SEMILIKI NATURE WALKS
Semuliki national park lies in the Western Albertine rift valley and is endowed with rain forests which are an extension of the Ituri rainforest of Congo, swamp vegetation, rivers, bird species, flora and fauna among other features. So nature walks and hikes are the way to go in order to see various things in and around the park.
Nature walks can be done following various trails in Semuliki national park which offer a great access to the savannah grasslands, rain forests, and the swamps in the park, as you start the nature walk you will be with a skilled guide who is well informed about the different things along the trails, this will give you a memorable experience in the wild. Some of the trails include;
The Sempaya Nature trail: This trail is starts from the Sempaya gate and is so interesting and a great one to use specially the primate, butterfly and birder lovers. It is an 8 km walk and takes around 2 to 3 hours to cover it. It goes through the rain forest that is a habitat to many monkeys like the blue monkeys and the mangabeys and birds such as the hornbills, honey guides and the palm nut vultures, mammals like leopards, hippos, forest elephants and forest buffaloes and also different butterflies, tree species and moths, which are amazing to watch as you trek. This walk leads to the Sempaya hot springs which are one of the eye catching features in Semuliki, the water in these hot springs boils at a temperature of 100°C and it can be experimented by cooking eggs or bananas in this water.
This nature walk can be done in the mornings or afternoons.
The Kirumia trail: This is a 13 km trail and it passes in the middle of the rainforest as it heads to Semuliki River, it can take you 8 hours to trek especially if the walk starts at 8 am in the morning. It is also a recommendable trail for birders since a number of birds are sighted along the trail.
The Red monkey trail: This is an 11 km walk that goes up to the Eastern border of Semuliki NP, while on this trail you can see various monkeys including the De Brazza’s monkey as you continue to River Semuliki.
Other nature walks can be carried out as you do community walks in the surrounding villages such as the Batwa community and the Ituri traditional group, since years ago most of these ethnic groups around had this forest as their home and used to gather fruits and depended on hunting. So having a walk to these communities will give you chance to see how these people live, build, dress, eat, dance, and make crafts and many other things. There is also an opportunity of getting souvenirs from these pygmy communities.
Generally, the length of the nature walks/hikes is totally dependent on which trails you took, what activity you are doing and the weather conditions of the area. So sometimes it can be a few hours or a full day.
Visitors are advised to have enough drinking water, sturdy shoes/boots, rain jackets, packed lunch, binoculars, cameras, long sleeved shirt, hats, travel guide books and other things as you are briefed while on trip.