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Semliki, Uganda


Visited for its wilderness and remoteness, the drives here are designed for those who enjoy exploring the bush at leisure to see what they come across, without the need to tick off lists.

Elephant, buffalo, big cats and primates, including chimpanzees are all found here, but as they can be skittish, the search is very much part of the fun and why Semliki is perfect for old Africa-hands who think they’ve seen it all.

The Semliki Wildlife Reserve is a massive area of wilderness situated between the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Albert deep inside Uganda’s Western Rift Valley. Formerly called The Toro Game Reserve, it is the oldest protected area in Uganda and its setting is spectacular in the shadow of the Congo Blue Mountains with the mighty Rwenzori peaks to the southwest.

Chimpanzee In Tree, Kyambura Gorge, Uganda
Chimpanzee, Uganda

Why visit Semliki Wildlife Reserve

  • With only one luxury lodge (Semliki Safari Lodge) in the whole of the park, the place is yours to explore
  • Head out to Lake Albert and ask local fishermen directions to the resident shoebills
  • The setting alone is worth the visit, wild scenery and dramatic horizons
  • Enjoy a primate walk through the forests to search for the very elusive chimps
  • Leave the big game behind and spend time looking for the chameleons found here.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.

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Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management. My desire to see more led me to work as a guide for AndBeyond, first in South Africa, then in Tanzania as the company expanded. Here, I lived and worked in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro, guiding and running safari camps.

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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.

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Chris Johnston

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

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Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

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