Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve 002

The Semliki Valley, deep in the heart of Uganda’s Western rift valley, is a prime conservation area. Its lies at the base of the Albertine Rift to the west of Fort Portal, the magnificent Rwenzori foothills lies to the south, Lake Albert to the north.

Boosting both a National Park and a Game Reserve, much of the valley is untouched. This is Uganda’s oldest wildlife reserve and stretches over 540km². The park was gazetted in 1993 and is approximately 220km². The park protects a practically unspoilt tropical lowland forest. The forest forms the easternmost tip of the Central Africa rainforest.

One of the most attractive features of the game reserve is that it displays a classic geographic crossroad, where the tropical rainforest meets grassy savannah, where wetlands give over to the majestic Lake Albert and the flat plains are punctuated by deep river valleys. This unique geography is reflected in the diversity of wildlife, here habits both the Central Africa forest species, e.g. forest elephant, and the savannah species of East Africa, e.g. lion, leopard, antelope. There are 11 recorded species found in Semliki that have been recorded nowhere else in Uganda, including the pygmy antelope, 2 types of flying squirrel and 6 types of bat.

The birdlife is amazing with both endemics and migrants seen in the park, even the rare shoebill lives within the wetlands of Semliki National Park. Within the lush forest canopies chimps and other primate species can be found and tourists can trek and observe these primates as one of the many activities the park has to offer.

The most popular attraction to Semliki National Park is the collection of hot springs at Sempaya, which can be reached from a short walking trail.

semliki

The hot springs are situated in the midst of rainforest and palm trees. The largest spring is a geyser shooting up from an 8m-wide opening in a low salt sculpture. The emerging water has a temperature of above 100°C. A visit to the pygmy village at Ntandi or a boat ride on Lake Albert are also popular with travellers.