Located about an hour’s drive from Mbarara in Western Uganda, the Kitagata Hot Springs are an important local attraction of the region.
I say “local”, because you won’t find a lot of foreign tourists there. People from all around the region and the country, flock to the site, though. According to local beliefs, the springs offer some significant medicinal benefits. Bathing there can supposedly cure a wide range of ailments.
As you approach the Kitagata springs, the smell of sulfur quickly becomes apparent. At first sight, the springs look like an overcrowded, natural pool, with people of all ages sitting around in the hot water.
As you get close, the idea of getting into the water becomes less than appealing, as it is rather dirty. The natural spring is merely a trickle, and the supply of new water is not sufficient to flush out the dirt from the huge crowd bathing there.
The brown, smelly, overcrowded water gave me flashbacks to the people bathing in the Ganges River in Varanasi. That didn’t entice me either. I am very happy for the people who enjoy it, though!