Hippo House has truly lived up to its name today! Last night I was woken up at about half past 4 to a hippo grazing right outside my window – a bit of a shock when I opened the curtains and it was that close! Sadly, it was our last day staying in the park and we begin our travels back towards Entebbe today, with a few stop offs over the next few days. After waking up at 4.30 to the hippo, I couldn’t get back to sleep so I knew it was going to be a long day.
We made our final visit to Tembo for breakfast to bring our time in the national park to a complete full circle.
The car journey was long and pretty boring, so to pass time, Luke, Paul and I played a game called Mexican handbag in which you choose a country and an item and make up a meaning which became quite entertaining and has seemingly created a new language for us!
We arrived in Fort Portal, new word meanings in tow, and found our hotel for the night. It is very different to Hippo House, mainly because it has hot water! We dropped off our bags quickly and headed off to Semuliki National Park to visit the hot springs. The scenery on the journey was magnificent, the road we took weaved between tremendous hills and felt similar to the Amalfi coast mixed with the views of mountains that you may find in Austria but twice the size.
Once we arrived at the springs, we visited the female spring first. There is a male and female spring at the park, named so due to a couple who went out into the forest and never returned but it is believed their spirits can still be found there. The female springs were so hot we were able to cook eggs in them. I was allowed to put them in the water but they had to go into a shallower area first which wasn’t so hot so that they didn’t crack. We looked around the rest of the spring while they cooked for 10 minutes, including looking at the fountain part which was like a sauna if you stood too close – hopefully I should have glowing skin now! When the eggs were cooked, we peeled them quickly as they were extremely hot, and ate them. I had two and they were really tasty, although it felt odd they had been cooked in the water we were standing near. Then we moved onto the male spring. This was a short drive and walk across a long jetty of wooden planks through breathtaking scenery which felt like we were in a scene in Moana. When we arrived it was much bigger than the first spring. It was wider and there wasn’t a fountain as the source of the spring was under the middle of the water. We didn’t cook anything here but were able to use some planks of wood to get very close to it to see the remains of sacrifices of money and bones from animals, as the local people believe that the lake has healing and wish granting properties.
We left the springs and returned through the beautiful scenery again. When we got to the hotel we had some time to relax in our rooms before finding a hotel (recommended by Isaac at the lodge) for dinner which was lush. I had fajitas which I had been craving! Whilst the boys watched football, Meg and I went to explore and found a swimming pool and pool table! Joffrey played Andy and almost beat him one handed! Meg and I played a game too and I lost by only one ball.