Semuliki National park
Semuliki National park is situated in the extreme West of Uganda, in Bundibugyo District. It lies along the Uganda / democratic Republic of Cong (DRC) Boarder within the western arm of the East Africa Rift valley. In the southeast are the Rwenzori mountains to the west is the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) and the north are the Semuliki flats and lake Albert further on.
Semuliki National park is an Eastern extension of the vast Ituri forest in Democratic Republic of Congo. It forms part of the forest continuum resulting out of the climatic upheavals of the Pleistoceno and therefore one of the richest areas for both flora and fauna in Africa more especially for birds. Semuliki National park measures 220Km2 and it was gazatted in October 1993. the park occupies a flat with gently undulating land form ranging from 670 – 760 metres above sea level. Since all streams and rivers from the surrounding areas drain through the park, compiled with the poor drainage and topography, many areas in the park are flooded during the rainy season. The average annual rainfall is 1,250mm with peaks from March to May and September to December. The temperatures vary from 18°C to 30°C with relatively small daily variations. Diversity of species Semuliki national park is the only lowland tropical rain forest in East Africa classified as moist and semi-deciduous. There are 336 species of trees 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. To mention but a few; Isolona congolana, Nesogordonia Kabingaensis and Ejacis guineesis. Some tree species in Semuliki national park such as cordia millenii and Lovoa surymertonii are considered to be endangered. Semuliki National Park is exceptional with diversity of small mammals, birds and butterflies. Fauna recorded include 435 bird species (about 34% of Uganda’s total),some of which cannot be found else where in east Africa, including some of the continents most spectacular and sought after birds such as horn bills and lyre tailed honey guide. There are 63 species of mammals, 9 species of which are diunal forests primates like chimpanzees, blue monkey , vervet monkeys and olive baboons. While nocturnal primates include pottos and galagos. Other species of mammals in the park include forest buffaloes, blue duikers, beercroft’s flying squirrel, pigmy squirrel, little collared fruit bat, water chevrotain and target rat. At least 374 species of butterflies and moths have been identified including 46 species of forest swallow tails and charaxes plus at least 81 species of large moth, 12 of which are classified as astricted. The wide range of species is attributed not only to the forest’s locations, but to the varied habitats forest swamp, grassland, bush land and an extensive system of hot springs, warm swamps and savanna woodland. A trip to Semuliki National park has the most marvelous and breathtaking views. come and experience the thrilling meandering Bundibugyo road through Rwenzori escarpments. While in the mountains, the road offers scenic views of the meandering Semuliki River, fuming hot springs and the tropical rain forest extending to Ituri forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two hot springs are situated in a track of hot mineral encrusted swamp land, where visitors see a two metre jet of hot water (130°C) and a pool (12m diameter) of oozing boiling water (106). One can boil food especially eggs in the natural boiler within ten minutes and eat it.