Semuliki national park blessed with thatched huts shaded by the West African oil palms is located in Bundibugyo the southwestern part of Uganda. The fact that this park contains features of both central Africa and east Africa makes it more exceptional. It’s the only host of the low land tropical forest in East Africa therefore those interested in uniqueness ought to consider this park on their next adventure. The park is blessed with an extension of the great Congo Ituri forest, savannah, grasslands, wetlands, rivers; a haven to about 53 unique mammals such as buffaloes, leopards, hippos, elephants, pygmy flying squirrel, water chevrotains and many others.
Visitors obsessed with outdoor holiday experience should consider a visit to the superlative Sempaya hot springs blessed with the magical male spring Bintende and the female Nyasimbe. Tourists are always fascinated by the local stories about the formation of these springs. During the walk to the springs, the trail through the forest is home to various species like the Red-tailed monkeys, Black Colobus, White Colobus, Bush pigs, Forest Buffalos, Mangabey monkeys, Target rat, Mona monkeys, Water Chevrotain and many others. When you get to Nyasimbe hot springs, expect to be awestruck by the boiling fountain gushing out bubbling water of over 100 degrees. Visitors usually boil eggs and even warm their food. There is a treehouse in this park that can give you the aerial view of the springs. You can also try out the guided nature walks to Semliki River along Kirumia the most popular trail a perfect spot for viewing crocodiles and hippos.
If you are a trekking fanatic anticipate for the 4-6 hour guided chimpanzee walk at Toro-Semuliki reserve. In case you would like to spend the whole day with the chimps, the park has an organized habituation process where you join researchers following chimps around from morning to evening in preparation for human interaction. This, however, gives tourists ample time to study the unique behaviors of the species. The Indiana University habituated some families of chimps that are now open for tourism.
The park is considered one of the most worthwhile birding sites simply because it harbors about 441 diverse species of forest birds. The places that provide the best birding experience around this park are found along the trails around Sempaya hot springs, Ntandi, and the Semuliki River. Some of the birds to look out for are; the infamous African piculet the Congo serpent, eagle, long-tailed hawk, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Redbilled Dwarf Hornbill, Forest Thrushes, Garbon woodpecker, Fire-crested Alethe, Leaf-love, Yellow-throated Nicator, Spot-breasted Ibis, etc. Photographers and wildlife fanatics ought to carry their cameras to capture the glorious wildlife abundance at Sempaya hot springs, later enjoy the night hikes into the forest for those interested in capturing the still bird nightlife sensation. The most exhilarating delight is having to spot the endangered shoebill stork during boat rides along the Semuliki river delta and Lake Albert.
The Batwa, Bamba, Batuku, and Bakonjo community now living on the boundaries of the park are the original inhabitants of the forest. Visitors will be taken on a guided walk around the community to learn their ways of life like the making of beautiful crafts, cattle keeping, gathering of food, hunting, brewing local waragi, food preparation, and how they grow their crops. The Bamba grow crops at the foot of mountain Rwenzori; the Bakonjo cultivate the slopes; the Batwa are hunters and forest gatherers; while the Batuku are pastoralists.
As guests are enjoying some of the delicacies, a group of entertainers will happily sing and dance for them. Tourists can later buy some of these crafts as souvenirs or take back home to their loved ones.