Sempaya Hotsprings are the most outstanding attractions in Semuliki national park located at the edge of the great Ituri forest which borders Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the remote western side of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges in Bundibugyo district.
Location of the Hot Springs.
The hot springs are located in the central part of Semuliki National Park which is located in the western region of Uganda in the Bundibugyo district just 52 kilometres away from Fort Portal – the tourism city. These springs are also 352.4 kilometres from Kampala city which is a 6-hour and 20-minute nonstop drive. The Hot Springs are found in the low-lying areas in the middle of the hills in Bundibugyo district.
History of Sempaya Hot Springs.
The Bamaga clan, one of the indigenous communities that live near the hot springs tell a story of an unknown hairy man, a hunter who was found around the male hot springs by the women who had gone to collect firewood in the wilderness. The women welcomed the man in their society and the man was also given a wife but someday when he went hunting, he did not come back.
Efforts were made by the people of the community to look for him but only his spear was found next to the male hot spring. Another theory suggests that this is why the male hot spring is called so.
Other theories suggest that the Bamaga people believe that their forefathers live under the male hot springs and the female ancestors also live under the female hot springs further suggesting that this is why they are named according to sex. Tourism activities to the hot springs began way back in 1926 and they still go on up to today though a little bit modified.
Accessibility of Sempaya Hot Springs.
For the tourists wondering how to access this wonderful natural hot spring, it can be accessed by road transport which is the commonly used type of transport to access the hot springs but also air transport can be used since there is an airfield just outside in Semuliki National Park.
Formation of the Hot Springs.
The hot springs were formed as a result of volcanic action after the heating up of the magma, the water beneath the earth’s surface is heated up and later forced out due to the pressure in the rock mantle through the cracks on the earth’s surface which are as a result of weathering.
The continued boiling and the flow of water leaves behind debris it collects from the earth’s crust which later forms the shape of the hot springs.
Attraction and uniqueness of Sempaya Hot Springs.
The most outstanding attractiveness and uniqueness of these hot springs is the fact that it has both female and male hot springs. They both have names with the male called Biteete. And the female on the other hand is called Nyansimbi. The male hot spring pushes its water up to 12 meters in the air and the female pushes its water up to two meters in the air.
Tourists travel from around the globe to come and see these wonderful hot springs due to their various abilities and temperatures. It is also believed that the Hot Springs have medical uses as they help to treat skin diseases and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Another unique thing about this hot spring is the availability of information about it and how it can be passed on to the visitors. Information is provided by the trained tour guides and the rangers in the National Park.
Activities are done in Sempaya Hot Spring areas.
Bird watching, hiking, guided game drives, forests and nature walks, primate watching, visits to the hot springs, and cultural encounters to the nearby local communities such as the Bamaga, Bamba, and Bakonzo. The community encounters provide a deeper understanding of the springs and how the indigenous people around the area are culturally and traditionally attached to them.
Best time to visit the Hot Springs.
The best time to visit the Hot Springs is from December to late February in the dry season and mid-year starting June to mid-July. But it is also important to know that the Hot Springs can be visited any time of the year.