Semiliki national park is Uganda’s newest national park that only has tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa. The park covers an area of 220 square km with an altitude of 670-760m above sea level. The park is also dominated by the Eastern most extension of Africa’s most ancient and great Ituri forest of the Congo basin. Semiliki River and the Congo River form an international boundary.
From 1932 to 1993 the area covered by Semiliki national park was managed as a forest reserve initially by the local government. It was then gazeted as a national park in 1993 to protect the forest of the western rift valley where Lake Albert, Rwenzori mountains and kijura escapements create backdrops. Initially its believed that the entire valley lay at the bottom of a lake, and today the park contains evidence of older processes, hot springs bubble up from the depth to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years. Its
Semiliki national park is best destination for bird watching. The forest is a home to a number of central African species, hosting about 441 recorded different bird species and 53 mammals of which 27 are large mammals; duiker-sized, species of interest include blue monkeys, retailed monkey, de brazza’s monkeys, grey-checked mangbay and bush babies.
The hot strings in a hot mineral encrusted swamp, Mumbuga springs resemble geyser by forming a 0.5m high foundation. Community tours can also be done since the park is surrounded by 4 distinct ethnic groups; Bwamba farmers living along the base of the Rwenzori, the Bakonjo who cultivate on the mountain slopes, Batuku cattle keepers who inhabit on the open plains and the Batwa pygmies who are traditional hunters living on the edge of the forest.
Location and accessibility
Semiliki national park lies along the main fort portal to Bundibugyo road 52km from fort portal, located in Bwamba County, a remote part of Bundibugyo district in western Uganda. The park lies in Uganda’s border with DRC on a flat gentle undulating landform.