Things to do

Semuliki National Park Walking Trails

Exploring this unique forest habitat is a very special experience for both birders and visitors with looking for atmospheric locations of international scientific importance.

There are three trails that can be explored in the company of a Uganda Wildlife Authority Guide. The longest is the 13km Kirumia Trail, which takes you through the heart of the forest to the Semuliki River. This transect through different habitats makes this perfect for birders. Expect to be out for 8 hours.

Slightly shorter at 11km, the  Red Monkey trail follows the park’s eastern border to the Semliki River with the aim of sighting the rare deBrazza’s monkey, which is often seen in this area.

The shortest trail is the 8km (at its full length) Sempaya Nature Trail. It introduces visitors to the forest with its primates and takes you to the hot springs. The hike lasts between 2 to 4 hours and can take place in the morning or afternoon.

Semuliki National Park Hot Springs

Even if you don’t want to follow a longer forest trail, the hot springs are worth a visit. Accessed via a short boardwalk (in parts) trail through the forest, there are two springs called the ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ Springs. A visual testament to the geologic forces that formed the Valley, they also have significant local cultural relevance. Your guide will share the stories with you. This is a lovely half day excursion from Semliki Safari Lodge.

Semliki Wildlife Reserve Game Drives

The Semliki Wildlife Reserve can be explored on three game drive tracks. Game drives are either operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority or Semliki Safari Lodge. They operate in the morning and late afternoon. Night game drives are also available. Smaller forest and larger savannah elephants are regularly seen, along with buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, warthog and Uganda kob. Also look for pygmy hippo, leopards and noisy bushbabies.

Semliki Wildlife Reserve Primate Walk

The chimpanzee population in Semliki is of particular scientific interest because it occupies a drier habitat than those found in Kibale, Budongo or Kyambura. This means they range further to locate their food and have been observed walking on their hind legs for short distances. The population is currently subject of a long-term habituation project. You can join the researchers on a primate walk, but do not necessarily expect to see the chimps because they can move far and quickly. Rather it is an opportunity to discover more about a fascinating species whilst exploring a beautiful environment.

Semliki Wildlife Reserve Nature Walk

Explore the Reserve without a definite aim on a 3 hours amble through a variety of habitats ranging from savannah woodland to riverine forest. Expect to encounter  Ground Hornbills, Warthogs, Uganda Kobs, baboons, Black and White Colobus and Vervet Monkeys.

Lake Albert Shoebill boat safari

Take to the mirror-like (on a still day) waters of Lake Albert to look for the sort after, statuesque, Shoe bill stork. Best seen on the borders of the papyrus beds that mark where the Semliki river enters Lake Albert, this wonderful encounter is made all the more special by the boat trip across the lake and the stunning back-drop of the hazy blue mountains of the DRC. The best boat safari is enjoyed in the morning and operated by Semliki Safari Lodge.