Idea #652 – Touching a crocodile in Bakau sacred pond in The Gambia
According to local legend, the sacred pond of Bakau, in the Gambia, has existed for more than 1600 years. It is home to many crocodiles, who bask in the pond or rest on its banks, at hand. The pond is frequented by a few tourists and curious, but also, and mainly, by natives seeking fertility, businessmen praying for their business, students to pass their exams, and politicians to be elected! Regardless of religion, Muslims, Christians all come to pray here, according to animist rites.
The ritual is simple, as we observed at the source El Hadji Omar in Casamance: the believer makes an offering in the form of sacrifice, usually a kola nut. Then he takes water from the pond, and takes a shower at his home, failing to have equipment on site. He then makes his wishes during his ablutions. Just believing it makes the spell possible. Touching one of the crocodiles, if you have the courage, gives you luck. A guide of the pond will accompany you for this experiment, with rather simple rules: to follow it to avoid accidentally falling on a crocodile egg, which would provoke the almost immediate attack of its mother, to wait for the crocodile to stop moving – which shows a state of stress – and never touch the croco head.
Where is it ?
Sacred Crocodile Pool, Kachikally, Bakau, Gambia