Located 375km west of Kampala (6 hour drive). Previously known as the Toro Game Reserve, Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve is the oldest protected area in Uganda. Here is where East Africa meets West. The park is of particular interest to birdwatchers since a high proportion of the 400 bird species recorded here, are thought to occur nowhere else in Uganda (10% are essentially Congolese species). The Park is an eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest and forms part of the forest continuum during the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene, this is one of the richest areas for both flora and fauna in Africa. (Especially for birds)
It is unique, gifted with geographic barriers that have formed a natural haven for wildlife. Where the savannah is criss-crossed by shining river valleys, and the escarpment, the edge of the Western Rift Valley, plunges into Lake Albert. The habitat diversity (riverine forest, woodland and savannah) within the 558km² area of the reserve supports a huge array of fauna including lion, leopard, elephant (both savannah and forest species) buffalo, and chimpanzees as well as a staggering number of birds, with over 400 having been recorded.
Two Hotsprings situated in a tract of hot mineral encrusted swampland, rich in visible bird, insect and mammal life accessed by modern trail network. Come and see a two meters jet of hot water (130oC) and a pool (12 m diameter) of oozing boiling water (106oC). You can boil food especially eggs in the natural boiler within ten minutes and enjoy it.
Species: There are 336 tree species recorded, of which 24 are restricted to the Park (like Isolana Congolana and Ejacis Guineesis); 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, velvet monkeys, baboon); at least 374 species of butterflies.
Activities: 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.