Semliki reserve is situated in the basin of the Western Rift Valley at an altitude of 600-700 metres above sea level and is part of the vast Ituri forest where the jungle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo meets the plateau of Uganda. It is one of the most diverse habitats in Africa with wonderful examples of Riparian forest, gallery rainforest, borassus palm forest, and short and high grass savannas. On clear days, it possible to see the rising rift valley escarpment, the Congolese Blue mountains to the west and the glacier-clad Rwenzori’s to the south-west.
Chimpanzees exist next to elephants, lions and buffaloes as well as the usual western Uganda species in the reserve. This is the only place in Uganda where it is possible to take a night drive where big cats can be sighted as well as the diminutive genet and serval cats. Unusual nocturnal dwellers sometimes also show themselves, such as white tailed mongooses and slender mongooses, and standard and pennant winged nightjars depending on the time of year. Decimated by the civil war, the park’s wildlife numbers continue to increase, evidence of increasing wildlife protection and the efforts of Ugandan Wildlife Association and Semliki Safari Lodge.