Located in the western part of the country in Bundibugyo District on Uganda’s border with Democratic Republic of Congo, Semuliki lies in the Albertine Rift Valley with a flat to gently undulating landform that ranges from 670 to 760 m (2,200 to 2,490 ft) above sea level. The park covers an area of 220km2.
The Semuliki Forest Reserve was created in 1932 when forest villages were evacuated as a measure to control sleeping sickness and yellow fever. The reserve was upgraded to national park status in 1993.The park is largely forested and represents the easternmost limit of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin and contains numerous species associated with central rather than eastern Africa.
Semuliki contains 336 tree species. It also supports an exceptional variety of mammals, birds and butterflies. For example there are 441 recorded species that represent 40% of Uganda’s total of 1007. 216 of these are forest species – 66% of the country’s forest bird-list – while the list is expanded by the riverine habitat and a fringe of grassland in the east of the park. There are numerous rarities. 46 Guinea-Congo biome species are found nowhere else in East Africa while another 35 can be seen in only 2-3 other places in Uganda. Five species are endemic to the Albertine Rift ecosystem. The forest is home to 53 mammals, of which 27 are large mammals; duiker-sized and above, several are Central African species found nowhere else in East Africa. Forest elephant and forest buffalo are smaller versions of their savanna relatives. Hippos and crocodiles are found in the Semliki river. The park has also habits different primate species including the Chimpanzee, black and white colobus, central African red colobus, blue monkey, red-tailed monkey, de Brazza’s monkey, vervet monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, baboon, and Dent’s mona monkey are present. Nocturnal primates include potto and bushbaby and almost 300 butterfly species.
Sempaya Hot Springs:
The Hot Springs at Sempaya are Semuliki’s most famous attraction. Two main springs are set in a lush swampy clearing close to the south-eastern corner of the forest. The outer spring is just a few minutes’ walk from the Sempaya park office. This is dominated by a boiling geyser (103°C) which spurts up to 2m-high from a white, iced cake-like base of precipitated mineral. Water also bubbles in small pools in which eggs can be cooked. The more distant inner spring is reached by a 30 minute trail that leads through beautiful palm forest before crossing the swamp on a boardwalk. This spring is a broad, steaming pool about 10m across.
The direct route to access the park is a 300km 4-hour drive via Mubende. The alternative through Mbarara to the south is considerably longer but offers stopovers at Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks.
Queen Elizabeth N P
The park covers an area of almost 2,000 sq Kms and lies between the Rwenzori Mountains to the east and Lake Edward to the west., approx 470kms from Kampala. This parks wildlife once suffered from heavy poaching, but recent conservation efforts have restored much of the game and it now claims to be one of the best places on the continent to see high concentrations of hippo.
Other animals found are elephant, buffalo, Uganda kob, variety of antelope, baboons and chimpanzees and the famous tree-climbing lion. There are also over 500 different specifies of bird making it an excellent destination for birders.
A boat trip along the Kazinga channel between Lake George and Edward is a rewarding method of game viewing. The best time of the year to visit the park is just after the rains, between October and November and March and April when high concentrations of animals roam the whole area.
Mweya Safari Lodge, Kyambura game lodge, elephant plains, and others. Lodges are located in and outside the park. You can use Simba safari camp outside the park. For community activities, the Elephant Home is your gate way accommodation around Queen Elizabeth National Park. Please ask about the available community activities at the elephant home, or to book your packed lunch, accommodation or game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park if you connect by public transport.
The oldest and largest park in Uganda covering on area of over 3,840 sq kms, Murchinson Falls park is also one of the most famous for its scenic beauty, magnificent falls and high concentration of game. It is situated approximately 350 kms north west of Kampala. The mighty Nile river divides the park into the north and south sections with the spectacular Murchinson Falls dropping some 40 meters through a narrow crevice.
The river attracts large numbers of game, and a boat ride up the river provides the perfect opportunity to see and photograph the animals. Wildlife viewed in this park includes elephant, giraffe, hippo, lion, leopard, buffalo, Nile crocodile, monkeys, and over 450 species of birds. Including the magnificent shoebill stork. There are plenty of activities in the park including river trips. Game drives, forest walks, fishing and bird watching. The park has two light aircraft airstrips operating air charter services from Kampala.
Accommodation: There are several lodges within the park and camping is available at the top of the falls but visitors must bring their own camping equipment. We have an accommodation facility at the Kichumbanyumbo gate owned and run by the local women. It is called Boomu Women’s campsite and can be viewed through our community holidays page. Other accommodations include; global village and others coming up.
Mount Elgon National Park lying 256 kms north east of Kampala, bordering with Kenya in Eastern Uganda, This volcanic Mountain covers an area of 1155 sq. kms. It offers a diverse variety of scenery, vegetation and cultures. Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano with a gradual slopes to the crater rim, lying at 4,321 metres above sea level.
Mountaineering skills are not required for any trekking trip to Mount Elgon. The whole region is excellent for hikers and climbers, with caves, rock painting, gorges, waterfalls providing excellent scenery.
Sipi Falls, at the foothills of the mountain is a favorite destination. The parks has a variety of small game including, duiker, hyena, leopard, chimpanzee, buffalo and elephant and numerous species of birdlife.
There are five designated campsites at Sasa River, Mude Cave, Hunters Cave, Piswa Patrol Hut and Kapkwata with basic amenities. Visitors needs to carry their own tents and food.
The community accommodation facilities around this park are the Crows nest, Blue Star Home stay, Moses Campsite. Please see our short trips to get more information.
Kapkwata Guest House has three main rooms with a sleeping capacity for seven people. There are several hotels in Mbale town ranging in price and quality.
Rwenzori Mountains National park
Lying along the western border of Uganda and covering an area of over 995 sq kms, named “Mountains of the Moon” for its mist-shrouded, snow-capped peaks. The mountain range has six peaks, carrying permanent snow and glaciers and offering spectacular scenery. In the centre of the range is Africa’s third highest mountain, Mt. Margarita reaching a height of 5,109 mtrs.
This is an excellent destination for keen hikers and climbers, although trekking to the higher peaks are demanding and require some mountaineering skills than for the first and second highest mountains of Africa (Kilimanjaro and Kenya). The best time of the year for hiking is during the dry seasons from mid December to end of March and from June to mid August. Wildlife encountered in this park includes, elephant, Genet, Vervet Monkey, Rwenzori Colobus, Rwenzori turaco, Chimpanzee and Duiker.
one day or multiple day treks can be organized from Ruboni village. the treks to select from include;
Community tours: While trekking is the key priority, Community tours are a good option for those that don’t have time, budget and strength to scale the high mountains. Ruboni tourism village has a collection of community activities and experiences that showcase the nature and culture of Rwenzori mountains. community treks are also a good option for acclimatizing before ascending to the high peaks.
Accommodation: There is a range of lodges, guesthouses and camping sites in the area, and hotels are available in Kasese and Fort Portal. Huts and rock shelters and campgrounds are available on the mountains for climbers. In the community at the base camp you will find quality community accommodation facilities which include Ruboni community camp at the gate, 28km from Kasese and 82 Km from Fort portal, Rwenzori Turacco view campsite, all on the foothills of the National Park.
Mgahinga Gorilla N P Uganda’s smallest park, covering an area of just 34 sq kms, located on the south western tip of the country on the border with Congo (Zaire) and Rwanda, 510km from Kampala. Mgahinga is the second home to one of the last remaining habitats of the mountain gorilla found on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains.
Access to visit the gorillas is strictly controlled, with only small groups being allowed at any one time and always accompanied by a ranger. Booking to see the gorillas must be made well in advance. Other wildlife found in the park include bushbuck, elephant, leopard, aardvark, honey badger. jackal and a wealth of birdlife. Three extinct volcanos rise within the park, Mt. Muhuvura, Mt. Gahinga and Mt Sabinyo. The peak of Muhavura has a small crater lake and is the highest point in the park rising to 4,127 metres. A selection of Volcano Tours is available from the park offices. Accommodation: There are motels in nearby Kisoro and Kabale. We have several community accommodations including Mgahinga community camp at the gate, Lake Mutanda campsite, and Golden monkey guest house in kisoro. Other up-class hotels and available in kisoro and near to the park
Lake Mburo National Park covers an area of 260 sq km and is located 220kms south west of Kampala. It is one of the more popular parks, due to its relatively close location to Kampala, being particularly busy with city weekend visitors. The landscape consists mainly of savannah and the area contains four lakes.
The open valleys on the western side of the game offer the best game viewing opportunities, with large herds of elephants and buffalo roaming the land. Other wildlife encountered include; leopard, hyena hippo and a large variety of antelope including the rare Impala. It is the perfect destination for ornithologists, a huge variety of birds are found within the park particularly round the lakes, including Bronze-tailed starling, Marabou stork, Crowned Crane and bee-eaters. Boats are available for hire on the Lake Mburo Swamp from the Park Office in Rwonyo Accommodation: Chalet are available at the park headquarters, where meals are available. The Rwonyo tented camp is quite affordable within the park. Hotels in Mbarara offering different levels of facilities ranging from basic to executive.
Kipedo Valley NP Located is in the extreme north of the country bordering with Sudan and Kenya, Kipedo Valley National Park covers an area of 1,344 sq. km. Due to it’s remote location this park is less visited, but it has the most spectacular scenery of mountains and vast savannah landscapes.
The park is within the home of the Karimojong pastoralists. Animal species found in the region include; giraffe, ostrich, elephant, cheetah, leopard, kudu, zebra, buffalo, amongst others. It is 840km from Kampala and although the journey can be tough, taking up to two days, the diverse landscape past makes the journey worthwhile. There is also a light aircraft airstrip at Akopa At times of unrest in Sudan, the north section of the park is closed.
Accommodation: Apoka Rest Camp offering accommodation in chalets. Food and drink stocks are basic and often very limited so it’s advisable to bring your own. There are also several campsites located near Apoka. Tourism in Uganda is on the rise, more facilities are likely to come up here. Call to find the available places t the time of your visit
Kibale National Park – Located in western Uganda, covering an area of over 760 sq kms, Kibale Forest National Park lies 35 kms south of Fort Portal and adjoins with Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kibale is the perfect place to experience the true diversity of wildlife and flora found in a tropical rainforest.
The park contains the largest population of forest elephants found in Uganda but they are rarely sighted. Rich in wildlife and particularly noted for is primate population, of 11 different species, including the red-tailed money, blue monkey, olive baboon, chimpanzee, black, white and red colobus and white cheeked mangabey. Other mammals found are bushbuck, red and blue duiker, Uganda kob, Scaly-tailed flying squirrel, tree pangloin, buffalo, waterbuck and hippo as well as a large number of birds. A 4 wheel drive vehicles is highly recommended particularly during the rainy season. Accommodation: There are a number of hotels in Fort Portal, 35kms north of the park. Bigodi and kingo villages have basic lodges. Inside the park camping facilities are available, there are two private campsites with a tent sleeping two. There are also four additional campsites for those with their own tends and bedding. Our community accommodations at this area include Tinka’s homesteads, Safari hotel Kingo, Creater valley kibale.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is lying in the south west of the country, 414 kms from Kampala, on the border with The Congo, the park covers an area of over 330 sq kms. As the name dictates – this park real African jungle area, with dense undergrowth, vines and a wide variety of flowers and aphrodisiac plants.
Most visitors come to the park to catch a glimpse of the Mountain Gorillas, but the park is home to over 120 species of mammals, including chimpanzees, black & white colobus, blue monkey, bush pig, duiker, leopard, jackal and elephants in the south east of the park. There are also over 350 species of bird, 202 species of butterflies and over 200 species of trees found within the park A 4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended to get around the park. Gorilla tracking is limited to small groups and it’s advisable to book well in advance of your intended visit. Bookings can be made through most tour operators or directly with the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Community Accommodation: Camping facilities and a deluxe tended camp is available at Buhoma. If you have camping equipment, camping is permitted in designated areas in the park. There is also accommodation available in Kabale and other upcoming groups around the park. Our community accommodation around Bwindi national park include, Buhoma community rest camp, Nguringo cultural centre, clouds Mountain lodge, Ruhija gorilla friends camp and Nyundo valley hill traditional accommodation. The site you will use depends on the group you have paid to track, please tell us the gorilla group you will track and we will tell you which accommodation is suitable for you.