Toro Semliki game reserve – Shoebill stock around Lake Albert
Toro Semliki game Reserve was established as a game reserve in 1926 and was among the first protected areas to be gazzeted. The main reason was to protect the large numbers of Uganda Kobs in the area. It covers an area of 542 km2. It is located in western Uganda, within Ntoroko and Kabarole districts.
Toro Semliki game Reserve enjoys a dramatic rift valley setting between the Rwenzori, Kijura escarpment and Lake Albert. The dominant vegetation type is the open acacia-combretum woodland and grassy Savannah, interspersed with patches of Borassus palm forest, significant belts of riparian woodland along the main watercourses, 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.
Wildlife of Toro semliki wildlife reserve.
Toro Semliki Toro–semliki contains the same key species as Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks; Elephant, Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Waterbuck, Warthog, Giant Forest Hog, Hippopotamus. Primates include Chimpanzees, Baboons and Monkeys including Vervet, Red-tailed and Black and White Colobus.
Birds of toro semliki wildlife reserve.
The big swamps of Lake Albert is one of the homes of the critically endangered shoebill stork. Bird life within Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve Bird species in Semliki wildlife reserve add up to 400 species including the Arrow Marked Babbler, Tropical Boubal, Black-headed Bushrike, Luhdrers Bushrike, Red necked Falcon, Black-billed Barbet, the turkey like Ground Hornbill, Tropical Boubal Abyssinian ground hornbill, African openbill. Common bulbul, Great white pelican, Malachite kingfisher.
Getting to Toro semliki wildlife reserve.
Kampala Fort Portal via Mubende.
The 290 km from Kampala through mityana-Mubende, kyegeggwa-kyenjojo to fort portal before driving 28 kms to Karugutu trading centre where you turn right for about 26 kms to river wasa then taking the immediate right to the wildlife reserve headquarters.
Fort Portal via Masaka-Mbarara-Kasese.
The is 465 km from Kampala via masaka, lyantonde, Mbarara, Bushenyi, kasese before arriving in fort port town then follow the route to Semuliki National Park from Fort Portal for the first 28 km before turning right at Karugutu trading centre. The reserve boundary is 3 km further on and the turn off to Semliki Safari Lodge is 26 km further on just beyond the bridge over the river wasa. Branch to the right 3km to the Lodge. Lake Albert is further on 25 km ahead at Ntoroko fishing village where UWA manages Bandas, a campsite and a canteen. There is an airfield managed by UWA so visitors can charter planes and land at Semliki Safari Lodge where the airfield is situated
There are scheduled and charter flights to toro semliki wildlife reserve from Entebbe directly to the reserve, this 1:30 minute flight from Entebbe is the easiest way to get there.
Where to stay in Toro semliki national park?
There is a campsite and budget Bandas run by UWA on the shores of Lake Albert at Ntoroko, these have to be booked in advance. Meals are prepared at the canteen at the campsite. Another campsite is at the reserve headquarters in Karugutu. Semliki Safari Lodge run by a private concessionaire The Uganda Safari Company offers upmarket tented camp. Ntoroko Game Lodge offers luxury tented camps and a campsite at Ntoroko Landing site.
Best time to visit toro semliki wildlife reserve.
The Dry season is the best time for a trip to Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve. The two Dry seasons are from December to February and from June to July. During the Wet season months (March to May and August to November) the roads become almost impassable and game viewing drives are very limited