Semuliki National Park was established in 1993 covering an area of 220km2 in Bwamba county, Bundibugyo district west of Uganda. The park is a bio- diversity hot spot with 441bird species and 53 species of mammals. The National park of Semuliki stretches across the Semuliki valley overlooking the magical mountains of the moon – the Ruwenzori.
Attractions in Semliki National Park.
Sempaya Hot Springs
This is the major attraction for Uganda Safari travelers to Semliki. The Sempaya hot springs are the selling prepositions of Semuliki National Park. The park has two main hot springs which are categorized as male and female in the park’s southern end in a a marshy ground.
The Male hot spring which is also locally referred to as Bitente is 30 minutes’ walk from Sempaya headquarters surrounded by a natural wide swimming pool stretching to 12m in diameter. The female hot springs also locally referred to as Nyasimbi is also close to park headquarters at Sempaya and is re-known for its boiling geyser that spurs up to 2m high and can be seen at a distance of 2km. These hot springs traditionally were used for healing skin diseases and fungal infections which demonstrates the indigenous knowledge that traditional people had regarding the natural resource use.
For Uganda Cultural Safari visitors, they have a chance to explore the different culture here as the Park is encircled by 4 tribal groups namely; Bakonzo and Bamba who dwell on the Mount Rwenzori slopes and practice cultivation, the Batuku who thrive in the adjacent plains and practice cattle keeping while the Batwa are forest people that lived in the forest of Semuliki before they were evicted and resettled on the forest margins. These tribal groups have various traditions that make them different from one another. Thus encountering their traditions is such thrilling encounter to have on your safari in Uganda.
Semuliki National Park is among the Uganda’s birding Safari hot spots. Being a pre historic forest, Semuliki Nation al Park has a range of bird species that count to 441 bird species of which 23 are endemic forming 90% of the Albertine endemics among which include; Short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed Sunbird as well as seven IUCN red data listed species. Other bird species include; the Common Bulbul, Red-headed Bluebill and African Blue and White-tailed Blue Flycatchers.
Semuliki National Park is a great Uganda Wildlife Safari destination as it has 53 species of mammals of which 27 of these are large mammals. Eleven (11) wildlife species have recorded to be restricted to Semuliki area including the pygmy antelope and 2 flying squirrel species. Other Wildlife species to mention include; forest buffalos, forest elephants, crocodiles and hippos found in River Semuliki along with water chevrotain, also known as “fanged deer” and blue duiker. The Park also has a range of Primates including; the central African red Colobus, grey cheeked Mangabey, baboon, Chimpanzees, black-and-white Colobus, Dent Mona monkeys and vervet monkeys. Semuliki National Park also has nocturnal primates like Bush babies and Pottos.