderline) is a miniature model of the Great Congo River, the forest is a haven to several Central African Wildlife species, and the local people involve the Batwa Pygmy Community that have their origin from the Ituri Forest. It is because of this exceptional that Semliki National Park offers a savor of the beautiful Central Africa without necessarily going there (or leaving the borders of Uganda). With the interesting wildlife, tree and bird species worth exploring, it is only Nature walks/hiking that allows tourists to relish the beauty of Semuliki National Park.
Nature walks and hiking within Semuliki National Park are conducted on three different riveting hiking trails that lead tourists to different attractions such as Primates, birds and breathtaking features such as the hot springs. These hiking trails include the 8 kilometer Sempaya Nature trail, the 11 kilometer Red-monkey track and the 13 kilometer Kirumia hiking trail.
The magnificent 8 kilometer Sempaya Nature trail is the most interesting trail and leads tourists to see the Sempaya male and female hot springs and several primate species such as the Black and white Colobus monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys and the Grey-cheeked Mangabeys among others. The Sempaya trail is a 2-4 hours’ walk and can be conducted both in the morning and in the afternoon.
Another trail is the 11 kilometer Red-monkey track that stretches from the Eastern margin of the Semuliki National Park-an area popular for the exceptional and endangered deBrazza’s Monkeys and extends to the Mighty Semuliki River. Tourists on this trail get to enjoy the beauty scenery of the River.
The longest trail within Semliki National park is the 13 kilometer Kirumia Hiking trail that transverses the center of the Semuliki Forest, and extends towards River Semuliki. The Kirumia Trail is an 8 hour hike and usually starts by 8am and is the best for the bird watchers because you are likely to encounter several bird species.