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Kachikally Crocodile Pool

My Magazine 2022/12
5 min
Author: Lamin Bojang
The old town of Bakau is characterised by its picturistic coastline, street cafes, street craft shops, and narrow, unpaved streets that provide a glimpse into homes with hanging washed clothes flapping to the wind. But the most renowned attraction of the old town is the sacred Katchically crocodile pool situated in the heart of the town and visited by thousands every year.

Founded by the Bojang family of Bakau, the pool was said to be a well belonging to a spirit called KatchiKally, who sought help from the Bojang family and, in return for their help, disclosed the powerful secret of the well to them. The well (now a pool) is said to help infertile women to become fertile and conceive a baby after going through certain rituals.  

The Crocodiles at the sacred pool feed on frogs as well as fish provided by the Bojang family. Originally the pool had only two crocodiles, but now the numbers have increased to more than forty, and the most famous amongst them is the white crocodile named Charlie, for it is locally believed that any prayers made on the sighting of Charlie will be fulfilled. Visitors from all around the world visit Katchically to keep vigil with the spirits of the pool and seek the spirit's blessing. People who seek the blessing of the spirits bring along cola nuts distributed to the custodian family, who gather to pray. The person seeking the spirits' blessing is bathed with water from the pool and advised to abstain from adultery and other unbecoming behaviours. The person is also advised to return for the second and final stage of the rituals when his or her wishes are fulfilled.  

Aside from its spiritual connotations, the pool also attracts tourists who come to see the crocodiles, touch them and take photos with them. The sacred pool also has a local museum that provides more than collections of artefacts and allows you to meet with neighbours, discuss thoughts and opinions, and spend time with friends and family in a positive way.

Visit Kachikally with us! Know more about the sacred pool, explore Bakau and learn about one of the smallest capitals in the world.

 
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