Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Introduction to Semuliki Wildlife Reserve.
One of Uganda’s oldest wildlife reserves is Semliki Wildlife Reserve, originally known as Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve, which was founded in 1926. It is located in western Uganda’s Ntoroko and Kabarole districts, little under an hour from Fort Portal.
The reserve offers stunning views of the rift valley escarpment, the Rwenzori Mountains, and the distant Blue Mountains in the Congo, as well as a variety of habitats including rain forest, dry savannah grasslands, and riparian woodland.
A morning boat safari would be ideal in the Semliki River’s rich green wetlands, which extend to Lake Albert.
What to expect from Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Numerous animals and birds, including elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodiles, warthogs, and Uganda kob, thrive in the reserve. Watch out for pygmy hippos, hyenas, leopards, and boisterous bush babies as well.
Popular activities in the reserve include guided chimpanzee walks, boat tours, and game drives. Compared to the chimpanzees in the Kibale, Budongo, or Kyambura Gorge forests, these ones are less accustomed.
It is still a fantastic opportunity to see and study these clever beings in their natural habitat, though. Boat tours on Lake Albert are offered by Semliki Safari Lodge in an effort to spot the elusive and seriously endangered shoebill stork.
Things To Do In Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Because the chimpanzee population in Semliki inhabits a drier habitat than those in Kibale, Budongo, or Kyambura, it is of great scientific interest. This indicates that they wander further in search of food and have been seen for brief periods of time walking on their hind legs.
You will go on a 3–4 hour hike with a knowledgeable guide through riparian and acacia woodlands, Borassus palm forests, and savannah grasslands.
You can go on a primate walk with the researchers, but don’t necessarily expect to see chimpanzees because they can move swiftly and far away and are less accustomed to humans than chimpanzees in more well-known forests.
Instead, it’s a chance to learn more about an intriguing species while exploring a lovely habitat.
However, Semliki is also home to numerous other primate species, some of which you might see on this trip, such as baboons, vervet, red-tailed, and black and white colobus monkeys.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority or Semliki Safari Lodge run game drives in Semliki.
There are three different routes to choose from that each explore a different area of the reserve, and they run in the morning and late afternoon.
There are also accessible nighttime game drives. Along with buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, warthog, and Uganda kob, smaller forest and larger savannah elephants are frequently spotted.
Albert Delta Boat Safari.
A boat safari across the Lake Albert delta at sunrise or sunset is an absolutely unforgettable experience.
If you’re fortunate, you could also get to see the adorable and incredibly uncommon shoebill stork, which lurks among the weeds and papyrus on the marshy shorelines.
The best boat safari is offered by Semliki Safari Lodge in the morning.
Where to Stay & When To Visit Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
When To Visit Semuliki Safari lodge.
You will feel as though you have traveled back in time with the use of classic safari furnishings and tents in golden tones. Semuliki offers visitors a calm and private experience with just 8 tents.
The highest level of comfort and elegance is offered to guests thanks to hardwood floors, double beds, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers and flushing toilets, private verandas, and protective thatched roofs.
To relax and share stories at the end of the day, the central lodge area is furnished with substantial dining tables, deep-seated armchairs, and a roaring fire.
When to Visit.
In Semliki Wildlife Reserve, the dry season is the ideal time to see wildlife (December to February and June to September).
Animal sightings are significantly easier during these months because of the abundance of sunshine, the rarity of rain, and the likelihood that animals will congregate around dependable water sources.
Some routes become unusable after heavy rain during the rainier months.
Getting To Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Routes To Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
The direct travel to Semliki Wildlife Reserve from Kampala is 300 kilometres and takes six to eight hours.
The reserve is close to Fort Portal—just an hour away. It is a practical complement to any itinerary heading south toward Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or north towards Murchison Falls through Lake Albert.
You can also take a regular or chartered flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala to the airfield next to Semliki Safari Lodge.