9 facts about Gambia – The country with a sacred crocodile pool

Here are few interesting facts about Gambia

1. There is a sacred crocodile pool in Bakau called Kachikally. It is home to around 100 crocodiles of varying shapes and sizes. They pose no danger to the tourists who pass through daily. Legend has it that the waters can bestow fertility and healing powers.  

2. During elections, Gambians vote using marbles. In a private booth, voters are presented with holes in the ground marked with each candidate. They then simply drop their marble into the hole they choose.   

3. Ethnic groups in the Gambia follow a unique ritual. Upon turning eleven or twelve years old, a boy is supposed to change his location and go to a remote area for many months. He learns about the facets of the culture as well as his responsibilities as a man in the community. Before Gambian boys hit puberty, they must go through circumcision to be initiated into manhood. The Kankurang, a respected elder in the community, is the one who performs this operation. Gambians believe that boys who are newly circumcised are most vulnerable to evil spirits and witches who might want to possess them.

4. The fear of evil spirits is so strong among the people that they prefer to ignore any sounds they may hear during the nighttime. They believe these sounds to be the work of evil spirits who might harm them. In some tribes, people are afraid of the sound of owls because the sound is considered to predict the worst – the death of a tribe’s member.

5. The Gambia is predominantly a Muslim country. The country is also very tolerant of different religions, with a small number of Christians residing there as well. The festival of Ramadan is celebrated widely: a period of fasting occurring for one month every year.

This is followed by Tobaski, a family celebration to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, involving the purchase and slaughter of a ram for sharing with family, friends, and the poor.

6. The Gambia has 50 miles of coastline. For such a tiny country, it has an impressive stretch of coastline. It’s these uncrowned sandy beaches and year-round sunshine that make The Gambia is popular among British holidaymakers in search of a sun-kissed beach holiday.  

7. The Gambia has Baboon Islands, a rehabilitation center for chimpanzees. In 1969, English woman Stella Brewer Marsden started the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project to return rescued chimps to the wild. Rehabilitated chimps were given homes on the Baboon Islands. It consists of five islands located on River Gambia. It is now home to hundreds of chimpanzees.  

8. The official title of the former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh was Sheikh Professor Doctor President. There is no explanation of the Sheikh title but it is alleged that the President bestowed upon himself Professorship after saying that he found the cure for AIDS and several other diseases. The Doctor title he assumed after being awarded an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws by a Canadian university. Succeeding presidents also have to take on these titles, therefore, the official title of a Gambian president is Sheikh Professor Doctor President.  

9. The Gambia is one of the smallest countries on the continent of Africa. The country is 113 miles wide and the length is roughly 37.23 miles. Mauritius is another smaller country in Africa

We hope that you enjoyed these facts about Gambia. Do share with us how you find the blog in the comment section below.