Established in 1926, the 542 square kilometer wildlife is a conservation endangered area situated in western Uganda in Ntoroko and Kabarole districts. Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, also recognized as Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is positioned on the rift valley base between Lake Albert, Rwenzori mountains and the Kijura escarpments. The rift valley escarpment grows sharply from the east shore of lake Albert, the 2500m high Congolese blue mountains on the western horizon and the mighty glacial peaks of the Rwenzori visible to the south west. Safari in Uganda to have a look at the stunning scenery in this wonderland. It’s a very beautiful place suitable for an adventurous wildlife safari Uganda. It is a very scenic paradise that gives you chance to view Lake Albert on a clear day setting, enjoy fantastic highland views, the thick rain forest, and the steep green slopes at the foothills of Rwenzori. These main geographical and ecological unique features that soar the reserve are truly awesome in making long lasting memories!
Uganda safari activities/ what to do in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
You may be wondering what you can do while on in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve. Just like its name; wildlife reserve, there are variety of Flora and Fauna to interact with and there are very many activities to do in order to enjoy interacting with the flora and fauna in this precious wildlife reserve!
Day Game drives
Semliki Wildlife Reserve offers day game drives to tourists interested in Uganda Wildlife safaris. Day game drives in Semuliki Wildlife Reserve are usually done in the morning and in the afternoon. Tourists are driven through the savannah grassland and the forest of Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve for a few hours as they look out for animals in the reserve. During the adventurous game drive in the reserve, tourists sight animals like buffalos, water bucks, warthogs, bush bucks, Uganda Kobs, bush babies, pygmy hippos among others.
Night game drives
Night game drives are usually done at night in search for the nocturnal animals in Semuliki Wildlife Reserve. Cars used during night these game drives are equipped with a spot light to enable tourists sight-see creatures in their hide outs. Nocturnal animals viewed during the night game drives include; spotted genets, white tailed mongoose, eagle owls among others. Semuliki lodge is the only place in Semuliki Wildlife Reserve that offers night game drives.
Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is blessed with several bird species including the migratory birds that entice birders to safari Uganda for a Uganda birding safari. Birds found in the reserve include; the African open bill, Great white pelican, Abyssinian ground hornbill, African crake, Black caudal, piapiac, leaf love, Broad billed roller, Double toothed barbet, African pygmy goose, Black chinned quail finch, Blue breasted Bee eater and the list goes on.
The best time to go birding for those interested in a Uganda birding safari tour in Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is all year round. However, the best time for bird watching is during the breeding season and this is normally in March after the dry spell from December-February. During rainy seasons, birding may be a little difficult because the trails can be impassable therefore you may not enjoy birding. Migratory birds relocate to semuliki Wildlife Reserve from November – April.
Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is one of the few game reserves that offer primate walks to tourists on Uganda Safaris. These primate walks normally take 3-4hours. The starting point is at Semuliki Safari Lodges where tourists meet the experienced ranger guides. During the primate walks, visitors are able to sight animals like chimpanzees under habituation, red tailed monkeys, Vervet monkeys, black and white monkeys, colobus monkeys, baboons. Other wildlife encountered are waterbucks, warthogs, bushbucks, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, elephants but rarely.
Nature/ Forest walks
On a Uganda safari to Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, tourists spend part of their hours doing forest/ nature walks through the green vegetation of the reserve. During the walks, tourists come across attractive habitats, birds, butterflies and several plant species hidden in the vegetation of Semuliki Wildlife Reserve. The vegetation comprises of savannah woodland and riverine forest. Species encountered as tourists do forest walks include; ground hornbills, warthogs, Uganda Kobs, baboons, black and white colobus and Vervet monkeys.
Tourist normally enjoy the dramatic view of the rift valley setting between Rwenzori’s Kijura escarpment during their boat cruise along the beautiful shimmering Lake Albert. During the boat cruise ride, tourists get chance to view the shoebill, blue breasted and blue cheeked bee eaters and blue headed caudal as they feed along the shores of the Lake. Safari Uganda to one of the beautiful lakes situated on the rift valley floor.
Hiking to Nyaburogo Gorge
Hiking to Nyaburogo Gorge is ideal for birders on a Uganda birding safari. Hiking to the gorge is about 7km. Tourists go through a diversity of surroundings including savannah, woodland, and the forest in the gorge. While hiking, tourists come across several animals as well as birds. Birds seen during hiking include arrow marked babbler, tropical bubals, black headed bush shrike, and primates such as black and white colobus, baboons, Vervet and sometimes chimpanzees.a
Safaris in Uganda permit tourists to have cultural safaris with the people found in the different destinations where they carry out their Uganda tours. The Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is surrounded with many different communities with different tribes. These tribes include;
Rwebisengo community is located in the west and part of northwestern edge of the reserve within the Semuliki flats. This community comprises of tribes like the Batooro and Bahuma. These tribes famous for their pastoralism way of life.
Karugutu – Kyabandara community is found in the southern side of the reserve is about 18km from Fort Portal town. This community is largely inhabited by the Bakonjo traditional cultivators. The Bakonjo cultivate food like maize, cassava, beans, soya beans, rice and bananas. The Bakonjo also arrange traditional dances, and songs for the tourists to enjoy.
Kasenge – Kyakabaseke community is located in the eastern escarpment of the rift valley. The majority are Bakiga migrants who originally came to work in the tea estates in 1960’s occupied here.
Ntoroko fishing community situated at the south eastern tip of Lake Albert between the estuaries of Wasa and Musizi rivers. This community covers an area 4km2. Ntoroko depends on fishing therefore the people living here are fishmongers. Tourists normally join them for fishing.