Semliki National Park covers 220 kms, lies along the Congo border following the Semliki River, within the Western arm of the Albertine Rift Valley, in the North of Rwenzori Mountains. The altitude is on the average 700 m above sea level. This largely forested park represents the easternmost limit of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin and contains numerous species associated with central rather than eastern Africa. Thatch huts are shaded by West African oil palms; the Semliki River (which forms the international boundary) is a miniature version of the Congo River, while the local population includes a Batwa (Pygmy) community that originated from the Ituri.
What to expect?
There are over 360 tree species recorded, of which 24 are restricted to the Park (like Isolana Congolana and Ejacis Guinness); 435 bird species (at least 40 of them are found nowhere else in Uganda); 63 mammals, like elephants, leopards, buffaloes (nowhere else are found flying squirrels, pygmy antelope and six types of bats); 9 primates (chimpanzee, blue monkey, vervet monkeys, baboon); at least 374 species of butterflies.
The Sempaya Hot Springs
The Sempaya hot springs are the most outstanding and well known feature in the area. They are located within the verdant swampy area adjacent to the south eastern edge of this forest.
The wonderful boiling water at the Hot springs within the National Park emits a noticeable cloud of steam which can be seen from a distance as far as 2 kilometers. According to Steve from African Jungle Adventures ltd, waters of Sempaya water spring reach to a maximum temperature of 100 degrees centigrade. A number of Tourists have been spotted boiling eggs, green bananas as well as cassava in these 2 geothermal springs.
The hot springs are found in the Semliki river valley below the escarpment on the way to Bundibugyo town. They are located in two areas where one is referred to as the “male” and the other as the “female”. The Bamba carry out cultural ceremonies at both sites.
Natural walk from the headquarter at Sempaya gate down to the river Semliki, enjoying bird watching, butterflies, flowers and trees. Moreover there are two hot springs (one male, one female), situated in a tract of hot mineral encrusted swamp land, where visitors see a jet of hot water and a pool of boiling water for edibles like an egg.
At this park accommodation can be done at the Semliki safari lodge (Luxury) or accommodate in the nearby towns like Fort portal or Bundibugyo town, camping is also an option for clients who want stay in the park.