Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is Uganda’s oldest wildlife reserve formerly known as the Toro Game reserve which was gazetted in 1932. It is a 545km sq sanctuary lying in western Ugandan, to the northeast of the Bundibugyo road extending to Ntoroko on the southern shores of Lake Albert. The fauna in semuliki game reserve is correspondingly diverse. This large reserve abutting Lake Albert and the northern base of the Rwenzoris is a rich mosaic of grassland, savannah, forest and wetland habitats.
Among mammals in this wildlife reserve, the Uganda kob is the commonest with the biggest population within the areas of short grass along with pairs of reedbuck although you will also find forest elephants, chimpanzees, buffaloes, leopards and various monkeys and antelopes. You will only spot the Leopards and Owls while taking a night drive within the park. The lions are rarely seen here since they almost faced extinction during the civil war era, now they are just trying to re-colonise themselves but with a chance you may be lucky to spot some of them.
What is amazing in this wildlife reserve are the more than 350 -400 species of birds! Semuliki is known to have species of birds that are not seen in any of the East African National parks. You will be able to see many of these birds during your game drives, including the Abyssinian ground hornbill. Of the 400 bird species recorded at Semuliki, the shoebill stork is most regularly seen at close quarters on Lake Albert.
The wildlife reserve can be visited at any time of the year. Following the road to Semuliki National Park, there is a turn-off to the Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve which is sign posted 30km along the Bundibugyo road at the small trading centre of Karugutu. Another option is if traveling to Bundibugyo you can stop at Karugutu, it is easier to catch a lift on one of the pick-up trucks that transport fish from Ntoroko.
The tourism travel activities you will enjoy at Semuliki Wildlife reserve range from Game drives, Guided walks, boat trips and Bird watching.
During Game drives, you will be able to appreciate the vast fauna in Semliki. Here you will also be able to see the Mugiri River Forest, the best tourism destination in Uganda for viewing different tree species, including the elusive leaf–love and many other local species. When you drive through the open plains you will see a fascinating variety of raptors and the Abyssinian hornbill.
Guided forest walks will offer you the chance to see more than 40 chimps that are residents of the Mugiri forest, these chimps are being habituated.