3 Days semuliki hot springs trail

Destination overview

Semuliki Forest Reserve was created in 1932 and upgraded to national park status in 1993. The park lies in the remote western side of the Rwenzori in Bundibugyo district 52 Kms from Fort Portal. It covers an area of about 222 square km with many grass thatched huts and West African palm oil trees which provide shade.

 There are four distinct ethnic groups here thus Bwamba farmers who live at the base of the forest, Bakonjo who cultivate the Rwenzori slopes, Batuku Cattle keepers who inhabit the open plains and the Batwa pygmies traditionally hunter gatherers who originated from the Ituri forest living on the edge of the forest hence giving a taste of West Africa in Uganda.

Trip Highlights

  • Central African Wild game species
  • About 441 bird species
  • Semiliki river which borders The Congo river
  • Male and female hot springs at Sempaya
  • Swampy and lowland tropical vegetation
  • The unique culture of Batwa or Bambuti pygmies
  • Swimming in the Mungilo waterfall natural pool

Day 1: Transfer to Fort Portal (travel time 6 hours)

 This 180 Km journey to Fort Portal via Mubende starts from Kampala with a brief stop over for highway photography. Lunch upon arrival and overnight stay in Fort Portal town.

Later in the evening, take a brief tour of the town, local market, tea plantation, Kings palace if time allows and experience the night life of this beautiful tourism city.

There are 59km from Fort Portal to Bundibugyo and more 6km to reach Semuliki park headquarters at Ntandi.

Accommodation: Fort Heights Homestay, Kirumia Guest House meal plan – full board

Day 2: Semuliki National Park– Sempaya Hot springs

After breakfast, embark on your journey to the park where you will be guided to Sempaya Hot Springs, this is the most popular attraction in Semuliki National Park. A Short-guided walking trail from the Sempaya Information Centre leads you to the cluster of the male and female hot springs at Sempaya. This eye-catching site has its largest geyser spouts up to 2m high from a low salt sculpture opening.

Be cautious of the emerging water from the hot spring that has a temperature of more than 100 degrees Celsius with hot surrounding pools can boil an egg. While on the trail to the hot springs through a patch of forest you can encounter red-tailed monkeys and birds.

Semuliki national park is known as the birders haven because some of the most sought after birds such as Congo Serpent Eagle, long– tailed hawk, Nkulengu Rail, Black –wattled Hornbill

and Lyre–tailed Honey guide and many other species that make up the 441 can be found here. This place offers a rich forest birding experience to birders who are interested in Uganda birding safaris.

 Pygmy community cultural trail
Later in the evening, encounter the Batwa people who have been dependent on Semuliki forest for food, shelter, medicine and tools due their lifestyle of hunter-gatherers for long.

Due to the decline of this dependence on the forest because of tourism, the park offers an alternative source of income by allowing them to display their cultural history to tourists through music and dance performances at Ntandi. In addition to this, they also produce beautiful handcrafts for sale which you can purchase as souvenirs.

For accommodation within the park, there are three unfurnished basic shelters at Sempaya ranger post that seem to be abandoned due to the low tourist visits here, fresh drinking water can be drawn from the creek 0.6Km from Sempaya towards Bundibugyo.

Adventurous visitors can make it a point to swim in the natural pool created by Mungilo waterfalls to complete the tour experience.

Lunch is packed while overnight stay and dinner will be at your hotel

Day 3: Transfer back to Kampala (travel time 6 hours)

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and start your journey back to Kampala.

There will be stop overs mid- way the journey for snacks, refreshments and shopping of fresh organic food stuff.

Please remember to review us face book and trip advisor

TOTAL TRIP COST: Click on link https://petnahafricatours.com/contact-us/ for quotation

Optional activities; Boat cruise, Canoeing

 Tour inclusions;

  • All adventure activities agreed upon with a full time English speaking driver guide 
  • Transfers and Professional photography 
  • Accommodation, meals and bottled mineral water

Tour exclusions; 

  • Visa fees, International flights, Personal insurance
  • Phone bills, tips, laundry services and other personal expenses 
  • Alcoholic drinks and any activities outside the itinerary 

Please note:

  1. https://www.mia.go.ug/directorate/directorate-citizenship-and-immigration-control  
  2. Country health status: There is no health scare 
  3. Fees quoted include applicable government taxes and 18% VAT as per the taxation policy of Uganda. 

The following policies apply to all confirmed bookings made by the client; 

  1. Cancellations received within 30 -10 days’ notice to date of departure will incur 25 % charge 
  2. Cancellations received within 9-2 days’ notice to date of departure will incur 50% charge 
  3. Cancellations received within less than 48 hours to date of departure incur the full charge 
  4. No shows without communication over the whole safari period will be charged 100% 
  5. Cancellations of bookings in peak seasons (Christmas, new year and Easter) received 60 days to date of departure will incur a cancellation charge of 100% 
  6. Cancellations must be advised in writing via email to the reservations or tours manager 

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