Let’s travel together.

Inside Yamoussoukro’s city crocodiles believed to have mystical powers


The name Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast’s capital is synonymous with a mysterious crocodile ritual which was started by the country’s first president Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who ruled for 33 years.

The huge crocodiles which some locals have described as “Yamoussoukro’s sacred crocodiles” were treasured by the president that he named them as part of his security detail. In fact, all his development in his home village where the crocodiles are located is surrounded by this tropical lake, Yamoussoukro Crocodile Lake, which is home to the reptiles.

Interestingly, the lake is now a major tourist attraction whereas early as 6 am, you will find them deeply engrossed in feeding; they take up more than 30kgs of meat per feeding session. What was intriguing was that Dicko Toki, who has been the supervisor of the crocodiles for close to 4 decades, feeding and taking care of them, knew each by its name and the beasts were so fond of him.

Toki fed the reptiles every day in a spectacle that left tourists bemused on the kind of powers that the man wielded over the crocodiles. He would stay close to them and pull their tails but they swaggered all the way to the lake without attacking him.

It is reported that the reptiles which President Houphouet really loved could warn him of impending danger with just a simple move of their snouts. However, the beasts required sacrifices to which earned them the name ‘man-eating crocodiles’.

The Baoule, the largest ethnic group in Ivory Coast hailing from Houphouet kinship have a mythic mindset about the crocodiles and it treasures them very much.

Read more on African culture:

Unmasking Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Festival

Why Ivory Coast (Côte D’Ivoire) Treasures The Goli Mask Dance

The Gnaoua Festival In Morocco, The Biggest Event You Must Attend


Facebook Comments

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter
Join Our Newsletter
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.

To help personalize content, tailor and measure adverts, this site uses cookies as described in our Privacy Policy. By clicking on/or navigating the site, you agree to allow us to collect information through cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Cookie settings

Below you can choose which kind of cookies you allow on this website. Click on the "Save cookie settings" button to apply your choice.

FunctionalOur website uses functional cookies. These cookies are necessary to let our website work.

AnalyticalOur website uses analytical cookies to make it possible to analyze our website and optimize for the purpose of a.o. the usability.

Social mediaOur website places social media cookies to show you 3rd party content like YouTube and FaceBook. These cookies may track your personal data.

AdvertisingOur website places advertising cookies to show you 3rd party advertisements based on your interests. These cookies may track your personal data.

OtherOur website places 3rd party cookies from other 3rd party services which aren't Analytical, Social media or Advertising.