Kitagata hot springs in Uganda

Kitaga Hot springs: A place of natural healing, activities at kitagata hot springs

The Kitagata Hot springs is found in a sub-county called Kitagata in Sheema district located in Ankole in the western region of Uganda.  The area got its name from the popular Kitagata hot springs. The word Kitagata is a Runyankole word meaning “warm” and it became famous for this place because of the presence of this very hot water that comes out of the earth’s crust to the surface after being heated up as a result of vulcanicity. The place is known by the residents of the area as “Ekitagata Kyamarembo” and has stories associated with it that are believed to have happened in the past.

Kitagata hot springs is visited daily by crowds of people from different areas of Uganda and beyond Uganda. The water of the hot springs is warm and is believed to heal skin diseases and muscle pains and even complicated diseases inside the body. Because of the healing powers of this water, you will find crowds of people around the area, others half naked relaxing on the stones around the place and others in the warm water. Kitagata hot springs has two zones; the one for women and children and the one for men.

There are two hot springs at Kitagata situated close to each other. One was named Ekyomugabe because it was used by the former Omugabe (king) of Ankole. The one with the healing powers is locally known as “Mulago” named after Mulago hospital which is the main and largest national referral hospital in Uganda. At the hot springs is the part with very hot water which can also make porridge and was used by the locals to mix local porridge called “Obushera” which is made by mixing extremely hot water and millet flour. This part has hot water that is more than 80 degrees Celsius and can boil an egg for eating. The other part has warm water and that’s where people swim. However much people of different skin problems bath in this pool of warm water at Kitagata, there has never be a case of spread of the diseases from one person to the other.

People here enjoy a unique kind of natural sauna and steam bathe which is always available at any time of the day and night. people living close to the hot springs that do not want to congregate here carry jerrycans, fetch water and take it home where they’ll bathe from.

Kitagata hot springs contains various minerals. These include potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, magnesium chloride, lithium sulphate, sodium chloride and calcium sulphate among others. The same kinds of minerals are used in manufacturing medicine and this could be the reason why the water of the hot springs has the ability of healing skin diseases.

Besides the healing power of the water of the hot spring, it also rejuvenates the body and offers a good relaxation for those who have bathed there. There is no fee charged for visiting the Kitagata hot springs and therefore many people go there for different purposes; healing, natural steam bath and for tourism purposes. It is estimated that this place receives about 800 people in one week.

Kitagata Hot springs is one of the most wondrous things that have existed in the region for years and is worth adding on your bucket list for your Uganda safari. The place where the hot springs is located offers spectacular views of the hills, valleys and then beautiful vegetation around the place and at a distance regardless of the hot water there.

Getting there

Kitagata hot springs is located in Kitagata sub-county, Sheema County found in Sheema district, along Ishaka-Kagamba road. It is situated about 2km southeast of Kitagata town. Sheema distrisct is about 300km from Kampala city and it takes about 5.5 hours to reach there by road.