THE TRUE BIRDERS’ HAVEN
Semuliki National Park sprawls across the floor of the Semliki Valley on the remote, western side of the Rwenzori. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few to survive the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago.
The Semliki Valley contains numerous features associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatched huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, the forest is home to numerous Central African wildlife species, and the local population includes a Batwa pygmy community that originated from the Ituri. As a result, this park provides a taste of Central Africa without having to leave Uganda.
The park borders the Semuliki and Lamia Rivers, which are watering places for many animals. The park has two hot springs in a hot mineral encrusted swamp. One of the springs – Mumbuga spring – resembles a geyser by forming a 0.5 m high fountain. These hot springs attract a large number of shorebirds and they are a source of salt for many animals.
The park is located on a flat to gently undulating landform that ranges from 670 to 760 m (2,200 to 2,490 ft) above sea level.
The park experiences an average rainfall of 1,250 mm (49 in), with peaks in rainfall from March to May and from September to December. Many areas of the park experience flooding during the wet season. The temperature at the park varies from 18 to 30 °C (64 to 86 °F), with relatively small daily variations.
Large areas of this low-lying park may flood during the wet season, a brief reminder of the time when the entire valley lay at the bottom of a lake for seven million years.
The Park visitors can engage in bird watching, game drives across the savannah grassland, hiking through the 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) Kirumia Trail, and visit the hot springs where the water is hot enough to cook eggs and plantain. As of 2016, Semuliki National Park is ranked 68th of 120 things to do in Uganda.
Below are the activities we do in Semliki valley national park
In this national park, the tracks cross the savannah grass land of Toro Semliki wildlife reserve, smaller forest and large savannah elephants are regularly seen along with buffalos, water bucks, crocodiles, warthogs, and Uganda kobs. With luck, you may even see pygmy hippopotami, leopards, and elusive bush babies. (Discover Uganda with us leading you, “Vienna tours and travel”).
Birders who make it with us to Semuliki valley national park will be rewarded with some of Africa’s best forest birding. Sempaya and ntandi provides excellent viewing of the birds including the white-crested horn bill, red-billed dwarf horn bill, piping horn bill, yellow-throated nicator, great blue and rose’s turaco. The shoebill stork is regularly seen at close quarters on Lake Albert and forest walks are good for tracking water birds. (Plan your trip to Uganda and enjoy birding with us “Vienna tours and travel”).
.During the visit to Semuliki valley, we make sure that our clients reach to these amazing springs that have high temperatures of up to 100 degrees Celsius. The force, strength and hotness of these springs show the strength of the geographical forces underground. The trek to see these hot springs can lead you to see other forest wonders like the mangabey monkeys, The red tailed monkeys, the black and while colobus monkeys and lots of other things like the vegetation diversity. There is a tree house in this park that can give you an aerial view of this place.
The female Sempaya hot spring as many refer to it is 30 minutes from the male and is so hot to the extent that hungry hikers can boil bananas and eggs on an instance in these blistering springs.
Geographically hot springs are founded by geothermal heat that boils the underground water in the earth’s crust or it can be explained that these geothermal processes force the water to move through the hot rock then onto the earth’s surface.
The nature treks are one of the active ways for our clients to explore the landscapes and wildlife of Semuliki valley National Park. The 13km KirumiaTrail runs through the heart of the forest to the Semuliki River. This 8 hour round trip starts at 8am and is perfect for birders. The 11km Red Monkey Track follows the park’s eastern border – a stronghold of the rare deBrazza’s monkey – to the Semliki River. Along the 8km Sempaya Nature Trail, you can view the hot springs and primates. This 2-4 hour hike can take place in the morning or afternoon.