There is a village in Africa where the inhabitants live in harmony with crocodiles. People and crocodiles have a symbiotic relationship here, because the locals think they are sacred. And yet, all this could end because of mass tourism. In fact, many people from all over the world are starting to come here to "play" with crocodiles. Of course, this is affecting the perfect natural balance between people and crocodiles.
There is a village in Africa where the inhabitants live in harmony with crocodiles. People and crocodiles have a symbiotic relationship here, because the locals think they are sacred. And yet, all this could end because of mass tourism.
People and Crocodiles Living Together in Burkina Faso
They are the most dangerous predators on the planet. Yet in Bazoulé, in Burkina Faso, for generations the inhabitants have lived peacefully with them.
Bazoulé is a village with 20,000 people, who are the descendants of the Mossis warriors.
Here crocodiles live in freedom and go in and out of people‘s homes. In addition to this, there are those who feed them and even those who swim beside them. Fortunately, this is not like being in a zoo or in a water park. Living together, in fact, is peaceful in respect of roles. However, this certainly anomalous situation is starting to attract tourists.
Locals there believe that the crocodiles are sacred because of a popular tradition they continue to hand down. According to legend, during a very serious drought between the 14th and 15th centuries, a group of these large reptiles guided the women of the village to a source still unknown to humans. As a result, they would have saved the villagers from thirst.
Whether it’s true less in the end doesn’t matter. What is real is the fact that crocodiles are considered sacred totems, a kind of protectors because people see them as the soul of their ancestors. There is even a festival dedicated to them, the Koom Lakré, which is held at the end of October. On this occasion the inhabitants make vows and ask the great reptiles to fulfill their wishes for good health, prosperity and good harvests.
The Consequences of Mass Tourism
Unfortunately, although the village is not exactly easy to reach, it is turning into a tourist attraction. Many people from all over the world are starting to come here to “play” with crocodiles. For example, they ask for a bait (a whole hen) to feed the crocodiles so that they can take a picture with them.
Some people even sit on them. The price to access the “Sacred Crocodiles” site is 1000 Central African francs, which is just over 1.5 dollars. While the local economy is happy about that, the same does not apply to these poor animals. The perfect natural balance between people and crocodiles is in fact at risk.