Game Drive Safaris in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Safaris

Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Bird Watching in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Boat cruise in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Game Drives in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Visit local community in Toro Semuliki Wildlife reserve
Nature walk in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
Best time to visit Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
How to get to Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is located in Fort Portal District in western Uganda approximately 290km from Kampala Uganda’s capital. Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve lies on the rift valley floor where Lake Albert, the Rwenzori Mountains near the western border of Uganda with the Democratic Republic of Congo and it covers an area of 542 km2. The Toro-Semuliki Reserve is one of the oldest and most endowed protected areas within the Uganda and was established as a game reserve in 1926. Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve has dominant vegetation type which known as the open acacia-Combretum woodland and grassy savannah, interspersed with patches of borassus palm forest, significant belts of riparian woodland along the main water courses, as well as some extensive swamps towards Lake Albert. The reserve itself is topographically unremarkable, set at a relatively low altitude starting from around 700m above sea level, but on a clear day the setting is truly awesome, with the sheer rift valley escarpment rising sharply from the eastern 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.
Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve offer abundant flora and fauna species that extensive belt of riparian woodland along the main watercourses and large swamps towards Lake Albert. Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is one of the best-stocked and most famous Wildlife Reserves within the East African region due to the fact that it is near these elevated Mountains, it is very possible for tourists on vacation in Uganda to proceed to the site and enjoy a number of tourist activities such as game viewing, nature walks and bird watching. Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve suffered tremendous poaching during the years of civil wars within the country and after the war with Tanzania thus the wildlife are just recovering and you can sight herds of more than 10,000 Uganda Kobs, Reed bucks, Jackson’s Hartebeests, Chimpanzees, Hyenas, Defassa waterbucks, bush bucks, Pygmy Hippos, elephants, Leopards, lions and Buffaloes among others. Surprisingly, it is one of the few places in Uganda where the elusive shoebill stork bird species can be spotted hence making it an ideal birding destination in the country.
Birding in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
The Semliki Valley is mainly of interest to Bird Watchers. The reserve has an impressive checklist, which includes many birding specials. Other attractions are the hot springs at Sempaya and a Pygmy village in the adjacent Semuliki National Park. The only lodge in the reserve offers a very exclusive bush experience with guided activities.

What to do within Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Bird Watching in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Bird watching is prime activity in Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve and is located in the Albertine Rift Valley with an amazing setting between the Rift Valley escarpment on the east, the Congolese Blue Mountains on the west and the Ruwenzori’s on the southwest with numerous rivers running through flanked by riverine forest and patches of borassus palms are dotted around, this made bird watching is an icon activity in Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve. Hiking and nature walk is perfect time for bird watching with an impressive checklist, which includes the breasted kingfishers, dazzling Red-throated bee-eaters on the sand banks near Ntoroko, Arrow Marked Babbler, Tropical Boubal, Black-headed Bushrike, Luhdrers Bushrike, Red necked Falcon, Black-billed Barbet, the turkey like Ground Hornbill, Tropical Boubal and the shoebill in the marshes of Lake Albert.

Boat cruise in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Boat trip are usually conducted on the stunning Lake Albert which derives its main sources at Semliki River and the Victoria Nile, even though Rwenzori Mountains (also known as the Mountains of the Moon) stand between Lake Albert and Lake Edward to the South, the waters of the latter still drain into Lake Albert through Semliki river. Boat ride on Lake Albert is a wonderful opportunity to observe strange bird species such as rare and vulnerable shoebill stork, saddle billed stork, Goliath heron, eagle, African Jacana, Abyssinian ground hornbills, red-throated bee-eaters, African Fish eagles and Kingfishers hence are making it one of the most reliable sites for enjoying bird watching in Uganda.

Game Drives in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Game viewing in Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is the most rewarding activity which takes you in three different tracks across the Savannah grassland of Toro Wildlife Reserve. Game driving in Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is best done in the morning at 6:30am and is also conducted in the evening starting at 4pm, which takes 3 to 4 hours while searching different mammals species which include elephants, Uganda Kobs, Giant forest hogs, waterbucks, Buffaloes, warthogs during the day game drives yet the leopards and lions can be spotted during night game drives. A night game drive is also done during at night and offers you chance to spot nocturnal species such as the white tailed mongoose, bush babe leopard and Lions can be seen during your night game drive in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Visit local community in Toro Semuliki Wildlife reserve

Visit local community in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve which is located in the south of the reserve approximately 18 km from Fort Portal town. These amazing communities are mainly inhabited by the Bakonjo who are traditional cultivators. The most important crops grown are maize, cassava, beans, soya beans, rice and bananas. Rwebisengo community is situated in the west north western edge of the rift valley covered by Batuku pastoralists. This community is located on the west and north western edge of the reserve in the Semuliki Flats. The community mainly comprises the Batuku (Batoro-Bahuma), who are predominantly pastoralists. The Batuku are believed to be descendants of the Abarusula who were the royal army of the king Kabalega of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom. Ntoroko fishing community is located at the south-eastern tip of Lake Albert between the estuaries of Wasa and Muzizi rivers. The area, covering approximately 4 km2 has now been excised from the reserve and gazetted as a Wildlife Sanctuary to offer protection of any wildlife that interface in this area. The Ntoroko community depends mainly on fishing. Kasesenge–Kyakabaseke community in the eastern escarpment of the rift valley and majority of them are the Bakiga migrants who originally came to work in the tea estates in 1960s. During the good economic times, tea provided stable income. As the prices of tea deteriorated, they resorted to crop cultivation mainly beans, groundnuts, maize and bananas.

Nature walk in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Nature walk takes 3 hours and it goes through a variety of habitats ranging from savannah woodland to Riverine forest that offers you an opportunity to spot wildlife species which include warthogs, Uganda Kobs, baboons, monkeys are sighted and ground hornbill. Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve offers you night nature walk where you can see nocturnal mammals such as the white-tailed mongoose and among others

Hiking Nyaburogo Gorge in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Hiking to Nyaburogo Gorge in Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve takes you through the 7 km Nyaburogo Gorge trail with a diversity of habitats in the gorge ranging from open acacia–Combretum woodland and grassy savannah, interspersed with patches of borassus palm forest, significant belts of riparian woodland as well as some extensive swamps.

Best time to visit Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

The best time of the year for such an amazing beautiful scenery located between the Rift Valley escarpment on the east, the Congolese Blue Mountains on the west and the Rwenzori on the southwest and the dominant vegetation is woodland and savannah with its several rivers running through flanked by riverine forest and wildlife and bird species, all this can be viewed at its highest peak time during the month of January, February, June, July, August and December when the rains are low.

How to get to Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Toro Semuliki Wildlife reserve is located in western Uganda within the districts of Ntoroko and Kabarole. The reserve enjoys a beautiful position at the rift valley where Lake Albert, the Rwenzori mountains and the Kijura escarpment create backdrops for the reserve neighboring creating amazing scenery. There are two possibility ways of reaching to Toro Semuliki Wildlife Reserve; the Kampala-Fort Portal via Mubende is 290 km about 6 hours’ drive from Kampala city the capital of Uganda. And Kampala–Fort Portal via Masaka-Mbarara-Kasese is about 465 km approximately 8 hours’ drive from Kampala City the capital of Uganda.