Kitagata Hot Springs
When water is heated in the earth’s bowels and emerges from the earth’s crust, it forms a hot spring. Let’s take a look into The Kitagata Hot Springs, the most sought after in Uganda and experienced this magnificent work of nature first-hand
There are breathtaking views of panoramic hills and valleys and virgin green vegetation as you approach Kitagata Hot Springs.
On reaching the site, especially in the evenings, one wonders whether it is a market, for there is a big crowd of humanity gathered here. The half-naked people sitting on rocks as they enjoy the natural warm water are here to relish one of Uganda’s gifts of nature. This place attracts hundreds of people daily.
At Kitagata Hot Springs, women and children have their own zone, while men have a separate section to themselves. The hot springs are made up of two sections: one side has water hot enough to prepare porridge or an egg, while another side has warm water.
Many stories have been told about Kitagata Hot Springs, but the most popular belief is that it has healing powers. There are two hot springs adjacent to each other, one of the springs is known as Ekyomugabe, because it was used by the former king (Omugabe) of Ankole. The spring with healing powers is named after Mulago Hospital.
In physical sciences, there is an explanation for the hot springs in the volcanic system around this area. Beneath the surface in areas like Kitagata, there is heat from hot rocks or even way below the surface. When it comes into contact with any water above the ground, it heats it, leading to hot springs.
The water on the surface runs through cracks in the earth and results in steam. Sometimes, the water is heated to boiling point.
Any proven healing properties from the water could be from the mineral components found in the rocks, or from the heat (for instance acting on swollen joints) or from the relaxation.
The people visit this place for different reasons. But most of them are here for the healing. Others are here for leisure and to have a glimpse of God’s wonders.
Those who do not want to bathe on the scene, come with jerry cans to take hot water back home. People gather at Kitagata Hot Springs from dawn to midnight, and even up to morning, allowing the benefits of the mineral-rich waters to soothe them.
“Unlike the steam baths in towns, when we visit Kitagata Hot Springs, we relax in the natural warm water and, after that, we enjoy a good sleep” People usually comment
Kitagata Hot Springs have a lot of potential in terms of attracting tourists, as they have a strategic location for a Tour in Uganda
Unlike Uganda’s national parks where entrance fees are set, at Kitagata Hot Springs, it is free entry and exit. Some tourists inquire about the cost for using the hot springs, or how much they should pay to tour the area, only to be told: “It is up to you.” Funny Answer! Isn’t it?
Currently, climate change worries the locals. They have noticed that when it rains, River Ngaromwenda, the river that supplies water to the springs, floods and the springs become almost cold.
Interference has been the construction of Ishaka-Kitagata-Kagamba road, which locals claim tampered with the hot spring’s water system
Of course nature destruction is almost everywhere but it would be an unforgettable scenario if you booked a safaris to Uganda and view these beautiful hot springs before they become history.