A member of the exclusive Classic Safari Camps of Africa group, located in western Uganda, on the Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve, Semliki Safari Lodge is a luxury lodge with a reputation for providing guests with a real Ugandan bush experience.
A stone, wood and thatch build, the lodge consists of a mess area and 8 sleeping tents. Set in a beautifully landscaped garden, the shared areas include a lounge, bar, verandah, dining area, library and swimming pool. Spacious, welcoming and comfortable, the main lodge is characterised by hand carved tables, polished wooden floors, curved low seating, canvas dining chairs, white and beige cushions, open sides, well chosen artefacts and an open fire. The food is great, as is the service.
Raised on wooden platforms, and protected by heavily thatched roofs, the sleeping tents of Semliki Safari Lodge are just as comfortable as the shared areas. Each tent possesses a separate bathroom, its own verandah, a double or twin bed, space to change in and a small seating area (easy chairs and small side table). Simply designed, tastefully decorated – Persian carpet, sensible furniture, polished floors, muslin curtains – and beautifully lit, the tents are cosy and typically safari.
Activities at Semliki Safari Lodge include chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, game drives, boating, fishing and guided walks.
Wild Places is part of a group (originally called Green Wilderness Group) that has been operational in Uganda since 1992. Owned and operated by people with a true love for the country and a deep rooted commitment to the preservation of Uganda’s wild places, the business has grown slowly but steadily over the years. The group cut its teeth on Semliki Safari Lodge in the 1990′s and saved the Toro-Semliki Game Reserve from degazettement.
These efforts earned Wild Places a prize at the Investor of the Year awards for their contributions to conservation, and Jonathan Wright (our MD) was appointed to the board of trustees for the Uganda Wildlife Authority. He is still an ‘honorary warden’ . Working closely with both the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the University of Indiana, the group was instrumental in establishing and running a chimpanzee research project in the Reserve.
On the whole we strongly encourage Sustainable & Green Practices at our lodges for instance taking active measures to minimize waste, as well as use of water and electricity as well as educating visitors about how they can conserve the local environment. As much as possible our food is locally sourced, our staff at each lodge largely come from the surrounding communities, and we have established a number of projects with each of our properties in which the local communities are key stakeholders.
In 1996, the Semliki Wildlife Reserve area was completely poached and hunted out. There were estimates of 300-400 Uganda kob left in the Semliki basin.
Through hard work and dedication from Semliki lodge and UWA (Ugandan Wildlife Authority) the area has been brought back to life through anti poaching and the eviction of cattle grazing in the area, the life has really come back. Kob populations are at about 10,000 now. Elephants, buffalo, warthog, lion and many other game species have come back in the area in great numbers.
We continue our involvement with controlling poaching and illegal grazing, to protect the park and its wildlife.
We have established the Wildplaces Conservation Trust, which has spearheaded a number of small scale activities with the local communities:
• Sponsorship of the nature centre in the nearby village of Karugutu
• Assistance with a local bee hive project
• Development of a sustainable utilization course with the village children (with plans to establish a sustainable rabbit and chicken farm)
• Assistance to the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) with a culture centre, with a focus on skills building. Guests are invited on excursion to the culture centre and the funds go towards the project.