Kachikally Crocodile Pool in Bakau
Bijilo is the perfect base for nature and wildlife lovers who want to travel to nearby parks, such as the stunning Kachikally Crocodile Pool. Tucked away in the Gambian countryside, the pool is a short 20-minute drive from Bijilo. Catch a bus or order a taxi to take you the wildlife reserve where you'll face dozens of crocodiles swimming and lounging near the pool.
Around 80 crocodiles are living here, and they're free to roam the area. So, remember that you're the visitor and try not to interfere too much. Visiting this unique attraction is a great day out for anyone. Don't forget to check out the museum to learn more about the resident crocodiles.
Did you know that the crocodile represents the power of fertility in Gambia? Women travel to the park in hopes of overcoming difficulties in conceiving. They pray and wash in the pool. The legend of crocodiles bringing fertility to women dates back 500 years when the Bojang first settled in the area. It's said that the fertility spirit rewarded their kindness by providing them with a magic pool. All they had to do was populate it with wildlife. So, they put two crocodiles in the pool. Locals believe that the original two are ancestral to the crocodiles who inhabit it today.
The crocodile pool
When you visit the Kachikally crocodile pool, you'll spot dozens of Nile crocodiles of various sizes swimming in the swampy lakes. Some of the bigger ones reach 3m long. But most are around 2m or less in length. Many of the crocs are very docile and used to human company. It's important to be respectful of the animals who call the pool their home. It's also advised not to get too close.
Visit the museum
Step inside the Kachikally Museum, an ethnographic museum with over 1,000 historical artefacts. Learn about the history of the area and take a look at some ancient musical instruments and other cultural objects that are on display. Before you leave, make sure you to take a few minutes to shop for souvenirs. Pick up a few gifts for friends and family back home or treat yourself to some local handicrafts.
You've also got easy access to the refreshments bar here too. This gives you the opportunity to freshen up and hydrate yourself before heading back out to explore more of the park.
Walk along the nature trail
Kachikally crocodile pool is nestled within six acres of tropical forest. There are plenty of nature trails and footpaths to follow if you want to see more of the park. Spend the day soaking up the glorious African sunshine as you wander through the thick forest. Take a break under a sweeping palm tree or enjoy an hour or two of birdwatching.
You might even see some red-bellied paradise flycatchers, vervet monkeys, lizards and even snakes. But don't worry, the snakes aren't poisonous. When they see you, they'll probably just slither back into the grass to avoid crossing your path.
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