Katchikally Crocodile Pool
Along the coast from Banjul at Bakau, the crocodile pool is quite an incerdible experience. The taxi stopped in the middle of the small town and we just asked a couple of local to show us the way to the pool.
We saw a couple of small crocodiles off the side of the pool in amongst the vegetation, and were busy taking photographs when one of us decided to look down. Just as well. There, just a foot or so away from our feet, was an enormous croc! OK, we are told that they are tame and used to human visitors, well fed and unlikely to bite you, but a crocodile is still a crocodile. If I had stepped back in my eagerness to take pictures of his small cousins and accidentally landed on his toes, I don't think he would have been too happy!
I have never experience crocodiles like this before or since. It really is a MUST when in The Gambia!
All along the river coast from Banjul there are little fishing villages such as these.
The village was a hive of activity, as a couple of boats had just arrived back with todays catch. Dozens of locals go our to try and help get the catch ashore, in return for a few fish. It's a very colourful affair with lots of buckets and bright clothing.
The other side of the Gambia River is the ferry port of Barra, the main river crossing for entry into northern Sengal. We came back through there after having been to Senegal. The place is a full of life when the ferry arrives/departs, with colourful crowds thronging to get on and off, often heavily laden with luggage.
At the fishing village we were able to see them smoking the fish. This is done inside a large shed with minimum daylight.
The shed is hot, dark, very smoky and extremely smelly! But well worth a visit!
A nice idea is to go for a walk in the small but interesting botanical gardens. There are many different types of plants native to the Gambia within the enclosed area. You need to find someone to let you in as the gate to the garden is usually locked. There is also a small fee. when I visited the gardens I also saw hornbills that stop through the garden to eat seeds and what have you. Don't miss it!
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