If there is one place in the world where you can get closest to wild mother nature, it is the Paga crocodile pond in Ghana. In the northern region, along the Ghana-Burkina Faso border, lies the Paga crocodile pond.
It's a sacred crocodile pond teeming with West African crocodiles. Some of these crocodiles are over 90 years old. The friendliness of the crocodiles is the reason for its fame. The crocodiles in the Paga pond can be touched and petted freely. When you arrive, don't be amazed to see children going for a swim in a pool full of crocodiles. It has become popular among tourists, and the pond is now reliant on tourism to ensure the population of crocodiles remains fed and healthy. They also refer to it as the Chief’s pond.
Locals believe that a crocodile brought a dying man to the pond to drink, and that after surviving, the man declared the pond sacred and that no harm should come to the crocodiles. They claim that the crocodile legend dates back about 600 years. Crocodiles are considered totems for these indigenous people. Another story tells of a man who was trapped by a lion at the water's edge and bargained with a crocodile that none of his children would harm his kind if he killed the lion. Other sources claimed that during colonization, a young man fled for freedom and was helped by the crocodile to find sanctuary, so he allowed the crocodiles to coexist in the ponds with him. They believe that when the people of Paga die, their souls are reincarnated in these crocodiles, so the pond is sacred. In Paga, it is illegal to kill crocodiles or consume crocodile meat.
Visitors to Paga can sit, touch, and take photographs with the crocodiles. The crocodiles mostly roam freely in the pond, and they are drawn out by a caretaker's whistle or lured by the sound of a chicken. After the guide has fed them a chicken, tourists can take photographs while holding the crocodile's tails. It's comforting to know that none of the crocodiles have ever harmed anyone. Young children swim in the pond, and both Ghanaians and tourists are invited to touch and play with the reptiles. The residents of the town wash their clothes next to the crocodiles, without any fear.
Other tourist attractions in the area include the Paga-Nania slave camp , the mystery dam of Kayoro called Kukula, and the Nasaga Game Reserve, eight kilometers away from Burkina-Faso and Paga.
Crocodiles have been around for over 200 million years, and we haven't seen anything like the behavior of the crocodiles at Paga anywhere else on the planet. It's a mind-blowing experience. Remember that a small fee for interpretation and the purchase of the crocodile's live chicken dinner is required.