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Hot springs in Semuliki national park

Hot springs in Semuliki national park are one of the major attractions within this park protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda

Hot springs in Semuliki national park

Hot springs in Semuliki national park: The hot springs are one of the major attractions within Semuliki national park. Semuliki national park is one of the protected areas by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda. This national park is located in the western part of Uganda in Bundibugyo district. Semuliki national park was gazetted in 1932 as a forest reserve and later in 1993, it was upgraded into a national park to protect the different attractions.

Uganda Wildlife Authority is the government agency protecting and managing Semuliki national park. It has played a very important role in the protection of different attractions that are within the park. Among these attractions are the hot springs. Semuliki national park is where you meet two hot springs (the male and the female) inside the park.

Semuliki national park has only two hot springs and every tourist that visit the park wants to visit one or the two before leaving. The hot springs are located within Semuliki national park near Ituri Forest which is near the border of Uganda and DR Congo.  The female and male hot springs are 30 30-minute walk away from each other but all inside the park.

The female hot spring in Semuliki national park

The female hot spring is known as Nyasimbi named by the locals who were living around Semuliki national park after the disappearance of a woman. They are the most popular hot springs within the park because they are very hot. The water at the female hot spring is more than 100 degrees celicius meaning that the heat is more than that of Kitagata hot springs.

What makes the female hot spring in Semuliki national park famous is the geyser which gushes out water up to 2 meters in the air. The water of the female hot spring is so hot that it can boil eggs and banana if you are not in a hurry. Tourists who visit the female hot springs enjoy boiled eggs cooked in this miraculous water.

The male hot spring in Semuliki national park

The male hot spring in Semuliki national park is called Biteete according to the local people. They named the hot springs after a man named Biteete went missing in the forest and his spear was found around the hot spring. Biteete is a pool of hot water but not as hot as that found in the female hot springs.

Cultural beliefs about the formation of Semuliki hot springs

The local people who lived near the hot springs have their own story about the formation of the hot springs in Semuliki national park. The local people say that long time ago people saw a man not common in the village who had a dog and a spare go into the forest of Semiliki. When he came back, the local people welcomed him and they allowed him to stay with them in their village.

After some time, this man married someone from the village and still continued to do his hunting in Semuliki forest. One day when the man went hunting again, he never came back and the locals had to go look for him. They never located them but they found only his spear around the hot springs which is now called the male hot spring.

When the wife of this man found out that his man had been missing, she ran into the forest to look for her man. The woman did not come back and the locals went into the forest to look for her thinking she could have gotten lost. She was never discovered but only her clothes were discovered at the hot springs which are today called the female host springs.

Biteete was the name of the man and the locals called the male hot spring Biteete while Nyamsibi was the name of the woman and the locals called the hot spring Nyamsibi. Today the locals believe that these people died from where they found their belongings and they are underground in these 2 hot springs. The locals are allowed to enter the national park and perform cultural rituals so as to make peace with their ancestors.

How were the hot springs in Semuliki national park created scientifically?

The water at hot springs is too hot and scientists have given their own reason as to why. Scientists say subsurface magma heats ground water creating steam and hot water that induces pressure hence breaking the earth’s crust through different geothermal processes. The hot water rises through fissures and cracks then passes through hot rocks thus becoming too hot as it gets out of the ground. When it reaches the surface, hot springs are created and the temperature is always too high.

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