SEMLIKI National Park

Semuliki National Park (SNP) is situated in the extreme west of Uganda, in Bundibugyo District and lies along the Uganda DRC border within the western arm of the great East African Rift Valley. This Park is an eastern extension of the vast Ituri forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It forms part of the forest continuum resulting out of the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene and therefore one of the richest areas for both flora and fauna in Africa with a combination of the species from West African countires.

Semuliki National Park with an area of 220 sq kms, was gazetted in October 1993. The park occupies a flat with gently undulating landform ranging from 670 metre to 760 metre a.s.l. Since all streams and rivers from the surrounding areas drain through the park, coupled with the poor drainage and topography, many areas in the park are flooded during the rainy season.

This is the only Park in the lowland tropical rain forest in East Africa classified as moist and semi-deciduous. There are 336 tree species recorded of which 24 are restricted to Semuliki National Park, to the eastern part of the range, or are shared with only one or two neighbouring forests; they include Isolana congolan, Nesogordonia kabingaensis and Ejacis guineesis. Some tree species in Semuliki Natioanl Park such as Cordia millenii and Lovoa surymertonii are considered to be endangered.

There are 63 species of mammals, 9 species of which are diurnal forest primates (e.g. Chimpanzees, blue monkey, vervet monkeys and olive baboon), while nocturnal primates include poottos and galagos. The following species of mammals are also found in Semuliki National Park: forest buffaloes, blue duiker, beecroft’s flying squirrel, pigmy squirrel, little collared fruit bat, water chevrotaain and target rat.
At least 374 species of butterflies and moths have been identified including 46 species of forest swallowtails and charaxes plus at least 81 species of large moth, 12 of which are classified as restricted. The wide range of species is attributed not only to the forest’s location, but to the varied habitats, forest swamp, grassland, bush land and an extensive system of hotsprings, warm swamp and savannah woodland.

The park is surrounded by the Bamba, Bakonjo, Batuku located in the rift valley floor, The Batwa (pigmies) who are fruit gatherers and hunters at the same time who used to live in the and still depend on the forest  

Semuliki National Park is breathtaking especially for bird, primate, butterfly and plant lovers. The jungle walk takes one up to the meandering River Semliki, the only one of its kind in East Africa. You may also see forest buffaloes and elephants, sitatungas, leopards, crocodiles, various primates and a wide range of forest and water birds.