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Semuliki National Park

It may be regarded as Uganda’s newest and smallest national park, but the Semuliki National Park packs

awe-inspiring beauty and plenty of attractions that include its most famous, the Sempaya Hot Springs.

Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.

The 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 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.

After watching the boiling hot springs blast off into a steamy spray, you can hike through

the forest to catch glimpses of its many bird species and exotic animals such as flying squirrels, red-tailed monkeys, pygmy antelope, and the endangered shoebill stork.

It may be regarded as Uganda’s newest and smallest national park, but the Semuliki National Park packs awe-inspiring beauty and plenty of attractions that include its most famous, the Sempaya Hot Springs.

Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.

The 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 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.

After watching the boiling hot springs blast off into a steamy spray, you can hike through the forest to catch glimpses of its many bird species and exotic animals such as flying squirrels, red-tailed monkeys, pygmy antelope, and the endangered shoebill stork.

ATRACTIONS AT SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK

SEMPAYA HOT SPRINGS

The most famous attraction in this park is Sempaya Hot Springs , The “male” spring, is known as Bintente whereas the “female” spring is called Nyasimbi, meaning “the female ancestors”, is a boiling geyser which spurts bubbling water and steam up to two meters high the steam cloud can be seen from as far as 2km away. Local people used to cook their food in these boiling pools. Sempaya—Ntandi Road is 6 km section of public road and runs along one of the loveliest tracts of forest in Uganda and provides good views of birds and monkeys high up in the forest canopy. Birding walks take place in Sempaya as well as night hikes deep into the forest.

 

BIRDS

Approximately 435 bird species are found in Semuliki National park. One will sight Dwarf Honey guide and Purple-breasted Sunbird. Also, species with very limited ranges such as White-tailed Hornbill, Capuchin Babbler, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher and the orange weaver occur in the park.

 

SEMULIKI RIVER

Visitors can watch the river meander across the rift valley floor from roadside viewpoints and hike through the forest to its bird-rich banks.Semuliki river carries runoff from the Rwenzori Mountains to Lake Albert and the Nile, proving ancient geographers’ claims that the Nile flows from a snow-capped mountain in the heart of Africa. Broad, muddy, forest fringed and home to hippos and crocodiles, the Semuliki is a miniature version of the Congo River.