Hot springs in Rwanda
Hot springs in Rwanda : Hot springs are a fascinating geographical feature and a not so common sighting however Rwanda has a number of them. The hot springs are beautiful and unique features associated with some traditional beliefs and the communities staying around the hot springs hold them in high regard. Hot springs are hot water bodies just like their name suggests and are a result of geo-thermal activity in the area.
Hot springs spew hot water that has been heated underground and comes out to the earth’s surface. The hot springs are also associated with volcanic activity and they are usually existent in areas with a history of volcanic activity. The hot springs are natural water or swampy points that have naturally heated water all the time with some points hotter than others.
The temperature of the water in the hot springs is hot enough to boil an egg and also warm enough to take a simple bath. If you are interested in taking a bath in the hot springs, this will have to be guided as some points of the hot springs can greatly burn off human skin if there is direct contact. The heat generated in the area gives the place a misty look at most times and these hot springs are said to be very deep as the rocks keeping getting down deeper.
Rwanda is one of the countries that are associated with volcanic activity and this is one of the factors for the existence of the hot springs. Here are a number of the hot springs in Rwanda.
- Bugarama Hot Springs
The Bugarama Hot springs are one of the most visited hot springs on a Rwanda safari and by the local Rwandan people as well. The Bugarama Hot springs are located 60 kilometers away from the Cyangugu town. Cyangugu is the nearest town and this is in the Rusizi district which is in the western province of Rwanda.
The Bugarama hot springs are sitted at the bottom of a limestone quarry that serves the Cimerwa cement factory located 13 kilometers away. These hot springs can be accessed by road and can also be spotted from a far by passersby as they have a misty and bubbling look that catches the eye. They appear as a green pool of water as they are covered by the beautiful water plant called Nymphaea thermarum a type of lily. This is a rare lily but a beautiful one.
A visit to the Bugarama Hot springs for the international guests is 45 USD.
- Gisenyi Hot Springs
The Gisenyi Hot Springs are also another great hot spring to visit on your Rwanda tour. These hot springs are situated on the eastern shore of the Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s longest lake and is shared by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These hot springs are located 2 kilometers away from the Bralirwa brewery that makes some local brews that you should try out when in the area.
The Gisenyi Hot springs have smaller and more defined vents that spew hot water that is within temperatures of 70 degrees centigrade to 75 degrees centigrade. These temperatures are hot enough to boil an egg in about 20 minutes.
- Kinigi Hot Springs
The Kinigi Hot Springs are the most common for the visitors of the Volcanoes national park as they are located in Kinigi which is the base for the Volcanoes national park, the home of the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. These hot springs are located near the Lake Kivu and the Iby’iwachu cultural center where guests get to enjoy a cultural treat while in the region.
The Iby’iwachu cultural center hosts a group of Rwandan traditional dancers and drummers and these can be enjoyed while at the hot spring.
- Nyamyumba Hot Springs
The Nyamyumba Hot Springs are another hot springs that are located in Gisenyi in Rubavu district. The Nyamyumba Hot Springs are located just 7 kilometers away from Gisenyi town and is often visited by the local community that is living around them. The local community holds these hot springs at high regard and associate them with healing and spiritual importance.
They call these hot springs the magical waters because of the said healing powers attained from the water at this site. It is a common site to find the local swimming semi dress or completely nude taking a “healing bath” in these waters. The waters of these hot springs can also boil an egg at some points so be sure to pass by for the experience.