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SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK
The magnificently scenic Semliki Valley lies at the base of the Albertine Rift to the north west of Fort Portal. Also known as the Toro Reserve, it sits near the northern base of the Rwenzoris and is the oldest wildlife reserve in Uganda. The rich habitat of grassland, savannah, forest and wetland is home to diverse fauna, in addition to 400  bird species and 300 butterfly species.

The largest town in Semliki Valley is Bundibugyo, 72km from Fort Portal along a breathtaking dirt road that offers spectacular views of Lake Albert, the Rwenzori Mountains and the Semliki River.

Semliki is not renowned for its game viewing but is highly alluring to birdwatchers with 350-400 species recorded so far. Game drives are likely to yield Abyssinian ground hornbills and a variety of raptors. Most importantly it is the most reliable sites for seeing the mighty Shoebill (pictured above).

Boat trips on Lake Albert offered by private fishermen are very worthwhile and can be organised locally.

Semliki Wildlife Reserve is about a two hour ride from Fort Portal and plenty of trucks and occasional matatus run directly between Fort Portal and Ntoroko on most days. Alternatively, any vehicle heading to Bundibugyo can drop you at Karugutu from where it is quite easy to catch a ride to Ntoroko. The turn off to the park lies 30km along the  Bundibugyo road at the trading post of Karugutu. A 40km road connects Karugutu to Ntoroko. Semliki Safari Lodge lies 25km down this road (+256 (0)414 251182 email: tusc@africaonline.co.ug)

 
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