The Kachikally Sacred Crocodile Pool

This is known by local Gambians for its healing powers and as a place where people come to pray for blessings.

It is sometimes seen as a place of last resort for infertile women who wish to conceive; being washed by specially trained women of the Bojang clan, after which they are told not to shake hands with anyone in Bakau.

Many others with long-term ailments or misfortune also come to the pool to bestow them luck and offer kola nuts, cloth and other offerings to the Bojang family and the crocs in return.

Sacred rituals are still occasionally held here; often accompanied by dancing and drumming, most of the time, however, the only visitors are tourists.

The site entrance wall is colourfully painted with wildlife scenes. Once you get through the entrance, you make your way down a path bordered by large trees frequented by monkeys, insects and birds.

When you reach the pool it is usually overgrown with pakanju-water lettuce – arum, so you won’t see much of the fresh water itself. There are about 80 odd crocodiles in and around the pool and you should be able to spot over a dozen dozing on the banks, and maybe a few cattle egrets on a circle of water lettuce.

The creatures are not particularly large, most measure less than two metres long, the non-nesting crocs are known to be very docile and you will often see some visitors stroking or touching them.

They are exclusively fed fish twice a week, which consists mostly of bonga shad brought in from the Bakau fish jetty. You may often hear about ‘Charlie’, however this is a generic name for quite a few of the crocodilians, which are known as ‘bambo’ in the Mandinka language.

Albert Market is in Banjul on Liberation Avenue and is the capital’s main urban market. It was named after Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

It is essentially an emporium that is pungent, lively and bustling with a large selection of vividly designed fabrics, carved wooden masks and fresh produce which is packed to the brim.

All this is laid out within a labyrinth of alleys and hundreds of rickety stalls and purpose built shops. It is open from 8am to 7pm.