Sempaya Hot Springs.
There is no doubt when one says that Uganda is pearl of Africa with all diverse attractions including physical features. Among the physical features that attracts tourist in western part of Uganda are hot springs in Semiliki National Park. 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. The Sempaya hot spring is also known as the Semiliki’s Female and Male hot spring, it scenic view and rich history behind its existence attracts many people from different parts of the world. These are the popular attractions in the Semiliki National Park which has historical significance in the tourism industry of Uganda.
The Sempaya Hot Springs are found in lush swampy clearing close to the South eastern part of the Semiliki forest with two hot springs (the Female Spring and the Male Spring) located in distinct sites from each other. The Female spring has boiling water at 103°C usually jets water up to 2m above the ground while the Male Spring is more distant from the Female reached by following a trail. Viewing at these hot springs leaves you with a memorable experiences on top of the rich story behind the Female and Male Semiliki hot springs.
Although hot springs are said to be formed by some natural external forces but local people (Bamaga) near the springs have a different story which is so interesting and exciting on hearing to it from the folk lore. It is said that the steaming Male hot spring is historical where by the Bamaga women found a hairy man dresses in bark cloth wielding spear with dog in the forest moving in Zig-Zig formation around the site of the Male hot spring when they had gone to fetch firewood. The women went back home and told their husbands who decide to pick and take him to their homes, afterwards got him a wife. The man later became Biteete and continued hunting but one time never returned home, after three days, the men searched for him and just found a spear at the present day Male hot spring but no traces of the man or the dag. They assumed that he disappeared from the same spot and they went back home to tell the wife (Nyansimbi) who also ran to the forest to find out but never retuned also. In the subsequent search, they found her clothes at the site of the present day Female hot spring.
This makes the rich history behind the Female and Male hot springs (Sempaya hot springs) and up to day, the Bamaga believe their female ancestors live beneath the Female Hot Springs while the male ancestors live at Male hot spring. The Bamaga perform annual rituals at the springs to appease their ancestors so as to be always allowed to access the national park. People therefore, living neat these hot springs have spiritual attachment to them.
The waters in these hot springs are believed to cure certain diseases like ringworms and women go to the Female hot springs for cure of infertility and other female related problems. The hot springs acts as both tourist destinations and locations for rehabilitation clinic for these 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. These makes the tourists to be able to watch these games, also watch different bird spices, having nature walks thus giving incredible experience to the tourist. Another exciting activity that gives tourists a great experience is boiling food stuffs such as eggs, cassava and green bananas in these hot springs.