We continue alone into the Congo basin, we want to Semliki National Park. We have a small mountain ridge ahead with wonderful landscape, of which one has good views over the Congo basin. From here one can see into the Republic of Congo.
A few kilometers later we reach the ranger station. We hire a guide who takes us to the hot springs. Immediately we spot Colobus monkeys.
The Semliki Park consists of genuine lowland rainforest, with tropical humid and very hot climate. Between 1997 and 2001 the park several times had to be closed to the public, because anti-government rebels were staying in the area and from there, attacked villages and settlements.
Therefore, prior to a trip to the Semliki, always check the latest security situation.
Semliki National Park, a hidden gem nestled in western Uganda, is a captivating haven of biodiversity and natural wonders. Covering an expansive area of about 220 square kilometers, this relatively lesser-known national park boasts a diverse range of ecosystems, including tropical rainforests, savannah grasslands, and hot springs. Its rich biodiversity, unique geological features, and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
The park is located in the Semliki Valley, which is part of the Albertine Rift, an area known for its exceptional biological diversity. The Albertine Rift, characterized by its steep escarpments and deep valleys, is home to numerous national parks and reserves, making it a crucial conservation area for Africa’s wildlife.
Semliki National Park is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west and the Rwenzori Mountains National Park to the south. This strategic location provides a vital corridor for wildlife migration between Uganda and the neighboring countries, contributing to regional biodiversity conservation.
The park’s most prominent feature is the Semliki River, which meanders through the valley and serves as a lifeline for the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit the park. The river’s banks are lined with dense gallery forests, creating an ideal habitat for a variety of animal and plant species.
Finally we reached the hot springs and the hot steam can already be seen from far. With approximately 106 degrees Celsius, the water comes out of the ground, two springs are in the nature of geysers. Of course we are told the common story of boiling eggs in the springs which is said the people at the weekend come here for picnic and boil eggs.
To get a better overview, we climb a wobbly tower. Up from here, you can see far into the country and the steam of hot springs. The rest of the day, we relax on the nearby idyllic campsite.