Make your Africa safari tour very adventurous! During your Africa safari, make use of your Uganda safari guide, ask all questions where you need answers. Be curious and find out how somethings started existing? During your safari in Uganda or Africa wildlife safari to Semuliki National Park Uganda, you will visit the Sempaya hot springs found in this park.
This park is blessed with Male and Female hot springs that have attracted a good number of tourists there. As part of your adventure, you will interact with the locals around Semuliki National Park, who will entertain you with their cultural performances as well as tell you stories about the place. The hot springs are one of the attractions in Semuliki National Park Uganda that are sought by many tourists on Uganda safaris. These hot springs, commonly known as the Sempaya hot springs are a must see during your western Uganda safari tour.
Most of the tourists who visit Uganda and go to this park, are normally interested in Uganda birding safaris and Uganda wildlife safaris. The name “Sempaya” originated from a Kiswahili phrase Sehemu mbaya (the difficult side) owing to the steep challenging rocks and terrain during the construction of the Fort Portal Bundibugyo road along the ridges of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Stories behind the existence of the Sempaya hot hot-springs
Scientists describe a hot spring as a spring produced by the emergence of geothermal-heated groundwater from the earth’s crust. The believe Hot springs are formed when water comes into contact with the heated rock underneath. When water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it is heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks. In other words, 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.
Tales told by the local people
The locals of this park have a very different folk story to tell and it totally differs from the scientist’s technical explanation about the hot springs. According to Mzee Adonia Balinsanga the head of the Bamaga clan, the site of the steaming male hot spring is historical and a treasure to the whole society. He said that once upon a time, the Bamaga women had one time gone to fetch firewood from the forest, and on their way, they sighted a strange hairy man dressed in bark cloth, having a spear and a dog moving in a zig-zag formation around that location where the hot springs are. Because of fear, the women ran back home to tell their husbands about this man. Their husbands met and decided to pick and take him to their homes and after sometime, they got him a wife from the same village.
This man whose identity was known as Biteete, was a hunter in life. He continued to go hunting in the wild because it is what he was used too. So, one time he went out to hunt but never returned home. His wife and other people who used to stay around him kept wondering where he had gone. So, after three days of missing, the men of the village went out to search for him in the village but failed to get him. So, as they passed by the present day male hot spring, they only found a spear but no traces of the man nor his dog. They assumed he had disappeared from the same spot where the women had found him. These men ran back to tell the wife (Nyansimbi) about what they had found out. In confusion, the wife also ran to the forest never returned.
In the subsequent search, only her clothes were found at the present day female hot spring. This was how the two springs became to be known as the male and female hot springs and to-date the Bamaga believe their female ancestors live beneath the female hot spring while their male ancestors live at the male spring. This is why the Bamaga until today perform annual rituals at the springs to appease their ancestors and the national park allows them access these places.
After your short Uganda safari tour to the hot springs, you can also add a short Uganda wildlife safari to your itinerary or a long Uganda wildlife safari or even a Uganda gorilla safari. If you are not interested in Uganda wildlife safaris, you can undertake a Uganda birding safari, a cycling safari in Uganda,a chimpanzee trekking safari, a golden money trekking safari, nature walks, a Kampala city tour, a Jinja city tour, or just an adrenaline adventure in Jinja where you will enjoy horse back riding, water rafting, boat cruise, quad biking, cycling, kayaking and many more depending on your choice during your safaris Uganda.