Semliki National Park is the only lowland tropical rain forest in East Africa. Covering an area of 220 sq. km is located in a secluded forest area at the base of the Rwenzori Mountains. Adjacent to the park at Ntandi there is a small Pygmy culture living nearby.
Local communities in the area are Bakonjo and Bamba found in the valley and mountain slopes, Batuku in the Rift Valley floor and Batwa peoples in the forest. The Semliki River is home of many animals with eight species of primate, 435 birds and 374 butterfly and 336 tree species (30% of East Africa). The most popular attraction in Semliki National Park is the cluster of hot springs.
24 trees species are restricted to Semliki National Park like Isolana congolana, Nesogordonia kabingaensis, Ejacis guineesis, Cordia millenii and Lovoa surymertonii. 63 species of mammals live here 9 of which are diurnal forest primates like chimpanzees, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys and olive baboons while nocturnal primates include pottos and galagos. Buffaloes, blue duikers, pigmy antelopes, beeecroft's flying squirrel and many species of bat are also found within the park. 11 animal species are found in Semliki National Park only.
34% of Uganda's total birds are found here. 35 species are found in Semliki National Park only and 12 are very rare in East Africa but easy to be observed here. This long list includes 4 Hornbill species (White Crested, Red Dwarf, Black Dwarf and Wattled Casque), Red Rumped Tinker Bird, Palm Greenbul and lyre tailed honey guide. 7 "new" bird species were recorded only in the 1990s. Of the 374 species of recorded butterflies 46 are forest swallowtails and charaxes. This incredible variety is attributed to the presence of varied habitats, forest swamps, grassland, bush land and an extensive system of hot springs,
warm swamps and savannah woodland.
Guided Nature Walks
Connected trails have been developed to offer good hiking with semliki reserve. There is a walk to Sempaya hot springs trail that opens up to two hot springs where you will see a two meters fountain of hot water at 130° C. pouring in a pool of 12m boiling water at 106° C.
15kms through the forest for bird watching offers spot breasted ibis, Nkulengu rail, black throated coucal, Maxwell's black weaver and many more.