Semliki Park is located in the west of Rwenzori in Western Uganda and cuts across the semliki valley. This park is largely covered by the Ituri forest which is an extension of that great Ituri forest from Congo which is also one of the most bio-diversified and oldest there is in Africa. The flora is mainly one tree species which is the Cynometra alexandri and some few other evergreen vegetation as well as swamp forests. The fauna on the other hand is pretty amazing and worth seeing on your Safari in Uganda, it includes over 400 species of birds, over 53 mammals among which 27 are big mammals. You can find tiny antelopes and two types of flying squirrels that you may never find anywhere else in East Africa.
Since the park has got a lot to offer in terms of tourism, when you visit you can get involved in activities like the game viewing during the game drives, boat rides on Lake Albert, nature walks in the forests, bird watching, hiking, cultural visits to the local communities of the Batwa pygmies and also visiting the Sempaya hot spring. To fully enjoy the trip, you should have at least two days to explore the park to the maximum and this will require you to stay really close which means hotels within may be better in this case. There are a few accommodation facilities where you can have meals and spend the nights.
Semliki Safari Lodge
This is the best facility in the park and it is in the valley within the wildlife reserve. It can accommodate about 18 guests per night and offers excellent services. It was built using local materials like wood for its wooden floors and grass since all structures are grass thatched. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms, flush toilets and hot running water in the showers which is very much needed during the cold nights when the cold breeze is blowing from the forest. The swimming pool is good for you to refresh during the hot days as you relax between or after the day’s activities.
The meals are served from a common dining area at the main lodge but morning coffee or tea can be served from your room and you can have it from the veranda as you enjoy the view of the entire park just before your day. Also private dinners can be arranged on request.
The rooming arrangement is either a twin share or a double for the couples and also a single room for the solo travelers.
This lodge offers night game drives services for the travelers that do not have their own driver/ guide. Night game drives give you the opportunity to see the different nocturnal animals that you will not be able to see during the day time game drives. It is a great starting point for all the other activities like the chimps tracking, picnics, boat rides on Lake Albert from where you may be able to see the shoe bill stork and every activity done in this park since it’s within the park rather than driving from Fort portal.
Ntoroko Game Lodge
This is also a luxury lodge, it’s a tented camp built along the shores of Lake Albert within the wildlife reserve. This is a new lodge with just a few completed rooms that are well furnished with wooden floors, wide windows for fresh air from the lake since rooms are overlooking the lake.
The rooms have en-suite bathroom with running water, comfortable beds and they spacious enough for you not to feel crowded.
You can have a walk in the evening along the shores of the lake and enjoy the sunset from the natural sand beach.
The other accommodations facilities that you can use during the visit to semliki are those close to the park located in Fort portal and are shared with those visiting the Kibale national park. These include Kyaninga lodge, Rwenzori view guest house, to mention but a few.
When planning a Uganda safari to Semliki national park, AA safaris and tours is the best choice you have to organize a wonderful trip for you and you can spend a night in one of these hotels especially if you have to do night game drives. Night game drives might not be fun if you have drive from and back to Fort portal for accommodation.