Remote Semliki Valley is on the western side of the Rwenzori Mountains. An extension of the Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin, the landscape, geology, wildlife, and culture here have more in common with that of Central Africa than with East Africa. This makes it unique within Uganda.
The rainy season is from March to May and September to December, and during these periods much of the park floods, making it inaccessible. The amount of water means that plants and animals can thrive, however, and the ecosystems here include swamps as well as forests. The biodiversity is exceptionally rich, with more than 400 species of birds, 53 mammals, and numerous species of butterfly. 11 species, including the pygmy antelope and two types of flying squirrel, are endemic. You can also expect to see leopard and civet, hippo and elephant, forest buffalo, fanged deer, and mona monkey.
In the parti the best place to stay is Semliki Safari Lodge, an intimate property with a timeless feel and exactly the right balance between wilderness and comfort. The activities here are numerous and include hiking and game drives, birding, cultural encounters with the Batwa pygmy community, and bathing in the Sempaya hot springs.