Sacred crocodile alert


If you’ve never stroked a two meter crocodile before, here’s your chance…

The privately owned Kachikally pool in the Gambia, about 10 miles from the capital, is home to about a hundred crocodiles. It’s considered a sacred pool, which means the crocodiles living in them are sacred as well so no one is allowed to kill or harm them. Most of them are just lying around in the seemingly shallow water minding their own business, others are dragging themselves around at a very slow pace, so slow that you can actually have your photo taken while you’re kneeling down next to them and even while touching them. I did it too and although it doesn’t feel particularly safe, no one seems to worry about visitors suddenly disappearing… Made me wonder if perhaps the animals are drugged but what might really be going on is that they’re so well-fed that they couldn’t be bothered by the visitors. Local women with fertility problems come here to pray and wash themselves in the holy water. That’s why so many people in The Gambia are named ‘Kachi’: whenever a child is conceived after a visit to Kachikally, the parents name it after the pool. A very curious sight, worth a visit.