KACHIKALLY CROCODILE POOL – A SACRED POOL
THE GAMBIA – AFRICA
The Kachikally Crocodile Pool (also known as Katchikally or Katchikali) is in a 9 acre site in the southern section of Bakau Old Town, Kombo St. Mary District of The Gambia, and is 12 km to the west of the Banjul capital. The complex also has a museum of ethnography, a mini-forest nature trail, a souvenir shop and a refreshments bar. There is also car parking space just outside the front.
The Kachikally Sacred Crocodile Pool is known by locals for its healing powers and as a place where people come to pray for blessings. It is sometimes seen as a place of last resort for infertile women who wish to conceive; being washed by specially trained women of the Bojang clan, after which they are told not to shake hands with anyone in Bakau. Many others with long-term ailments or misfortune also come to the pool to bestow them luck and offer kola nuts, cloth and other offerings to the Bojang family and the crocs in return. Sacred rituals are still occasionally held here; often accompanied by dancing and drumming, most of the time, however, the only visitors are tourists.
Once you get through the entrance, you make your way down a path bordered by large trees frequented by monkeys, insects and birds. When you reach the pool it is usually overgrown with pakanju – water lettuce – arum, so you won’t see much of the fresh water itself. There are about 80 odd crocodiles in and around the pool and you should be able to spot over a dozen dozing on the banks, and maybe a few cattle egrets on a circle of water lettuce.
The creatures are not particularly large, most measure less than two metres long, the non-nesting crocs are known to be very docile and you will often see some visitors stroking or touching them. They are exclusively fed fish twice a week.
The semi-aquatic reptiles were once thought to be Nile Crocodiles, however research suggests they are a different species, called the Desert or West African Crocodile.
The recording below is performed by the administrator of the page, in this video you will see the area of the Kachikally Crocodile Pool and lots of crocodiles – from minute 2.20 the guy talks about the sacred place and its healing forces.
Source text: accessgambia