Kachikally Crocodile Pool in The Gambia, the Smiling Coast of Africa, is popular place.
As the Gambians say: “Gambia, no poblem”.
In the town of Bakau, near the Banjul, capital of the Gambia, there is a lake very visited to observe and even touch the crocodiles that live in it: Kachikally Crocodile Pool.
Kachikally Crocodile Pool in The Gambia.
Bakau is a town on the Atlantic coast founded, more than 500 years ago, by the Bojang family. Bakau was a very small town until the nineteenth century, its population grew with the arrival of Europeans, for its strategic position north of the capital.
It is really curious to find this lake or crocodile pool away from the river and that exists naturally. The reptiles coexist with the people of the place, their caretakers.
How did the crocodiles reach this lake and have they lived there for more than 500 years?
According to oral tradition, many years ago, there was only one well in Bakau. One day the brothers Tambasi and Jaali while they were extracting wine from a palm tree near the well, received the visit of a spirit with human form.
This spirit took the form of a woman with her baby on her back. As the woman approached to draw water from the well, the baby fell into it well. The woman shouted for help.
The two brothers came quickly to the well and the woman shouted in mandinka (one of the most spoken languages in The Gambia): kachikally !!! … what it means: take it and give it to me.
Tambasi and Jaali , the brothers, helped the woman, took the baby out of the well and gave it to the woman in her arms.
The spirit in the form of a woman told them that:
this well in the future will be a sacred place for you…
what has happened has been a test for you, to know if you are able to take care of this sacred place and have custody of the place. You will be the healers of the place and you will heal other people…
To this day, the Bojang family still have custody and are healers.
Later, the brothers went fishing in the river and captured two crocodiles. Upon returning home, their mothers threw the crocodiles to the sacred lake of Kachikally and these crocodiles are the original ancestors of this lake.
The sacred lake of Kachikally, in Bakau, is respected and known by the population of the country.
In The Gambia, some women come to the lake to perform a sacred ritual: to bathe in the fresh-water of the crocodile lake as a fertility treatment.
Currently, more than 80 crocodiles live in the lake, although it is not known exactly how many there are.
Crocodiles are not dangerous, on the contrary, you can take pictures with them and even touch them.
These Reptiles can measure around five meters and live as many years as people.
Their caregivers know some of the crocodiles and even call them by name, such as Charlie.
In addition to enjoying the incredible lake, in Kachikally there is a small Park with a variety of flora and fauna.
We can admire elephant trees, baobabs, palm trees, mango tree …
During the walk through the park, we can discover large termite mounds…
And a variety of birds such as the vulture, the marabou bird, the eagle, the heron.
The Gambia is an extraordinary territory for bird watching, a natural paradise for people who love Ornithology.
Upon arrival at Kachikally, the first thing we find is the Ethnographic Museum.
In the Museum we can find warlike artefacts, agricultural tools, traditional clothing, musical instruments, elements for initiatory rituals and traditional medicine. As well as stories from the history of The Gambia and the Gambians, such as his participation in World War II.
The Crocodile Pool of Kachikally in The Gambia is a recommended visit for travelers.
Enjoy the ride !!!!