Hot springs Uganda

Semuliki National Park is found in the western part of Uganda and extends to Ituri forest in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)and forms part of the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene; this is one of the richest areas for both flora and fauna in Africa-Especially for birds
It lies on the Ugandan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border within the western arm of the eastern African rift valley. The geographical coordinates are 0 44’ – 0 53’ N – 29 57 – 30 11’E. To the southeast are the Rwenzori Mountains, to the west is DRC and to the north lake Albert

More information about Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park (220 km2) gazetted in October 1993, is now of Uganda’s newest national parks. The park occupies a flat to gently undulating landform ranging from 670 760 meters above sea level. As all streams and rivers from the surrounding areas era flooded drain into the Park plus the poor drainage and topography, many areas are flooded during the rainy season. The average annual rainfall is 1250mm with peaks from March to May and September and December. The temperature varies from 18 c 30 c with relatively small daily variations.

The local people
There are four ethnic groups living around the park.
The Bamba and Bakonjo are found in the valley floor and mountain slopes respectively and both are agriculturalists depending on coffee, cocoa, and crops i.e. matooke, rice, potatoes etc.

The Batuku who occupy the rift valley floor, north of the park are pastoralists who depend entirely on cattle products which they trade in with their neighbors (in both Uganda and Congo)

The Batwa (pigmies) are hunter-gatherer, Ituri ethnic group who historically depended and still depends on Semuliki forest; their lifestyle is now changing to interaction with other local communities plus the impact of tourism. In 1993, a seventh Adventist church development arm (ADRA) convinced the Batwa and resettled them near Ntandi in a bid to integrate them into local cultural and agricultural life, but the project failed

Park Activities and Attractions

Hot springs are the prominent attraction in Semuliki National Park, the reserve has two hot springs i.e. hot spring named Bitende which is in diameter of 12 meters and the female hot spring is Nyasimbi a boring geyser which spurts out hot bubbling water which streams about 2 meters up in the air giving a magnificent view. Water from these hot springs is so hot and tourists and people coming to the hot springs boil food like potatoes and eggs in the hot pool of water from the springs. The water is 100 degrees Celsius hot

Birding Safaris: Semuliki National Park is one of the best birding sites which offers to view different bird species, in this park over 400 bird species are seen in the swamps, forests and on river Semuliki. The park is a bird haven hosting five species of endemic only to the park. Birds spotted in Semuliki National Park include shoebill, dazzling red-throated bee-eater, the Nkulengu rail, yellow-throated Cuckoo, piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator and Leaf-love.

Semuliki National Park is home to primates making it a suitable spot for primate trekking, primates in Semuliki National Park live in the low and tropical forests which are an extension of Ituri forest. Primates as baboons, grey-cheeked mangabey, black-and-white colobus, Central African red colobus, blue, red-tailed, de Brazza’s, vervet, and Dent’s Mona monkeys.

The pygmy Batwa people on the outskirts of the Semuliki National Park came from the Ituri forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Batwa cultural experience takes the tourist through the ancient life of the Batwa and their ways of life, on this trail you get to witness Batwa ways of constructing houses using local materials, gathering local herbs for medicine and local way of making fire.

If you want to know more and appreciate the wildlife and flora of the pearl of Africa then the game drive in Semuliki National Park is one of the safari activities you should never miss. Game drives in the wildlife park are very interesting as they drive through the savannah field in Semuliki Valley while a variety of animals such as lions, leopards, forest elephants, pygmy antelopes and also primates like chimpanzees, grey-cheeked mangabey, black-and-white colobus monkey. Not only mammals and primates but also various bird species such as White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, and Leaf-love can be seen. On a games drive in the reserve using a 4 x 4 WD you will follow 3 main trails that is kirumia trail, red monkey trail, and Sempaya nature trail. Night game drives are also offered in the park where nocturnal animals such as Pottos, the bush baby, bats and owls are seen.

Semuliki National Park is covered with part of Ituri forest, swamps and savannah grassland in the valley which facilitates guided nature walks and hiking. Nature walks and hiking in the forests are headed by a professional tour guide and while on this amazing safari activity you encounter birds, primates such as chimpanzees, baboons in mugiri forest and animals like lions, Uganda knobs in the forests of the park.

How to get to Semuliki National Park|Traveling to Semuliki National Park

By road; there are two major roads from Kampala: Kampala – fort portal via Mubende is about 180km. (4-5 hr drive)
while Kampala via fort portal via Masaka, Mbarara, and Kasese is about 465km (7-8 hr drive