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Tucked away from The Gambia’s Capital, Banjul, the Kachikally Museum and Crocodile Pond in Bakau, is a major attraction for tourists.
Kachikally is a privately owned shrine belonging to the Bojang family of Bakau, one of the founding families and major land owners of the city.
Name d after the central district of Bakau town, (other districts are Sanchaba and New Town), the Kachikally Museum houses diverse cultural artefacts from parts of the Gambia and beyond and has existed since the 17th century.
Its background never ceases to amaze many a tourist, especially those from the Western World.
However, hidden behind the scenes of the building housing the Museum lies another surreal attraction: the holy crocodile pool.
The pool is reported to be home to between 70 and 100 ‘friendly’ crocodiles.
Additional reports include the occasional sighting of the albino crocodiles, a tale that adds to the uniqueness of the tourist site.
Interestingly, one of the most famous crocodiles was named ‘Charlie’, who unlike most other crocodiles, was allowed to roam freely, and can be approached and touched by visitors.
The handlers of the site narrated how crocodiles found in the wild are sometimes brought to and reared at the holy pool.
However, sighting of ‘friendly’ crocs is not the only attraction drawing hordes of tourists to the pool. Tales abound, particularly from amongst the locals, of cases of infertility suffered by women who had challenges with conception becoming a thing of the past after a dip in the pool or a bath (at a designated bath area within the premises) with water drawn from the crocodile pool. These seemingly mythical powers associated with the ‘Holy Pool’ are believed by most locals who consider the pool as a spiritual ground that derives its healing potency from the presence of deities worshipped there since centuries past.
Local women who are without children usually come to the pool to take the ritual baths with the belief that they will become fertile and bear children afterwards. Because they believe, it seems to work for them.
Source: ECOPARL News