Semuliki National Park is situated in Bwamba County, an isolated part of the Bundibugyo District, in the Western Region of Uganda and bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo, it was designated in October 1993 being Uganda’s newest national parks. 219 km2 (85 sq mi) of East Africa’s only lowland tropical rainforest is found in the park. It is one of the richest areas of floral and faunal diversity in Africa, with bird and butterfly species being especially diverse.

Semuliki National park receives an estimated rainfall of 1,250 mm (49 in), with from March to May and from September to December. Most of the parts in the park experience flooding during the wet season. Also, there is variation in weather temperature at the park from 18 to 30 °C (64 to 86 °F), daily.

 In 1932, this park was a forest reserve, initially managed by the colonial government and then by the Ugandan government’s Forest Department. Later on, in 1993, the park attained its status as a national park by the government to protect the forests as a vital fraction of the protected areas of the Western Rift Valley.

It is part of a system of protected areas in the Albertine Rift Valley of which others are; the Rwenzori Mountains – In Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – In Uganda, Kibale National Park – In Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park – in Uganda and Virunga National Park – In the DR Congo

Flora and fauna

Semuliki National Park is a diverse ecosystem within the superior Albertine Rift ecosystem. It is situated at the connection of numerous climatic and natural zones, and as a result has a high range of plant, animal species and lots of microhabitats. The largest majority of the plant and animal variety in the park are also found in the Congo basin forests, with many of these species reaching the eastern boundary of their array in Semuliki National Park.

Sempaya Hot-Springs:

One of the things you do not want miss at Semliki National Park is the two Hot Springs – the male hot-spring Bitende about 12 meters in diameter,  and the female hot spring called Nyasimbi which is a boiling geyser that spurts out bubbling water and steam about 2 meters into the air. The people living near the hot-springs used to boil food in the hot-spring pools; even now you can bring some eggs along and have them boiled here. Do not get near the water of the two springs – they have a temperature of around 100 Degrees Celsius, The surrounding pools are also quite hot.

Bambuti Pygmies:

The Bambuti Pygmies who reside along the Semliki River and closely related to the Basu Pygmies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo rather than to Batwa Pygmies around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park. The group is much smaller in number than the Batwa Pygmies who have been both evicted from their home the forest though the Bambuti has limited hunting and gathering rights.  They also can legally grow marijuana and smoke it in there so visitors are free to go and spend time with them, learn and be entertained.

 Hiking and Nature Walks:

Several Hiking and Nature Trails are guided, depending on your choice, all giving you value to money. The length of hikes and nature walks can be from a few hours to an all-day hike depending on your fitness; all you need is to equip yourself with perfect hiking boots, long-sleeved shirt, and light rain jacket, day-pack with lunch and bottled water for the activity a hat and many more, in accordance to the trail you choose, you stand a chance of getting closer to various wildlife such as; numerous species of birds, primates, at times even forest elephants, along the Semliki River there hippos and crocodiles.

  Birding in the Semliki Valley:

Birders will have a great time in the Semliki Valley while feeding their eyes and filling their books with roughly 440 recorded species of birds found here in the Semliki Valley, with 40% of Uganda’s total species and 66% of the forest birds found in Uganda. Keep watch out for birds such as Nkulengu Rail, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, Leaf-love, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Crested Malimbe, Red-bellied Malimbe, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, and Orange-cheeked Waxbill.

Game Drives:

It is also calculated that Semuliki National park has roughly 53 animal species in the habitat Valley, 27 of which are larger animals and 11 of them are only found including the pygmy antelopes, two different kinds of flying squirrels, hopefully, fanged deer. The park is home to forest elephants and buffaloes which happen to be the smaller versions of their savanna-dwelling relatives, lions and leopards are other addition animals that can be found in this park.

When it comes to Lions, at one time the largest lions in African were reported to be in the Semliki Valley and the males had a thick black mane

If Not Semuliki National park, where else?