sacred crocodiles

Besoule Travel Blog

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If you travel to Africa just for the wildlife you probably won't choose Burkina Faso as a top destination, but there are plenty of animals to see. Some will take you some effort and luck to see, but touching a crocodile is something everyone can do easily. There are two sacred crocodile pools near Ouagadougou, one in Sabou and one in Besoulé. The one in Sabou is easily reached by bus, and therefore somewhat of a tourist trap, according to the guidebooks. Besoulé cannot be reached by public transport, so it is a lot quieter. We went there on a friend's moped.

To be honest, the crocodiles are rather tame. The only way to get them to move is to feed them a live chicken, which you can buy at the entrance. I'm not quite sure why they are sacred, just that they bring good luck and that they have been worshipped here for centuries.

One of the sacred crocodiles
So they're used to humans, and apparantly not stupid enough to bite the hand that feeds them live chickens. Even though I was assured they were not dangerous, I was still a bit scared of them. After some hesitation I was brave enough to pet one for the photo, but that was good enough for me. No need to lift up ones tail, open its mouth or sit on it.

We got to the crocodile pool around sunset, which was really beautiful. This also meant we had to drive back to Ouaga at Paris-Dakar speed though, because there could be bandits on the road after nightfall. There was still a lot of traffic around us so I was more scared of crashing the moped, but we got back safe and sound either way.

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One of the sacred crocodiles
One of the sacred crocodiles
Much more comfortable than a croco…
Much more comfortable than a croc…
photo by: seraphimkarlien
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