Entangled in the escarpments of Bundibugyo town the Sempaya hot springs in the Semiliki River valley, the springs contain different micro organisms which support a lot of wildlife; the springs originate from the Semiliki River that’s always streaming with a lot of wildlife.
The Sempaya hot springs are located in two places and are know as male and female springs, the springs are one of the Semliki national park attractions, it’s waters eject clouds of steam as far as 2kms, this hot springs attract a lot of wetland birds and aquatic animals but animals can’t sadly survive for long.
The Sempaya hot springs are also sometimes known as Semliki hot springs, the temperatures of Sempaya hot springs reach up to 130° centigrade located amidst a thick under growth, the word Sempaya is derived from a Kiswahili word “Sehemu mbaha” to mean “difficult side” the springs we’re called so because of the difficult construction of Fort portal Bundibugyo road it was not easy because of the ridges and rocks of mount Rwenzori.
The story of the male spring is based on the story that some women went to fetch water and found an old man wearing bark clothe wielding his spear either a dog following in a zigzag direction, the man was hairy and weird so the women ran home to tell their husbands and who picked the man and took him to their village getting him even a woman he was called Biteeete.
He continued his hunting but one time never returned back home after going for hunting, the village men who wen to search out for him only found a spear at the place of the present day male springs but no sign of him was seen up to today. They decided to run and tell the wife known as Nyansimbi who aslo ran to the forest never to return. When they went out to search for her, only her clothes were found at the present day female hot springs.
From that day on wards the Bagama people came to know the springs as male and female hot springs and believe that their female ancestors live besides the female hot springs while the makes live besides the male host springs. The Bagama people perform rituals annually from this springs.
Visiting g the hot springs offers an incredible experience but tourists can visit the Semliki national park for a more thrilling safari experience some of the activities you can engage at Semliki national park can be seen below;
Tourists can go for game drives at Semiliki national park and get a chance to see Uganda’s wildlife some of the animals to see on a game drive are bush bucks, water bucks, lions, hyenas, elephants and many more.
Semilikinational park is also endowed with a lot of bird life with over 150 species of birds some of which are endemic to this area while are others are residential birds. Tourists can have great opportunities of seeing g the rare shoebill.
For those interested in the endangered gorilla trekking tourists can visit the famous Mgahinga national park and encounter the endangered mountain gorillas that can only be seen with in he virunga massif
Sempaya hot springs can be accessed 465 kilometers from Kampala; the springs are 52 kilometers from Fort portal- Bundibugyo road.
Accommodation can be got at Semiliki national park ranging from camping, mid range and budget accommodation units.