Sempaya Hot Springs- The Male And Female Hot Springs Of Semuliki National Park.
Are you a birder who is fascinating about a Uganda safari to Semuliki National Park but you’re wondering what else you will encounter besides the several bird species that call this tropical paradise? Well, sit back and relax as I have got you covered on this. In many of our previous articles on this platform, such as 441 reasons for a birder to visit Semuliki and Birds that Semuliki truly a remarkable Uganda birding safari destination, we have seen many bird species that call Semuliki home but there a whole different world in Semuliki beyond birds and I would like to take on an exploration journey of this world. In a 2 part series, I will give you a sneak into what you can encounter while on your Uganda birding safari to Semuliki National park.
Let’s kick off today’s episode by looking at the hot springs of Sempaya
Semuliki national park Uganda besides birds is home to the magical Sempaya hot springs. These hot springs are one of the biggest Uganda safari attractions in the Semuliki national park. These hot springs were named after a Swahili phrase known as “Sehemu mbaya” which when loosely translated means difficult side, this was all due to the challenging steep rock terrain experienced by the constructors of Bundibugyo- Fort portal road along the ridges of mountain Rwenzori.
These hot springs are formed by geothermal processes when water perforates down to a depth of over 2000m and comes into contact with hot rocks. The water is heated to high temperatures usually over 100oC and it overboils creating high pressure which forces it upwards to earth’s surface. Sometimes the pressure is overwhelmingly too much and this forces the heated water to shoot up into the sky forming what is known as a geyser.
The hot springs of Sempaya were formed by the same geographical forces described but the local Bamaga clan the residents have come up with a dramatic ear-catching story to explain this rather exceptional phenomenon in their locality. There are 2 hot springs in Semuliki, one of them is named the male hot spring and the other is named the female hot spring known as Nyansimbi.
This all began when one day, as the Bamaga women had gone out to collect firewood in the surrounding forest came across a man dressed in bark cloth walking in a zig-zag way with his dog, this greatly scared these ladies hence they ran back to their homestead and informed the men back home of what had transpired, the village men came running to see this man whom no one knew of and when they saw him, they felt pity for him hence they decided to take him with them back to their village.
Once they had returned, they got this man whom they learned was called Biteete, a wife from one of the village girls. Biteete was a seasoned hunter and he continued his hunting expendition into the Semuliki plains, but one day he went out on a hunting mission but never did he return to the village, after missing for 3 days, the village men set out on a search and find mission for Biteete but they could only find his spear on the spot where the male hot springs are found today hence naming them the male hot spring.
The men returned home and informed his wife of the disappearance of her husband and with uttermost shock and grief, Nyasimbi the wife of Biteete also set out to look for her husband but she also failed to return home just like her husband had done.
The village men went back to the wilderness to look for her as well but they could only find her clothes on the spot where the female hot spring are located today hence they decided to name these hot spring Nyansimbi female hot springs after Biteete’s wife. Up to date, the Bamaga clan believe that their ancestors live below these hot springs and as result they continue to perform rituals to appease their ancestors at these hot springs annually.
Uganda isn’t referred to as a land of primates for nothing, when you make a Uganda safari tour to Semuliki, you will most definitely meet some of the primates that call this pearl of Africa just like in many other Uganda wildlife safari destinations such as Kibale national park which is home to 13 primate species such as eastern chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys and many others. The other destinations where you will have a magical encounters with primates include Murchison falls national park in Budongo forest, queen Elizabeth national park in Kalinzu forest and Kyamburo gorge forest.
While on your Uganda wildlife safari to Semuliki national park, you can hope to encounter some of the chimpanzees, De brazza’s monkey, Ugandan red colobus monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys.
With all these attractions at your disposal while on your Uganda wildlife safari to Semuliki expect to have an exciting Uganda safari adventure as there are numerous Uganda safari activities in Semuliki national park besides birding. Some of these other tourist activities in Semuliki include Uganda cultural safari encounters with the Bakonzo and nature walks. In order for you to maximize your Uganda safaris tours experience in Semuliki national, you need to make an overnight stay in any of the numerous Uganda safari lodges in Semuliki national park. Some of these Uganda hotels in Semuliki include luxury lodges like Semuliki safari lodge, Ntoroko game lodge, Kyaniga safari lodge which is located near Semuliki. Mid-range lodges that can be used while on a safari Uganda to Semuliki national park include Kirumia guest house, Bumuga campsite.
Have you heard of the Bakonzo people? The Bakonzo people are more closely related to the Batwa people who you can meet while on your Uganda gorilla safari to Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Wait for more about of the Bakonzo people in the next episode of our episode about attractions in Semuliki
If you are interested in a safaris Uganda to Semuliki National Park there are various tour companies in Uganda that offer Uganda safaris tours to Semuliki for birding experience and these include Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd and Wild Gorilla Safaris these safari companies organize various tour Uganda packages that are in form of Uganda wildlife safaris that can be either short Uganda wildlife safaris or long Uganda wildlife safaris to Semuliki National park and other national parks such as Lake Mburo National Park Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park Murchison Falls National Park Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. and Kibale Forest National Park Uganda.
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