Located in western Uganda, Semliki National Park (220 km2) gazetted in October 1993, is one of Uganda’s newest National Parks. The Park occupies a flat to gently undulating landform ranging from 670 -760 meters above level. About 50km from Semliki National Park is an eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest and forms part of the forest continuum during the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene t Portal.
It lies on Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border within the western arm of the East African Rift Valley. The geographical coordinates are 0o 44′- 00 53′ N – 290 57-30o 11’E. To the southeast are the Rwenzori Mountains, to the west is DRC and to the north Lake Albert.
There are two major roads from Kampala to Fort Portal: Kampala-Fort Portal via Mubende is about 180 Km. (about 4-5 hrs. drive) while Kampala -Fort Portal via Masaka, Mbarara, and Kasese is about465 Km (7-8 hrs.). In both routes 2-wheel drive vehicles can be useful. While the Kampala-Fort Portal via Mubende is much shorter, the Kampala-Fort Portal via Masaka, Mbarara and Kasese gives you opportunity to Visit Lake Mburo National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
From Fort Portal, one hour drive on a brand new road towards Bundibugyo will bring you to Sempaya Gate (64 Km). The Park headquarters at Ntandi is 5 Km further from the gate along the same route. A vehicle with high clearance is recommended to enter the park.
Hot water springs: Africa’s Rift Valley has bestowed Uganda with some of its most memorable geographical features – conical volcanoes, deep chasms and bubbling thermal springs. Spewing an enormous steam cloud across Semliki National Park’s emerald landscapes, the Sempaya Hot Springs are certainly one of the country’s most unusual scenic offerings. Named by the locals as the “male” and “female” springs, these boiling pools are reached following a trek through a monkey-filled tropical forest.
In addition to the hot springs, the unique bird life is a special attraction to bird watchers. Primates and some buffaloes, elephants, pygmy, hippos etc.