Hanging out with crocodiles in Kachikally crocodile pool

Originally posted 2023-06-18

I´ve been a bit sick again so I´ve spent a lot of time in the apartment reading and sleeping and longing for something to happen. So when Buba suggested we go to the Kachikally Crocodile Pool I thought it was an excellent idea! Buba is actually a tour guide so he knows all the places like the back of his hand.

kachikally crocodiles in the gambia
Colorful paintings outside Kachikally crocodile pool and museum

The Kachikally crocodile pool

The Kachikally crocodile pool is located in Bakau and is viewed as sacred by the locals. Women come here to pray and wash them selves with the sacred water. This is supposed to help with fertility and brings good luck. Children concieved after prayers in the crocodile pool are often named Kachikally.

The entrance fee is only 100 dalasi (1.5 euro) so it´s affordable even if you are on a budget.

kachikally crocodiles in the sun the gambia
I wonder if the crocodiles have eaten someone before

Small ethnic museum

We started by visiting the small ethnic museum on the premise. The different exhibition rooms were located in different small houses and contained objects and information about Gambian history and cultures. I liked the exhibition about jujus the most. A juju is a magic object and it can be used in different ways. It´s mostly used for protection though and can protect you from sickness, bad people and black magic. Sometimes you see people wearing them under their clothes and you can also see them in peoples cars if you know what to look for.

magic and jujus in the gambia
West African witchcraft and black magic. Jujus on display

Crocodiles and varans

After the museum we walked in the small park surrounding the pond where the crocodiles live. I was afraid of the varans (Varanus exanthematicus) making noice in the bush but Buba assured me that they would not eat me.

When we reached the pond the crocodiles were basking in the sun. It´s kind of scary to walk around wild crocodiles even though these crocodiles are well fed, happy and lazy. “You can touch one if you want” said the guide.
With all the nature documentaries about crocodiles (eating their pray) flashing before my eyes, I kindly declined the offer.
Many crocodiles were cooling down in the green pond filled with water lettuce. I also learned that the crocodiles sometimes bury them selves in leaves to regulate the temperature.

kachikally crocodiles in the sun the gambia
Not so different from the tourists om the beach really

The park has 100 crocodiles of the West African crocodile species (Crocodylus Suchus) and the guide told us that they collect all the eggs to keep the population limited. They feed them with fish to keep them satisfied and happy.

kachikally crocodiles in the gambia
Look at that skin!

kachikally crocodiles in the gambia
This one looks very happy doesent he/she?

Lets hope that our visit will give us good luck and keep us healthy now even though we didn´t wash our selves with the crocodile water 😀

There are some more photos on Instagram

xoxo/ Salla V
Originally posted 2023-06-18