Hot Springs in Uganda
Uganda has a variety of attractions and among these are the hot springs. Hot springs are formed by geothermal heat that boils the underground water in the earth’s crust. The processes force the water to move through the hot rock onto the surface. Uganda’s hot springs are found in different parts of the country and others in conservation areas. Hot springs in Uganda are known for gradually creating permanent swamp vegetation around them making it a habitat for some wildlife such as several bird species and other animals can be found.
Sempaya Hot Springs
Sempaya hot springs are the most famous attraction in Semuliki National Park situated in South West in Bundibugyo district at the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The name Sempaya was derived from a Swahili word “sehemu mbaya” which means difficult. Due to the difficulty of the construction of the FortPortal – Bundibugyo road.
There are two hot springs in Semuliki, the male and female hot springs located in different places within the forest each with unique features.
The male hot spring is locally known as Biteete while the female hot spring is known as Nyansimbi. The Bamanga local people hold the hot spring sacred and they believe their ancestors live underneath the hot springs and therefore pray and worship them.
The temperature of the hot springs goes up to 103°c with steam and this boiling water can be used to boil foodstuffs such as eggs.
A walk to the hot springs takes about 30 minutes going through the forest with views of several bird species and monkeys such as black and white colobus monkey, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked Mangabey, and others.
Besides visiting the hot springs, there are other activities to engage in while at Semuliki, and some of these include; bird watching, Batwa cultural tour, nature walks, among others.
Amoropii hot springs
The great Amoropii hot springs are situated in Northern Uganda about 3km away from the popular Panyimor fishing village in Nebbi district on the shores of Lake Albert. Amoropii is an “Alur word” which means hot water. It is believed by the local people that the hot springs have divine powers and perform miracles. Barren women visit the hot springs with a wish to conceive after. To visit the hot springs, locals have to seek permission from the prime minister of Panyimor chiefdom so as to avoid misfortunes.
Kitagata Hot springs.
Kitagata hot springs are located in Sheema district in western Uganda. Kitagata is a local word that means “warm”. It is believed to have supernatural healing powers treating skin diseases and other diseases with a part that has water boiling up to 80°c and it and be used to boil eggs, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes. There are two hot springs; Mulago named after the largest referral hospital in Uganda and Ekyomugabe which was used by the former king of Ankole “Omugabe”. Hundreds of people visit Kitagata to get the experience of healing.
The route to Kitagata hot springs presents beautiful scenery of hills and vegetation and on arrival at the hot springs, your first sight will be of half-naked men and women in the water. There are two sections; one for women and children and the other for men. Even with people with different skin diseases bathing in the same water, there has never been a case of diseases spreading from one person to another.
Rwagimba hot springs
The Rwagimba hot springs are found on River Rwimi at the border of Kabarole district and Kasese. They are believed to have healing powers and it applies to both people and livestock. They were initially used by the king of Toro.
The Buranga springs
The Buranga springs made up of triplet hot springs are located in Bundibugyo at the base of Bwamba escarpment close to the Rwenzori Mountains. There are 37 springs that receive the geothermal heat from the deep faults of East African Rift System and the Buranga Springs which are vastly known for their 3 triplet hot springs spread around the base of Mountain Rwenzori make a very great attraction for an excursion on any Mountaineer while on a Ugandan safari with Jewel Safaris Limited.
These Hot springs have formed their own small ecosystem with lush forests and swamps attracting numerous bird and animal species. The animals come to lick the salt coming out of the earth. There are three groups of hot springs located about 700m from each other.
Nyansimbe Hot spring has a swamp around and it can only be accessible during the dry season. This spring has developed a carbonate cone with a clear pool of hot water (86°C) in it. The pool of water is medium-sized.
These numerous hot springs are in an area of 60 x 40 m, all springs are deposit carbonates and can be accessed during the dry season. One spring has built 1.5 m tall travertine cone with terraces. Water from the ground forms a 50 cm high fountain, rising above the pool. Temperature of spring reaches up to 98.4°C.
These are on an area of 50 x 15 m in a rainforest enclosure. The springs have built up to 1.5 m high travertine cones with sulphur deposits at one of them. Temperature of water is 60 – 91° C.
Kibiro Hot Springs
Kibiro Hot Springs are located in Kibiro fishing village in Hoima town close to Lake Albert. The water from the spring boils at 100°c and here eggs, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, cassava or bananas can cook within a short time. Animals often mistake the water from the springs to be cold like the waters around Lake Albert and therefore end up dying in the boiling pool of water.
The salty water from the springs is used for traditional processing of salt and besides this economic benefit, the hot spring water is believed to have super natural powers that provide healing to the local people from skin diseases. The Kibiro hot springs are one of the attractions not to miss out while on a Jewel safaris Wilderness trip to Murchison Falls National Park.
Ihimba Hot Springs
The Ihimba hot springs are located in South Western Uganda in Kabale district and they are well known by the local people for their healing powers just like other hot springs in Uganda.
While visiting the hot springs, you may get an opportunity to visit the local communities of the Bahima and other cultures like the Bakiga, Bafumbira and get an insight on their cultures and way of living. A visit to Ihimba hot springs can be added to a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National park in Uganda. Contact us at Jewel Safaris firstname.lastname@example.org