Western Uganda is gifted with a variety of physical features which attract tourists. Among the most attraction is the hot springs. Scientists describe a hot spring as a spring produced by the emergence of geothermal-heated groundwater from the earth’s crust. Hot springs are formed when water come into contact with the heated rock. If water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it will be heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks.
Hot springs are formed by cracks extending down towards the exceedingly hot temperatures of the mantle, and water seeping downwards is heated and forced back up under pressure to bubble. Uganda’s hot springs are found in Semiliki National Park which is situated in south western Uganda. In this park, hot springs are the major tourist attraction. The hot springs here include;
Sempaya hot springs are Semiliki’s most famous attraction. They are set in a lush swampy clearing close to the south eastern corner of the forest of Semiliki. These two hot springs are in two sites and are each distinct from each other. There is the Female Spring and the Male Spring. The female spring has water boiling at 103 degrees, and it spurts hot water up to 2m above the ground while the male spring is more distant from the female spring and is reached by following a trail.
Water from hot springs is believed to cure certain diseases for example ringworm. The female spring is visited by women who hope for cure for infertility and other problems. Communities living near hot springs in Uganda usually have both spiritual and superstitious attachments to them.
Uganda’s hot springs are often a popular tourist destinations and locations for rehabilitation clinics for those with disabilities. The trail to the springs leads you through a patch of rain forest where red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and black and white colobus are common. Bird watching safaris are also stunning; you will see different bird species like forest horn.
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