Destination thrills during Uganda Safaris work better if you can throw in one more attraction en route to another. This is the exhilarating case with many Uganda destinations. One attraction is usually located on the road that leads to another, sometimes very close, so you (the traveler) often have to ask ahead of time if your operator is willing to throw in divergent routes to your itinerary. Divergent enough to give you an entire experience that is both worth the money and your wanderlust.
For example, Pian Upe game reserve is a good stopover en route to Kidepo, Kibaale forest and Chimpanzee trekking experiences are a good treat when you are headed to see tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, meanwhile nearby these destinations are gorilla populations and experiences that could forever stay etched in your travel diary and memory.
Entebbe Wildlife Center is a nice stopover when you are heading for Mabamba birdwatching experiences. Murchison Falls National Park (you guessed right) can give you a taste of the ferocious waterfalls, both at Karuma and the famous selfie spot itself. Ggaba Fish market is a gateway for many Lake Victoria experiences including bird watching, among others.
And so, the possibilities increase as you explore Uganda, so much of enroute experiences as you taste the true pearl of Africa. We haven’t even talked about Sipi Falls as you head to Mountain Elgon in the east, or White Nile sightings as you approach Arua (another spectacle city). Uganda is a gift that keeps giving, you just have to pay attention.
Likewise, getting to Lake Mburo National Park gives you a fresh experience of Kitagata hot spring, combining a rare trip that fronts your convenience.
Kitagata Hot Springs are natural hot water springs located in Sheema District, in the Western Region of Uganda. The springs are the result of volcanic activity, where water is heated underground and emerges to the surface with high temperatures and mineral content. The springs are also known as Ekitagata Kyamarembo, which means “the warm water” in the local language of Runyankole.
Scenes from Kitagata hotsprings as locals bathe in waters believed to heal multiple ailments. (Facebook photo)
The water of the springs is believed to have medicinal properties that can cure various diseases and ailments, such as skin infections, muscle pains, arthritis, and infertility. Many people come to bathe in the warm water, drink it, or even cook with it. Some people also believe that the springs have spiritual significance and offer prayers and sacrifices to the gods.
One traveler to the west of Uganda, speaking of their experience notes, ”Our guide stopped here to show us the springs, the place was very busy with locals. It is believed that the springs have healing powers, there is a heart shape within the stones where people lie over and pray. Yes, some people had soap most were just bathing in the water it was enough for me to just bathe my feet. It was an enjoyable half hour and we were made to feel welcome.”
The springs are a good gateway connection to Lake Mburo National Park which is famous for its walking safaris. Safari enthusiasts speak highly of the national park stating, “If you want to camp inside the park, in a secluded location, Kingfisher site is great. (also known as number 3) A little out of the way and tricky to find, so be sure to ask for specific directions. With a lovely view of the lake, you will see hippos popping their heads out at dusk and sunrise. Light a fire as a precaution to protect you from the hippos. There was one open shelter and amenities, however there was no running water at the time we stayed. Peaceful and surrounded by nature. The stars under the African sky were so bright and wonderful!”
Other Lake Mburo clients speak of her zebra population remarking “We did a morning drive and then a short walking safari. It’s the home of the zebras; they’re everywhere. I loved to see how healthy they look. Also, tons of giraffes were spotted. A place to visit”
And of course, traveler reviews about the walking safaris at Lake Mburo abound too. One traveler points out “We did a walking tour of Lake Mburo National Park. It was early in the morning when we set out and the fog had settled in over the park which gave it an ethereal atmosphere. It was magical to see the giraffes appearing out of the mist – there was a large herd and we got very close. During our 2-hour walk, we got to see zebras, and impalas up close. It was all rather lovely.”
Mburo National Park also has a connection to multiple other destinations in western Uganda, including Kibaale (famous for chimpanzee trekking), Queen Elizabeth (famous for her tree-climbing lions), Rwenzori mountains, Bwindi impenetrable forest, and Mgahinga National Park (famous for its mountain gorilla population- , half of which live in this southwestern region of Uganda)
Back to Kitagata, there are two main hot springs at Kitagata, situated close to each other. One is called Ekyomugabe, which means “the king’s water”. This spring was used by the former king of Ankole, a traditional kingdom that reigned there until 1967. The water of this spring is very hot, reaching up to 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit). Locals may imply its capacity to boil eggs and make porridge from millet flour.
The other spring is called Mulago, which means “hospital”. This spring is the one with the healing powers, and it has a lower temperature of about 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). It can accommodate up to 200 people at a time, who bathe in the large pool or relax on the rocks around it.
Kitagata Hot Springs is one of Uganda’s most impressive and captivating natural holiday attractions. They offer a unique opportunity to witness nature’s beauty and power at its finest. They are also a place of healing and relaxation for many people who visit them.
These are rare holiday destinations to include in your itinerary, yet they remain worth it in every way, talk to our safari planner today about these often unusual routes that seem to often surprise travelers whose sights are often set in one direction.